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I just quit smoking!!!!(14 posts)

I just quit smoking!!!!aet
Mar 12, 2002 6:16 AM
It has been about 10 days without a cigarette.
How long do you think it will take before my riding starts to show
the effects of clean lungs?
Mar 12, 2002 6:28 AM
Way to go! I have never personally smoked, but my wife did. She quit smoking about two years ago when we decided to have kids. She's a runner, said it took about two months before she was completly over the "withdrawal", etc., before her lungs "felt" clearer. Good luck, tough row to hoe, but well worth it in the long run.
Awesome! I quit 3 years ago...DCepp
Mar 12, 2002 6:55 AM
and it was in the midst of spring MTN biking. I quit on a sunday and I usually ride on thursdays and sundays. I knew thursday was going to be tough so I did not expect much improvement. I was hoping that the sunday ride was going to be a big improvement. Unfortunately, I felt worse and almost gave in. But I had a good supporter (my wife who quit 3 months bfore I did) and I kept at it. By the end of the summer I felt much stronger and all my riding buddies noticed a huge change. I was near the front of the pack, not behind.

So, don't expect the world. It will take a while, but believe me, after 3 years, $3000 in savings and a brand new K2 Razorback MTN bike, it's all worth it!

Good luck!
re: I just quit smoking!!!!STEELYeyed
Mar 12, 2002 6:58 AM
Your body will start to repair itself right away,it will happen gradually but in a few months you will notice changes. Stay away from 2nd hand smoke too. I just read an article that smokers spend 21% more on health care and 28% more on drugs than nonsmokers,add that to the money you spend on cigarettes and you could probably buy a new bike every year with the money you will save. The benefits of quiting are huge,and remember it may be an addiction,but its your choice to be addicted...........or not to be.
not trueCrankist
Mar 12, 2002 7:59 AM
"its your choice to be addicted...........or not to be. "

Addiction is not a choice.
The real choice is whether or not to smoke; the addiction remains.
An important distinction, IMO.
Anyone that puts a cigaette in their mouthSTEELYeyed
Mar 12, 2002 11:39 AM
or a needle in their vein knows there is a potential to become addicted to a chemical,yet they make that choice. Blaming substances or the manufacturer of substances for peoples bad choices only gives people another reason to continue.
(Former 2packer,3 years smoke free,admitted anti-smoking zealot.)
I smoked for several years after college . . .morrison
Mar 12, 2002 8:24 AM
and quit when I was about 25. I noticed an IMMEDIATE improvement w/ endurance and aerobic activities. After about a year, I felt like I did when I was 19.

Stupidly, when I was 28, I started smoking cigars. It took about three of them before I was hooked again. Funny thing about nicotine . . . your body REMEMBERS! If you start again, you will be back to the same level within weeks, if not days. As a former cigarette smoker, I did not puff on the cigar, I inhaled it. Very bad. I convinced myself, though, that because it was a cigar, I was not a 'smoker.'

Three years later, I quit the cigars. This time it was much more difficult. It took me two years to feel like I was back up to snuff (no tobacco pun intended). But again, I noticed immediate and measureable improvements. It just took longer to get all the way back.

Here are some helpful hints that you probably already know:

1. Alcohol is a no-no during the first few weeks. When I smoked, it never felt better than when I had a little buzz on. Avoid the temptation of alcohol, and you will avoid some of the temptation of the smoke. Also, alcohol lowers your inhibitions, clouds your judgment, and steals your resolve to quit. (Or to use birth control, but that's a different story for a different day!)

2. Caffeine does not lower your inhibitions, but most smokers associate cigarettes with a good cup of coffee. The problem is, caffeine is almost as addictive as cigarettes. Don't put yourself through hell by trying to kick two habits at once. But, you can change the way you drink coffee to decrease the accompanying cigarette craving. Here's what I did . . . I started drinking it on ice. It really helped. After about 2 months, I was able to go back to hot coffee without getting a huge cigarette craving.

3. Meals. I , like most smokers, loved a cigarette after a meal. As soon as you finish eating, get up from the table and take a brisk walk, or exercise for 20 minutes. It helps.

4. Your car. Take it TODAY to the detail shop. Have them clean the inside like it has never been cleaned before. Get rid of the cigarette smell. You'll feel cleaner when you drive, and it will help you feel better about your decision.

5. Your clothes. Any suits, coats, etc. that smell like smoke should go directly to the cleaners. (Same reason as above.)

6. Apartment / house. I never smoked in-doors, but if you did, give your house an early spring-cleaning.

7. Friends. If you have friends who smoke, avoid them for a few months. It sounds cold, but this is your life you are talking about.

8. Exercise. Do it 'til it hurts. It is fun to feel the improvement in your lungs. Also, this will help with number 9, which is . . .

9. Weight gain. IT WILL HAPPEN! Who gives a $hit? Don't turn into a slob, but don't be too worried about a few extra pounds. YOu may not look as trim, but you smell a whole hell of a lot better! Watch what you eat (don't let food take the place of your oral fixation), but don't try and diet too hard during the initial period. Whatever you put on, you can take off once the cravings dissipate.

10. Finally . . . THE CRAVING NEVER STOP. They just get easier to deal with. I still dream about smoking. (literally) Smoking was fun . . . I liked it, and I'm sure I still would. But, it no longer is a part of my life, nor of yours. Remember that one cigarette at a party can and will ruin all of your hard work.

I hope some of this helps! Do yourself a favor and take the money you would be spending on cigarettes every day and put it in a jar. At the end of the year, double it (for the next year), and buy yourself a killer bike.


good advice, all of it...aet
Mar 12, 2002 8:33 AM
no problem with the car thing. just bought a new one and have never smoked in it. never did smoke inside. i have already tested the smoking friends in bars thing and i survived without bumming one. i just have to stick with it because the first 5 days was muy horrible and it ain' that great now.
I smoked for several years after college . . .curlybike
Mar 12, 2002 8:41 AM
Thanks for expressing your thoughts so well. It is amazing how I have seen all of what you have written. Many quitting smokers scoff at what you have written but will agree after they fail. It is really amazing how easy it is to start again. Been there, etc.
agree on the coffeeSpirito di Finocchio
Mar 12, 2002 8:44 AM
its the hardest thing for a 'just started' non-smoker as combining the two increses the effects of either giving your body a bigger caffeine and cigarette rush. your body being addicted craves this ultimate kick and its hard to do one without the other if you have become accustomed.

dont get me started on tobacco companies tho - some of the most evil empires ever known.
re: I just quit smoking!!!!curlybike
Mar 12, 2002 8:33 AM
As someone that has quit also, you can look forward to many months of temptation, DO NOT give in. The more and harder you ride the faster that crap will clear out. You will find yourself coughing more as your deadened air passages regain sensitivity, this is good. Ride more to work off the extra food that is starting to taste so good. Paint your residence to kill the smoke stink, check to find out what you need to do to help the paint stick to the scummy walls. If you don't get the odor out of the house, you will stink like smoke for years. Most of all, you will always be a smoker that has stopped, never assume that you have won! I quit(er, stopped) 30 years ago, and still get tempted.
Good luck and stay hard headed and you will win.
Excellent job!Alex-in-Evanston
Mar 12, 2002 8:39 AM
Riding was instrumental in helping me quit after college. The more you ride the more disgusting and counter-productive smoking will feel.

Keep it up!

Your lungs will bounce back immediatelyBarnyard
Mar 12, 2002 9:24 AM
But you're not out of the woods yet. 10 days is good. But with an addiction, I'm sure there will be times in your future, where your brain is telling you that you cannot live without a cigarette. I know many people who quit, only to start smoking again. Like one of my friends told me, "you never quit". The addiction will always be there, just know that you have a choice. Make the choice that is best for you. Don't smoke. But don't be discouraged if you don't succeed. Just keep trying.
Tough road but worth it...Jekyll
Mar 12, 2002 9:41 AM
Having quit, then having slipped then having quit again I can tell you that this is not easy. As a matter of fact it sucks.
I got to the point of where I felt like smoking was literally killing me inch by inch. I could hang with most of my friends on a bike and I would be the first guy with his bike loaded on the car and out of there so I could sneak in a smoke. How bloody stupid is that?
Smoking is hard, very hard to kick. The thing is that most people that smoke actually enjoy the process (I can actually almost taste a cigarette as I type this). You have to realize that what may feel so good at face value is literally killing you.
My first attempt at quitting lasted about 8 weeks. I got into a fight with my boos and was down at the convenience store buying a pack. A year and a half later I quit and lasted 7 months and then slipped again. Smoked for 4 months and then quit for good. I used the nicotine gum to help me and I think it works. It may be just in your head but doing something that is giving your body the nicotine it craves calms you psychologically if not physically.
I can't say that I gained weight but I kept a big bag of baby carrots and celery sticks to offset cravings. Trail mix too - but that became almost as addictive as the cigarettes.
In the end, how long it takes for you to feel a serious improvement in your breathing will have a lot too do with how much damage you have already done. I started to feel better after about 3 to 4 weeks and kept improving there after. The improvement is steady but not miraculous.
For what ever its worth, every guy out there who has quit is pulling for you. Don't let a momentary lapse in judgement take you back to smoking. It only takes one cigarette to destroy weeks or months of progress. The cravings will subside and the really tough ones will go away. Riding really helps. Feeling your lungs open up and rush the oxygen into your body like they had not done it years is better than any nicotine rush you have ever experienced.
Good luck.