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A crutch is anything that you lean heavily upon in order to support or motivate your effort to break nicotine's grip upon your life, including food! If your effort is dependent upon any crutch, what will happen if the crutch is for some reason removed or in the case of food, not removed? Why allow your health and very possibly our life to depend upon any person, place or thing other than you!Yes, eating lots of extra food that must lead to substantial weight gain, major lifestyle changes that would eventually tire anyone, a quit smoking exercise program that can be interrupted by weather or injury, an uneducated quitting buddy who statistically has an 88 to 90% chance of relapsing within 24 weeks, the support of family and friends who are not drug addicts themselves and can not in fairness be expected to appreciate the magnitude or duration of chemical nicotine withdrawal or psychological recovery, or even leaning too heavily upon any support group to keep your motivation strong, can all serve as risky quit crutches.This is your quit and the list of reasons on your reasons list all belong to you! The next few minutes are doable and you'll be the only one doing them! If you have only quit for one hour be proud of your accomplishment as no one hour during this temporary journey of adjustment called "quitting" is any more important than another. Baby steps, just one hour, challenge and day at a time! This is doable if we simply NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! John
|From: Joel||Sent: 12/28/2004 8:50 PM|
| I saw a suggestion up earlier about things that a person can do rather than smoking--eating sunflower seeds being one of the suggestions. The same comment in the original post in this string about eating ice-cream can easily be said about turning to any high caloric food as a substitution for smoking. The advice we give at Freedom is not "do whatever it takes to quit smoking," but rather, "do what it takes to quit smoking." What it takes to quit smoking is simply sticking to your commitment to never take another puff! |
It does not take a whole lot of sunflower seeds to equal 100 calories. Pick up this pattern while quitting smoking and carry it on over an extended time period and you can needlessly gain lots and lots of extra fat and weight. It may shock some people to find out that all that a person needs to swallow in order to sustain a quit is to swallow the advice to never take another puff.
If you are just arriving then this thread is VERY important and worth reading again and again. Each new puff of new nicotine fed us by releasing adrenaline, which in turn released stored fats and sugars into our bloodstream. I, for one, lived in a very unnatural feeding world where I almost always skipped breakfast and lunch and yet never knew true hunger. How could that be? Nicotine was my spoon!
It's not only important to understand this issue to help avoid unnecessary blood sugar swing symptoms during early withdrawal, but also in helping understand and appreciate how to deal with "real" hunger. It's important to appreciate the time delay between the arrival of hunger, eating food, and our digestive system having time to convert the food to usable energy that arrives in the brain to turn-off the brain's hunger switch. It takes about 20 minutes.
As Joel points out, if, because of nicotine constantly feeding us, we are not used to the natural period of hunger and attempt to satisfy it with a shovel instead of a slow spoon, we can devour an awful lot of groceries in those 20 minutes. None of us need to eat one calorie more than we did while smoking nicotine but we may need to learn to properly deal with hunger and we may need to learn to spread our normal calorie intake out more evenly over our entire day. It's really a learning experience in simply feeding ourselves again - just like a never-smoker!
If the food craves should arrive, the slower we eat and the greater amount of time passing between food helpings, the fewer helpings we may find ourselves consuming. After all these years of nicotine feeding us it can take a bit of practice learning how to feed ourselves properly again. What a wonderful problem to have!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long!
John : )
Smoking cessation weight gain and weight control are important issues but we must keep our priorities straight. You face a 50% chance that your chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine will cost you roughly 5,000 days of life, and even greater odds that it will leave you permanently crippled and impaired. When quitting smoking, we would need to gain an additional 75 to 100 pounds in order to equal the health risk associated with smoking one pack of cigarettes a day.
Allow yourself the time necessary to become comfortable in your still healing body before becoming overly occupied with any extra pounds. The self discipline skills you master during nicotine dependency recovery can be applied to all life's challenges, including stop smoking weight gain (baby steps - just one meal, one ounce, one pound, or one brief exercise period at a time - just one day at a time).
As Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains in the "Pay Attention" article linked below, both food and nicotine shared the same dopamine pathways. Nicotine also released adrenaline. Once nicotine intake ends many try to eat their temporarily diminished dopamine flow into nicotine comparable quantities, while others pick horrible fights or create outragous fears in an attempt to induce the body's fight or flight pathways to release additional adrenaline. The competition between a week or two of brain neuron re-sensitization and trying to keep weight and relationships in balance is clearly a challenge but one you're fully capable of handling.
In regard to nicotine invoking the body's fight or flight pathways, one of those lizard mind pathways is responsible for providing instant energy to fight or flea the saber tooth tiger, by releasing stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream. Yes, nicotine was our spoon, allowing us to skip meals yet not experience true hunger, as our bigger meals were fed back to us with each puff throughout the day.
This creates two nicotine cessation challenges: (1) learning to again feed ourselves, to spread our normal daily calorie intake out more evenly over our entire day so as not to experience wild blood sugar swing symptoms (not one calorie more but smaller fuelings about every 3 hours), and (2) learning to handle true hunger pains again. In regard to hunger pains, once one arrives it doesn't matter if we eat with a toothpick or a shovel, it is still going to take our digestive system about 20 minutes to convert the food to energy that is capable of turning off the mind's hunger switch. Eat slowly, reasonable size bites and eat healthy!
How many nicotine smokers do you know who love running? They're pretty rare. But online we see countless ex-smokers develop a passion for engaging in various forms of brisk and lengthy physical activity. Imagine experiencing a substantial increase in overall lung function within just 90 days. Any extra pounds can quickly disappear when such new found endurance and stamina are combined with a small to moderate increase in physical activities. If you do find yourself carrying a few extra pounds, be patient with your healing! New abilities are on the way!
Still just one guiding principle determining the outcome for all, no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long![url=mailto:email@example.com]John[/url]