Will Power

I Gave up smoking a couple of years ago. Once in a great while I will have a cigar, and when I am around constant smokers, my Mom, Bea’s uncles, I will puff on one. I started smoking when I was around 14, but my first cigarette taste came from my grandfather who would let me light one up for him. My first full cigarette came thanks to a nanny at age eight. I did not buy a full pack until I was a senior in high school and smoked pretty much throughout college. I quit for about 3 years from 2000 to 2003, and then picked it up until I was buying packs again. The worse that I ever got was during college when a pack would last me only a couple of days. 10 cigarettes in one day seemed like a lot, but I know some people can smoke two packs a day.

I quit cold turkey every time I gave cigarettes up. The physical addiction was not hard to overcome for me. It is a lot more noticeable when I give up caffeine than when I give up nicotine for sure. The psychological addiction is something entirely different because smoking was attached to other actions. Big meal, cigarette, stressful situation, cigarette, drink, cigarette. I did have a couple of things in my favor when quitting, I don’t like smoking inside my house or car, even thought I don’t mind if others do, and I also don’t like to take smoke breaks at work. I have the will power to give things up easily when I make the decision, however, with food it is another story.

I was a very picky eater when I was young. I was almost sick looking I was so skinny at times. During the first couple of years of my life my parents stayed at my grandma’s house. My grandma would never force me to eat, so I would not, but my Mom was worried about me so she made me eat and take vitamins. When we moved out she started to cook what I liked the most and took pretty good care of me growing up. I think she did too good of a job with food, and was probably always worried in the back of her head that I would stop eating again. I would also always finish up everything on my plate, and going back for seconds meant that I loved the food. Food equals comfort.

Now she worries about me quite a bit. Both of my grandfathers suffered from heart disease, one has had a triple bypass and a pacemaker and the other one is not with us anymore. At 30 I started taking cholesterol medicine. I also started to have more and more back problems and my knees are not in good shape either. My highest weight has been 270, I am not that tall. I think my ideal weight is 140, but I think I would look too skinny, so my goal is being under 200. I have over 50 pounds to go to reach that goal.

I am not afraid of exercise and love martial arts. Even practiced it 5 days a week for about 3 years. At my lowest going to the gym and doing crazy cardio I was 210. My problem has always been food, and I lie to myself saying that I don’t eat too much. I have been more conscious of my food choices lately and I have been surprised by how much food I can put away. Eating out is a big factor too, because portions are just crazy, and appetizers are just as bad as bottomless tortilla chips.

Obviously quitting food is not an option because we have not invented the food pill yet. Eating healthy is hard to do when you are addicted to cholesterol filled food, bread and pasta. Carbs and fried foods are so absolutely delicious that I don’t know how to quit them. I do have a couple of things going for me. I don’t care for sweets of any kind, and I do love fruits and vegetables.

I have raised my activity level quite a bit the last month. I have been less consistent with getting enough rest, but I am really trying. I have added vegetables to my diet, but I need to take more bad stuff out. I took Chinese completely out of the picture at least for 40 days. The key is finding good healthy choices and sticking to them. I don’t know if I can give up my addiction to bad foods, but I am sure trying to curve the trend towards better choices. It is just a matter of will power.

5 Responses to Will Power

  1. I quit smoking cold turkey 12 years ago, nothing to it. As far as eating I found that even half of normal Chinese portion is enough. I’ve been splitting lunches at work for years. My problem is that I hate any form of exercise.

  2. Running, my friend, running. Yeah, I know, you’re a bit bigger and your joints may not like you. But I saw this guy at the gym the other day, no kidding, was probably about 400 pounds. Bless him if he wasn’t running on the track – not a lot, but a lap, which is 1/8 mile, and then he got on the stairstepper. If you love carbs, running is your friend because you can eat the good ones, like whole grains, and because you run, you burn them. Now, for the fried foods, I can’t help you there. Chicken fingers are my best friend when I eat out. And fries, oh dear, the fries….so in that regard, moderation is key. If you get five good-sized fingers, have 3. Take the rest home and put them away for the next day. And my aunt told me that if you reheat your fries in the frying pan, they taste pretty good (so you don’t have to eat all the fries at the restaurant). I have yet to try this, as I love fries and we don’t eat out very often anymore. I have the cardio crap in my family too – dad had heart attack relatively young, as did mom, and she didn’t make it. Neither exercised. Which is why I do it now. Even though I haven’t lost a damn pound yet. (I’ve started in the last month.) Oh, and with what’s online, you can make most of what you like from the restaurant at home. I’ve found great recipes for chicken strips and spinach-artichoke dip that are lower in fat and cholesterol…but not the chips.

  3. Log, you just need Sifu to give you a good throat punch whenever you are about to over indulge. You’d loose weight in no time!! =)

  4. Willpower is a bitch. It’s where I always fail on a weight loss program. No matter what good intentions I have eventually I have dessert or sleep in instead of going to the pool. After that it is all down hill.

    This time around I AM doing pretty good on eating. Exercise is tougher, due to constant knee pain. I haven’t been to the pool, and I only get on the bike a couple times a week but I do leg stretches and lifts and whatnot as I watch TV before bed. I hope eventually it turns into a habit rather than a chore.

    As for your situation Logtar, you are smart and know the right things to do. Plus you have Bea to support you. And if need be, I’ll smack you with my cane when you fall off the path!

  5. I quit smoking over 10 years ago. You’re preaching to the choir about the food thing. I’ve learned in recent years that I don’t need to live to eat, but eat to live. Also that I don’t need to be a size 4 to feel good about myself.

    You know what is good for you and what you like/love. You are a smart man and have a wonderful wife to support you. Will power comes in many forms and every little thing you do for yourself counts.

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