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How Bad IS It?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 30, 2015

Tobacco kills more Americans than all drugs, car accidents, fires, AIDS, murders and suicides COMBINED.

We as a Society tend to minimize it. 

We as individuals can't afford to!

Smoking Kills!



I'm MAD!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 29, 2015

Because it happened to me!

ANY Health Care worker of any kind who tells you that it isn't a good time to quit smoking should lose their right to practice health care!

That includes but not limited to Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Care Providers, Therapists, Physical Therapists, ....the whole shabang! 

If you hear that from a licensed health care worker of any type - DON'T LISTEN! They have it very wrong!

They won't be living with the consequences of their poor advice but YOU WILL!

Quit Smoking ASAP! If you don't make it the first time, Come at it again, and again, and again if that's what it takes! Smoking means sloooooow death in dozens of forms!

Today is National Cat Day so in honor of cats everywhere I'm republishing a Blog written by Nyima many Months ago. I found this Blog so inspiring that I kept it in my documents. I hope you like it, too! 



Mindfulness is all about using your own thoughts and actions to remain calm and in the moment! No past, no future, just right now ...... My cats certainly have it figured out!



#1. Take catnaps. Close your eyes for a few minutes. Imagine yourself in the warm sunshine... Then breathe in, all the way to your stomach.... and out, slowly...while you tell yourself, "calm and relaxed". Keep enjoying the warm sunshine and breath deeply as you quiet yourself. Let your worries and tension disappear.

#2. S T R E T C H. What's the first thing a cat does after a nap? He always takes a nice long and very slow stretch. It gets every part of your body ready to do whatever needs to be done. It feels soooo good and helps you feel relaxed even when things are going badly

#3. HISS... puff up. When a cat feels scared or pushed around, she stands up for herself. That hair standing on end says, "Back down, I have rights too!" You don't have to hiss and puff up but learn to assert yourself. Stand tall, state how you feel or what you want. Listen to the response and you just might find a solution that's amenable.

#4. Play and play some more! Cats are always on the lookout for anything that moves ~ it could make a wonderful toy! It's good to laugh and play. Keep you eyes open for fun, for things to laugh at...including yourself! Keep your sense of humor and don't take everything so seriously.

#5. Hold your head high. No matter what just happened, a cat will walk away with it's head and tail held high. It's a sign that says,"I like myself. I have this problem handled." Remind yourself that not everyone is like you are and sometimes we all make mistakes. Hold your head up and tell yourself, "I won't let this get me down," or "I'll learn from my mistake".

#6. Speak up! " Meow...Meow.. I want in, I want out, I want In. I want a treat now!" A cat knows, it never hurts to ask when you need something. So be honest and speak up! Say how you feel and ask for what you need.

#7. Be smart, not snooty. Cats are famous for their independence. When he doesn't come when called or doesn't sit on your lap very long, he isn't being snooty... He is simply deciding for himself. You can be smart and independent too! When friends are pressuring you, it can be hard to say no and do what you know is best for you. When you do, you'll feel better about yourself and feel proud knowing you did the smart thing!

#8. Be friendly. Purr...purr.... Purring is one way a cat gets what he needs. The purr lets us know when he is happy with the way we treat him. So be friendly, show gratitude and let people know when you enjoy the way they treat you.

#9. Hang in there. Not only are cats curious but they take risks and they don't give up easily! If a cat doesn't succeed, she will try, try again! Have you ever seen a cat have a temper tantrum when she couldn't get at the bird in a tree or a fish out of the aquarium? No way! Persistence pays off. If you really want something, don't give up. If what your trying to do is hard, just keep trying until you succeed!


Thank You, Nyima!

Happy Cat Day Everybody! By the Way, Cats never ever resort to smoking!


LLAP Jigsaw

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 28, 2015


Whether it's my physical, mental or even spiritual health, all the pieces are coming together in what makes Thomas uniquely special. That hasn't happened overnight but I know when the first border pieces were assembled - when I began my Quit Smoking Journey!

I had a very different puzzle assembled then. I thought I would live healthy forever no matter what I did or didn't do for my Self. Long hours at work, lack of sleep, ignoring my nutrition, "exercise" - What's that? Never heard of it! You name it - I was on a path of Self Destruction!

Now I am on a Healthy Path and the contrast is so clear! I'm not talking about New Year's Resolution type - I'm going to change everything at once with sheer willpower changes. Actually, they're very small changes (pieces of a massive puzzle.) One by one I incorporated each of them into my life. 

But what's ironic is that I didn't set out to do that! I only set out to Quit Smoking before it killed me prematurely! With one decision taken one single day at a time, another fell into place, and then another and another....

That's why I refer to Smoking Cessation as the very BEST decision I ever made! 

Just who was that Thomas of 6 Years ago? Certainly not recognizable to me now! I fit in different pieces along the way and just like puzzle pieces, when they were in the right space they made everything around their edges more understandable and achievable! Smoking cessation led to better nutrition led to better body image and self esteem, led to yes, even for me, exercise - but not because I have to because I want to and it feels right to me to honor my body! I took on first depression and then anxiety. I came to terms with my belief system as it stands today starting with living my Values I learned more about relationships and boundary setting and expectations, courage, kindness, love and respect....

Smoking Cessation is the gift you give to yourself that keeps giving and giving!

I like the puzzle that coming together within me!

My bet is most if not all long term Quitters feel much the same way! 

TODAY is a great day to begin - Smoke FREE!





Good and Bad News

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 28, 2015

Death Rates From Major Illnesses Fall in U.S.

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer Americans are dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and injuries, a new study reveals.

American Cancer Society researchers analyzed age-standardized rates of death for six leading diseases and conditions over nearly five decades and found significant progress overall.


However, deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) -- a debilitating disease often caused by smoking -- increased dramatically during the time period studied, 1969 to 2013.

The COPD death rate reflects the different smoking patterns among men and women. COPD deaths have started to decrease among men, since males started smoking -- and quitting -- years earlier. But COPD deaths are still increasing among women, who took up smoking later and began quitting later, the researchers said.

"We continue to make progress in reducing death rates from five of the six major causes of death," said lead researcher Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, the society's vice president for the surveillance and health services research program. "But the death rate from COPD doubled."

Jemal credited the overall progress to a decline in smoking, early diagnosis and better treatment of heart disease, cancer and stroke.

But better diagnosis and treatment can only go so far, he said. Noting that reductions in deaths from heart disease, stroke and diabetes have slowed in recent years, Jemal emphasized the need to prevent these diseases in the first place.

"If we apply what we know in preventing cancer, heart disease, stroke, COPD and diabetes, we could reduce deaths by half," he said. "There is a huge opportunity to prevent these diseases."

Prevention includes a healthy lifestyle -- avoiding smoking, reducing obesity, eating a healthful diet and exercising, Jemal said.

The report was published Oct. 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Deaths from all causes, including these conditions, dropped about 1.3 percent a year over the near half century studied for a 43 percent decline overall, the researchers found.

Deaths from heart disease dropped 68 percent and from stroke, 77 percent. Injury-related deaths fell 40 percent, and deaths from cancer and diabetes dropped 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively. But COPD-related deaths jumped 101 percent, according to the report.

Although deaths from heart disease continue to drop, the decline slowed to 1.4 percent in 2010-2013, the researchers found. The drop in death rates has also slowed for stroke and diabetes.

This falloff may reflect the consequences of increased obesity since the 1980s, the study authors say.

Dr. J. Michael McGinnis, from the National Academy of Medicine, said more progress is possible, but it will take individual and community effort.

"A substantial component of the reduction in deaths is due to prevention, as a result, for example, of reduced use of tobacco, better control of high blood pressure and reduction in cholesterol levels," he said.

More has been learned in the past generation about what makes people healthy or not, said McGinnis, author of an accompanying journal editorial. These factors include genetics, health care, behavior, environment and social circumstances, he said.

"We need to modernize our view to focus on the most important things we now know and can measure about what really makes people, communities, and the nation healthy or not," McGinnis said.


Thomas: Along with this article is an article that finds that only 19% of patients diagnosed with COPD had undergone spirometry testing! Doctors are NOT testing people with signs of COPD! Only with proper diagnosis does a COPDer have a chance at managing their illness effectively! 

If you have smoked more than 100 Sickerettes in your lifetime - Tell your Doctor that you want a Spirometry Test NOW! If you have had a Spirometry Test be aware of your FEV1% and track it on a regular basis (at least once a Year!) If you don't have COPD count your lucky stars and protect your Quit as if your very LIFE depends on it - because IT DOES!

So what worked?

It's hard to say that it was any one thing, honestly! I think it has been a combination of all out war on Anxiety.

I sleep right for the first time in many Years. I exercise right at least 5 hours a Week ( a combination of aerobics, resistance training, yoga, pilates, balance, and stretching.) I meditate every day.I use CBT and ACT training to confront my Anxiety. I eat a healthy high protein, fruits and veggies diet. I take probiotics and magnesium supplements. I do neurofeedback for Anxiety an hour a week. I give of myself to others rather than focus on my Self and my problems. 

So who can say this one thing helped me turn the corner? 

My advice to anybody experiencing Anxiety is to keep at it! If you're into acupuncture or hypnosis, if you like running or biking, whatever your approaches to Anxiety - don't give up! Even though you may not see the progress, you might still be getting there! So keep at it! Add as many and varied things as you can think of and go for it! 

There's only one thing that isn't on my list and really shouldn't be on yours - SMOKING!

Smoking causes Anxiety and to top it off, smoking related illnesses cause Maximum Anxiety - so keep them away from your face!

Thank you, EX friends for supporting my efforts to find health and happiness! I also Thank the Lord for letting me learn that I can trust Him to run my Life better than I can myself! 

Smoke FREE Living keeps giving and giving!

It's been a long road but we're finally here
And the view from the top so beautifully clear
We can see for forever not a cloud in the sky
Picture perfect weather everyday of our lives

Just imagine if everything you wanted came true
Well it happened to me so it can happen to you
We're on a journey of truth and belief is the key
So open up your heart and let your life free

And I feel like I'm glowing
And I like where I'm going
Tonight, I'm showing up to shine

This little light of mine (OK, OK, OK)
I'm gonna let it shine (Alright, alright, alright)
This little light of mine (OK, OK, OK)
I'm gonna let it shine (Alright, alright, alright)
This little light of mine (OK, alright, OK)
I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Front to back we're packing, stomping
Clapping, laughing, singing, dancing
Passion ever lasting
When I'm rapping to the tracking
Let's get everyone to put your hands up
Stand up
Roxanne come take my hand
And make the congregation rock

Celebrating and it feels so good
If I could thank everybody here I would
I feel like I'm finally free and I
Yeah I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready to fly

Yeah, oh
And I feel like I'm glowing
And I like where I'm going
Tonight, I'm showing up to shine

This little light of mine (OK, OK, OK)
I'm gonna let it shine (Alright, alright, alright)
This little light of mine (OK, OK, OK)
I'm gonna let it shine (Alright, alright, alright)
This little light of mine (OK, alright, OK)
I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

You know it wants to come out
Don't hide your shine, y'all
Now put your hands to in sky
'Cause your light is your love

Oh yeah [x4]

This little light of mine (This little light of mine)
I'm gonna let it shine (I'm gonna let it shine)
This little light of mine (Yeah)
I'm gonna let it shine (I'm gonna let it shine)
This little light of mine (This little light of mine)
I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, shine

Clapyour hands and sing along!

THIS is what Addiction FREE Living is all about!

Let your true light shine out into the World and bring others along with you!

LIFE is Great! Let's all make the most of it - Smoke FREE!

"People are like stained glass window.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed if only there is a light from within."
      ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross ~


Don't Go There!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 21, 2015

4 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Have A Cigarette For The First Time In A Long Time

So you finally quit smoking. You went through that nasty period of coughing up tar and feeling sick. You weathered through the headaches, the increased appetite the irregularity of your digestive system. You're not feeling anxious anymore and you've finally realized that you don't need a cigarette after that third drink. Coffee is just fine on its own. Windowsills are for people-watching, not smoking. Exercise works just fine as a stress reliever. Your clothes smell clean again. Your nails are no longer yellow. You're not out of breath on the second flight of stairs. You're free from the chains of nicotine.

But then you messed up. It happens —18 percent of Americans smoke cigarettes, and of that number, 70 percent would like to quit. But only seven percent do. Those gaping statistics mean you're not alone. So don't be discouraged. But do stay educated. It's good to know the ways in which cigarettes affect your body, the more in-tune you are with your body, the more respect you'll have for it.

And don't for a second forget how great it felt to get your health back. Having the energy and lung capacity to run around and not get winded, was amazing. The way that cutting out cigarettes made you instantly more health-conscious resulting in more home-cooked meals and commitments to yourself, that was ace. Oh, and not smelling like an ashtray all the time — you're not the only one who appreciated that. Alas, you had a nightmare kind of day or you had three too many drinks or you were in France and couldn't resist having a filmic moment, and you caved. You smoked a cigarette after so many months of good behavior. This is what happened to your body when you smoke for the first time in awhile:

Your Blood Pressure Is Like Whoa

reaction gif animated GIF

Right away your pulse and blood pressure increases. The mix of the effects of the nicotine and your underlying guilt and shame will put an immediate strain on your heart. Your pulse could quicken 10 to 25 beats per minute. That's a lot.

Your Airway Becomes Inflamed

coughing animated GIF

The smoke will re-irritate your respiratory system. You'll feel that familiar burn, once satisfying, now painful. Your airway will become inflamed causing tightness of the chest and coughing. Later leading to an increase in phlegm production.

You're Gonna Want To Find A Bathroom, Stat

angry animated GIF

The second you pull in that first drag, you'll probably feel like you have to run to the bathroom. Nicotine triggers peristalsis, which is a contraction of the muscle in your digestive system that carries out waste. It will be particularly sensitive after losing its tolerance to nicotine.

The Pleasure Centers In Your Brain Ignites

gifnews animated GIF

Nicotine only takes a few seconds to reach the brain. And you can totally feel it tingling between your ears. Once it gets there it immediately triggers feelings of pleasure. But because you've quit before and have now relapsed, you'll probably feel a surge of disappointment and anxiety. But don't be too hard on yourself. Just know that if you've quit before, you can quit again. And help is there for you when you need it.


After Your First 100

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 18, 2015

Pretend it is your birthday and there is a beautifully decorated cake in front of you with candles lit and glowing. Friends and family gather around to root as you take the deepest breath you can to blow them all out. This act of blowing out birthday candles actually represents a real maneuver that is used to measure lung function. When a patient takes a deep breath and blows as hard and fast as he can into a machine called a Spirometer, the machine measures the volume of air exhaled within the first second. It can also measure the entire volume of air exhaled until that point where you think you have blown out every last drop of breath you have and you gasp for the next breath. The first measurement is known as FEV1, or Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 Second and the second measurement is FVC, or Forced Vital Capacity.

These measurements are extremely important if you are a patient suffering from a condition commonly known as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary (lung) disease. We know how much air a normal, healthy pair of lungs can hold and how much these healthy lungs can exhale in one second. Since we know that, we can rate the degree of impairment for someone with COPD. For example, a patient with an FEV1 of 30 percent of that predicted for a normal patient would have a more serious case of COPD than another patient whose FEV1 was 75 percent of predicted.

The take home message really should be the fact that people with chronic lung disease suffer from obstructed airflow that leaves them in various degrees of breathlessness. Cigarette smoking, undoubtedly, is the No. 1 culprit responsible for this situation. Inhaled cigarette smoke (even second-hand smoke to a certain extent) initiates a cascade of inflammatory events that involves macrophages, neutrophils, nuclear factor-B, interleukin-8, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, elastase/antielastase imbalance, proteinase mucus stimulants... Need I say more? The net result is a vicious cycle of inflammation in which the bronchial walls thicken, thereby narrowing the airways. Blowing out birthday candles just isn’t fun anymore.

Fortunately, there are some very good medicines that are delivered directly to the lungs via inhalers. But again, wouldn’t it be better to stop the process before it even begins? If you smoke, do whatever you can to stop. It’s never too late to quit. If you have never smoked, why start? COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States with related health care costs estimated to be about $23 billion a year. I know we will never eradicate death; but maybe we could eradicate COPD as one of the causes.


COPD is 4th leading cause of death in the U.S.


It's pouring here in Colorado! Not the weather - challenges in my Life!

My 79 Year old Aunt broke her left elbow Tuesday. She had emergency surgery on Wednesday and will be in a cast for the next 8 weeks or more. Maria has dementia and her right side has limited mobility due to stroke. Did I mention she's diabetic? ....And a hoarder? ....And on Percocets for pain? You get the picture!

Every minute that I'm not at work I am caring for my Aunt! 

I miss the exercise, the computer (she has no wifi) and me time! I am providing all of Maria's personal care along with her 73 Year old Friend who gives me 6 hour breaks when she can. Concha isn't in the best of health, either!

My Wife cooks the meals and drops by to share with us. She has her responsibilities, too! 

So when I'm not providing personal cares for Maria, I'm sorting through her stacks and packs of stuff and cleaning them up. When neither left nor right side of your body works and you're toting around an oxygen cord, the last thing you need is stacks of stuff all over the floor! Happily I can report that there is a floor under all that junk - I actually found it several hours into the cleaning process!

The good news is the surgery went well and Dear Auntie isn't feeling any pain! She sometimes forgets that she can't do for herself until she gets up and stumbles like a drunken sailor from one room to the next! But she's very grateful for my efforts to help her and willing to listen to my selfcare advice. Considering her dementia it's hard to say how much of that advice will actually stick!

Well, hitting the sack for a few hours sleep and then back at it! I'll keep you all updated on how things progress. Just wanted you to know that I'm still thinking of you and praying for us all! Special prayers for Dale's surgery tomorrow and recovery following!

All I can say about all this stress is I'm sure glad I don't smoke! Smoking adds stress into our Lives and I don't need more right now!

Take care and keep them away from your face!




Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 14, 2015


What do you really see?

Don't let illusions grasp you!

Your mind has been hijacked into thinking that Sickerettes somehow help you or make your life better when the truth is they represent sloooooow death!

Break FREE from the lies of Addiction!

Nicotine brings you nothing but grief!


Fear of Quitting

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 13, 2015

Our fears are more numerous than our dangers,
and we suffer more in our imagination than in reality.

I was so afraid to quit! I was afraid that I would miss my constant companion. I was afraid that I would never "get" to smoke again! I was afraid that I would "try" and fail! I was afraid that I would become one of those EX - smokers who hate anything closely related to tobacco!!!!

HA! The whole time I was afraid of all the wrong things! I SHOULD HAVE been afraid of Smoking Related Illness! But you know what? It never really crossed my mind ......until! Yep! Too late! Now I have the BIG Smoke Related Illness - COPD!

What did I imagine a quit would look like? Well, I thought that I would have that skin crawlly feeling forever! I thought that I'd always wish I had a Sickerette! I thought that I would have to be Super-Human depriving myself the one kick-back relax my-time activity I allowed myself to indulge in!

Little did I know that I was about to embark on the most Spiritually Expansive, Personally Maturing, Physically Renewing journey of self-exploration that I could ever imagine! Oh, how I wish I had known before I got sick!

But I'm GRATEFUL every day for this journey! And YES, I'm PROUD to be one of those EXers who left Nicotine behind FOREVER! Now I kick back and relax naturally - not because I NEED MY FIX! But because I'M ADDICTION FREE!

So NEWBIE! Will you change? ABSOLUTELY - you will discover the NEW YOU - so much better than you could ever imagine!

There's only one rule: keep those Sickerettes away from your face! All the rest will happen naturally!

Whether it's the craving you feel at this moment or your overall long term Quit, Positive Thinking can boost your Success along the Quit Journey!

Tell yourself,

"I can do this!" Keep in mind that more people have quit than those who have not - Why not me?

Your opponent is a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in poison. 

 "Every cigarette I don't smoke is doing me good".

I have many good reasons for Quitting Smoking and no good reasons for smoking! 

"I'm happy and feel great because I'm choosing to look after my body".

I just don't do that any more!

Smoking is not an option, So ask yourself what to do instead.

Recognize the wonderful results of quitting which begin immediately and keep growing with every day.

The BEST Quit Smoking Tool is right between your ears!

"I can do this for 24 hours." repeated 365 days in a row is how any of us got to Year One.



Passing Through....

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 11, 2015

"Most of our obstacles would melt away

if, instead of cowering before them, 

we should make up our minds 

to walk boldly through them."

- Orison Swett Marden

Replace Obstacle with Cravings! Don't build cravings up in your mind that they are more than they are! They will be less powerful when you DECIDE to put them in context.

Even the worst Craving only lasts 3-5 minutes - physically - but if you feed them with trepidation, then you are adding fuel to their power!

You know they are physically real, especially in the first few days, but even then, you can minimize them in a number of practical ways:

-Drink Cranberry Juice - this is stabilize your blood sugar levels

-Cut your Caffeine in half - this will keep you from feeling wired and at the same time, keep you out of Caffeine Withdrawal

-Drink more Water than a Fish! - that will keep you hydrated

-Take long sloooow deep breaths - bring your breath down to your belly (Yogic Breathing) and exhale very slowly (at least a count of 4) 

-Exercise - keep those endorphins flowing

-Stay busy and FOCUS on some other activity - Acknowledge the craving but keep it in the background of your awareness

Walk boldly through your cravings, knowing that you are stronger, better, more powerful than a dead leaf wrapped up in paper and dipped in thousands of deadly poisons! You CAN do this!


What I learned today

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 10, 2015

The greatest gift you will ever receive is the gift of loving and
believing in yourself. Guard this gift with your life. It is the only
thing that will ever truly be yours. Tiffany Loren Rowe

So many people associate the concept of self-love with narcissism which actually is a lack of self-love! But truly loving ourselves as God loves us is a compassionate place to be in our lives.

 Our love of self provides the passion to be with that other person in a loving way!

 So today I give myself permission to love myself as I would love my neighbor! That truly is a gift from the Almighty!

I’m learning to love myself in all my human imperfection. I’m learning to love my body and give gratitude to my body for all of the hard work it does every single day. Jon Kabat Zinn reminds us, “As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than there is wrong, no matter how ill or how hopeless you may feel.”

And with the help of Yoga and meditation I am learning that the mind and the body are not two separate entities, let alone opposing enemies, they are one and the same creation and work together in harmony just like my left hand works with my right hand!

When I Love Myself, it gives me strength, courage, focus, and determination that I so much need in order to Break FREE of Addiction for LIFE!

 This is especially true during NML when we aren't living the challenge minute by minute but are blindsided by our Addictive Minds out of nowhere, or after a tragedy or great misfortune such as losing a job or having a serious illness, or even, yes, after an extraordinary Victory when we think that we "deserve a Sickerette!"

 What I deserve is my FREEDOM! I deserve to live LIFE Abundantly as My Creator intends - Smoke FREE for LIFE! And I LOVE Myself enough to recognize the paradox and make the Correct DECISION!

So just for TODAY I will LOVE Myself as I would Love my neighbor! I will stop blaming myself for my Addiction and for my Smoking related illness.

Who would wish Addiction on ANYBODY? Surely we DESERVE Addiction FREEDOM!


The Push and Pull

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 9, 2015


  What do we do if an urge pushes us in one direction and our values pull us in another? We don't want to struggle with that urge because then it's hard to focus on effective action. So rather than try to resist, control, or suppress it, the aim is to make room for it, to give it enough time and space to expend all it's energy. And one marvelously useful technique for this is known as "urge surfing."
  Have you ever sat on the beach and watched the waves? Just noticed them coming and going? A wave starts off small and builds gently. Then gradually it gathers speed and grows bigger. It continues to grow and move forward until it reaches a peak, known as a crest. Then, once the wave has crested, it gradually subsides. The same happens with urges in your body. They start off small and then steadily increase in size.
  All too often we get into a struggle with our urges; that's why we talk of "resisting" them. In urge surfing, though, we don't try to resist our urges - we just give them space. If you give an ocean wave enough space, it will reach a crest and then harmlessly subside. But what happens if that wave encounters resistance? Ever seen a wave crash onto the beach or smash against the rocks? It's loud, messy, and potentially destructive.
  So urge surfing is a simple but effective technique in which we treat our urges like waves and "surf" them until they dissipate. The term coined back in the 1980s by psychologists Alan Marlatt and Judith Gordon is part of their groundbreaking work with drug addiction.

On the Mend

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 8, 2015

Thank You, folks for your care and concern. I'm glad to be out of the hospital and in my own home at least. To answer your questions briefly I have an acute upper respiratory infection caused by the rhinovirus. That's right - a Common Cold! Not so common when you have COPD!

I lost about 5% of my lung capacity and although I will do everything in my power to regain at least some of that loss, most if not all is gone for good. I have already begun exercising little by little to rehabilitate.

Can't sit at the computer long so I'll leave you with this thought:

Smoking is simply not worth it! What other "vice" would you allow to kill you in such an insidious way because "I like it?"

All I can think of is ADDICTIVE DRUGS and ALCOHOL. We are Addicts to Nicotine! 

I wish I had understood that before I got COPD!

It is a widely known fact that smoking is bad for health. It can cause fatal health problems. More than a billion people in the world are addicted to smoking. What makes smoking addictive is the presence of nicotine. Excessive consumption of the stimulant called nicotine can block nerve and curtails muscle cells preventing the proper functioning.

It is an extremely addictive drug which is found in cigarettes, caffeine , tobacco and many other products. It is the primary component that acts on the brain soon after consumed by body in any of its forms.

Excessive consumption of nicotine may lead to many harmful effects on mind and body. Cigarette smoking results in nicotine reaching the brain within just 10 seconds of inhalation.

That’s the reason why most smokers desire to quit smoking but find unable to do so due to its addictive properties.  

Nicotine increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, it acts both as a sedative and stimulant. Cessation of nicotine may lead to withdrawal symptoms which can range from headache to fatigue. But quitting it at an early stage can save you from a lot of health problems.

Some of the best foods that can help you quit nicotine and flush it out from the body within 24 hours are:

Broccoli:  it contains high levels of vitamin B 5 and C,B, the multi vitamins which are essential for regulating many important processes in the body. Eating broccoli revitalizes the body and mind and also keeps your lungs protected from toxins.

Spinach: it is rich in folic acids that is known to remove nicotine from the body. Smokers often suffer from interrupted sleep cycles which can be reduced to a great extent by eating spinach.

Kale: Known as a cruciferous vegetable, eating kale on a regular basis can put you at lesser risk of cancer. It is a natural source of antioxydants that can get rid of unwanted toxins and nicotine from your body.

Pomegranate: Smoking increases heartbeat, blood pressure and puts you at greater risk of stroke also.  Pomegranate includes blood circulation and helps produce your body more red blood cells.

Carrots:  They are rich in Vitamin ,C and K. It strengthens body’s natural defence- immunity. A smoker’s body loses more vitamins as compared to a normal body which does not consume nicotine hence it becomes essential for one to eat carrots and other fruits rich in multivitamins.

Cranberries: It is the fastest way to flush out toxins and nicotine from your body. Nicotine raises blood sugar levels as cranberry does, thus replacing it with nicotine can cease your cravingsfor smoking.

Ginger: It is a wonder spice, an underground stem that is known to cure many ailments of the human body. Raw ginger can be taken to relieve nicotine cravings, maintain healthy weight, reduce toxins and helps flush out nicotine from the body.

I was in the hospital but am finally home and doing well!

Take care of your lungs! They care for us 24/7 we need to care for them, too!

I was in the hospital but am finally home and doing well!

Take care of your lungs! They care for us 24/7 we need to care for them, too!

When I was a Smoker I would do just about anything in order to have a Sickerette! Leave a Family Gathering? Sure, I'll be back soon! Walk out on my Son's baseball game? Well yeah, but just for a minute (or two or ten...)Desert my Wife in the middle of a Movie? She'll understand, won't she?

When I "quit" in the past I made myself a promise - I won't sacrifice my lifestyle and friendships for my quit! I can have BOTH! And I can tell you that is EXactly what cost me my Quit!!!! 

My quit journey IS a Lifestyle Change! If I'm not willing to change my lifestyle and yes, the nature of my friendships, then I might as well just keep right on smoking!

 Hanging out with the smoking crowd on breaks, chumming around with my smoking neighbors on weekends - while they puff away - just doesn't work! 

It's not about snobbery! It's the reality of Second Hand Smoke! Besides the myriad dangers of Second Hand Smoke ( lung cancer, heart attack, stroke, COPD, etc,) being around smoke will physically trigger my addictive processes all over again! That's not a risk I am willing to take!

This is a LIFESTYLE Change! You will be a very surprising person if you can hang out around smoke every day and not fall off the wagon! If you were giving up Alcohol would you hang out in a bar every weekend? Of course not!

We are ADDICTS, Folks! I want my Quit more than I want to feed myself deadly second hand smoke! This is FOR LIFE!


BecomeanEX Groups

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Oct 1, 2015

People often ask if the Groups are used and it's no surprise! Most of the activity is in the BLOGS where you can't get lost or forgotten. So how do you choose a Group that works for you?

First, you can look for the most popular Groups such as Daily Pledge that Giulia maintains so beautifully. 

And secondly, that's a good point! A successful Group needs a lot of maintenance either from the Group's owner or from the most ardent followers!  [Thank You, Sharon and Marilyn for faithfully posting on Positive Affirmations for Success!] Look for an owner that you know is a regular participant.

Third, look to see when there was last a posting. If it's been over a Year, the Group might be virtually dead. I have tried to revive old Groups that I liked and it's very hard to do because the members don't get e-mail notification of activity - only the owner does! [hint to Admin if you're reading this!!!!]

Some Groups no matter what their age are gems and keepers such as Picture This! The content never grows irrelavant!

Using, creating, and maintaining Groups is an art and takes a lot of dedication and focus! [Hmmmm...where have I heard that before??? Oh yeah, quiiting takes a lot of dedication and hard work, too!]


Here's something I posted on Jackie's new Group called S.I.N.A.O.:

When you're on the path to recovery you have literally chosen a fork in the road!

Left behind is the path of the easy way out - escape into Addiction so I don't have to deal with Life on Life's terms!

Chosen is the path of Healthy Addiction FREE Living!

But while, not smoking is primary, it's the very small and large LIFE choices we make that make the path a sure, smooth path and not a rocky cliff!

I changed up the people I hung out with simply because we had Smoking in common!

I changed the places I spent time in when they were too connected in my brain with Smoking!

I changed the activities that I associated with Smoking!


People, places, and activities are triggers! And while it's true that the trigger is never responsible for being my trigger - I AM responsible for avoiding triggers and managing the ones I can't avoid!

A smart quitter changes their surroundings so they break their associations with smoking at the root!


Look around a decide on a few Groups that appeal that your individuality and then hop in once or twice a week and see where it leads! 

There can be a lot of benefit in the Groups when you put in the effort!

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