Friday, February 8, 2008

Fat Tuesday, Miss You Already! by Angie Ledbetter

Fat Tuesday has faded into memories of parades, beads, rich foods and great parties. Another Ash Wednesday has come and gone, leaving its mark on my forehead as a reminder to offer up sacrifices, alms and prayers for those in need. Today is only Thursday, and I’ve barely been able to keep from pulling my own hair out. I am grateful for that, however, and thankful I haven’t yet verbally or physically abused anyone else.

You see, I’ve decided to stop smoking AND try to eat healthier too, plus I'm drinking more water instead of half my daily coffee intake. Dealing with deprivation and major changes to the system, you can see why I wouldn’t be the most pleasant person to be around. But at least I haven’t acted on any of my violent fantasies yet, so there’s hope I can make it through the next 38 days of Lent and beyond without failing.

After decades of living the Mardi Gras lifestyle, it’s time to make some permanent healthy changes. Since old habits die hard, I’m trying a lot of distraction tricks with myself. There’s taking a 15-minute catnap, which is a good way to keep myself tightly under the covers until whatever urge(s) pass. Then there’s the let’s-take-a-walk trick. (I’ve only done that once.) A new coloring book and crayons await should I need some deeper type of therapy than cooking to help me through the next hour. TV hasn’t really helped me pass much time or gotten my mind off myself, but warm baths and reading are a nice diversion.

I’ve got sugar free gum, menthol cough drops (for the taste), bottles of water, white tea, healthy fruits and veggies to snack on, an interesting book, and gas in my car should I need to get away from temptations. If you have any other tricks of the habit-breaking trade, I’d be most obliged. At this point (day 2 of 40) I can use all the help I can get!


Barbara Quinn said...

Good for you! Congrats on taking a difficult step in the right direction. I'm going to try to follow behind you since my scale is inching dreadfully high. I go to the gym, but can't say I enjoy that. I've started taking green tea extract which is supposed to boost your metabolism. I dunno about that, but it seems harmless enough and a cup of green tea also helps with my afternoon cravings. We can do this!

Kathryn Magendie said...

I once watched this movie that Fred Macmurray starred in - it was in the 60's I believe - so I thought that quite 'daring' - but, the entire town was trying to quit smoking, and Fred MM character was told that every time he had the urge to smoke, go home and have sex with his wife, there is this one scene I remember SO vividly and remember laughing so hard - he pulls up in the driveway and comes in the door -- his wife had been descending the staircase, and with this resigned look on her face--this exhausted look - she just, without a word, turned around and went back up the stairs, and He, right behind her and with the SAME resigned exhausted look, followed her up. Laughing....

All I can think of, should you not want to try the above (laugh) is keeping the hands and mouth happy and occupied...gum, hard candy, and as for the hands - projects you need to do that you've put off? like cleaning out a closet or junk drawer...?

Nannette Croce said...

Wow, that's a lot to take on all at one time. I've never had to break the smoking habit as I've only been a casual smoker from time to time in my life. (There are a few of us who can socially smoke without getting hooked. My Dad used to do it too.) One thing that works for me, eating wise, is making a big deal of my snack––healthy or no–– or cup of tea or whatever. I make it a ritual at the same time each day and sit down at the table, read the paper or a a magazine, and take it slow. The effects seem to last longer, and knowing I have it to look forward to keeps me from snacking all day long.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Loved all your comments, ladies.

Listen to our Podcasts