Five years ago yesterday I quit smoking; this was a significant life event for me. I started smoking when I was seventeen; I was forty-eight when I quit. I had stopped a few other times in my life but always went back to smoking within a year. Hitting my five-year quit anniversary is exciting! Quitting is not easy and maintaining it is hard work; it does get easier over time but is still difficult.
Right around the time I quit smoking I also started eating better and exercising; starting this healthier lifestyle, I lost nearly 50-pounds. It is the first time in my life I lost that much weight without the assistance of weight loss medications or a frozen food plan program. I simply changed my eating habits and started to exercise. Like anyone who has been on this journey I was excited and convinced that this was it, I would never gain the weight back. Looking back on my five-year quit smoking anniversary, I realize that I was very wrong.
I did lose a lot of weight, and I did it the correct way, using food and exercise. I maintained the weight for maybe a year, and then it slowly started to creep up again. I am now at the same weight I was before my first journey. This is disheartening and hard to accept. I mean I can take it because the scale tells me that I have to accept, but it makes me sad. Today I was reflecting on being a non-smoker and how happy that makes me. That is when it clicked, weight loss, like smoking cessation may not be a one-time journey. I have to try again. I have to look back on what I did right and where I failed and begin again.
Also, I have to be ready. I was ready to quit smoking. I was not just stopping because it was expensive, or because of my health. I wanted to stop because it was annoying to me, it was getting in the way of what I wanted to do. I wanted to stop smelling; I wanted to exercise more, I wanted to feel better, I wanted to have more time in my day, and so many other things.
Now, I am ready to lose weight. Just because I failed once, it does not mean that I will fail this time. If I do fail this time, it does not mean that I will fail the next. We have to continue to try; we have to find THAT time, the time that is right for us. I believe that this time exists and that this is the time for me.