10-11-2004, 04:01 PM

Big Fat secret here. I'm A SMOKER and have been for 10 years!!! I did not want to bring this up to the board until I had most of my weight gone for fear of regaining weight before I had even lost it. The time has come. 9 lbs away from initial goal. I must make a pact to begin the process of quitting smoking. What really kicked my rear into gear is the real age quiz I took today!

I am one of those embarrased smokers and will lie about my smoking status if someone asks. I'm 28, my parents don't know, nobody at work knows, my husband found out a year into our relationship! I hope you all don't think less of me because I am a smoker.. A closet smoker that is! I have about 15 different sprays in my car, gum in mouth at all times, handi wipes for my fingers-- spray for my hair... I do this rediculous routine every single day after smoking to hide my smoking from co-workers, in-laws and even strangers! I am tired of trying to keep my car smelling good, I never want to take anyone with me because I don't want them to know I smoke. It's a terrible terrible habit. I don't admit my smoking habit to anyone... UNTIL TODAY! I am telling everyone.. I NEED HELP!

It's out now. I feel better. I don't really want to quit because I enjoy it. That is totally sad. I actually enjoy killing myself. I do not want to gain weight. I also know that I MUST quit. Its not an option. So.. HELP ME!

I am exercising, running/jogging and so far (knock on wood) I have no breathing problems or effects from smoking-- that I know of.

I know that right now, is not prime time for me to try this. I have a ton of stress going on in my life at this point and have a very packed few weeks ahead of me. I would really really like to get to my goal weight before I attempt this.. The reason for me coming forth with this is so hopefully some of you can help me get a plan together or recommend a gum, medication or program to help get me going in the right direction. I am definitely not a cold-trukey candidate. This will be a gradual process for sure.

What are your thoughts?

My time line to quit totally is by the end of November.

10-11-2004, 04:18 PM
Wow Gretchen, you seem to have put a lot of effort into hiding your smoking, I'm sure you can use that effort to help you quit. I don't know of anything that will help you except maybe just stopping cold turkey and maybe try to do something else when the cravings hit.

I wish you luck, you can do this, if you can lose over 75 lbs, you can quit smoking.

10-11-2004, 04:54 PM
Awww, Gretchen, you pumpkinhead -- don't you feel better now??? :grouphug: You sweetheart....now where's that Tammy32 when you need her, eh?? I wish I could pull some info out of my, em, pocket for you, but I don't really know so much about this! I DO agree with Nelie -- if you can accomplish what you have, then you ABSOLUTELY have it in you to do this too. You are very strong -- you know that about yourself now, don't you? Now, to get you some help........

I'll see if I can't dig up something over the next couple of days....

Sending you love and support -- I'm really, really proud of you for outing yourself on this! :)

10-11-2004, 05:54 PM
i am a closet smoker too. i've been hiding it from most of my family for about 7 years now. only my aunt, cousin, mom and brother know. what you said sounds like me too. if i smoke i will take a shower and change clothes before i leave the house so nobody will know i smoke. i am also tired of having to buy and use air freshener, smelly shampoos, perfume and stuff all the time.

when i first came here and mentioned that i was going to tackle quitting smoking AND losing weight someone (and i'm sorry i can't remember who) said do one at a time. and it seems that's what you have done. i think if you are comfortable with quitting now you can do it. just look at how far you have come! i will make a pact to quit with you. i have been trying a lot here lately. maybe we can be smoke free by the time the great american smoke out rolls around.... isn't that in november?

do you have a hobby that you can do to keep your hands busy? i know that part of my smoking habit is having to have the cigarette in my hand so i can always crochet when i feel the need to have one.

10-11-2004, 06:02 PM
Let me first say congratulations on the weight loss!

I am an ex-smoker. I smoked for almost 30 years. 25 of those 30 years I spent trying to quit. Once when I was in my early twenties I wanted to join a smoking cessation group, but my mother talked me out of it. She said I could do it on my own. Well I couldn't.

My advice to you is to find something that will work for you. Cold turkey does work for some people. For me it did not, I would go 3 or 4 weeks, a couple of times even as long as 10 months and then I would go back. I finally quit using hypnosis. I also know people who have quit using the patch, gum etc. There is also a drug out there Zyban that works wonderfully. I used Zyban after I had quit for about 18 months and I started having some pretty strong cravings again ( I was also experiencing some depression at the same time, wellbutrin/zyban are the same drug it just depends on what you are using it for). After 2 days the cravings were gone. I stayed on zyban for about 5 months because of the depression.
I also heard on the radio today about some type of shot that is available and is supposed to be 85% effective.

I am a big advocate for hypnosis, because I do not like to take any more "drugs" than I absolutely have to.

I won't tell you it is easy because even today 5-1/2 years later I still get the occassional craving.....I think the thing that stops me is the horrible stench smokers carry.

Inca's Momma
10-11-2004, 06:04 PM
Ok Gretchen you have taken the first step in ADMITTING you are a smoker! :cp: You have kicked some major butt in the weightloss department, so I have no doubt you can quit smoking as well. I wish I had some great pearls of wisdom for you, but I'm not a smoker. Just remember we are here for ya when you need to chat, vent, gripe, whatever :grouphug:

10-11-2004, 06:10 PM
Can't offer any advice, but I think you're absolutely wonderful for admitting it to us and for wanting to quit. I watched my mother die of lung cancer and my SIL die of emphysema (in her 50s) so I always applaud anyone who wants to take the necessary steps to get themselves smoke-free. We'll all be here to support you!

10-11-2004, 06:16 PM
I agree that it's awesome you are ready to admit you have a problem and are willing to take steps to stop smoking. My hubby quit when I was preggo with Lilly but when he went back to pipelining, he started back up and is smoking again. He rarely smokes one at home (outside) anymore and pretty much only smokes at work.

My mom said she wanted to quit when my uncle died of lung cancer a couple of months ago and she did make the effort (she tried smoke away) but mentally she just isn't ready to let them go. She said she didn't want to die like he did (and their older brother) but they both lived to their mid-50s and she's already 52.

If you're quitting smoking follows the patterns of your weight loss, you'll have it kicked in no time. I know some people rather than quitting cold turkey or even trying all the pills, patches, and gums, will try to reduce the amount they smoke every couple of days until you get down to one or two a day and then quit from there.

10-11-2004, 06:26 PM
i'm a smoker too, but i'm not saying that to be supportive of your habit. :o i was never embarassed to smoke, it's so normal here, until i started my fitness training course and had a cigarete during break. i felt like such an idiot, i still do.
health canada has a programme where they e-mail you everyday and tell you what you need to do that day as you quit. go to their web site or i could find it for you. also there's a great book called someting like "the truth about smoking" that really explains the whole thing and how insidious the whole thing is. basically the only reason you actually enjoy smoking is because you do! i quit for nine months last year and if i can find it again i'll quit in an instant, that's me excuse: i can't find the book!
i'm hoping that as i get more in shape i'll be more motivated to quit, i'll hit a wall and will have to.

good luck to you

10-11-2004, 07:08 PM
Gretchen - no words of advice as I have never been a smoker, but good for you for finally trying to quit! Like everyone else has said, if you tackle quitting smoking like you have weight loss, you'll make it!

10-11-2004, 07:28 PM
I'm a closet-smoker too. I smoked for 10 yrs, quit for 18 mos then started again last March when I was in Houston (I think I was in awe of the cheap cigarette prices, here they cost $10-11 per pack). I smoked for a couple months, quit for a month, started for a month, quit for a few weeks...and on and on. Now I find, its not even the addiction, its that I like it so damn much that I don't want to stop. Enough about that though...

When I quit for 18 mos, I used the patch - it worked awesome! And I was losing weight at the time too. Every time I felt like smoking, I'd throw a high-intensity cardio tape in the VCR and go hard for 10 min. Then my heart would be up, and I wouldnt feel like smoking for a while. It worked great. I know you can do this!!

10-11-2004, 11:19 PM
Gretchen by dear, you've kicked 76 pounds in the butt, I know you can kick the butt when you're ready.

I admire you for fessing up- we're not gonna judge you, and we're all here to help and enoucrage you if you need it! When you decide to quit I think you'll feel great- both physically and mentally. I know you're afraid of the weight gain, but you are kicking so much butt that I doubt it will be much. We're proud of you Gretchen, and we're here for you!

10-12-2004, 12:07 AM
$10 PER PACK? WHAT? They are NOT.....

10-12-2004, 03:31 AM
Oh Gretchen, I'm shocked and appalled at your revelation :p

Seriously, I'm glad you've decided to take action and rid yourself of the nasty habit. I smoked for far too many years (I wasn't a closet smoker, but I've been known to smoke in a closet). The day came when I realized I had to quit smoking and lose weight in order to live to see my grandchildren (aside to daughter - I'm not quite ready for granny status yet).

I give Tammy credit for endeavouring to quit smoking and lose weight contemporaneously - in my case I just presumed I couldn't possibly tackle both at the same time. Who knows though, I often think I sold myself short and could have done it. I decided to quit smoking first since I figured that would be the more difficult task (mostly because of the physical addiction). In hindsight, quitting smoking may have been easier than weight loss because there was less "pressure" (for lack of a better word) to smoke - it was banned in the workplace, it was socially unacceptable and people were less likely to attempt to sabotage my efforts (for example, when was the last time someone said "Go ahead, you've done so well, have just one, one cigarette won't hurt"?) As for the addiction factor, I came to realize that many foods and/or their components were probably as addictive as nicotine!

Anyway, it was difficult, especially the first couple of months, but I did quit (cold turkey) and four years later I'm still smoke free and, more importantly, I KNOW I'll never smoke again. I learned so much during that process about inner strength, will and determination that I was able to go into the second phase of my "big plan" with a confidence in myself I was previously lacking, which I believe contributed greatly to my weight-loss success.

So, using the voice of experience, I feel assured you'll kick the habit too Gretchen, because you've done so well in your mission to lose weight and have an understanding of the tools you'll need to tackle the smoking cessation. We may have done it in the reverse, but I have no doubt the results will be the same. Good luck :)

P.S. Yes Apryl, cigarettes are very costly here in Canada - when I quit they were $8.50 a pack and I figured by quitting I'd save enough in a year for a lovely vacation (had a great time in San Francisco). Other things in Canada are expensive too, such as gas. I paid 88 cents a litre today, and when you consider there's almost 4 litres in an American gallon that's considerably costlier. I figure they make gas expensive so people won't drive to the States to buy the cheap cigarettes :lol:

10-12-2004, 03:45 AM
Good for you Gretchen! It's great that you are taking control of the health of your entire body! It would be a shame to lose all the weight just to poison yourself with cigarettes. I know you can do this. If you are strong enough to lose so much weight, you are strong enough to quit smoking. And of course, we are all here to support you.

Good luck!

10-12-2004, 09:38 AM
ex smoker here too! when I moved to the states (from Canada) over 6 years ago I cut down to only 2 cigs a day. I hated the taste of American smokes (fellow canucks will know what I'm talking about) quiting was hard. When I got pregnant with Sara I just quit!
be realistic - the cravings never end, - just because you crave does not mean you are not successful.
have a plan (just like losing weight) stop doing what you normally do! From now until you quit keep a journal of when you smoke. ie. after supper... (plan to walk instead)... or watching a favourite tv show (turn on NPR instead)
do you hang with friends that smoke? be aware of these tempting times. you may have to spend less time with these friends until you no longer want the taste. Hang with friends that don't smoke.

The one easy thing about quitting is that you just quit! Unlike dieting.. where you still have to eat.

A doctor once adviced to pick a date... but not a date that has much meaning. (ie. christmas, birthdays etc) say Nov 29th.. mark it on your calendar! You would have 6 weeks to prepare yourself.

Good Luck!!!


10-12-2004, 10:42 AM
Wow Dana -- that's great stuff! I'm going to share that with my DP, who also would like to quit but is afraid. Sincere kudos to you on so much: quitting smoking, not gaining when you're preggo, and having such a great attitude!! :)

10-12-2004, 11:09 AM
Congrats on making the decision to quit smoking. I have never smoked before so I can't give you any first hand advice on quitting. I have seen an excellent book, the author's name is Alan Carr, about quitting, I had a look at it and I think if you are willing this book could be quite helpful. My mom recently quit smoking after probably 50 years of smoking. She did it cold turkey and she never thought she would be able to do it that way either. She had a pretty bad health scare. She got a very bad chest infection and at the hospital they had told her initally it was emphysema. She'd had a friend die from that and she knew what a horror it is to go through that. So between thinking she had lung disease and just the scare of feeling like she couldn't breathe, she decided right then and there to quit and she hasn't started back yet. I'm pretty sure that she won't either. I think the idea of picking a date and saying that's my last day to smoke is a good one, I've heard that really works. Yes you are going to go through a couple of crappy weeks but after that you'll feel so much better about yourself. Best wishes and please let us know how it works for you.

10-12-2004, 12:27 PM
I too used to smoke, and I was sort of a "closet" smoker, myself (although I was never very good at disguising it -- my hubby always seemed to know!). My wake-up call was a very bad case of bronchitis that kept me from even wanting to SMELL smoke for over a month, so I kicked it. And the good news for me was that I didn't gain a pound when I quit!

My only advice is that, although it seems more difficult, I think cold turkey may actually be easier for most people in the long run. Before I actually quit, I would quit and restart constantly, like one of those breakups that just doesn't stick. For me, the cravings actually *did* go away, and I really don't get the urge to smoke at all anymore.

I know you can do it. I'm continually inspired by your strength of will in the weight loss arena. There's some great advice here, but like weight loss, I think it ultimately comes down to really *wanting* to quit at a given time and forming a plan about how you're going to do it.

Good luck and know we're here to support you!

10-12-2004, 12:58 PM
Thanks to ALL of you! Dana-- I am picking a day.. November 29th it is. I have marked my calendar and plan to get the Nicorrette Gum in place by then. All the wedding stuff, my work trips and turmoil at work should be long over at that point. That's it. THAT IS THE DAY. I am going to be smoke free! I have cut back a lot now. Only 2 today this far. Usually at this point I have had 4 or more. I am going to try and limit the smokes on the way home also. I appreciate all of your advice and your support. Believe me, I am going to need your support! I am also determined not to gain not even 1 pound back when I quit. I am enjoying my new body too much to let a cigarette mess it all up!!

10-12-2004, 02:28 PM
YAY, GRETCHEN!!!! I'm SO EXCITED about this!!! I hereby volunteer to be your sounding board, cessation buddy -- I'll try to think of something I can give up too as a show of support....I've already cut out almost all chocolate, all red wine and alcohol, and french fries.......but I'll put my thinking cap on for you, buddy. YAY!!!

November 29th. I'm putting it on my calendar too!

10-12-2004, 03:04 PM
Good for you Gretchen. I'm so glad to here you are giving up the smokes. I am glad I never got hooked. I smoked when I was teen and early twenty's but never liked it enough to do it on a regular basis. Once and a great while I will have one with my friend who smokes but that is more like once a year type thing. They have always dried my mouth out to much.

10-12-2004, 04:53 PM
Gretchen that was a huge step for you! I'm so proud of you! I know you can do it! Do you think baby step will help with this? Maybe you when you buy a pack of cigs. You can get rid of a few in pack. So your limiting your self to that about each day/week? My husbands friend quit and he had Zayban. My sister tried that and it didn't work for her but the patch did. I guess it's just like diets what works for some doesn't work for others.
The thing here is NOT to give up! Please keep us posted. Write here when you feel the urge. I want you to be as healthy as possible. !! As far as weight gain we'll work on that to. Your going to do great. Hugz

10-13-2004, 04:22 AM
Hey Gretchen

I am giving you a huge rollicking round of applause, all the way from London, England......can you hear it?!

You are absolutely gonna succeed in this - you know all there is to know about changing habits and lifestyle - so you just take all that skill and knowledge and apply it to the weed-habit!

I am also an ex-smoker. I gave up many years ago, and I do still smoke very occasionally (a couple every six months or so!)......what helped me was

1) I quit when I was on holiday in a very hot environment - somehow I never wanted to smoke in the heat. It was easier to do it when I was outside of my usual routines

2) I figured out the times/places/triggers that made me smoke. And put in place strategies to avoid/replace those. For me it was (still is) pubs (and alcohol!), and hanging out with certain friends.

3) I started running outside - one huge benefit of giving up smoking is that you very quickly notice the health benefits - once I realised how much stronger my breathing was without smoking, that was a true incentive.

4) I used nicotine gum when I had a really strong craving.

The other thing I would say is don't be too demanding on yourself. I truly understand the desire to keep losing and then sustain the weight loss - but I would say on a week by week basis if you gain one or two pounds when you quit smoking, that is no big deal, and not a reason to start smoking again!

By planning ahead, and waiting until you are through with the stressful times, you are really setting yourself up to succeed.

You go girl!!!!!

10-14-2004, 12:43 AM
Gretchen My Luv!

I am so proud of you for taking the step and doing this. Not only did you come out about it, but you're determined to fix it. :cp: Good for you!

I myself haven't been so fortunate to successfully quit smoking, but I have tried many times. However, Gretchen - Look how well you inspired me to lose weight? I'm hoping I get just as inspired about the quitting smoking. ;) Although, I've never really succeeded on losing weight and I am this time... ****, if I can say no to cheesecake or fries when TOM's visiting.. I can do anything! :D Alright, so my promise to myself, my loved ones and my health - Im making the goal of quitting smoking as of 2005! I know I'm not fully ready at this point, but I can pump myself up for it for 2.5 months from now. I need to talk to Steve and see if he'd be willing to quit...

So, anyways are you planning on using any aids or just cold turkey?! I strongly recommend the patch... the time that I had the most success that's what I used.. But if you do it, start on Step 2 - Step 1 is way too much nicotine and will make you nauseous and dizzy. ;) :goodluck: I know you can do this girl!

10-18-2004, 12:12 AM
I know I'm late, but I wanted to say congratulations on setting your date!!! I know you'll do it!!!! We'll be here for you!!!

10-18-2004, 09:16 AM
I have tried everything and I mean everything at least once. I nearly had a nervous breakdown trying antidepressants!
But just lately it's been floating around in the back of my head that if I can lose 40 lbs .... surely .... maybe I'll be ready for another try soon.
I'm really glad Gretchen brought that up. I'm not a closet smoker by any means but I have not talked of it at 3fc. Now everyone will know why my cardio blows!

10-18-2004, 06:02 PM
Oh I'm sorry I missed this Gretchen,
I am inspired by you and your 'go for it' attitude. I think you could do anything you set your mind to.
I don't really have any advice but just wanted to show my support and admiration for you.
We're all here for you!
Annie xx

10-19-2004, 06:48 PM
I know this is late, but when I quit over 20 years ago, I carried a worry stone around with me. Whenever I had the urge to grab a cigarette I grabbed it instead. I carried that thing around for months.....

edited to add this is baileys mom.....lol I didnt realize I was under her name sorry