I am guessing that about 95% of you would guess that it would be easier to quit eating junk food than to quit smoking. Of course, we have to take into consideration how much a person smokes and how much junk food one eats. We can conquer either one, just as we can quit taking heroin, etc. None of them are easy to do. It really comes down to motivation and will.
I started smoking when I was 14. I have a cousin who I can blame for talking me into puffing on a cigarette for the very first time. She really would not stop until I took the cigarette. I can blame that cousin for a few things in my life that I should not have been introduced to. It is odd since we didn’t even live in the same province and only saw each other for one week a year. I know I am going off topic here but, this cousin has not been heard from in more than 30 years. It has been said she was put in a witness protection program. She had a child at the time who was also put in the program. She never contacted her family again. Her mother died without ever hearing from her. How sad is that? No one knows whether she is alive or dead. Considering her past lifestyle, I’m guessing the latter. I don’t feel so bad for her, but for her child, who would be well into her 30’s or 40’s by now. I would love to have a good long chat with my cousin now and say, “What the !!!! were you thinking?” and so much more. The past is done and I must move on, so back to the topic of kicking habits…
By the time I was 28, I smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. I was to the point where I would have one in an ashtray and proceed to light another one without even thinking about it. Then I would notice I had two going. Instead of putting one out, I would smoke both of them so I wouldn’t waste anything.
Junk food has always been a downfall for me. I do call it an addiction and it is something that you need to be motivated to quit. My weight hovered between 95 – 100 lbs between the ages of 13 – 28. I think smoking increases your metabolism, so if you are thin already, it will help keep you that way. (Don’t use this method to lose weight. It won’t work. If you are heavy, it will not take weight off.) I was a bundle of nerves. As I have said in past posts, I have had an anxiety disorder since I was at least three years old. Along with smoking, I ate junk food like there was no tomorrow. I couldn’t choose whether I wanted chips, chocolate bar or ice cream so I would have all three. Every day… Never gained a pound… Until…
I met this guy, who eventually became my husband. He did not smoke. The first year I met him I decided I was going to quit smoking (for him) on New Year’s Day. He was quite happy about this. At the time I didn’t concern myself with junk food, because well, why would I? I had never gained weight. I was always too skinny for my liking. I didn’t like being skinny.
Fast forward to New Year’s Day, I think it was 1988 or 1989. We had a lovely New Year’s Eve. My mind was made up, I was going to quit smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Cold Turkey as they call it. We didn’t live together, I had only known this awesome guy for a few months. He had a roommate who didn’t smoke either so previous to this day, if I wanted to smoke I had to go upstairs and blow smoke out my boyfriend’s bedroom window.
It was time for me to go home. I wouldn’t be seeing him for a couple of days most likely. He called me two or three days later and asked me how I was doing with quitting smoking. “I’m doing great! I haven’t smoked any cigarettes!” I lied. He was so proud of me. We talked for a bit, then hung up. I have never felt so guilty, I was never one to lie. I couldn’t stand looking at myself in the mirror. I had lied to this great guy and it was no way to start off a fairly new relationship. I felt so guilty that I flushed the rest of the cigarettes down the toilet and never, ever touched a cigarette again. The guilt made me take my determination to quit smoking to the next level. I did it and it has been about 27 years since I have smoked. I am so proud of accomplishing that. This guy totally calmed me down, got me to quit smoking, and changed my whole outlook on life. He made me feel good about me. Unbelievable because I never felt good about me before in my life.
Now about that junk food addiction…
A month or so after I quit smoking, I noticed I was starting to put a bit of weight on. I thought this was wonderful, because I always felt so skinny and ugly. Woo hoo! the scales were reading 105. That is a big difference on a skinny, tiny little girl! I went out and bought some new clothes, clothes that I was filling out a lot better. Then the scales continued to go higher. I didn’t panic yet about the weight but decided I felt good enough about the way I looked, that I could manage enough courage to go to a public gym. Here comes the shock of my life. I joined the gym and of course they set me up with a beginner’s work out routine. I got the on the scales and was so proud that he said 108 lbs. “Oh!” he says, That is a little high for your height.” I don’t remember how they measured the body fat but when he told me that and said I needed to work on my body fat, I just about croaked. All of a sudden, I felt ugly, ashamed and asked myself why I thought I could come here. “Oh yes,” he says, “You’ve got some tummy bulge there and here are some exercises to do for that.” I was so crushed. Here I was for the last month thinking I looked good and along comes this jerk who totally busted my bubble. Needless to say I was too self-conscious to ever go back to the gym again. Memberships are non-refundable.
Every month the numbers on the scales were getting higher. I realized there really was something to having to eat healthy, watch your calories. I’ve tried and I’ve tried to cut the junk food. I’ve done the, “Just eat it in moderation” thing. The only thing that works for me is to totally cut it out of my lifestyle. It took me another 18 years or so to figure out a healthy eating plan that works for me. I still have not mastered it. I can stick to it for 1 year, two years, even three years at a time but have never been able to wipe junk food clean out of my memory. 2018 is of course the year I am going to do that! I have managed to go from 130 lbs back down to 110 lbs, which was perfect for me when I was 36. I have yoyo’d up and down. Not because the healthy eating plan wasn’t good, but because I didn’t have enough will and motivation to stick to it. I now sit at 150 lbs and hope to get down to 120 lbs.
The answer to the question in the title of this post is…for me, it was easier to quit smoking two packs of cigarettes a day than it has ever been for me to quit eating junk food. Is it because I had more of a reason to quit smoking than to quit eating junk food? Maybe I was worried my new boyfriend would not stay with me, should I continue smoking. At the time I was a long way from fat even though I was starting to feel that way once I went to that gym. Silly isn’t it, trying to hide your gut from your boyfriend when you weight 108 lbs? We’ve been together for so long now, I don’t think he is going to leave me because I’m heavier than I was when he met me. I could be wrong, but even if I’m wrong, if he wanted to leave me because he thought I was too fat I’d tell him to leave, real quick. I would most likely even tell him where to go! lol!
I have long since figured out since that gym encounter, that I am a beautiful person, even if someone else says different. Positive thinking is the way to go.
I’m Frazzled Again.