• August 11, 2020

MILLER: Quitting smoking is hard for my health - Odessa American: Nathaniel Miller

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MILLER: Quitting smoking is hard for my health

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Posted: Sunday, March 15, 2020 4:00 am

Smoking is the dumbest thing someone can do to their body short of stepping in front of a moving bus.

There are so many different chemicals in each cigarette that they shorten your life, yellow your teeth, stain your fingers, damage your lungs, and leave every piece of clothing you have smelling like chimney.

Any person with two working brain cells will tell you smoking is the last thing you should ever do, but for the better part of a decade, I could not stop partaking in the sweet euphoric rush that came with each puff of nicotine.

I started in college when I need a stimulant to help stay awake during an all-night study session. That occasional smoke soon turned social at the bar, and eventually crept its way into my daily routine whenever I needed a break.

Stress in my life? A quick five-minute smoke took care of those nerves. Cup of coffee? Throw in another cancer stick to enhance the flavor and get your morning started right.

When I started getting back into the gym, I had a successful run of cutting back significantly because I would not allow myself to smoke anytime before, or after doing cardio.

Asthma be damned, cigarettes and I were in an abusive relationship and I wasn’t ready to leave anytime soon.

But then at 8 p.m., March 5, I stepped outside for what I said was going to be my last cigarette ever because I knew I had a newborn on the way, and I had made the same promise about my son when he was born.

This time, I was serious. I wasn’t going to let rotten lungs shorten my time with my family.

I knew going in newborns are a lot of work, but let me tell you, I picked a heck of a time to stop smoking.

Being up all the time isn’t the issue, it was the fact I got so sick the day after my daughter’s birth, I thought I had gotten the flu.

I was clammy, horse, coughing hard and couldn’t breath properly. Turns out, it was just my body violently getting rid of all the poison that had built up in my body over the years.

The first few days were rough, but the hardest thing to do was learning to redo things without a cigarette. But at the end of the day, getting to hold a new baby is a lot better than smoking.

Last puff I had was more than a week ago, and I’m not in any hurry to pick the habit up again.

There are numerous reasons to quit smoking: your lung capacity begins to strengthen, your heart rate returns to normal levels, and your overall health greatly improves. If that’s not enough to motivate you, think about all the money you could be saving.

Cold turkey might be the worse way to give it up, but there are numerous options out there to help you succeed. There are patches, pills, support groups, and apps on your phone to keep you motivated.

A lot of the times you’ll give up on quitting, but that’s when you keep pushing forward. Getting started is the easy part, it’s keeping up the clean living every day that’s hard.

Overall, smoking kills, and I’m glad I’ve stopped for my babies. But let’s revisit the subject once they become teenagers.

Odessa, TX

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