A big slab of mouth watering chocolate cake sits eagerly awaiting your lips, urging you to eat it even though you’re trying not to as you'd just started that diet about an hour ago... but somehow the divine smell overcomes you and it’s immediately gobbled up leaving nothing but crumbs. This seems to happen most days but somehow you still just can’t say no. Sound familiar?!
We all have temptations that we'd like to give up, whether that is something like trying to avoid the standard eleven o'clock biscuit run, drinking too much at the weekend or even that not so cheeky cigarette.
You’ve probably heard along the grapevine either via TV, radio or social media campaigns that it is in fact Stoptober. What is Stoptober? It’s a time to give you that boost to say no to smoking and start your new healthy journey in life.
My other half was a big smoker and had done since he was 16. We got together 7 years ago and he can proudly say he has been smoke free for 4 years! I actually can't believe he was even a smoker now as he's so fighting fit and healthy! When he gave up it was after starting to get into triathlon and he found it hard to breathe doing the amount of exercise required. One day he said to me he was going to quit and that was it! He was so passionate about getting better with his fitness that he simply went cold turkey.
Nick is a rare case as most people who suddenly go cold turkey will fall off the wagon and smoke again, so my advice is to get into the right frame of mind if you do want to stop smoking... make your choice and stick to it! If this Stoptober you're looking to say goodbye to that packet of cigarettes for good you have numerous options to help you.
Boots actually provide many products in their NikAssist range to help you such as patches, inhalator, lozenges, spray and gum, but they also have a service called the Smoke Less Plan which is there help you every step of the way. This is perfect if you need a little bit more of a push and assistance achieving your goal!
Nick gave his words of wisdom as a quitter..."Set yourself a target that is attainable, so some sort of a goal, whether it's a race or even just joining a football team. Tell your friends and family you're doing it, this way you'll stick to it but also you'll feel mentally occupied. If you quit like me you'll also have more health benefits such as breathing better... I even got my tastebuds back!"
This is exactly what Boots pharmacist Angela Chalmers suggests, to swap smoking for a new hobby but also to try and reward yourself when you do well. You'll save so much more money not buying cigarettes,(pack of 20 can cost around £8.00) so you could even go away for the weekend. Nick decided that with his new love of sports to spend his on bikes... trainers... running bits... gym bits... you get the idea!
Quit Your Own Way
It's great to have a time to encourage you to quit such as Stoptober, but the last thing you want to do is force yourself when you're not ready. Do it when you are ready... that way you're more likely to quit fully.
Know Your Smoking Triggers
When do you smoke? With your morning coffee? Perhaps after you've eaten? Just like when people diet and they want to avoid diving in for that bar of chocolate after a lunch (purely because they think they 'need' it) you need to occupy yourself with something else. Maybe meet with colleagues and start a walking group or change your cigarette for a cup of tea. Just start shaking your routine up.
Swap Smoking For a New Hobby
Why not take up dancing, or maybe even triathlon like Nick did? Just keep busy and active.
Don't Give Up Giving Up
If you want something the more effort you put in the more likely you'll keep going. If you do fall off then pick yourself up again... you WILL get there.
New handbag when you hit the 6 month mark?! Go on then!
Just don't give up giving up!!
If you're taking part in Stoptober than a big congratulations you're on day 7! Keep going but make sure you join in the Twitter party 1-2pm on 16th October to discuss all things Stoptober! #bootsukstoptober
If you do have any questions for Boots expert Angela, please post them in the comments box below and I'll pass them on.
I'll be there so I'll see you then... and if you're already doing Stoptober keep up the good work!