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When I said this would be my year of change, I didn’t realize what 2020 had in store for everyone. The weight loss challenge continues compounded by the fact that I have quit being a smoker. I am on day 14 and I feel amazing yet I also feel like an emotional mess. As hard as it was to admit that I am an overeater who has struggled with weight for what seems like forever, admitting to everyone reading this that I am a smoker is harder. I have been smoking since I was 20. I have quit twice before in my life. During both of my pregnancies, the smell of cigarettes made me nauseous. It was so easy to quit. After my oldest son was born, I told myself I would just have one. Just one and then continue to be done because I was absolutely sure they would be disgusting. They weren’t. I found myself right back in the same cycle. The second time I was pregnant I didn’t take it back up. I hadn’t smoked for two years when my now ex-husband and I decided to call it quits. It was a very hard, very emotional time and they were just like a comfortable shoe to slide on.

My husband and I are, or I guess were smokers. Over the last 5 years we have tried to quit multiple times. We had tried cutting down. We tried switching to the cheapest cigarettes we could find (they ended up not being bad). We’ve tried patches and gum. We always, always slid back into it eventually. Quitting smoking turns you into a mess for a while. You see, smoking is a stress reliever. Mad? Have a cigarette. Sad? Have a cigarette. Happy? Have a cigarette. Awesome dinner? The pattern continues on and on and on. While quitting smoking you have to relearn how to deal with stress and anger and this is hard on everyone. Right now, we are all still basically staying at home. We sat down as a family and discussed the fact that we may be crabby or extra irritable and that both of the kids are more than welcome to call us out on that. They are all for us quitting of course, and just a few days ago my oldest son did call me out on it. I thanked him for it later.

I messaged a friend of mine the other night. Do you know what the absence of sugar and smoking has done? It has sucked the joy out of everything. I was such an emotional wreck last weekend that I finally cracked. I finally had something sugary and sweet. I just couldn’t shake this overwhelming feeling of sadness. At first I was so very very mad at myself. I have worked so hard and changed my way of eating so much. Then about 30 minutes later, I found myself starting to feel better. The depression was gone. The crying jag was over. I felt like myself again. I realized I needed to give myself a break. I am changing so much about myself this year. Instead of bringing myself and my whole family even further down, I listened to my body and my sanity and righted myself. I am happy to say that the next day it got easier. Then the day after that it definitely got harder again. It has been one hell of a week. As I’m writing this my husband is downstairs playing video games with my sons. I can breathe better already. At this exact moment all is good in the world and will just continue to get better. It feels over this time in a way that it never has before. Someone told me once that once you are a smoker you will always be a smoker. The thought behind this is that you will always want one in some way. This is a mental thing. I do not actually want a cigarette but it is the first thing I think of when something bad happens or when there is too much stress. I remember this from the two years I went without it. This will be an ongoing battle but I have support this time. I am doing this with my husband and with the support of my family and that is making all the difference.

If you are doing this, please stay the course. Over the course of all of this we have saved hundreds of dollars, and I can already breathe better. Stay positive, the worst part is the beginning as with all things. I'm right back at my diet without fail and another five pounds down. I can do this. I need to do this. For myself and for my family.

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