Well, this is a start!! I tiptoed back here about a half hour ago, ashamed that I had been too intimidated by the new format when I first encountered it. It really did seem like a very unwelcoming mish mash and I ran away not actually screaming, but feeling very sorry (for myself) that it wasn't like the old one. Of course I've had to deal with technology as a continuously working person, and I am no fonder of change than most of us. But I think I needed some time to come to terms with fact that the site that was a great part of my salvation from smoking was no longer around. I couldn't just hop on and read my messages and write a quick blog and see how everyone was doing and who was riding the train. So I've had my time, and here I am. Selfishly, I suppose, because I have a great milestone coming tomorrow, and wanted to celebrate it with those I dearly love on this site and also with the newbies who I haven't been around to meet.
I now see that we can do all kinds of fancy things with our blogs (fonts, emoji's and banner images). That's fun. And I don't think they had the tiles when I was here last to direct us to our blogs. I still haven't figured out where my old blogs are, but I suppose someone will let me know. Thomas, you did me a great favor by replying as soon as you did and making me want to come back and face the music, so to speak. (Hmm -- is there a way we can add music to these blogs, too?)
Life has been good over the last few months -- only a couple of migraines (although I was down with one this week) and comfortable weather. The job is going well and I love the work and the people I work with. I believe I talked about my new car back on the old EX and I still love it. My family is doing pretty well, and I'm really proud of my granddaughter Kennedy who tried out for and made the High School JV Softball team. She's only been in softball for three years, but she's worked really hard and gone from a girl who cringed every time the ball came close to a great catcher and a great pitcher as well!! That's so much to be proud of, and I will be happy to celebrate her 14th birthday on March 29. My grandson Jason is doing well and happily with his first girlfriend, and my youngest grandson, Riley is going to be 8 in May and is growing like a weed. I'm a lucky woman to have such a great family. And on March 31 I leave to spend a few days in Pittsburgh with my sister Marsha.
Life is so good without smoking. I don't miss it a bit, and every now and then when I do think about it it's just a memory, not a crave. Now I'm working on my weight again, and doing it through Weight Watchers. I've been in it for six weeks and have lost about 8 pounds. I've learned a lot and the biggest thing I've learned is that this is not a diet; I'm changing the way I eat and relate to food. If I were on a diet I would never eat a bite of birthday cake. But a diet ends. When I change my way of eating I know that I can have that piece of birthday cake when the occasion arises -- I can have a small piece and don't have to eat half the cake!! Or go back for thirds. I had an experience that brought this into great focus for me. A guy at work said, "I have some chocolate fudge -- would you like some?" It was really quite funny, because I went from "I love fudge" to "oh, but I can't have any" to "wait, I can have a little bit." He put a normal square of fudge on a paper napkin and I took a plastic knife and cut off about one-sixth of the piece. It was enough to put in my mouth and swoon and savor. That was enough. Big lesson learned.
Now, you may be saying "what does this have to do with quitting smoking?" I have an answer. It's all about mindset. It's all about not feeling deprived. I smoked pretty heavily for 53 years and had quit and started again a few times during that period. I started again because the whole time I wasn't smoking I thought I was missing something. I knew pretty early in this quit that I wouldn't be likely to start again because I did not and do not feel deprived. I read Allen Carr's book and it spoke to me. I will say I read it again two weeks into my quit and I read something else of Carr's a couple of weeks later. But the point is I finally grasped that I was missing nothing when I didn't smoke. Did I have tough moments? Of course I did, and those who were around at the time probably remember a couple of my bad days. But when you change your mindset it's amazing what you can do. A day at a time.
I definitely do not claim wisdom, because it took me more than two years to figure out that losing weight isn't about being perfect and never cheating and hardly eating anything (and therefore feeling deprived -- there's a theme here, I think). No, it's about changing your mindset. There is no perfection, but learning moderation around eating feels like I'm finally growing up.
So what hasn't changed in all this time is that simply cannot write a short blog. But I am so happy to be back, and I'll be riding that train tomorrow whooping and hollering (and if I had a cowboy hat I'd be waving it in the air!). Love you all and I'll see you tomorrow.