9 Months after Quitting Smoking Cigarettes
I won by being a quitter :)
It has been well over 9 months since I quit smoking cigarettes. Just look at the amount of money I saved by not smoking - $3037.5. This is totally insane guys. Just imagine what you could do with that extra money? I know what I would like to do - Buy a motorcycle (make a down payment with this amount).
As far as work, family, friends - Everything is SO MUCH BETTER. I went to a few conferences lately and it was just a totally different environment, now that I don't smoke. I was able to connect with a much wider range of people. My family loves me like anything.
It is one of the best decisions I took in life.
No, once you quit, you're done!!! I don't crave it anymore, I don't feel like smoking and I have been in the same room as smokers but it only makes you uncomfortable and sick, does not tempt you at all :)
Some really significant physical / mental changes:
Yes Cigarette Smoking is not just a mental thing, it is actually a physical addiction, your body craves nicotine every few hours, if not minutes, while you are a smoker. So once you quit, there are several physical changes that you experience, as well as a lot of mental changes also. Let me discuss some of these changes that I experienced as a smoker:
Walking less than a mile at a fast speed used to make me breathless / tired enough to slow me down. I couldn't run for long and climbing stairs wasn't the best thing to do. But approximately 2 weeks after I quit smoking cigarettes, I started feeling a significant improvement in my stamina. I could walk for 4-5 miles without feeling breathless at all. I can get physically tired (like legs feel heavy, calves ache, etc) but not breathless. If I run, I could run as long as my legs could allow me, not my lungs. I am yet to find the "give up" limit of my lungs. I couldn't tire myself enough as my body gets tired before my lungs do.
I never knew I could ever feel like this, while I was smoking
2. Blood Pressure / Heart Rate:
Believe me if you could, I was at the hospital ER just 10 days after I quit smoking. I got so scared because my heart rate went down to 54 beats per minute. I called my doctor's office and said I need an appointment right away, I am on my way and they started asking me various questions as I drove to my doctor's office like what did you eat in the last 24 hours, do you feel dizzy, do you feel any pain, did you drink, etc etc. The doctor said I look good, he checked my pulse and said that's good because Athletes have low heart rates, but still he continued and did the EKG, checked my blood pressure and sent me to the ER to get a heart X Ray done to make sure there was no structural damage.
Everything was normal, I didn't feel dizzy or anything. It was just that my heart was finally relaxed as more oxygen was being sent to my brain with each pump that the heart could take a breather. When I was a smoker, due to the high amount of nicotine, carbon monoxide and other chemicals that I inhaled with each cigarette, my heart had to pump quickly to provide the desired amount of oxygen to my body. Now since those chemicals are not being inhaled, lesser pumps could do the job. This means a long life for the heart as it doesn't have to wear out trying to keep up with my body. So this was a big big plus. But since I did not know it, I literally freaked out when I saw my pulse rate so low.
My Blood pressure also dropped significantly and so did the amount of breaths I take every minute.
3. Respiratory System:
If I remember well, it was the 13th or 14th day when I coughed out a 'not so good looking' cough following which I could feel a big change in my voice, and my breathing. After that time period I could take much much deeper breaths, keep my breath in my lungs for longer, and breathe very slowly without any resistance. I also started doing some Yoga for Lung Cleansing and felt many benefits related to my respiration.
Better Smelling Power was just one of the benefits. I could now smell colognes, perfumes, food, flowers, grass, even detergent on freshly washed clothes, and other smells that I don't remember smelling all the years that I smoked.
Better Taste was another significant change. I could taste food much better now and could enjoy flavors better than before.
4. Overall Energy Levels:
As a smoker I was always tired and fatigued. I always used to look for a place to sit, and used to yawn a lot. I also remember that towards the end of the day, I used to support my head with my arms while sitting on a table and working.
A month after I quit smoking cigarettes, I discovered that I didn't get tired anymore. I stopped finding sitting spots, and didn't yawn that much either. I could do with less sleeping and also worked with full concentration without being drained out, or feeling sleepy. I could walk better, and not feel tired as much and could stay up till late without feeling fatigued. And yes, I could now support the weight of my head without needing to rest it on my arms.
5. Mental / Emotional Changes:
The most significant change since day 2 of quitting cigarettes was increase in confidence. Finally I started feeling like a winner, not a loser. Throughout my smoking years (specially after I first quit and failed) I started developing the feeling that I was dependent on cigarettes, I was dependent. This feeling leads to feeling negative about oneself. So once I quit, I felt the strength within myself. I felt great for breaking free from the trap of nicotine, and as every day passed the confidence only got better. There is nothing better than knowing that you have the power to do what you want.
Socially, I didn't stink of tobacco, and neither did I feel hesitant in going and meeting people from a close proximity. Earlier I would stand farther away, try not speaking while pointing my face towards the person I was talking to, and this could be misinterpreted by people. So now I am confident in my interactions and can talk while looking in the other person's eyes (important for communications, in my opinion).
And ... with all the money I saved, I could now buy myself stuff like good colognes, new clothes, electronics, and make some donations and feel so great - instead of burning those 100 bucks, I used it to support an organization that will use it to save lives. ... And More!!!
If you are a smoker, and have read this article all the way, here is my message to you:
- I never thought I'd be able to quit cigarettes either.
- I thought I would not be able to enjoy life if I don't smoke.
- I really believed that if I quit, I won't be able to spend quality time with friends.
- I did think that if I quit, I'll lose motivation to do anything adventurous.
I did think just like you do ... Believe me. But I was so wrong. I never thought I could do it, but I did it, it was not as easy as it sounds, but I was determined to not smoke, and that's all I had to do - "not smoke".
Quitting cigarettes is not an event. It is just a decision that you take in your life. You want a better, healthier life and you can achieve it by choosing not to smoke. You know you are addicted, and you know you are trapped but there is a way out of it and only once you quit, will you realize how nicotine addiction makes you think like you do about quitting.
So close your eyes, and tell yourself, this is my body, and I do not allow any foreign element (nicotine) to come in and take control of it. I am the master of my body and I decide what I do with it, and for now, I reject nicotine and will not smoke till each and every nicotine receptor in my brain doesn't become inactive.
Each day you will feel more and more nicotine receptors going down and eventually before you even know, you'll be a non smoker. That day, just remember this blog and come back to share your story with others so more people like you could get the path to FREEDOM, just like you did.