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Smoking Cessation and Weight Gain - Dee's Story

Two Years Smoke-Free -- Confident, Empowered and Thinner!


Updated February 02, 2014

Smoking Cessation and Weight Gain - Dee's Story
Dee N.
Weight gain often follows smoking cessation, and it puts quitters at risk of relapse -- the feelings of discomfort over clothes getting tighter outweighing the need to free ourselves of nicotine addiction.

Learning to let go enough to love ourselves even when we gain a few quit-related pounds is a part of the recovery process for many of us, and is poignantly reflected in this quit story from About.com Smoking Cessation support forum member, Dee.

Thanks for your contribution, Dee. Your message will help more people than you know.

From Dee:

I hope to make this message one that will inspire someone to stay focused on their quit program in the face of weight gain. I want to tell you my story of the journey of my last two smoke-free years, and I hope that when I am done, anyone thinking they need to smoke to be thin will find the strength, hope and belief to stay the course of smoking cessation.

This quit, my last forever quit, began on November 10th, 2007. On a spur of the moment I decided I was done (another story) and would quit smoking. I had quit so many times before and each time weight gain sent me running back to my smokes.

I would quit, gain weight, get discouraged, feel fat and weak, and ultimately run to the store to get some of my friends, my cigarettes. They replaced most meals a day and with them, I found the strength to be thin, or so I thought.

When I quit smoking two years ago I knew I needed to conquer the weight issue and I knew I needed support. I found help at the About.com Smoking Cessation support forum. Here I found support and education. Terry Martin, (our founder) had a saying:

"If you want to change your life, you have to change your mind."

I read those words and knew I'd found the key. I spent the next year fighting my battle against smoking, but most of all, I changed my mind about how I felt about smoking, and how I felt about myself.

I threw away all my old clothes as I knew it would be more fun to grow into new ones than out of my old ones. I called my weight gain wrinkle filler and I celebrated each new pound of the new fatter me.

Now, this sounds so easy when written here, but it was the hardest thing I ever did. On November 10th of last year, I posted my one year milestone 20 pounds heavier then the year previous. I had not gotten to the point of total acceptance, but I was close.

Then in January it happened. I looked in the mirror and I truly saw a strong, confident, beautiful woman. Yes I was heavier, but I was healthy and strong and empowered. And, believe it or not, within hours of getting to that point of acceptance, I became filled with the faith that I could change it. Sounds weird I know, but it's true.

I knew that, just as it had been with quitting tobacco, I needed to educate myself about weight loss. I spent the next week doing research. I had been playing a bit with dieting, but would quickly put back on anything I lost. I read and read and found my answer -- exercise. I read that for a woman my age (47) it was the key to losing weight and maintaining it.

I started to diet. The number one thing I'd learned from quitting tobacco was that I do not have to give my body everything it craves. I can be happy in spite of not giving in to every desire that my body asks for.

I joined the gym. Now, I had always been pretty active. Took lots of walks with the dogs, yard work and so on, but I needed a more regimented course. You can imagine my surprise the first time I got on the elliptical machine and began to jog. It was the oddest thing, I could breathe and it felt so good. I started strength training and wow, that felt great too.

I am still at it today. I strength train three days a week, and do hard cardio three days a week and still take lots of walks with the dogs. But, that's not the point of this message!

I am now two pounds lighter then the day I quit smoking and way, way, way more fit. I feel better than I have in my entire life, even though I am not young anymore. In July, I treated myself to liposuction, something I had always wanted done. He did take out two pounds, which could be where my deficit comes from *grin*. But, that's not the point of this message!

"If you want to change your life, you have to change your mind."

So what if you gain some weight along the way. You are fighting for your life! Winning that battle will fill you with so much strength, you will be able to do anything.

Each time I quit and failed it made me feel weak, helpless and worthless. Each time I gave in to the idea that I would rather be dead than fat, (my old smokers motto) I started to believe I did not deserve to live. And, each time I smoked, I fed my weakness, self-doubt and loathing. The point of this message is that smoking teaches us all the wrong stuff. It steals our power, one cigarette at a time.

The person I am today is not a person I have ever been. The person I was, I never want to be again. Today, I am a strong, confident woman. I truly believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I am physically strong, extremely healthy and so grateful for my freedom. Yes, I am free, not just from tobacco, but from my own limitations. I am free and I want nothing more for everyone who is reading this to be free too.

Please. Love yourself more than to give in to smoking. Give yourself a chance to succeed. It is so worth the fight, being free. Well man, that's just the best thing ever.

Thanks for reading, I wish you happiness.


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