Wednesday, May 16, 2007

One year on...

This time last year, i was going through a strong time testing my willpower, and it was probably one of the most daunting things i've ever done.

You see, I'll be 26 this year.  I started smoking when i was 16, and had been smoking roughly 20 a day for 9 years.  I didn't particularly like smoking, but it was a nice social tool.  It helped when I was at college, it helped when I was at work, and it helped when I was with friends, but it stunk, and generally, i'd wake up with a mouth that felt so dry, it'd resemble the bottom of a bird cage!

I am also rather built.  Not through muscle you understand, but fat.  I weight about 16st, and am generally overweight.  Not quite obese, but getting there, however, noone ever thinks i weigh as much as i do!  Anywho, another reason i wanted to give up smoking was for my health.  I was already putting strain on my heart and stuff through being over-weight, but smoking was just adding to the problems!

And the final problem was the cost.  When i gave up smoking, i was paying £4.35 for a pack of 20 fags, and they were the cheaper 'sovereign' variety.  But smoking 20 a day at £4.35 would equal about £30 a week, or £120 a month, and obviously, over a year, that'd be £1,587.75!  That shocked me! 

If i gave up smoking, within a year, the money i would of saved on smoking would of paid off my credit card! 

So i mentioned to Helena (my girflriend) that I was thinking of giving up smoking.  She said 'Good for you, but you'll never do it'.  And being the competitive man I am, I set out to prove her wrong.  I said "Right.  May 16th is the day i'll give up".

And i did.  I remember that May 16th 2006 was a Monday, so the Sunday before was the last day i would be smoking.  I remember driving back from Eastbourne with 2 fags left in my box.  I had one whilst driving, and then had my final cigerette on my balcony when i got home.

After a week, i felt so proud of myself, and so was Helena. She then said "you'll never keep it up!  I bet your smoking within a month".

Again, being the competitive man I am, i thought 'I'll show her!'

A month went by, and again, i gloated at the fact that i'd proven Helena wrong again.  So she turned to me and said "I bet you wont keep it up for a year!".

And here we are.  One year on, and i've not had a cigarette since I gave up!  And thanks to my 'Quitomzilla' extension on Firefox, i can reveal several stats about my giving up, which are:

  • If i had been smoking, i would of smoked roughly 7,300 cigarettes in the past year.
  • I've saved £1,590, however this isn't accurate, as the price of cigarettes have since gone up several times, so i've saved more!
  • I've been smoke free for 1 Year, 13 hours & 50 minutes.

I'm so proud of myself for doing it.  I used nicorette gum to help me through the withdrawel symptoms, but after a week or so, i no longer needed the gum!

Looking back on it, when Helena was telling me she didn't think i could give up, i felt a bit bad because i thought she thought i couldn't do it because i wasn't strong enough.  However, i know realise that Helena knew about my competitive streak, and the fact that i like proving people wrong, so she was just saying those things to encourage me to give up!

So thank you Helena & everyone for the support!

If you smoke, i'd urge you to give up!  It's great!  Oh, and it's true what they say, the ex-smokers are the worst for moaning about smokers lol!

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