Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New 'non smoking' me

This is an extra posting, as on Friday I went to the cash point and it wouldn’t let me have any money. So by Sunday my tobacco had run out, and I decided it was therefore a good time to bite the bullet, and give up smoking.

On Sunday I did have a ciggy in the morning as I was finishing off my tobacco, and the day wasn’t too bad. I felt on edge and restless and couldn’t relax, but it was nothing like what would hit me on Monday.

Yesterday (Monday) was a real trial, I never realised how bad nicotine withdrawal is. I had given up for 11 years before, but when I gave up I was really ill with pleurisy, and this had obviously masked the withdrawal. As it was a quick decision due to lack of money I couldn’t get to a chemist to get patches, and I really wanted to try without, as nicotine is out of your system in 2 days. In preparation I finished my book, and wrote out notes which I’ve posted around the flat.

Today I am pleased I didn’t get patches as nicotine is now out of my system, but after yesterday I can completely understand why so many people opt for them. So how can I explain yesterday? Like ‘a cat on a hot tin roof’ would be a good comparison. I couldn’t stay still, and I couldn’t focus or concentrate on anything. If anyone talked to me, I would look at them as if I was listening, but their words literally went over my head. I went from having an extremely overwhelming urge to cry, which I did uncontrollably quite a lot during the day, to running around the house not actually getting anything together, and feeling really angry (which is quite unlike me).

I would not recommend driving while withdrawing from nicotine! I never get road rage, but I wanted to run my car into somebody yesterday, it didn’t matter who it was. There was a woman walking along beside her friend, but she was walking on the road, and I was thinking ‘how dare she walk on the road’ and had an overwhelming urge to run into her. Funny thing is along that road I don’t often walk on the pavement either. My anger and rage was completely irrational and all consuming.

Everything I had mislaid came into my mind yesterday, and I spent hours looking for lost items. I did find my hairbrush, but by the time I found it everyone knew that is would cost about £20 to replace it. I had so much nervous energy I could have really cleaned the place up if it wasn’t for the fact I couldn’t focus or concentrate on anything. All in all it wasn’t a nice day. I felt like there was something really missing, although I had previously not smoked for 11 years, so I knew I didn’t miss smoking for most of that period. I yo-yoed between hysterical tears, irrational anger and being completely manic and hyper.

In the evening I met Rach for a swim, and as I swam, although I still had lots of nervous energy, I started to feel slightly less stressed. I was able to talk and listen (which I hadn’t been able to do during the day), and did not feel like killing any swimmers who got in my way. Swimming is definitely a great stress reliever. I swam 42 lengths. I was pleased we had met up, as I could weigh myself at the start of my quitting smoking attempt. I lost a 1lb and am now 10st. As I’ve said before I like the weight I am now, and I’m going to try my hardest not to put any weight on.

In the book ‘Free yourself from smoking’ it says most people put on between 5lbs and 10lbs when they stop smoking, which is down to a number of factors. One is that the metabolic rate does slow a bit, which hopefully I am counteracting with my increased exercising. The other reasons are your appetite does increase and that people often replace ciggies with snacks. As I’m still calorie counting I can make sure if I snack, I am snacking on low calorie foods and keeping within my daily limit.

It has been difficult losing the weight I have lost. I have been exercising almost every day, and eating on average 1500 calories a day, but still only losing weight very gradually. I still think my thyroid isn’t working as well as it should be, and my metabolic rate is slower than it should be. My ideal scenario would be to stay the weight I am and not put any weight on, but this does seem unlikely. Only time will tell if I can achieve this. Watch this space!

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