To every side, there is an opposite. In this case, the opposite is to remain a smoker. That is one of the Paths (choices) open to you. It may seem easier to stay as you are. No need to stress yourself further, but please consider the following. Look at what is in store for you as a smoker
• You will continue to burn £2000 or more a year (20 a day), okay if you can afford it. Can you?
• Your energy levels will drop as you fill yourself with Carbon dioxide and other poisons.
• It will be harder to motivate yourself to do anything, where does the enjoyment come from that.
• You will find that that cough becomes more regular, or your breathing begins to get a bit harder. It will be subtle changes, but they will be there.
• Exercise, ‘what’s that?’ will be your comment. Guess what happens when you don’t exercise, you put weight on. Less energy burned, the same food in, means more fat. Also, your metabolism will slow quicker, equalling fatter.
• Your skin dries up, your hair becomes lank, and your teeth and hands are stained, how lovely! Never mind the smell, phew!
• More and more smokers are becoming outcasts. That may have seemed great when you’re a teenager, but it’s less exciting when you are older. What happens when your only friend is that Nicotine Beast, and it is killing you slowly from inside.
• You have a worse relationship with your children and their children (if you live that long). You’ve already shown that those cigarettes are more important than them. What about when you are not fit enough to do anything but the shortest walks.
• How do you want to die? Have you thought of that before?. Do you want it to be slow, painful, and uncomfortable? Breathing hard and painful for years? Telling your family that you have cancer before you retire? But also consider how much better it could be. I could go on, but it’s depressing me writing it. What a way to lead a life. You can choose this so-called easy route if you like, but forgive me for calling you a coward. It is only through Action that you can make lasting changes, take your action now.
Exercise — Staying as you are. Now you need to consider the outcomes in your life if you were to stay as a smoker. Write down what you will lose through staying a smoker. Again be honest with yourself; honesty is essential. If you find something that you think would be good to keep because you remained a smoker, consider again the thinking— Reasons to be a Non-Smoker. Keep this list for change to work.
What to Expect
For many smokers, there is considerable uncertainty as to what to expect when they become a non-smoker. They have smoked for so much of their life that they can’t remember what it was like before, and what they can remember is tainted by teenage angst.
However, you can be assured that if done correctly, as a non-smoker, there are no adverse side effects to quitting cigarettes. It is all good news.
However, there are things to be aware of now.
• In the first few days, you will be confused. You should be in self-sacrifice mode, but you are in celebration mode (starving the Beast)
• You’ll go for a packet, out of habit. Have a pen or gum or some other thing in your pocket as a trigger for change (an item that reminds you that you are changing).
• You may feel fidgety and have a headache. Take the pain killers; it’s only for a few days.
Celebrate starving the Nicotine Beast; you are gaining your freedom.
• You’ll notice a sense of excitement as you realize that you have started to take control of your life
• The beast will starve and no longer be there; you can celebrate having escaped, well done.
• For the first few weeks, your energy levels will start to lift. You’ll feel so much better. Sleeping better, doing more things as fresh air becomes the dominant breath.
• You may find that you start a cough, don’t worry. That is just clearing out your lungs of the rubbish you’ve been putting in there for years. It will go away. Your levels of concentration will increase.
• Your sense of well being will improve.
• You will realize that you have achieved, though you may still feel slightly worried that it might be a flash in the pan. Keep reminding yourself of the good things you are taking back. The beast is gone.
• 6 months to a year, your lungs are coming back up to the capacity they should be. Exercise and sport become easier.
• 5 years plus, your body has repaired itself, and you are now at a level where your risk factor for various diseases have dropped close to where they would have been if you were a non-smoker all of your life.
What Happens if I Slip Up and Have one?
You then have two choices you can either
1. Choose to say oh my goodness, I have failed, and I shall beat myself up and feel like rubbish as I let that Beast in to tear me apart again. OR
2. You can say, oops! That was a mistake, tasted horrid, and made me feel ill.
Now I know why I’m a Non-Smoker. Then continue life as you should enjoying it, recognizing you made the right choice to be a non-smoker. A better way is to remember the thinking and never question your decision to be a non-smoker in the first place!
Exercise — Feel Great! Now take some time to imagine how these changes will be for you and how you can make them the best possible. Notice an increased level of enjoyment and the ability to do the things you want to do. I look forward to what it will mean for you as you achieve one step and move to the next. Realize that it is a continuous process of improvement. Not just the day you stop but throughout life. How great does that feel?