Sunday, June 8, 2008

Willingness to Stop Smoking

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to quit smoking? Quitting is hard work and it takes a willingness to go through the steps to get to the other side. It's like starting a diet, you have to be willing to reduce caloric intake and increase energy expenditure. Diets fail because most are willing to do this for a specific period of time but then they want to go back to their previous way of eating, and they gain the weight back. The are not willing to adopt a new way of relating to food.
Smoking is similar. First, the smoker needs to be willing to do what it takes to get through the withdrawals and cravings, just like losing the weight is the first part of dieting. Next is maintenance, which is resisting smoking even one cigarette. This is where the question, "Are you willing to do what ever it takes to resist this one cigarette?" comes into play again.
Until a person is ready to answer "Yes" to this question, they may have quit but they are likely to relapse because they figure, "One won't hurt." But they are under estimating how powerful nicotine affects their brain. By slipping and having one cigarette, the receptors in the brain wake up and shout, "Don't tease me with one, I want the whole pack!" Both dieting and quitting smoking require life style changes to have long term success. For future non-smokers, it requires finding the tools to resist having "Just One".

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