The journey begins!

The journey begins!

Hello Cincy Chic readers! 

This is the first official blog entry, but I should give you a heads up first.  I had to start some journal entries before I could technically blog on the site, so I'm going to post the first week, then in a few days I'll post last week, followed by this week come Monday.  After that I should be in real-time.  Well, here we go!

Thursday, January 25th


Tomorrow starts my great life change.  I want to put this out there for all you women who are possibly attempting the same things I will be doing.  It’s sort of going to be a real life testimony, as well as something everyone can relate to—straight from my world to this blog.  Hopefully many of you can relate to what the future holds for me, and maybe provide you a good laugh along the way. 


I should start by telling everyone what exactly it is I am doing and why.  I suppose it all started about six or seven months ago when I was talking to an orthodontist about getting my teeth fixed.  See, I have had this horrible gap in my teeth from where a permanent tooth never came down, causing my mouth to never “fill” properly.  It’s my self-conscious thing—and of course its gotta be the first thing most people notice (great, isn’t it?). 


So anyways, I’m being told I will need oral surgery and veneers—which is frickin’ fantastic because I can skip the whole braces thing, but not so fantastic because it’s going to cost some serious dough to get my grill in shape.  It’s all good though, because this is something I need to get done, so 2007 will ring in a new smile for me.  Let’s all sing it, you know you want to, “Let me see yo’ grill—yo’ yo’ yo’ grill!”


Alright, so this leads to my first big step of the change, and probably the hardest.  I’m a *gasp*…smoker.  I’ve been told to quit numerous times by my doctor, not just for the typical reasons, but for family medical history.  My mother is a breast cancer survivor, and my father, although a seemingly healthy man, had a heart attack two years ago which resulted in a 5-way bypass.  Oh, and both of my grandfathers died of cancer.  Genetically, the odds are against me.


I’ve known I need to quit for a long time, but never had anything pushing me.  I always said that when the day comes I end up prego that it will seal the deal for quitting.  That is until I found out about my teeth.  I dread the dentist, and the thought of getting dry-socket or some other infection makes my skin crawl.  So my new goal was to quit when I get my teeth fixed.  I would like to add here that the new smoking ban has absolutely NOTHING to do with me quitting.  That’s a whole other beef I have, but I feel it’s important to state that I am quitting for personal reasons, not because of legislation.


Well, I got to thinking.  Why not do a whole health make-over?  There is that dreaded thought smokers have of gaining weight, and that is on half of my mind.  The other half comes down to that fact I need to eat better.  Actually, I should say I need to eat healthier.  So, I’m teaming up with Personal Newtrition to help with my “healthier me” quest.


Tomorrow starts the change…God’s speed me, may the force be with me.


Friday, January 26th


Ok, so my game plan is this:  weaning myself off of cigarettes.  It’s a modified cold turkey, but one of the nurses from Personal Newtrition suggested it.  I figured I’ll start this weekend so I have better odds of cutting back during those nice, cold breaks at work.  Which leads to another thing—work.  One of my gal pals also smokes and she wants to quit with me.  So this should work out good.  I’ve got the quitting buddy, which is going to help out when the cravings hit.


Ahh, the cravings.  Only a smoker knows the agony of quitting and getting through those, “I need a cigarette!” moments.  Some people are all, “You should quit!” or “Can’t you just wait to smoke?”  To that I say, “NO!” and “NO!”  Newsflash—it’s not like switching from regular pop to diet.  It’s an addiction, a physical and mental addiction.  I’ve been told it takes 3 days for nicotine to get out of your system and the rest is just mind over matter.  It’s all about those trigger points.  It’s amazing what your mind can do to you.  I’ve attempted quitting once before, and it was pure hell.  Headaches and mood swings, not to mention that voice in the back of my head saying, “just do it, one more, come on, it will taste so good!” 


Of course I tried quitting at the worst possible time.  A close friend had just left for Iraq, which I promised him I would quit before he came home.  I was also 21—that new, bar hopping, drinking age.  Emotional female + 21 years old =  not a chance.  That lasted a week, and all I got from that was an afternoon finding tools I had hurled into our yard (I mentioned the mood swings, right?).


Let’s just hope I don’t have another tool-tossing episode.  I’m thinking about investing in a dart board.


Saturday, January 27th


OK, so I think I might make it.  Of course I’m not even a day into it, but it’s been a good 15 hours.  This weaning thing just might work.  I guess I should make it known that I’m doing this with no patch or pill.  Sheer will power is my source, of course powered by my control freak-I can do it myself-I don’t need your stinkin’ help attitude.  Yes, I’m bullheaded, but I prefer to call it “strong willed”.


This is why I think I can do this—I drove for almost an hour last night, in stand-still traffic at that, and didn’t pull a Kathy Bates scene from Fried Green Tomatoes (“Face it girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.”—haha, great movie!).  See, driving is a big smoking trigger for me.  I can go less than 5 minutes down the street, but I HAVE to burn a smoke the second I get I click that seatbelt.  It’s a compulsion.  I remember one time I ran out before I could another pack and I felt like a crack addict needing a fix the whole 10 minutes drive.  Pathetic, right?  Yes, I know.


Anyways, I was making the long haul to my mom’s house for some quality mother-daughter time, and typically I smoke, ehh, like four cigarettes during the drive, sometimes five.  I’m proud to say I smoked two!  Yes ladies (and gentleman who might be reading this), I said two!  It gets even better—I ate enough pizza to technically commit one of the seven deadly sins (ok, that’s not such a good thing), but I didn’t have an after-meal smoke.  Oh, and yes, there is such a thing, it’s like chocolate cake and a cup of coffee for smokers.  It’s one of those after dinner mints, something that settles the food.  I don’t know exactly how else to describe it, but trust me, it’s real.


So I made it through the night, with just those two cigarettes I had on the drive.  Then I had to face my next challenge—my morning coffee.  For me (and I’m sure other smokers can attest to this) there’s two drinks that go hand in hand with a cigarette—coffee and beer.  On the weekends I can just sit outside and relax for an hour with my coffee and smokes, probably going through about 4 cups of coffee and twice as many cigarettes.  Thank God this morning it was cold.  I brewed up my coffee, and piddled around as long as I could before I HAD to go smoke.  I think I made it about 30 minutes before I cracked.  I headed outside and I’m proud to say I smoked just one!  “Alright,” I thought, “just one, that’s good.  It’s not two or four , right?”


Another hour or so later, I got the uncontrollable urge to smoke again, which by the way, I had been fighting for 45 minutes.  Ah ha!  I decided to smoke ½ a cigarette, which turned out to be just enough.  I figured to save it for the drive home, so I put it out half way and headed back inside. 


I started to think that I needed to make a plan.  Some sort of weird plan that will help me with the dang urges I get while driving.  I have this weird thing I do with smoking in the car.  On trips that I make routinely, such as work, going to my moms, to the store, etc., I have land markers that I have to smoke by, such as exits, or buildings.  I need to do something about this—and fast.  That’s where this, “it’s all mental after a while” thing kicks in.  So my game plan for my trip home from my moms is that I couldn’t smoke until I had been driving for 5 miles.  After that, I had to wait another 10 before I could smoke another.


Well, I’m home now and I’m proud to say that I smoked that ½ cigarette from earlier this morning and one more.  I beat myself at my own game!  I could have squeezed another one in there, but I didn’t.  Woo hoo!!! Another point for me!  I think I just might get through this.


Sunday, January 28th


OK, last night was a true testament to the challenge that lies before me.  I had a birthday party for my friend’s kid out in Amelia.  The drive—45 minutes from my house.  After the birthday party, I had the Winter Blues Party off of Paddock Road—a 30 minute drive from Amelia.  Total cigarettes to Amelia, two; total cigarettes to Winter Blues, two.  Now here is the important part of why I feel so good about my cigarette consumption.  See, I sort of jumped back on the highway when I shouldn’t have.  Don’t ask, I’m typically good with directions.  So I have officially traveled practically the entire I-275 loop and gone all the way through Cincinnati.  I’m pissed, I’m frustrated with myself, I’m late, and now I’m lost.


After a phone call to my half-asleep father, I eventually found my way to the party.  I had officially been on the road for over an hour.  I think two cigarettes is pretty darn good, don’t you?  I made it through two hours at the event, even with drinking, and didn’t smoke once.  Hooray for me!  After Winter Blues, I headed to a house warming party, smoking once on that trip, none while I was there, and NONE on my 30 minute drive home!


I’m starting to think this is going to be easier than the last time.  So far I haven’t had a headache, I haven’t thrown anything, and my urges aren’t too bad.  We’ll see how I feel this week when I head into work—I’m hoping my opinion won’t change!