Showing posts with label quitting smoking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quitting smoking. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nicotine is a bitch, and I owned it

Today marks my 2-year anniversary of beating nicotine addiction.

Alan Carr's "Easyway to Stop Smoking" was the best $20 that I've ever spent on a book. It's better than the patch, better than the gum, better than the pills, and better than cold turkey. Smoking isn't just a physical addiction, it's also a psychological one. If you don't beat both, you'll always crave it.

My wife read the book a year later and will be a year quit in March.

I get nothing in return for plugging the book, other than a good feeling knowing that it might help someone else. If you'd like to read some old blog posts about it, check these out.

In celebration of my amazing achievment, who wants to be the first to sponsor me for the 2011 Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life? :)


Thursday, May 6, 2010

It started as a Tweet…

I was going to make this a multi-part tweet, but it was getting kinda long… so blog, it shall be. Plus, I can write more. :) If you took the time to click the link I tweeted and are reading this, thank you.

I lost my Dad in 1998 to live cancer. I lost a friend 2 years ago – he was 35 years old. It started as a simple mole on his arm. In less than a year, it spread and he was gone. Seriously… 35 years old. My wife lost an uncle last year. My brother in-law had it and beat it. That’s four people in my “circle”. I’d bet $5 that someone in your family, somewhere, has had it.

I decided that I had to do something, not only to raise awareness – clearly, we are all aware of its existence – but to help support those who are looking for a cure, or are making the lives of those affected by cancer easier.

In 2008, a friend and I put together a team for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and raised just over $3,073.

Last year I shaved my head bald after beating my personal fundraising goal of $1,000. It was awesome. Well, not the being bald part, but beating my goal. Being bald was actually rather annoying – head stubble is like Velcro. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Our team raised around $2,661.

This year I decided to raise the bar a little and set my goal at $1,500. In return for your generosity, I wasn't quite sure what to do that would top last year.

So, I pledged to shave off my goatee. That may seem rather lame in comparison to shaving my head, but personally, I'd rather be bald. I really like my goatee. My goatee is  like a security blanket, I guess. My kids (14 and 11) have never seen me without my goatee, or were too young to remember. It'll probably shock them. I will probably dislike being clean-shaven more than being bald.

This is where you come in. All of you. Canadians, Americans, Europeans. All of the people who follow me on Twitter and clicked the link I tweeted or posted on Facebook today and are now reading this. Well, hopefully still reading this.

If you knew me personally, you’d know how much I dislike asking anyone for anything. I’m not a pushy guy. Hell, if I had $1,500 to spare, I’d donate it all towards my goal so I didn’t have to ask anyone for anything. Seriously. So, asking for help is difficult for me. Asking for money is more difficult. But I’m going to do it anyway because it’s not for me.

And I’m not asking for a lot. A few dollars, or pounds? Anything that you can afford. It all helps. And it doesn’t matter that it’s going to a Canadian charitable cause because we’re all working toward one goal, right?

So instead of having three coffees today, how about skipping one and donating the money to me? Or, how about $5 for every person in your “circle”?


They both go to the same place.

Although I’d prefer that donations be made directly online via the Relay for Life web site, if using a credit card isn’t your thing, you can also send it as a “gift” via PayPal to spaterson AT and I’ll add it as an offline cash donation, with your name, so you can see it on my fundraising meter.

As of this posting, I am $1050 away from reaching my goal with 43 days left.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this.

Monday, January 25, 2010

One year later

One year ago today I quit smoking. I am still nicotine-free.

I was going to write more about it but I’ve written enough before. If you want quit and would like to know what worked for me, click here for a previous post.

Oh ya… congrats to me! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blog housekeeping (blog keeping?)

I decided to take some control over the categories I use in my blog. For some odd reason, I was using them more like keywords. As a result, it created far too many one-time-use categories.

As I went through them, I sometimes paused to read an older post. One of them is my Bucket List. It’s not exactly a year since I posted it, but I thought it would be cool to update on my progress.

  1. Weigh 200lbs or less (target = summer) – FAIL… I’ll take this one on next.
  2. Quit smokingDONE! Almost a year now.
  3. Visit the UK (where I was born, and where my cousins, aunts, and uncles live) – Still to do.
  4. Visit my Dad's grave site in Louisiana. – Still to do.
  5. Own a Ford Mustang. :D – Still to do.
  6. Visit every province in Canada (6 to go... not including the territories) – Still to do.
  7. Cycle 1000kms in one year (this may not seem like much to some people, but considering I tend to cycle once per weekend, in spring & summer only, that's about 80kms per weekend -- double what I usually ride...) – FAIL… in fact, I hardly cycled at all this past summer.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I missed a milestone yesterday.

It was day 250 since I quit smoking.

This is the longest I’ve ever gone without a smoke, since I started smoking when I was 18 or 19 years old. I quit many times over the years, and in some cases for a couple of years, but I always cheated now and then and had a smoke or a puff, and then I’d be good again for months.

This time there has been no cheating.

I haven’t had any real craving since I quit, but as each day goes by, my determination to remain a non-smoker continues to get stronger.

I’ve felt that I had this beat within a few weeks of quitting, and I still feel that way.

This week, my wife finally started reading the book that helped me quit: Alan Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking. I hope she sticks with it.

According to my sister, earlier this week my Mom quit smoking. I think she’s doing it cold turkey.

Life. Is. Good.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 222

This has nothing to do with my Project 52, but a friend reminded me today that this is day 222 since I quit smoking. I thought it was worthy of mentioning. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Addiction, fear, & brainwashing

Unlit filtered cigarettesImage via Wikipedia

About a month ago I did something that I've done many times over the years. It was something I should never have had to do in the first place, and after failing once, I should have only had to do it once. But I failed many times. This time, I am certain it will be the last time I ever do it.

I quit smoking.

The first time I actually inhaled from a cigarette was when I was 17 or 18 years old. I really don't know why I started. Nobody pushed it onto me. It gave me quite a head buzz. So much so that I had a couple more soon after. That evening, I remember being white as a ghost and sick to the stomach. I should have stopped right there. But I didn't.

It wasn't until after basic training in the military in the mid-80s that I started smoking regularly. In the years that followed, sometimes more than a pack per day.

I tried to quit countless times -- once for a couple of years -- but the lure of the "lung darts" always got the best of me.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which I now take a pill for every day.

Last year during my annual physical examination, my doctor gave me "the lecture", as he put it. Lose weight, eat better, and quit smoking.

I lost a few pounds, I ate a little better (but not as good as I should), and I didn't quit smoking.

Last month, I had my annual physical examination again. It ended with my doctor asking me if he had given me the lecture the year before. I chuckled and said "Probably, but it wouldn't hurt to give me a reminder." He smiled. He then gave me the lecture but to put things in perspective, he added that he had recently attended or assisted with two open heart surgeries for men 43 and 44 years old.

I left with my blood work requisition and renewed prescription in hand, and something to think about.

I'm 43 years old.

Despite feeling pretty good, health-wise, I can't help but wonder if those two men were at one time in the same position as I am today. It's probably a safe assumption that they were, or were at least aware of their health situation at some point.

On January 24th, I took the first step in making a change and quit smoking. Only a few days later, I could feel the difference. I even saw the difference in my blood pressure, since I have my own blood pressure cuff at home.

I decided to get a little help , and went on the 21mg nicotine patch. It helped. It helped quite a bit. I used it for 3 weeks, one week short of the recommended time, and then switched to the 14mg patch.

In that time, I learned about a book: Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. $20 later, I had it ordered from

I'm 50% finished reading it and it's quite an eye opener. The thing is, he doesn't really tell you much that you probably haven't heard before, but somehow manages to get you to see it in a different way to reverse all the brainwashing and beat the fear.

I stopped using the nicotine patch altogether after the third 14mg patch.

The way I feel now is nothing like the other attempts I made at quitting. That's why I firmly believe I beat the nicotine addiction. In the past, if thought about how it felt to have a smoke, I would end up craving it. This time, when I try the same thing, I have absolutely no desire to have a cigarette.

If you've ever tried and failed at quitting smoking, give this book a try. It's cheaper than any of the other methods and has a higher success rate. You've got nothing to lose and your health and freedom to gain.

P.S. Here's a free download of another Allen Carr book: Scandal. ‘SCANDAL’ is the book that the pharmaceuticals, the Department of Health, the NHS, ASH and QUIT will not want you to read!
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Monday, January 26, 2009

My Bucket List

Yellow BucketI stole got this idea from someone's blog, who got the idea from another blog. It sounded like a fun idea, so, here's the start of my list:
  1. Weigh 200lbs or less (target = summer)
  2. Quit smoking (already in progress -- if I can go 2 months, I'll consider it done)
  3. Visit the UK (where I was born, and where my cousins, aunts, and uncles live)
  4. Visit my Dad's grave site in Louisiana.
  5. Own a Ford Mustang. :D
  6. Visit every province in Canada (6 to go... not including the territories)
  7. Cycle 1000kms in one year (this may not seem like much to some people, but considering I tend to cycle once per weekend, in spring & summer only, that's about 80kms per weekend -- double what I usually ride...)
Yeh, some sound more like goals, but achieving them will make me happy. :) I'll add as I come up with more stuff.