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Why Quit Smoking?

Why Quit Smoking

OK, you say. It’s hard enough to lose weight, now you tell me I should quit smoking too? But cigarettes help me keep my appetite under control. I can’t do everything at once.

Oh, yes you can. Think of this as a cross-addiction. Your body has become used to having sugars and carbohydrates to keep its thermostat regulated, and cigarettes to keep it from blowing up.

Can this be a good scenario? I don’t think so. And I’ll tell you, that aside from the sugar addiction that many of us suffer from, the addiction to tobacco is right up there in difficult addictions to cure.

What can you do? I can only tell you what worked for me. As a food writer, I felt guilty for years about smoking, because I knew that it interfered with my taste buds and made me less than a stellar recipe tester. For a long time, I didn’t quit smoking, I just quit buying. I would bum a cigarette from anyone who was smoking around me.

Now that’s easier, because fewer people smoke, but then, back in the eighties, it seemed like everybody I knew was a smoker. But I kept trying, and failing.

Then, that year, my mother, a four pack a day smoker, died a horrible death from a stroke.  Now she didn’t just keel over and die, but remained locked in her failing body for 18 months before she was finally released from her suffering. And my son, who was in the fifth grade, told me if I didn’t quit smoking that I couldn’t count on him to take care of me when I got old.

I had been shocked at pushing my mother in a wheel chair, a prisoner in her own body, when only moments before she had been so active. But still I couldn’t quit.

Finally, one of my friends, Peg Bowden, a public health nurse,  told me she’d found acupuncture helpful to smokers and she offered to give me a few treatments. Voila. Three treatments and the desire to smoke vanished. I have not had a cigarette since 1985.

Which brings me to the second addiction that has plagued me and plagues many of you.  Sugar.  For those of us who are sensitive, our day becomes a wild roller coaster ride of sugar crashes and highs. That is, until, we figure out how to tame that monster.

And actually, Dr. Salerno helped me do that three years ago. Keep the body regulated by generous infusions of protein and saturated fat and the sugar monster goes away. And weight returns to normal. And blood sugars normalize.

Now for me, this is a fight that never stops. If you have figured out a way to never want sugar again, let me hear from you. We need to stick together in this fight.

Our life and health depends on it.