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Quit smoking, fell off Paleo wagon, got run over

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  • Quit smoking, fell off Paleo wagon, got run over

    Title pretty much says it all.

    Our family dove into the Paleo way of eating about 13 months ago. The first 6 months were pretty spotless... as close to 100% as I could ever expect my family to get. Then I was feeling so great, that I decided to add some more stress into my life -- babysitting a 2-year-old. Everything has pretty much fallen apart since then.

    I quit smoking my 5-7 cigarettes per day. That was about 4 months ago. I have quit multiple times in my life, for pregnancies, breastfeeding, surgery, etc. But this time I am determined to be done forever.

    I also cut out caffeine, about a month after nicotine. I now realize I seem to be sensitive to the smallest amount of caffeine in my coffee -- I even wonder now about the small amount of caffeine in my organic, swiss-water-processed decaf. The 85-90% dark chocolate I used to love so much was giving me heart palpitations. Had to go.

    I am no longer babysitting. The extra money was nice, but so NOT worth the extra stress, and all of the money was starting to go to restaurants because I was stressed, short on time, and not wanting to cook anyway.

    So this is the longest I have gone in the last 20 years without nicotine AND caffeine... when I am not pregnant or breastfeeding. I feel so much better in so many ways. More relaxed... waaay more relaxed... almost too relaxed. Finding it hard to find the motivation to do all the things I need to do in life. Missing my "reward" and replacing it with dumb things. Dairy Queen chocolate extreme Blizzards. Yep. Wine -- the entire bottle in one evening sometimes.

    The weight is packing on. I don't weigh myself at all but it is obvious. I am not working out. I wanted to quit smoking for my health and so I could do even better in my workouts, not feel like I was so short of breath, not feel like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. Instead, I haven't had the motivation to work out at all and I am eating junk.

    I have considered seeing the doctor for... something... like Wellbutrin. I have considered smoking again (yesterday, fall, Halloween, was the hardest day I've had so far). I cannot STAND the smell, the taste, and I KNOW that I will just kick myself in the ass so much if I give in to that.

    I've been patient with myself, I have loved myself, I have bought bigger pants, I have said in my mind "At least I'm not smoking!" ...But I am not sure what to do now. I don't want to buy even bigger pants. I cannot stand counting calories, and it always backfires on me. I need support, accountability, suggestions, help, love, I need to hear from those who have been there, done that.

    Are you out there?

    Thanks for listening, and if you respond, please take it easy on me. I have spent a lot of time on these forums over the past year, but this is my very first post.
    "Do other things to take care of your emotional and physical needs, and youíll take pressure off your diet to fix things itís not meant to fix." -- Mark

  • #2
    I gave up smoking on the 27th of January 1999 and yes I gained weight.

    I can remember that time very clearly, in fact I draw on that strength in other areas of my life.

    It can be done and you can be one of those Ex smokers!

    Remember what a very toxic drug nicotine is. David Bowie once said in an interview that giving up nicotine was harder for him than giving up heroin!

    Sadly there are no magic answers or I would not be on this forum myself because I would be fabulously slim and rich!

    The day to day refocussing of my goal is the approach I am currently taking and I wish you well in your journey.
    link to my journal


    • #3
      Wellbutrin works by boosting mood, so the dietary equivalent would be to up your saturated fat, get generous amounts of safe starches - potatoes and bananas etc, eat plenty of good protein, including oily fish, and eat plenty of veggies. It may seem like a statement of the obvious, but I tend to stay on the wagon if there's a nice joint of roast meat and some other delicious fatty delights on there. Feast on it like a medieval monarch.
      Healthy is the new wealthy.


      • #4
        Thank you both for your responses. It's true I need to be focusing on more fat and protein, and I appreciate the reminder. I feel like a baby right now, like I need my hand held. lol That seems so ridiculous when I compare myself to where I was 6-7 months ago. ...I don't know, I thought I had it all figured out back then, but maybe I really didn't if I think about it. I have done nothing but GAIN fat on Paleo, while "everyone else" is apparently leaning out.

        It may help if I post my food here for awhile. Or maybe I should go start a journal for that? I also haven't really been taking any supplements, and I am sure I have some deficiencies going on. I've taken 5-HTP and GABA off-and-on lately, and that's about it. So today I took a fish oil and a multivitamin with breakfast. Open to any other suggestions! I "know" all this stuff, but it's hard to get it all together when my brain doesn't seem to be functioning properly.

        I've decided my mood issues in the morning may be related to blood sugar. I am sure I've got it all messed up again. So I am starting the day with 1/2 banana before I drink my decaf and make breakfast for everyone else. So that's as far as I've gotten today...

        9:00 -- 1/2 banana, 12 oz. decaf, (1) fish oil, (1) multivitamin

        10:15 -- (shake) -- protein powder, coconut milk, MCT oil, Dole dark chocolate covered banana slices
        Last edited by TheNewMe; 11-03-2013, 08:34 AM.
        "Do other things to take care of your emotional and physical needs, and youíll take pressure off your diet to fix things itís not meant to fix." -- Mark


        • #5
          Hi! I did quit smoking.. only 2 months ago. So my thoughts may not be as relevant as those from a long time non smokers but here goes:

          I found out what triggers my cigarettes craving: sugar. Any form of sugar, whether it's fruits, pasta, bread or chocolate, unfortunately. So I simply stay away from it now and it made it all easier. Even though I know that, I tend to feel too much confidence about my new non-smoker status. For example, on Friday morning I had the curious idea to put sugar in my coffee for the first time in 7 months, so I did... and battled a major craving all through lunch time. I survived with nicotine chewing gum, that I chew on whenever I have a craving that wont go away with simple breathing exercises.

          Been Primal for 3 months now, non smoking for 2 months, and 20 lbs down as of yesterday. You can do it. When a craving arise, do any activity that is not compatible with smoking, first choice being physical activity.

          Also, Google is your friend. Ask him to show you tips and stories about being Primal or Paleo and quitting smoking. He has a lot of very helpful things to tell you!


          • #6
            Thanks QcGal, and congratulations on your success! Nicotine gum is not an option for me... I needed to kill the addiction entirely, and that can't happen when nicotine is still in your system. Trust me, there have been days when I have considered buying some gum (thankfully it gives me heartburn), but anyway that would be ridiculous for me, after being completely free of nicotine for 4 months! lol

            The part about sugar... I am SURE you are onto something there. I had it completely out, wasn't even eating very much fruit at all, had carbs under 100 g *always* when I was feeling so great I didn't want to smoke anymore. I have been struggling with the urge to smoke lately, much more than I had even when I first quit. The feelings of sadness for no apparent reason, the roller coaster of moods -- yep, if I could look back, I could probably connect the dots all the way back to that first Blizzard at Dairy Queen.

            So thanks again. I've got a lot of work to do, but I know I can do it!
            "Do other things to take care of your emotional and physical needs, and youíll take pressure off your diet to fix things itís not meant to fix." -- Mark


            • #7
              My quit date is Nov. 7, 2009, so I am coming on 4 yrs smoke free. Since I smoked for 24 yes prior to that please believe me when I say it can be done. To be 100% honest it was by far the hardest thing I have ever done and also the greatest thing.

              When I first quit I knew the weight would come. Its just what happens. So I took up cycling 5-10 miles per day and yet the weight still came. I walked my dogs as much as possible and yet the weight still came. I joined Weight Watchers and followed it faithfully and yet the weight still came.

              Two years smoke free and 30 lbs heavier my thyroid took a crap, I developed asthma, and more weight came. Along with all this weight I developed serious drinking and depression. And yet the weight still came. I talked to my doc and he told me I should try paleo. I thought he was out of his mind. How could I live without bread and noodles?

              Well, its now 3 and a half years and 50 lbs heavier and while browsing the net I find MDA. What an eye opener!! I have been 100% primal and in three months have dropped 19 lbs and no longer use any inhalers while being able to walk, run, and can get back on my bike!!

              Please, please drop the smokes. It can be done and you can find health again. Take it day by day. Good luck to you!!!

              Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app


              • #8
                Oh...and one quick thing more...I still occasionally crave a smoke. Especially when we are out with friends. What helps me us to take a REALLY deep breath and remember that I could not do that without coughing when I was smoking. I enjoy breathing

                Again...GOOD LUCK!! You can do this.

                Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app


                • #9
                  Progress isn't ever in a straight line. Although my dietary slips tend to occur in a 24 hour window, there was one week back in August when my diet suddenly collapsed and I had to right myself quicksmart. But in every case I've been taught a valuable lesson because there is a direct connection between how much processed rubbish I eat and how much like crap I feel. And the more effort I put into upping my nutrition - fresh foods, organ meats, bone broth, the better I genuinely feel. It's become so obvious to me now that I hardly need to be motivated at all. Also, the fact that primal food is the best tasting and most satisfying to eat kind of helps.
                  Healthy is the new wealthy.



                  • #10
                    Kimberly, I appreciate you sharing your story -- thanks! "The weight still came"... your journey sounds SO frustrating, but how awesome that you have stuck with it and it led you here. That's what I want -- I want to be a SUCCESS story for quitting smoking. I have quit many times, and yet I always fall back on it. What am I covering up? Thyroid, hormones, neurotransmitters, something, combination of things, things maybe I haven't even thought of yet -- but I know the answer really ISN'T in that pack.

                    Owen, see, you mention bone broth and organ meats -- these are things I "want" to incorporate but in over a YEAR of Paleo/Primal, I never have taken the time to actually figure it out. I know that I am too busy taking care of everyone else and I am not stopping to take care of myself. Or, let's be honest here, at the end of the day, what I'd rather do is sit down on my butt and eat some junk that I shouldn't, and watch a movie. I'm not feeling all energetic, not feeling clear-headed and thinking "Hey! I want to go spend some more time in the kitchen!" That is the problem, and it is going to have a solution that involves multiple steps. One thing is for sure, when I get to feeling better again, I will appreciate it more because I've been where I am now. Thanks again for your words of wisdom.
                    "Do other things to take care of your emotional and physical needs, and youíll take pressure off your diet to fix things itís not meant to fix." -- Mark


                    • #11
                      Hi newme,
                      What you just said about not feeling energetic is so true particularly when we are eating junk!
                      Making the commitment to eat the right nutritious food will give us the energy to make more nutritious food and the cycle goes on. I have lived in the negative cycle of junk producing less energy and craving more junk for a long time Just so you know I am not preaching but probably talking more to myself.
                      Giving up smoking is a major step congratulations on that.
                      Now take the next step to make yourself feel better and care for yourself with food. A slow cooker is the best way to make bone broth and the effort required is minimal. The broth is making itself while you are work or sleeping!
                      link to my journal


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jacmac View Post
                        I gave up smoking on the 27th of January 1999 and yes I gained weight.
                        I didn't know that quitting smoking can actually make you gain weight. Is that really true? I don't smoke, it is my father who does and I want him to quit smoking but he never listens to me. Can anybody give me suggestion?


                        • #13
                          Hi, popping in to offer encouragement. You are doing great with your non-smoking so far, just keep going.

                          As for bone broth. Super super easy. Here is a suggestion. Next time you eat something that has bones in - a roast chicken for example, save the bones. Put them in a slow cooker and cover with boiling water, add a splash of vinegar and leave overnight. Next day, strain it through a sieve and ta-da you have bone broth!

                          (If you don't have a slow cooker you will have to do this in a large pot on the stovetop turned low, which means choosing a day that you are home to keep watch. Other than that it's just as easy and probably quicker).

                          Hope this helps
                          Annie Ups the Ante


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Finn Felton View Post
                            I didn't know that quitting smoking can actually make you gain weight. Is that really true? I don't smoke, it is my father who does and I want him to quit smoking but he never listens to me. Can anybody give me suggestion?
                            Nicotine is a powerful drug, MUCH more powerful than people give it credit for. This is especially true for non-smokers, it seems. If you haven't been there, if you haven't battled the addiction yourself (and I mean really battled it), then you will never truly understand it.

                            Yes, people gain weight, and for a variety of reasons. Some people replace cigarettes with something else that brings them comfort/reward -- whether that be candy, wine, chocolate, ice cream -- something. Then you add to that the metabolic effect and the appetite suppression that smoking has had on your body for years, that you are now removing. I am not going to take the time to provide links, etc. I am just going to say that if you are interested in learning more about it, the info is out there.

                            When someone removes a drug that has been having an effect on their brain, on their neurotransmitters, their entire body, day in and day out, around the clock, for a number of years -- that person is going to change. No one would expect an alcoholic to remain the exact same person, just minus the alcohol. Or a heroin addict, or cocaine. That may sound dramatic -- but in terms of addiction, how hard it is to walk away from -- and to stay away from -- nicotine is right up there with these others, if not worse for some people.

                            So you asked for a suggestion -- here it is. First of all realize that his addiction is HIS, not yours, and it really has nothing to do with you (other than the fact that you worry for him). There is no amount of guilt or crappy comments that are going to make a smoker be strong enough to wake up one day and magically be ready to do it. HE has to be in a place where he is ready, where he is sick of it, where he is sick or scared or just plain tired of it. When you sense that he is in that place, or if you already know that he wants to quit, then share with him this website: WhyQuit - #1 cold turkey quit smoking site: 190 how to stop videos And this book: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. And when/if he is ever really trying -- during those first 72 hours it takes for the actual nicotine to get out of his system and beyond -- far beyond -- remember that what he needs is support. Love. Acceptance. I would not be able to do this without my family being very understanding and forgiving.
                            "Do other things to take care of your emotional and physical needs, and youíll take pressure off your diet to fix things itís not meant to fix." -- Mark


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bodybyvi
                              this is really hard for me to read actually. i have a friend and i love him really but still i just cant make him to forget Cigarettes. this really hurts me a lot and i dont like it all. its nice to read about you people. really good work and actually this is not good for health for sure.
                              Please read my response above to Finn Felton. It applies here as well.

                              Two things stood out about your post: "I just can't make him forget cigarettes." Nope. YOU can't. Maybe nothing ever will. There is certainly not a person who is going to accomplish this, unless of course they are a highly skilled hypnotist. You've seen other recovering addicts chime in here and say that they are still thinking about it -- YEARS later. I've read stories of people who go back to smoking after 20 years. Just in my own personal experience -- I have quit for THREE pregnancies and beyond that for breastfeeding. I have three beautiful boys here with me 24/7. They are my life. It is all I do. Yet smoking goes on in the back of my mind... and it is completely separate from the person I want to be for them.

                              "This really hurts me a lot." -- I guess this is where everything I've already said comes in. I am sorry that you're hurting, and I do understand that other people are hurt when drug addiction is involved... But I read this as, that you are hurt that he won't quit for you. And I just want you to know that if I am reading that correctly, maybe it would help you to look at it from a different perspective. Check out the website and book I recommended above. Educate yourself about how hard this battle is for HIM, and along the way I think you will realize that it certainly isn't because he doesn't care about you. In my case, I smoked for YEARS "for" my family -- thinking I was a better person, a nicer person, and that it was really better for everyone involved if I just went ahead and smoked. I still think this. Daily. May sound like bs to you, but it's true. I just wanted to share my thoughts and feelings in case it will help anyone understand.
                              "Do other things to take care of your emotional and physical needs, and youíll take pressure off your diet to fix things itís not meant to fix." -- Mark