If you’ve been following my posts you’ll know I haven’t found stopping smoking easy. One of the reasons was I didn’t feel any better or healthier, in fact, for a number of months, I felt dreadful. I’d made so many changes already. Why didn’t I feel any better?
More than twenty years ago, the terrible, scary pain in my side was diagnosed as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and I spent the next four years coming to terms with a massive change in diet and trying to find a work/exercise/eating balance that worked for me.
For a couple of years I ate very little because the less I ate, the less pain I was in, but gradually, I built up my eating (I was already vegetarian) and rebuilt my body with bellydance.
I believed I was strong, slim and fit due to my diet and dancing, but what I didn’t realise was that the nicotine was playing a part in this equation. Taking it out of my life, my hormones were like socks in a tumble dryer; all over the place. My IBS returned with a vengeance for a couple of months, as did violent menopausal symptoms, and on top of all this, I’d sleep for two hours and then lie awake for the rest of the night. Mood swings were violent. I experienced chronic anxiety on top of depression…
But this didn’t last! Yes, I felt terrible, but now I’m finally feeling some benefit for giving up my addiction. I’m no expert, but here are a few things I wish someone had told me….
Firstly, make sure you’re giving up for the right reasons. The Alan Carr book is really good, challenging you, making you face what you really know but don’t want to believe. Stop smoking nicotine because it is best for YOU. YOU are worth it! YOU deserve to live a healthy life.
Secondly, they say (whoever they are!) you don’t need to replace smoking with another habit, and maybe that works for some people, but I needed something else. The day I chose to begin my day walking, was the day I began to feel better. I chose walking instead of choosing that first cigarette, and that really helped me in a number of ways:
I changed my routine
I set myself a new challenge
I quickly found I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was!
Walking is the BEST exercise
Thirdly, make sure you’re supported by friends and family. I’m so glad my partner and I stopped together, and support and encouragement from my tribe kept me going at the hardest times.
My final piece of advice I can tell you, but you might not believe me….you don’t have to feel as rubbish as you do. Your joints don’t have to ache. You can feel SO MUCH BETTER than you do now.
Why did I find life so difficult without nicotine? One reason was because I put on two stone which appeared on my body like a weighty, solid belt, and undermined all my confidence. All my old hang ups about my weight and appearance returned. I felt old, heavy and weighed down and I didn’t look or feel like I was the same person. Unable to show my ladies dance moves was devastating.
The doctor was kind. I’m back on a very low dose HRT and I sleep better now, but as far as the fat orbiting my stomach is concerned, I’m told it is my lot, middle age spread I’ll have to put up with….
I’m making even more changes for 2019! If I’m going to be a different person, I’m going to be the person I want to be. I am now committed to a wholefoods, plant based diet and to exercising for a fitter, healthier me. There will be changes on my blog too…
I’ll be encouraging you to watch videos, read books and check out the data about plant based eating as the best diet for you, your family and the planet.
I’ll be trying and testing new plant based recipes and sharing them with you.
Dance will always be my favourite exercise, but I’m going to be trying out other exercise which I’ll share with you.
No longer will I ‘fit in’ those aspects of my life that make me happy….I’m going to begin with them and work my life around them.
I’m looking forward to a busy, exercise packed, fun filled, exciting 2019! Come and join me xx
NB: even if life throws a curved ball, don’t give up. Check out my latest video from Phoenix and the Dragon and see what I mean…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz7O480_fws