Thursday, August 11, 2005

My Smoking History

Well, I finally quit smoking. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my smoking history and/or fuzzy on the details, I'll do a very brief background.

I'd say I started smoking right around my 18th birthday in August 1985. I don't remember all the reasons I started but I know that a big one had to do with my weight - I thought smoking would help me get it under control. In fact, while I was a large girl when I started smoking, over the following two years I would become even larger. So much for the "smoking helps you lose weight" theory.

When I started I smoked clove ciagarettes... I eventually migrated to Marlboro Lights and finally landed at the brand of choice, Virginia Slims Lights 120's. I think I've probably smoked those for at least fifteen of the twenty years but I can't remember.

For about the first four years that I smoked I couldn't smoke in the house where I lived - I shared a townhouse with non-smokers. In 1990, after moving to Centreville with another roommate, the no-house-smoking rules was lifted. I smoked a lot in the house and probably continued that until about 1994 or 1995 when Bobby and I moved in together and began to plan to get married. He didn't want to live in a smoky house and I didn't blame him... It seemed a very small thing to ask. When I bought my first car in 1996 I (pretty much) stopped smoking in the car as well. At least that curtailed it.

However, I still smoked. I wouldn't characterize my habit as "occasional". Some days, if I was very busy, it was a quarter pack - others it was a half pack. It hovered in that general area. There were, of course, times that I smoked WAY too much in a day and I could feel it. It didn't happen very often. Suffice it to say that, consistently, a quarter to half pack a day is definitely a smoking habit.

Sidenote: The only way to lose weight (if you're overweight) and to maintain it once you're where you need to be is diet and exercise. I have had my doctor tell me what my ideal weight range is for my age, height and bone structure, and my goal was a sustainable weight within that range. I've been at that weight with very little fluctuation for six straight years. I'm not worried about putting on weight from smoking - my eating and exercise habits are too good to be undone by losing a smoking habit.

My next entry will be a reflection of the first 24 hours without cigarettes and nicotine...

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