Tag Archives: smoking

The Quit and My Health

The Quit

I’m now working on Day 29 of not smoking. Almost one month complete! Woot! I did e-cigs for a couple of weeks. When those ran out, I switched to the patch and wore that for about 1.5 weeks. I’ve been nicotine-free for the last 5(?) days. Feeling pretty good, too!

I’ve also been eating Atomic Fireballs when I have bad cravings. Over the last week or so, I’ve noticed that I’m not really having any cravings, but I’m still eating the Fireballs. These things are great for fighting the craves and they have saved my life a number of times. But now that I’m eating them because I like them, well, that means it’s time to get rid of them. I have about 15 left. When I’m down to 5, I will save those in case I need them, but I won’t be buying any more. I need to purge myself of sugar now!

My Health

Along with taking the plunge on The Quit, I’ve decided that I need to start exercising again. I’ve been getting lazy these last few months since I haven’t been going to the CrossFit gym. As much as I like CF, my gym was far away and expensive. Since I’m no longer going, it’s time to step things up. I’ve decided to follow a more laid back approach and follow the Primal Blueprint Fitness plan. The quick and dirty of it is to move slowly, lift heavy, and occasionally sprint. So, for me, it breaks down thusly: 4 days of walking, 2 days of body weight exercises, and 1 day of sprints. That’s my week.

I started the walking aspect last week. One thing I love about living in the country, my walks are through some really nice areas with wonderful scenery. I’ve seen ducks, peacocks, cows, chickens, roosters, etc. I’ve also been taking some pics while I’m out and about. At any rate, I walked 3 days last week. The totals for each day were 2.7 miles, 3.1 miles, and 4.8 miles. I went out again today for 3 miles. Tomorrow I start the heavy lifting.

Combine that with eating a clean paleo diet, the weight should melt off of me. I hope. But, I’m not going to make any expectations. I’m just going to continue to do what I need to do and let the rest take care of itself. JERF! Just Eat Real Food!

An Update on the Quit

In the last 3 weeks, I have not smoked 400 cigarettes.

Back in the day, it didn’t seem like much: 20 a day, but then I wasn’t keeping track of them past the daily intake. Pack a day? What’s that? That’s average for most people. No sweat. If I went over, like a night out on the town (read: closing a bar with drinking/smoking buddies) when I would push 2 packs in one day… yeah, I would mentally beat myself up: I shouldn’t have smoked THAT many in one day.

But, when one stops to think about the total over an extended period of time, it’s ridiculous! 400 in 20 days! A pack a day for 20 days doesn’t sound that bad, but 400 cigs in the same time frame? Hell, just the thought of smoking 400 cigarettes over ANY time frame… 400! Oy vey!

What hurts even more: if I had not fallen off the wagon in ’07, I would have saved over $15,000 by now. My Scirocco would have been running this whole time and I would have relished driving it every weekend, including to the last 6 Cincy’s and I would never have felt the shame of parking on the KIA side and getting that look from Daun (“Another year at the Scirocco get-together without the Scirocco?”). We would have hardwood floors (or a cheaper laminate alternative ;) ). Hell, we might even have a paved and heated driveway! (Who am I kidding? We probably would have pissed it away elsewhere, but the Scirocco could have been running!!!)

But still… 15 grand. And to add to that, here’s an even scarier number: 43,829. That’s number of cigarettes that I smoked since falling off the wagon (assuming pack/day for the last 6 years). ~44K cigs.

Incredible numbers and things to think about. And I would spend more time thinking about it if I wanted to live in the past on past mistakes. I don’t want to do that. Instead, I will think of the now and the future.

Now: three weeks in, I’m breathing easier than I have in about 4 years, but I know I’m not out of the woods. I still have cravings, albeit minor ones. I also know that since it took me 26+ years to walk this deep into the woods, it just might take 26+ years to find my way back to where I was. As they say on quitnet.com, 3 miles in is 3 miles out. Fortunately, I’ve already started to feel the health benefits and that’s enough to keep me going.

I made it farther than this in ’07, but this time I am not going to falter. I will walk the path. I will make it out of the woods. For…

I am done.

I am quit.

I am Mike and I am awesome.

The Quit: Q-minus 32 hours and counting

I’ve set a date (Sunday night at midnight).

I’ve talked with some family (weekend with mom, brother, and sister inspired me).

I’ve reconnected with QuitNet.

While on the site today, I found something I want to post here, so I can come back to it from time to time.

Smoking cessation timeline – the health benefits over time

  • In 20 minutes, your blood pressure and pulse rate decrease, and the body temperature of your hands and feet increase.
  • Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. At 8 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood decreases to normal. With the decrease in carbon monoxide, your blood oxygen level increases to normal.
  • At 24 hours, your risk of having a heart attack decreases.
  • At 48 hours, nerve endings start to regrow and the ability to smell and taste is enhanced.
  • Between 2 weeks and 3 months, your circulation improves, walking becomes easier and you don’t cough or wheeze as often. Phlegm production decreases. Within several months, you have significant improvement in lung function.
  • In 1 to 9 months, coughs, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease as you continue to see significant improvement in lung function. Cilia, tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs, regain normal function.
  • In 1 year, risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack is reduced to half that of a smoker.
  • Between 5 and 15 years after quitting, your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.
  • In 10 years, your risk of lung cancer drops. Additionally, your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decrease. Even after a decade of not smoking however, your risk of lung cancer remains higher than in people who have never smoked. Your risk of ulcer also decreases.
  • In 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack is similar to that of people who have never smoked. The risk of death returns to nearly the level of a non-smoker. 


I’ve been a smoker for over 20 years. About 6 years ago, I successfully quit for 3 months. I felt great. One day, I bummed a cig off a coworker after some happy hour fun. It’s a slippery slope and I slid right down it again. I’ve been at the bottom of the slope looking up for a long time. After spending the weekend with my family for my sister’s graduation (graduate school!), I decided I am ready to make the climb again. My brother flew out from Seattle and said he was hardly smoking anymore. That weekend, he smoked a lot. If I hadn’t been smoking, he wouldn’t have either. Big brother is a bad influence and I aim to change that relationship. Come tomorrow night, I’m going to try to kill that demon. It will be an epic battle, but I hope to be the one left standing.

The Quit

100 days, 14 hours, 58 minutes and 46 seconds smoke free.
2012 cigarettes not smoked.

$450.00 and 15 days, 8 hours of my life saved.

My quit date: 5/1/2007

I like the looks of that. (so much that I had to come back and bold those numbers!)

Patapsco, an addiction

I played it again today. Only 2 days since my last round. I’m sure I’ll feel a bit sore tomorrow. Wish I was in better shape, but smoking cigs for 20 years will do that. I’m sure the rest of the unhealthy lifestyle didn’t help, but it’s all changing. May 31, 2007 was my last day as a smoker and I’m playing a lot of disc golf. I know that if I was still smoking, Patapsco would be killing me!

On to the round! (After reading a local dg forum, I decided to change the way I post my rounds, plus the last post was a book!) (Also, I score each hole as it’s marked, but the unmarked ones I score as 3s. :/ )

  1. Bogey, 4 strokes
  2. this started off with an off drive into the woods (easy on this one) and followed with more crap, including a missed putt! Triple bogey, 6
  3. shook off the crap and Parred the one, 4
  4. a late release led to a Bogey, 4
  5. Par, 4
  6. Played almost like 2, crap followed by crap. Another Triple bogey! 7
  7. was in the A position so I Birdied this one, 3
  8. a phenomenal drive that left me 25′ from the pin behind a tree. And it was with my midrange MRX! Birdie, 3
  9. A beautiful drive followed by some crappy approaches. Bogey, 5
  10. Hell of a drive that put me 10′ from the pin. Birdie, 2
  11. First 3 shots were off, but had decent distance. Should have birdied. Par, 5
  12. Same as last one, but with bushes! Double bogey, 5
  13. Almost over the side, but Par, 4
  14. Birdie, 3
  15. Bogey, 4
  16. Par, 4
  17. Par, 4
  18. Par, 4

That last few were fairly uneventful. Nothing really stood out. I’ve learned on 17 that even if the drive goes off to the left and down the hill, if you still get distance with it you can salvage it.

Not bad, even though it adds to +8 (+7, +1) with 75 strokes (40, 35).
Last weeks score in this format +4 (+3, +1) with 71 strokes (36, 35).
I’d hate to see how my first round at Patapsco, earlier this year, breaks down. +16 at least.

Time for a database!

I think I’m getting closer to a regular perfect drive. ha!