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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
June 25, 2010
The 4th of July conjures up many Norman Rockwell-type pictures in my mind. I think of parades on Main Street with Uncle Sam on stilts, children perched on the shoulders of their parents, people eating ice cream, picnics, cookouts, flags waving and fireworks. Of course, our freedom is what we really celebrate on the 4th of July.
The dictionary defines freedom as “the absence of necessity, coercion or constraint in choice or action; liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another.” How would you define freedom? Have you ever thought about why our smoking cessation program is called Freedom From Smoking®?
Many people come to the American Lung Association looking for a quick fix. They’re hoping for a magic solution to beating their addiction of nicotine. Think about that definition above. Addiction to nicotine makes smoking become a need, not a choice. It takes power over the smoker and becomes a master over the smoker’s actions. It’s a very powerful addiction and there is no quick fix. Quitting is a process, and that’s why we recommend people first make a decision to quit smoking, pick a Quit Date a few weeks away and make a personal plan for quitting.
If you’ve tried to quit before, make sure you look at this attempt as new and different. If you tell yourself that you can’t quit, you are really closing doors for yourself. Instead, tell yourself that this time is a fresh new start and that you really can quit. More than one million people have quit with Freedom From Smoking® since the program began in 1980. If they can do it, you can too!
Freedom From Smoking® works if you work the program. What does that mean? Read all of the lessons in every Module. Complete all of the assignments. All of them! Seek support for yourself on the Message Boards, and in turn, offer support to your fellow participants. This quit attempt can and will be different for you.
I’m reminded of Paul McCartney’s song, “I will fight for the right to live in freedom.” This fight is your fight—you have an army of people here to support you and you have all of the tools you need to resist cravings and create your own plan to quit. You’ll do some hard work to gain your freedom because there is no easy way. You will be the one in the trenches, working on your plan to get to the other side, gaining the freedom from your addiction to nicotine.
What does freedom from nicotine mean to you? Let me know your thoughts and personal definitions of freedom on the Message Boards. As we celebrate the 4th of July in the United States, picture all those fireworks going off out there as a celebration of the freedom you are gaining now from smoking. This year, those fireworks are for you!
If your Quit Date is coming up this week, remember that there are a few extra things you can do for yourself to make it a little better:
- Get some extra sleep. Try going to bed a little earlier than your normal time.
- Drink lots of water. Start the day with a full 8-oz. glass of water. Drink another one before you head out the door to work or to run errands, drink another before lunch, after lunch, and in the middle of the afternoon. Have a glass before dinner, after dinner—you get the idea.
- Increase your physical activity. Start out with a brisk 10 minute walk. You can fit in your walk first thing in the morning before you take a shower, at lunch with a buddy, or by even parking your car farther away than you usually would. Take the stairs instead of the elevator for an indoor (and vertical!) walk.
Keep fighting the fight. This is a battle that’s well worth the effort, and it’s the best possible thing you can do to protect your health. As long as you keep trying, you will achieve your freedom from smoking!
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you’re in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put “HELP NOW” in the subject line of your post. If you’re looking to offer help, watch for those, “HELP NOW” posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.