Saturday, December 15, 2012

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I QUIT SMOKING

What happens you you quit smoking?  A lot, and it's all good.  Almost immediately your health begins to benefit.  Smoking increases blood pressure so you will immediately realize a reduction in blood pressure  and with that, stress.  Most smokers think that smoking relieves stress, but in reality it actually increases stress.

Unfortunately, a lot of the great things that happen when you quit smoking are not immediately noticeable.  Even though it only took a few cigarettes to become a nicotine junkie, it takes  a little longer to get all the chemicals inhaled over the years out of your body.

COUGHING
Here is what happened when I quit smoking.  I began to cough a lot, all of the gunk in my lungs began working itself out.   I coughed up a lot of weird looking stuff, but within a couple days I could feel my breathing improve.  And the most noticeable improvement was in my nose.  For as long as I can remember I couldn't breathe very well out of my nose, it was like I had a perpetual cold.   Within the first few days, I found myself breathing easy through both nostrils and smelling some incredible smells that I had almost forgot existed.

SMELL
The other immediate thing I noticed when I quit smoking was my taste buds.  On day one I could taste my can of coke and my food just like I remember as a kid.  It's amazing how quickly some of your senses are repaired. 

BETTER SKIN
As the weeks and months went by I continued to experience great benefits.  My skin was always dry, especially my hands while I was a smoker.  But within weeks I noticed my skin had much more moisture from my hands to my legs and feet.

EYES

I have always worn glasses or contact, even before I started smoking.  But as a smoker my eyes became worse almost every year I went for my annual exam.  At one point I began to wonder if I was going to go blind.  Since I quit smoking 4 years ago, my prescription has not changed.  It has not worsened at all which is amazing given that the 20 years I smoked my eyesight deteriorated every year.

PIMPLES
Understand that you are slowly releasing a lot of toxins and crap from your body over the first few months of quitting smoking.  There were several things that happened to me during the first 90-180 days of quitting that made me ask "If this is what happens when I quit smoking, do I really want to quit?"

After about 4 months of quitting I started getting a lot of pimples.  I was well past puberty and hadn't had a pimple for years.  But I imagine the toxins bleeding out of my body were to blame for this.  I got pimples in areas I didn't even know you could get pimples.  The most painful was in my arm pits.  For months I would get pimples in my arm pits and they would remain for weeks at a time.  I have heard of others having terrible break out in their faces.  Just remember, this is a good thing, your body is healing and you are removing the things you don't want in your body. 

PHLEGM
As a smoker I had so much phlegm all the time.  I was constantly spitting and never realized it had anything to do with smoking.  I could probably have filled an 8 ounce glass every day with the amount of phlegm I excreted.  Almost instantly when I quit smoking, my phlegm went completely away.  Amazing!!!!

CAFFEINE
As a smoker I drank between 8-10 cups of coffee daily.  I would spend most mornings smoking and drinking coffee until the pot was dry.  When I quit smoking, my coffee tasted a lot better, but I was amazed that I almost never wanted more than 1 cup.  There is something in cigarettes and nicotine that makes your body not be able to absorb caffeine.  You'll really notice this immediately when you quit.  You will cut your caffeine intake way down but enjoy your coffee so much more.  Nothing I enjoy more now that my one cup of coffee with the morning newspaper.

MONEY
All I can say is that you know how much you spend a day on cigarettes.  That savings adds up really quickly.  I can't tell you how relaxing and stress free it is to have extra money.  My monthly budget had included $300 for cigarettes.  I now have that money going into a savings account that had grown to enormous proportions.  Probably my favorite benefit of quitting that I didn't even think about as a smoker.

There are so many health benefits to quitting smoking.  What happens to you when you quit smoking will be very similar to my experience.  And I can tell you that when you look back you will truly appreciate the decision you made.

Don't wait for tomorrow, next week or next month to quit.  Do it now, and enjoy all that is great about being a non smoker.

Good luck on your journey, it is the greatest journey you will ever embark on!!!

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