I vaped for a year.
My father smoked cigarettes for 22 years.
My grandfather smoked pipes and chewed tobacco for 38 years.
I'm on my second (and forever) quit after breaking a 3-month streak.
My father has been an ex-smoker for 17 years.
My grandfather passed away of lung cancer. He died still a smoker.
I asked my father how he got through the first few years of not smoking, and he said "Jolly Ranchers". My face must have shown my surprise, and he laughed.
To understand my shock, my dad is the ex-army, blue-collar trucker, most disciplined, not big on sweets guy. He thinks candy and desserts are an every once-in-a-while thing for special occasions. He doesn't eat a lot of treats, and he's in great shape for a 60-year old. He's just the last person I would have expected to be popping candy all the time.
"What makes you happy and feels like something just for you?" He pauses and adds "It has to be things you actually like. This is not the healthy habits you want to like or the food that you're thinking is good for you." I laugh again because he knows me so well.
He shared that giving up smoking is giving up a dangerous, life-killing habit, but also one that he turned to when he was stressed or had negative feelings. He had to replace it with something else that made him inherently happy. I really liked that idea. It gives me something to look forward to/anticipate which is a major part of nicotine addiction. You're always looking forward to the next time you can light up, vape, chew, etc....
So I've started my list below. (Bonus is most of these I can't do and vape at the same time.)
- Blast music and sing along
- Cooking a new recipe
- Knitting baby booties/hats
- Eating peppermints/hot tamales
- Playing tug of war with my pitbull
- Taking a nap (Sleeping in general is my life)
- Thrift store shopping to find the cutest outfits
- Drinking tea with a friend at their house
- Watching a new show that just grips all my attention
- Popcorn and ginger ale with lots of lemon slices (weird combo but really good)
- Practicing calligraphy
- Reading through comedy sites (Cracked.com makes an excellent replacement for my mornings)
- Eating my lunch inside when it's raining or cold (one of my favorites!)
- Gardening when it's nice out
- Hanging out with family/friends without having to miss parts of the conversation/game/movie etc...
What's your "candy list"? What are some enjoyable things you get to do now that you're not making time for nicotine?