Despite spending the last 11 years in the Army, you would be surprised at just how unhealthy I am!
You can't see it outwardly. Unless I am shirtless (but even this has only come about in the last 18 months), then you can DEFINITELY see my belly. This looks weird since the rest of me is kind of skinny.
No, most of how unhealthy I am is definitely on the inside, and bits in my head too but we will get to that later! Let me set the scene...
I am 34 years old in 3 weeks. I have not smoked for almost 8 weeks! YAY! Really happy with that one. Sadly the effects of 16 years of smoking don't disappear in almost 8 weeks. Although I must admit I felt a little bit cheated when a week had past and I wasn't already exponentially fitter.
"What inspired me to quit smoking?"
Long story short, I - like every other smoker I suspect, that hasn't won the lotto lately - constantly lamented the cost. But any reformed or current smokers out there will know that THAT doesn't stop many people by itself. My younger, and much fitter sister (who herself is a reformed smoker, 7 years smoke free!), signed us BOTH up for a half marathon on my 34th birthday.
Great birthday present... Why couldn't I just come along and watch HER run a half marathon? I can be really supportive and a GREAT cheerleader! Nope... it was settled AND already paid for. I officially had 13 weeks to get fit enough to run a half marathon without having a heart attack, or doing major structural damage to my body. I started a 12 week running program using a pretty cool app called ZOMBIES, RUN. (I found it easier to run when there are zombies growling at me through my headphones).
I began to enjoy running - due to the addictive storyline in ZOMBIES, RUN. Each run is an episode and like anything else with episodes, it leaves you with a cliff-hanger which makes you want to know what is going to happen next. At this stage I was STILL SMOKING. Every time I went out for a run, I spent most of it wishing I could breathe better and swearing that I would quit smoking. The runs began to get longer and longer (remember I have to get to 21.1km in 12 weeks), and smoking just became untenable. I couldn't keep up and I couldn't finish anything over 12 km without walking.
I discussed it with my wife - who is also herself a reformed smoker now (spoiler alert! We quit together) We also decided that we would save A LOT of money which we could put towards a trip to Canada at the end of the year. We wanted to have a white Christmas!
After weighing up the options - broke, dead and no white Christmas. Or slightly less broke, alive and a nice wee holiday at the end of the year - I made the slightly scary decision to quit smoking. Again.
You see, I had done it before. Plenty of times. It's not starting again that is the tricky part. I believe it was Mark Twain who said -
"Quitting smoking is easy, I've done it a thousand times"
Anyway, here we are almost 7 weeks later and I'm writing about it. I've had the odd scary dream where I had a smoke, but haven't caved in real life. Even when I have completely over-indulged in the refreshing adult beverages. I'm looking at cutting down on them too, but that can be for another post.
When I boil it down, I suppose the reason that I've been able to stay quit for almost 8 weeks...
I don't want to get caught by the zombies!