A Junkie No More

I didn’t dislike smoking.

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I’m not sure if that’s rare to say? I suppose if it was any other thing than bad for you it wouldn’t be a vice.

Most of the reasons are positive as to why one should stop sucking down the shit that’s in cigarettes, right? Living longer and not welcoming cancer into your lungs sadly wasn’t reason enough for me. I wanted to be assured that I would experience immediate pay off after quitting, so I went looking for inspiration.

I googled the hell out of “quit smoking” and repeatedly read that ex-smokers felt AMAZING! SO MUCH ENERGY! I STARTED YOGA/RUNNING/CLIMBING MOUNTAINS!

Bingo! Restoring my energy levels so that I wouldn’t have to drag my meat body around like dead weight was at the top of my list. I want to start running and learn Yoga- the only reason I hadn’t done those things yet is because I have been hijacked by ciggs….probably?

I also wanted my brain to know that I am in control and I am not at the mercy of my addiction.

So I did it. I took my final puff and looked forward to all the healthy I was about to experience once the nicotine left my body.

Instead, I woke up each morning much like I imagine it felt to first enter this world- 10194703106_c651dcde49_ccramped, exhausted and confused as to why I was forced out of the warmth of the womb, or in this case, the warmth of my bed. I slept a ton, but never felt rested. My body ached. My head was wrapped up in a fog of joylessness and my hormones where freaked the fuck out. I had prepared myself for a detox phase and I did expect some withdrawal symptoms, but THIS WAS RIDICULOUS.

Listen body…I know that I have maybe/probably/somewhat neglected to take care of you since I was able to shove things into my 0wn mouth, but don’t you see that I’m paying attention NOW?? I quit cigarettes for you! I kind of barely eat gluten anymore AND I went to the gym TWICE last month! Why are you acting this way?

Can I get a montage please? Someone press play on Eye of the Tiger and watch as I knock out nicotine cravings, karate chop through brain fog, battle estrogen for the win, and race off 20lbs!

Silly isn’t it…to expect our body’s to change as quickly as our minds?

Truth is that even though I had hoped quitting ciggs would instantly catapult me into optimum health I still had work to do. I had to take it a step further and let go of another close toxic friend.

And she sure was a sweet one…

Sorry SUGAR, but you need to GTFO. giphy-10

This punk was surely robbing me of the results I was searching for and I figured it couldn’t be all that difficult since I had managed to dump smokes.

The next few days went as follows:

I can totally give up sugar! – I thought as I smashed Reese’s Peanut butter Cups into my face. They weren’t even the ones you have to unwrap. At least those offer you a chance to slow down so shame can catch up. I’m talking about the big bag of naked minis that some MONSTER at the Reese’s factory thought was a good idea.

Psssst- I’d hate you if I didn’t love you.

I’m doing this! Starting tomorrow I’ll be sugar free. I mean- it won’t be all that hard, because I don’t even eat that much sugar anyways? Those words from the night before were now rattling around in my mind as I stood in the middle of the kitchen finishing off my Talenti Mediterranean Mint ice cream for breakfast.

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Breakfast of champions!

Oh. My. God. This ice cream is insanely good….Wait? This one little pint equals 4 servings? Hmmm…I’m going to forget I read that.

But it wasn’t just sugar that was becoming a regular stand in for my American Spirits. Have you heard of carne asada fries?? French fries with cheese, meat, avocado, and more cheese piled on top. It’s delightful! Down the street from my place El Flame’n Trucko serves them up fresh until 3:30am 6 days a week. At least they’re gluten free…practically a health food am I right??

And why wouldn’t I schlep over to Hollywood Blvd at 130am and buy a bacon wrapped hot dog covered in peppers and onions off of some random saints portable grill cart?? It’s damn delicious! Pair it with sour cream & onion chips and a root beer- you have yourself the perfect midnight ‘snack’.

Why oh why did I not feel well?

I must need supplements? Vitamin D, all the B’s, Herbal formulas, homeopathic remedies, but none of it was helping.

I’m currently working at a health food store while taking steps to achieve my goal of becoming a Naturopathic Practitioner. Neat right!? This career path is very important to me for reasons I will not get into right now and though I have a deep desire to help heal others I was simultaneously sabotaging the progress of my own healing. I started to suspected that my less than healthy (yet yummy) food choices were pushing me further into emotional and physical chaos.

WHY CAN’T I JUST GET OUT OF MY OWN WAY FOR LIKE 10 SECONDS??

I took a deep breath and decided it was time to get serious about my food habits. I needed guidelines and being a fan of Chris Kresser I downloaded his book, “Your Personal Paleo Cure” on Audible.com (download here).51hbqzqfabl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

 

The next day I announced to my boyfriend that I was going to start intermittent fasting while giving my diet an overhaul and committing to a 30 day reset. I would strictly follow Kresser’s protocol by eliminating dairy, sugar (even the fake kind), grains, legumes, white potatoes, and alcohol. Lucky for me I’m partnered up with one most accommodating and supportive gent who wasted no time in stocking our kitchen and prepping meals for the first week.

I’ve been dieting off and on since before puberty, but never have I eliminated sugar completely for any length of time. To be honest- I didn’t really have faith in myself.

Sure I said I did, but whatever confidence I have is always followed by questions of doubt.

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BUT I never imagined I would be a non-smoker either. With that accomplishment under my belt I was encouraged to discover the sugar free me.

Could a nutrient dense diet free from dairy and sugar really make much difference? In theory it makes sense, but maybe it’s a bunch of hype and life is better lived in candy land?

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Sugar’s a helluva drug.

That’s what I asked myself before I started the reset 17 days ago. At this point I have to say is that ALL THE CLAIMS ARE TRUE! Without exaggeration I feel incredible! The biggest perk so far is that I don’t have to force my way through the day. I’m not constantly longing to get back to the womb. I fall asleep quicker and wake up less through the night, my head is clear, I ache waaaay less in the morning (until I replace my mattress with something other than rocks I will still have some back pain). I’ve already leaned out some and my confidence is returning! My energy remains stable with no crashing and each day I feel better than the last which makes it easy to stay committed.

I finally recognized that the piece missing happened to be the most important one in my attempt to achieve wholeness. Duh. While I’m healthier without cigarettes and have no intentions of ever picking the habit back up – they were not the single thorn in my side that I assumed was the cause of my health rut.

Nutrition is the foundation necessary for real healing.

“Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine” – Hippocrates

I’ve barked that several times to others who were looking for relief from their symptoms, but like most lessons I face, it took a while for me to absorb and apply it in my own life.

I’ve got so much more to tell you about my progress and what life is like without having a vice to run to!! Next week I will go into more detail, but for now I have a naturally sweetened, crustless, apple-pumpkin pie waiting to be smothered in coconut whipped cream and devoured by yours truly!

Shine on, friends. Xx

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New Born Photo credit: Sander van der Wel via Foter.com/ CC BY-SA

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