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Madison - the face of love and happiness

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March 2008

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Over two years ago, I was smoking about a half a pack of cigarettes a day. I always thought I was such a light smoker that there was little harm being done. But after more than 30 years, the toll it was taking on my body was showing. My voice was beginning to sound strained and hoarse and my chest rattled every time I lied down.

I planned to begin my quit as I went on vacation, so the first week went rather smoothly for me. I was away from my normal routine and in a hotel where smoking was not permitted. When I came home, I found Quitnet (the Q) and spent ALOT of time online. I found so many people going through the same thing I was and so many people who had already gone through it and were there to help the rest of us. I’ll admit that I didn’t always understand what they were saying – like Gummer saying that the more you smoke, the more craves you’ll have. Now that the smoke cloud is a distant memory, I finally understand.

By the time I reached six months, I began to feel secure in my quit. By the time one year came around, I knew I would never go back. Today, I understand how the addiction fools a person into believing things that just aren’t true or keeps a person from seeing the bad things that are true. I can smell a smoker from across the room. I can see the harsh effect of smoking in a person’s complexion. I can hear a laugh and tell that the person is a smoker. Although my chest rattle disappeared almost immediately after quitting, it has taken this long to notice an improvement in my voice. For a while I was afraid I would always be hoarse, but at least by quitting I wasn’t going to get worse. That hoarseness that would come on every evening is almost gone now and I can even sing again (but only alone in my car – I still can’t carry a tune very well)!

Although I tried to be careful about what I ate during my quit, I still gained the ten pounds that is considered average. However, I was so focused on quitting that it didn’t freak me out. So many on the Q advised that you can always work on losing the weight after your quit is secure – such good advice!

Last year, I saw pictures of myself from a vacation and I knew it was time to start working on my weight. Since my late thirties, I had been gaining a pound or two a year. Then, with my ten quit pounds on top of that, I had reached my heaviest weight ever. A fellow quitster recommended SparkPeople to me. Here, I educated myself on how to follow a healthy, nutritious diet and how to develop a comprehensive fitness routine. There is no miracle pill to lose weight – there’s only a change in lifestyle to lose weight and keep it off. It’s more than just weight loss, it’s about wellness. So I learned and changed what I eat, how I eat and I exercise every day now. I have lost 25 pounds and have built up muscle tone and energy like I never knew before. My self esteem has skyrocketed and I don’t stress over small stuff anymore.

Quitnet and Sparkpeople are community websites that are free. I attribute my success in reaching my goals to these websites and highly recommend them to others.

I’ll soon be 51 years old, but I look and feel 10 years younger. I’m looking forward to the rest of my life!

Member Since: 3/31/2008

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I'm on a virtual walk from Eagle, Idaho to Santa Fe, NM to see my sister! Total mileage is 993.6 miles. I am blogging on the way so come and join me!

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Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. -Joel Arthur Baker

The great question is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure. -William Shakespeare

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    Happy New Year!!!
    4148 days ago
    Merry Christmas and happy New Year!!
    4157 days ago
    I am a golden lover too:) I have one and she id the light of my life:) I saw your profile picture and had to go to your page...Madison is soooooo beautiful!!!
    4233 days ago
    I see you huddling every day on Golden Retriever Lovers team so -- just had to check you out! Your Madison is one beautiful dog! Also -- very much identified with your story of quitting smoking (I did that myself over 30 years ago) and then tackling the weight (life long issue for me . . . but working hard on it).
    4323 days ago
    .•*´¨ ) ..•*¨) -:¦:-
    (. ;.•.♥ Happy Fall!! ♥.•*¨)
    ♥.•*¨-:¦:-. ;.•.♥ -:¦:-
    ♥ .•*´¨ ) Best Wishes!!! ♥•*¨) -:¦:-
    ♥.•*¨-:¦:-. ;.•.♥ -:¦:-
    (. ;.•.♥ May All Your Goals Come True!♥.•*¨)
    ♥.•*¨-:¦:-. ;.•.♥ -:¦:-

    ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
    ¸.•´ .•´¨¨))
    ((¸¸.•´ ..•´ Patricia-:¦:-
    -:¦:- ((¸¸.•´*

    4569 days ago
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