Is it Easier to Quit Smoking? or Quit Eating Junk Food?

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.

16 thoughts on “Is it Easier to Quit Smoking? or Quit Eating Junk Food?

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  1. Great article. I gave up smoking at 39 which is 26 years ago. I have struggled with my weight too going between 130lbs and 330lbs. That was 20 years ago but it took a long time for me to come to an agreement with my body. I will never be petite.. instead I look at the key indicators of health as well and work on keeping them at a normal level – Blood Pressure, LDL cholesterol levels and Blood Sugar being the key factors. Having something other than lbs to measure makes a difference. Sally

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I just left the comment on the wrong site somehow, so I’ll repeat it here! Since you don’t smoke you have half the batle beat. Cutting back on carbohydrates such as potato chips, potatoes and bread will help in a big way. They are very addictive and you always want more. Theya re verys tarchy which stores in your body as fat. Replace some of your drinks with water and you are well on your way.

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  3. Physically cigarettes is harder, as junk food is a mental addiction. Both are tough, but my vote would be with smoking in general. Nicotine is the most second addictive thing next to street heroin. I found that out while talking quitting smoking once with one of my doctors. Haha. But all addictions are hard mentally. The problem with heroin, cigs etc are there is physical and a mental addiction to quit. I, however, question our foods and what little we know about where we get our food. They probably put physically addicting crap in it. Chocolate is very addictive or can be for those who like it. But then some people don’t like it, and don’t become addicted to it. Which leads me to believe it is a mental thing more so than physical. Anyone who smokes for some time will eventually become addictive if they hate it or not. But it is an interesting debate and like you said it varies for everyone. I think a mental addiction can be stronger for some than physical, so that is another factor to consider.

    This is kind of off topic and I’m kind of already ranting so I will try to make this point short. More people in North America are quitting smoking than starting now. There are stats and facts to show smoking is a dying thing and not very popular in the next generation. Which is good, why we bother writing more stats on it and spending money to find out more ways it kills you or educate people is beyond me. The smoking is bad thing is really old and it has shown it has worked. People are quitting! And the younger kids are no longer smoking or being peer pressured into it. I believe it runs it will run it’s course for a bit longer in my generation and those older than me that still smoke, but it will fade out. What I don’t see talked enough as much as being fit is the new trend, is how obesity is effecting our youth. Bad eating habits and xbox as a babysitter or too much video games and tv is what is effected the next generations. Yet you talk about it, you call someone out for being over weight and you are told you are rude, or how dare you followed by made up bs excuses to why they are over weight. I am sorry I never yelled at someone who told me I was stupid for smoking, because I know it;s true and it would kill me. I didn’t want sympathy or to be accepted for my unhealthy habit. So why call me rude? How is it different? I am not saying go around and call people fat is okay, it isn’t. But I think we need to lead our focus from quitting smoking onto the rising rates of obesity. Educate them, politely but honestly. And stop letting people tell you that you are an awful human being for doing so. If that makes sense?

    I am going to quit smoking this week, I think the fact my hubby doesn’t smoke will help tremendously. I also would ideally like to continue my healthy eating habits and work out. I wouldn’t say I have been addicte to junk food, I like it but I can live without it and I don’t get grumpy if I don’t have it. However, a lot of people are guilty of eating more when they quit smoking so I think it will be a big challenge for me to stick with both quitting smoking and not overeating or going back to bad eating habits.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent reply! Thank you! I think it is true about younger people smoking cigarettes, the marijuana is going to be the next thing for young kids. That is a whole other topic I know so I’ll keep it to these two. Iquit smoking cold turkey about 27 years ago, I am a junk food junkie and can’t kick it for any longer than 2 years. Carbohydrates like chips, french fries,bread always leave you wanting more, so if you are only cutting out one or two things that could be a good place to start. Good luck with your healthy lifestyle.!

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      1. Yes, but marijuanna is another long debate because not everything is bad about weed. Like it has benefits for cancer patients etc. If a controlled substance, weed is not bad. In moderation it can help many things, even helps some people with things like anxiety. How is that any different than putting depressed teens on anti depressions and other prescribed drugs that are legal? My only beef with weed being illegal, is not because of the bad thing that can happen with people who smoke it too much become useless or abuse to where it can mess with their mental health, moods etc. My beef is why is alcohol and smoking still legal then? Why get kids addicted to prescription drugs to survive and then yell at them for smoking a plant? Anything used with responsibility is okay. if alcohol can be legal in trust that people use it responsibility, then why not weed? It’s not that different. Why is smoking cigaretes still legal? It doesn’t get you buzzed or high and it kills you. yet the government still wants to smack down on weed, Like it is so hypocritical really. I am for weed to be legalized, but maybe an age limit like alcohol. Also if it is made legal, it will have a age limit as smoking weed can effect the brain before it is fully developed. It will be controlled like other things. So why still the fight? Should we ban everything else then? Cause that would make it fair. We need better parents, not more controlled laws. It is illegal because the government needs to keep people employed as prison guards etc. If weed is legalized, less people will go to jail etc and then people will lose jobs. And/or the government is sad they can’t tax it so they want to cry about a plant. But will turn around and say you can join the military at 18 (so an 18 year old fresh out of high school can make such a choice rather they want to possibly go die in war or not and all the other crap that goes along with military shit. Tough decisions etc) but they can’t drink until they are 19 in Canada, 18 in some provinces so that;s fair, but 21 in the states? And they can’t make a choice to smoke a plant? Our laws are backwards. I say either ban it all, or at least lessen the restrictions on weed because none of it makes any sense. I am not for kids getting stoned, but kids also drink because alcohol is legal and adults can get it easily etc. So why is one legal and not the other? Again, self responsibility is a huge point again. And not society’s fault always. They legalize it will be the same as anything else that is legal. There will be restrictions. But yes kids smoking weed is another new problem. But smoking weed is better than cigarettes at least. I am not a weed smoker anymore, but I sometimes wish I had just stuck with pot than cigarettes. Pot is not physically addicting, it at least gives you a high when you smoke so there is a point, and it is unhealthy, but not as unhealthy as cigarettes. So heh…But still the same needs to be done for our youth. Educating them and telling them drugs are not the way to go. At least not all the time. Drinking and smoking weed at a party on the weekend, or even experimenting a bit as a teen is one thing, most people are guilty of it and sometimes we learn from those experiences. But being a stoner kid can cause further problems.

        Thank you for wishing me luck. I never had a problem cutting out junk food, my secret is literally just don’t buy it or keep it in the house and that is easy enough for me. My fear is when I quit is to keep eating normal proportions, not eating all day even if it is healthier foods. Eating too much of anything is bad, and not maintaining a healthy balance like you said. I am kinda guilty when it comes to carbonhydrates though. 😦 I love bread, PASTA (omg drool) etc. I do try to steer away from fries and chips. However, I love potatoes. Lol. So yes, even if I keep healthier foods in the house when I quit smoking, my challenge will be not to eat it all in one day. 😛

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  4. Oh not to hate, but it was a choice to smoke or do anything. Your cousin isn’t to blame, that is like a scape goat. That is like me blaming weed and say it was the gate way drug to my smoking habit and others. It isn’t the case. But why did I start smoking? Because a friend told me if I smoked a cigarette after smoking weed I’d get more high because of less oxygen. I believed her and continued enough. Then I kinda liked the head rushes in the morning etc. Before I knew it I was addicted. But it was willingly my choice, no one took a gun to my head and told me to smoke a cigarette. But sorry to hear your cousin was a bad influence that way. Glad you quit and you are better than her. 🙂

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    1. You are wrong about my cousin being a scape goat. She was my ride home, her place was where I was sleeping. She got very angry when I wouldn’t smoke, put a lit cigarette in my hand and lifted my hand to my mouth. I spent a week with her, smoking. I’m sure I wasn’t addicted when the week was over but I was certainly told kids would like me better etc. Think what you will, I never would have smoked a cigarette if that never happened. I dont smoke pot either. I have an occasional drink, that is my choice, no one froced me. You have no idea, honestly.

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      1. So you just kept smoking because she was angry? You could have left, I am sure you had many options unless she was threatening your life. You willingly hung out in the same room with her for a week knowing she would pressure you to smoke? Okay. Everyone has choices. You made mistakes, so did I. It is even better when you over come your mistakes. I get what you are saying, but we always have a choice. So you smoked because someone told you it was cool? That’s called peer pressure which everyone deals with and not a life threatening option. if someone said all the cool kids are shooting themselves in the head, would you do it? Doubtful. Peer pressure is awful, I am a victim of it. Then again I am not a victim, I made stupid choices. If I got caught my parents gave me punishment and yelled at me, they didn’t call my friends and lecture them for my idiotic dcision for joining in. It is easy to blame people for our life choices. My point is I get what you are saying you are not totally wrong, but at a point I had to stop playing the victim. If I accomplish quitting smoking I think I will feel more proud because I quit a stupid mistake I started. I am angry at myself more than any peer pressure friend that told me a bunch of shit and did almost force me to smoke. I could have walked away, what were they gonna do beat me down? Yeah…Maybe, then there are conquences for that. Like assault, smarter people who would take my side etc. We can say we wouldn’t have done a lot of shit if this didn;t happen, maybe true but we still had a choice. Sorry but my opinion.

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  5. And yes maybe I do misunderstand, sorry for commenting. It isn’t my place. I sometimes call it too soon when I see it, bad habit. :/

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  6. Yes, I continued after i left, yes that was my choice. I said I would enver have started if she hadn’t forced me. I didn’t say she made me continue. I was 14, in a totally different province than my parents. I was there for a week. If you had read my blog and had a bit of history on me, You would now about a few things that happened to me, that I had no choice in. You are so wrong on so many levels. That is my opinion.

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  7. I had no choice in a lot of things in my life, but even then I had to get to a point in my life where the people who made mistakes will not make my future. So in the end I had to step away and stop blaming my shit on other people, including smoking. My parents smoked, so it was easy for me to steal smokes and start. It encouraged the bad behavior, but it was still my choice etc. Society just always blames the bad crowd was my stand point. My brother once got caught smoking weed in school and the principle instantly told my dad it was the crowd he was with that day. How they pressured him into it, my brother of course was glad to play along with. My dad went ballistic and told the principle it was his son’s choice and no one else was too blame. He needed to take the heat. He kinda insulted the principle and the school. I laughed. But I get what you are saying, but we continue our choices, and for how long is up to us. It is up to only me to change my life and make my future. Here you wrote a powerful blog in how you quit smoking, that was your own and smart doing. And you should be proud, and rather we agree or not. I think we agree on some level, I can meet you in the middle on this one. But peer pressure is a bitch that especially as teens we have to deal with and because we are teens I also think is the age that is the toughest and we are more easier influenced, we lack wisdom, life experience etc. Then we grow up and learn a lot. I know I have. My life has been a crazy ride and at times I was dealt a shit hand, but I made it out. That was my doing. And at times I look back in bad times and even see now I probably could have done shit differently if I stopped playing the victim. You can’t control others, but you can control yourself. It sucks that some people suck, and they don’t realize their influence on you or how they are hurting your feelings, but the way you respond is your choice. Who will win? Us or them. I say us 🙂 and you have quit smoking and I am proud of you! I am quitting this week, and it will suck big time, but I believe I can do it.

    But like how far does your rabbit hole go? Are your parents to blame then too for letting their 14 year old daughter stay with a bad influenced cousin? Maybe, but it was still your choice to respond to her anger by giving into it. It is not a bad thing, all teens deal with things like this and it is a very difficult time in our life. I just see it from another point of view I guess. Sure there were times in my life I had valid reasons why I acted the way I did, or the choices I made, but they were still my choices and mistakes, valid or not. It’s hard to take the responsibility but I needed to move on with my life. We make valid excuses all the time to suit our needs.

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  8. It is usually our choice. If you are given a date rape drug and you are raped, you didn’t have a choice. You had a choice whether or not to go wherever, but once you’re out cold, you don’t have a choice. It is still the rapists fault. I lost my voice years ago, when i was molested as a three year old girl. I blame the person who did it, even though my mother new it was going on. I don’t totally blame her. I have my voice now, but I didnt get it until I was well out of my teens. Even when we have choices, we don’t always feel like we do. Good luck in quitting smoking.

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  9. You should blog about your point of view on these things. I don’t care who smokes weed, except young kids, teens. Anytime you are inhaling smoke in to your lungs it is not good. Yes marijuana is excellent for cancer patients, for pain but it doesn’t cure it. I’m glad they can have it. A persons brain has to be affected by anything that changes the way they feel, especially in youngsters like you said. I’ve often wondered why alcohol and cigarettes ever became legal.

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