Today 2 badass sisters, Mady and Scout are here to talk about how they were able to stop smoking ( *spoiler* The Skinny Confidential played a role). Also- I was recently on their podcast, Okay Sis Podcast, listen here.
I was twenty-three years old, working at the local Italian deli drugstore as a cashier, supporting myself through my first entrepreneurial journey – a magazine sold in Barnes & Noble locations and newsstands across the country. It was a slow night, so I set up shop at the checkout counter and whipped out my phone. My fingers immediately navigated to the Instagram app and what I thought would be a mindless scroll turned into a 3-hour content binge of The Skinny Confidential.
I came across Lauryn’s Instagram through the explore page, having heard about her a few months back from my husband who went to high school with her. What was intended to be a mindless ‘gram scroll turned into an inspirational hunger.
I devoured The Skinny Confidential, and the very next day, I put the following into play: I signed up for workout classes, went to Ulta and bought all new hair tools and products to start doing my hair the way I’ve always wanted to wear it, upped my skincare game, and leaned out my diet. But the most important thing that happened to me that night was my insatiable desire to quit cigarettes. Lauryn promoted the version of myself that was better than I could have imagined and quitting cigarettes was one of the most important steps to self-improvement.
Let’s back it up for a bit. Where did I pick up the nasty habit of smoking? I attended Sarah Lawrence College for a year, a liberal arts college where the artistic and the creative roamed. With about 90% of the student population identifying as smokers, I picked up a pack one day with my two closest friends. What happened after that was a slow, yet fast, progression. What started at two cigarettes a day turned into the eventually consistent pack and a half consumption. I became a full on smoker.
And it was romantic. It was artistic. It was alluring. It made the wheels in my head turn, it connected me to my writing, it inspired me to be deeply rooted in the depths of my mind. I remember chain smoking with my friends while reading Howl by Allen Ginsberg while passing around a bottle of red wine. I remember philosophical debates out on the lawn with a cigarette perched between our fingers. I remember taking study breaks and having endless conversations under the stars as we puffed down. We were in love. Cigarettes became a part of my identity, a part of the way I lived my daily life.
But as most romances come to a tragic end, I knew I couldn’t sustain a pack and a half habit if I simultaneously wanted to be a healthy human being. And as I grew out of the poetic, depressing artist facade, cigarettes started losing their appeal and they became what they truly are – a nasty habit that affects your entire health. The seduction wore off and all I was left with was an intense addiction. I couldn’t go two hours without a cigarette. And on that faithful weekday night, as I was working minimum wage to support my dreams, The Skinny Confidential smacked me in the face with the reality check that my addiction needed. I wanted to feel better, look better, and treat myself better. So that is exactly what I did – and in full force.
How did I quit? How can you quit? Real talk: it is tough. Really, really tough. It feels like you are crawling out of your skin, that you are on the verge of a mental breakdown, that you can’t contain the consistent heart palpitations. But you can do it. It will pass. And one day, you’ll forget what it ever meant to be a slave to a white three inch stick.
HOW I QUIT:
- I replaced my cigarette habit with a healthier habit. In that moment, it was working out. I needed to release a lot of nervous energy and spin classes wrung all the frantic electricity out of me. I had to go hard at the gym to calm my withdrawals.
- I chewed gum in the beginning. You might need an oral fixation to replace your smoking, and that’s okay. Chewing gum gave me my oral fixation fix while not harming my body.
- I set intentions. Each day, I set an intention to not smoke. I meditated on that intention and reminded myself of it when the going got rough.
- If you need to do something with your hands, get a fidget spinner. Distract your hands. Start knitting. Play Cat’s Cradle. Whatever it is that tickles your fancy, do that.
- Become obsessed with another healthy aspect of your life. For me, it was eating clean. I threw myself into grocery shopping and meal prepping. If I was doing something good for my body by not smoking, I wanted that to bleed into other areas of my life. I looked at my health holistically.
- Learn to love your body. Thank it for all the miracles it performs on a daily basis. Treat it like the temple that it is. Honor it as a holy vehicle for your soul. Take deep breaths and feel your lungs live out their purpose.
If you smoke and want to quit, know that you can. You do not need to be a slave to a habit that doesn’t serve your highest self. Your lungs (and your skin) will thank you. You’ll feel accomplished, stronger even. And the romance that came along with it? You’ll find that connecting to your breath is the real relationship you should be in. It’s the one that will sustain you and give you that long, healthy life. The one we all want – it’s time to start living that dream.
Hope you guys got some valuable tips from Scout & Mady. Hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend ( we celebrated Michael’s birthday while I recovered from my jaw surgery ).
Be sure to listen to my episode on Okay Sis Podcast. See you tomorrow.
+ Check out the latest YouTube: What’s in my bag
++ Up your fiber with these skinny blueberry waffles.