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October 20, 2014, 6:15 am
Bishop's Half-Marathon Blog

For all you smokers ...

See the previous blog "And So It Begins ..."


I am going to be honest with this running blog. It's a blog about running, but I'm going to be updating it consistently, so please feel free to subscribe to the blog by putting this link into your RSS reader. Also, be sure to give me some feedback. Either through email, tweet, Facebook message or whatever. Let me hear about the things that's helped you out along the way in getting healthier or in training for a long-distance run. Also, if you have questions for me, I'll do my best to answer them!


For the first few initial posts, I want to share a few things that I've already been doing. These are things you could do yourself, but keep in mind, I'm not your primary physician. Before beginning any workout, you should consult a physician.


Quit smoking! Next to a good diet and exercise, quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to jump-start a healthy lifestyle--in my untrained opinion. If you smoke, I'd strongly suggest quitting! I have!


How did I quit? For me, I'm a smoker. I've smoked for years! I'm not quite 30 years old, but let's just say I had my first cigarette nearly 21 years ago. Since then, I've quit about two-dozen times and broke many resolutions. Though I've had my one evening of weakness hanging out with some old friends over the holiday, I can say I've successfully 'quit' cold-turkey for about seven weeks.


"But Bishop, you said you are a smoker. How can you quit if you ARE a smoker. What gives?"

Put that cigarette down and get running!
Put that cigarette down and get running!


Well, I know I have an addiction. When I see a smoke in a movie or I'm in some social situation where I used to enjoy a cig, it is difficult to refrain from asking someone to bum a square. But I know I'm human and that even if I do slip, that doesn't mean I have to go out and buy a pack and smoke them habitually until they're gone.


One of the wonderful gifts of this life is we have will power! We can tell ourselves that we don't need cigarettes.


I wanted to get into shape and going to the gym smelling of smoke is embarrassing. Also, my girlfriend does a good job of telling me how badly my skin would stink, even if I hadn't had a cigarette it would still linger for hours. It is disgusting! These types of affirmations, when repeated, will work to change your psychology. You will start thinking how little value cigarettes really is in your life--it's science (though I don't have a source for that, so just take my word).


Everyone is going to be different. I've tried the nicotine gum, and it only seemed to make me chew more gum. I'm not one to take pharmaceuticals to cure something so I've never taken that Chantix stuff. Plus I've heard horror stories of mood swings and nightmares, so ... no thanks!

Chemicals in the standard cigarette
Chemicals added to the standard cigarette


I've also heard that the hypnosis stuff works for a while, but then people relapse. Surely some of you have heard of the other ways people have tried to kick the habit.


Another thing I feel helped me quit this time is the fact that for a good three to four months I bought tobacco and rolling papers and rolled my own cigarettes. I specifically used organic tobacco that isn't sprayed with all the chemicals that make smokes even more addicting. Now, my roll-your-owns tasted like I was smoking a piece of bark that had fallen from a tree. It eventually just seemed pointless to be smoking those, so I gave 'em all together.


The urge to go out an buy a pack is there, for sure, but I just think about how I don't want cigarettes to control my schedule (more psychology). I don't want the cigarette to consume my breaks at work or to postpone my trip to the gym to better myself or to train for a half-marathon. I don't want my clothes to stick anymore. I enjoy actually smelling and tasting foods instead of there always being a hint of ashtray. I don't want my skin to be smokey and oily anymore. I don't want my lungs to fill up with toxins from all the chemicals sprayed on the tobacco.


So as I work and train for better health and the half-marathon, what seems like more of a daunting task, I'm going to keep telling myself how much better I can breath without lungs full of smoke. In order to run 13.1 miles, I am going to need all the lung capacity I can get.

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