5 Months, 8 Days, 14 Hours……….

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since I lit up and smoked my last¬†cigarette, according to my handy-dandy¬†QuitIt app.¬†If you’re a former smoker, you understand what the last few months of my life have been like.

It’s hard to believe as a 12-year-old, I thought smoking was oh-so-cool. Now, as a woman turning 45 this year, I regret lighting up that first cigarette. Let me clarify: I DID NOT smoke from 12 until 44. I didn’t ¬†join in as a ‘real smoker’ until I was around 15 or 16. My friends did it. My parents were chain smokers. It was a part of my world for as long as I can remember.

Another thing I remember is getting car sick on long road trips with my parents as they smoked. Looking back, I don’t know why they didn’t crack or roll down the windows during those endless miles. My complaints weren’t met with the obvious reaction. Instead, we’d pull into the nearest rest area so I could get somewhat of a break, as they continued to smoke.

I also remember learning in school, ¬†cigarettes would kill my parents. I rectified that situation by throwing away newly purchased cartons of cigarettes. Problem solved, right? Uh no! More like I ended up in trouble. I was worried about my parents but it was still a time where the Marlboro man was cool and smoking was just the thing to do. My parents weren’t concerned with the years worth of damage ¬†smoking was doing to their health. In fact, my mom ended up on an oxygen machine during the last few years of her life. Ironically, the first time I went over to see her and the new oxygen machine, she was sitting in bed smoking!

I will admit, I was the adult smoker, puffing away, warning the younger generation of the perils of the nicotine addiction. One of my most ironic and sad memories relating to smoking is: A good friend of mine, who use to babysit my daughter, was outside, you guessed it, smoking, when I arrived. I did what any good smoker does and lit up a cigarette to join her. Tears streamed down her face as she delivered the bad news: her grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. My heart sank and clenched with pain for my friend and her family, even as we both puffed and puffed away. Despite the news, neither one of us thought, it’s time to quit smoking.

Fast forward a few years. My daughter is in elementary school and has asked me to accompany her class on a field trip to one of our state parks. Sure, why not, I think. It’s Spring, the weather is perfect and I’d never been to this particular park. Yeah, lemme tell you. Little did I know her teacher and the teacher she partnered up with were evidently in training for an¬†Olympic¬†type of marathon! Initially, I did give it a good-hearted attempt to keep up with the teachers-determined-to-whip-me-into-shape. I even made sure to keep the stragglers caught up with us. That’s right, I was the BEAST! For the first five minutes.

Then my smoker’s lungs started kicking in. Sweat glands I didn’t know existed made their presence known. Luckily, I’d established with the teachers from hell ¬†I was in charge of the stragglers, so it became easy to slow it on down and walk their pace. No longer was I encouraging them to keep up, I was begging THEM to s-l-o-w down! I can remember at one point where they gave up on me trying to catch up with them. Not only did we finish the walk in 2.5 miliseconds, we also had to wait another 20 something hours for the other classes to arrive at the meeting point. Okay, okay, so I’m exaggerating just a little.

It was at that point I knew I had to quit smoking. There was no reason for me to be in my 30’s and ready to keel over from what should have been an invigorating walk. My mind was made up and I quit. For over 2 years. At least, in the sense that I didn’t buy cigarettes. I didn’t smoke cigarettes. But I never stopped feigning for cigarettes. It was oh-so easy to start back up. I’ll just smoke when: fill-in-the-blank. And then as I became more comfortable with the different allowances to smoke, I was a full-time smoker again.

Now, I am back into the world of not smoking. Again. After another attempt back in August of last year. I went three weeks before I just had to smoke again. I have been wanting to post about ¬†my non-smoking journey that began a few months ago but honestly, I was afraid that I would have given in again. I am trying, no not trying, I am succeeding at being a non-smoker. The first month really didn’t bother me. It’s been the second month going into the third that had me going absolutely bonkers! It was through a newsletter for people who have quit smoking that I read once you get to the third month and haven’t smoked, your chances for remaining a non-smoker increase tremendously. That is what I held onto for dear life as the days from 2 months into 3 months slowed down drastically.

I’m still struggling with the addiction part at times but not so much that I am willing to taint my non-smoking lips and lungs! The app does tell me how much money I’ve saved as well as how my body is healing. Like most smokers who quit, ¬†I have packed on the pounds. ¬†I can’t even say it’s because food tastes so much better. It’s because I want to SMOKE! The next phase of kicking the habit is to turn my eating habits around. I knew I would gain weight and gave myself a time period to substitute one oral fixation for another. Temporarily, that is! ¬†And so the determination continues into another day I can add to my time of kicking the habit. I’m off into the next journey of kicking the jiggly off my belly!

Any addictions you quit? How many times did it take you? What are some words of advice and encouragement you can give the rest of us?

A Super Sweet Blogging Award! :)

Why hello! It tis I! Yep, I’m still alive and around. I’ve posted a million times! In my mind. Things have been crazy busy and ultra life-changing on soooo many levels. It’s amazing what life can and will hand you when you least ¬†expect it. That being said, I was very surprised when Lisa nominated me for a bloggy award. ¬†I’d almost forgotten about awards until Lisa nudged a well-hidden memory.

Check out Lisa’s blog,¬† Road to Nowhere…

This is probably one of the more yummy awards! Ah, if only these were real!

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1. Cookies or Cake? This is an easy one for me. Although I love cookies, especially homemade chocolate chip cookies with walnuts, I will pick cake any day. Especially a chocolate cake dripping with ooeey, gooeey chocolate frosting. A close second, is a vanilla cake with ooeey, gooeey chocolate frosting. THE BEST CAKE EVER: My Oma use to make it for me, especially around my birthday. It was a three-layer cake, close to sponge cake, homemade whipped cream, and sliced bananas and mandarin oranges. Oh yes, my little snout and curly tail would appear each and every time Oma made this cake.

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Picture it, if you will, *in my best Sophia Petrillo voice.* I am dancing,  head thrown back,  arms to the sides, flopping with each bounce of my feet tap dancing away. I resemble Snoopy doing his happy dance. And I owe it all to: CHOCOLATE! That is all there is to say on that one.

3.What is your favorite sweet treat: Cheesecake or  frozen Yogurt? Cheesecake. New York Style Cheesecake. Cheesecake with strawberries. Homemade cheesecake. Frozen cheesecake. Jello made cheesecake.

4.When do you crave sweet things the most? From the time my eyes¬†reluctantly¬†open in the too soon arriving morning until they close again for a night of slumber. It’s been 2 months since I’ve quit smoking and sweets have become my new addiction. Yes, the poundage does show I’ve switched addictions but hey, one thing at a time, right?

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Quite honestly, if it was in the here and now, I would have to go with Jelly Belly. Cuz this girl has got a belly on her these days. No, better yet: Jello Jelly Belly. Cuz this girl’s belly got the jiggly that would put Jello to shame!

Those were fun questions to answer. Now I’m off to do my Baker’s dozen. No pressure to anyone I list. I thought this was fun and it’s been a good while since my last bloggy award.¬†

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Your Favorite Comfort Foods and Why

Day 28: Your Favorite Comfort Foods & Why
Probably, my very favorite would have to be chocolate! I absolutely love chocolate. My parents didn’t limit me on my sweets intake as a child, so believe it or not, that’s probably what’s helped me from going through life only eating chocolate. Maybe if it had been a forbidden delight, I would need intervention at this point in my life. I can remember when they came out with “watchmacallit” candy bar. Now that I look at the name, it cracks me up! I’m not opposed to trying new candy bars either. In fact, it makes for quite the exciting Saturday night.

Pizza would be my second choice of comfort foods. In fact, last night, since I wasn’t feeling good, I decided to order pizza. It hit the spot. I’m kinda like a kid, doing the “Pizza is great!” song and dance when I order.

Now, as to the why? Never really thought about why. I think it just makes me feel better. The chocolate makes my mouth happy and that transfers to my brain and my body. And I did feel better after eating some pizza.

 Hmmm, just dawned on me. One of my favorite memories of my Oma and me is when we went to eat pizza in Germany with her friends. The pizza wasn’t cut into slices like it is here. They usually eat it with a knife and fork. That was a fun change for me. My Oma showed her friends how they do it in the US and that was fun for them.

What are your favorite comfort foods?

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