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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
April 29, 2013
Since yesterday was my mother’s birthday and Mother’s Day is coming up on May 12, I want to spend some time talking my mom in this message. My mother is the driving force behind my passion for smoking cessation.
My mom started smoking when she was young. It was the cool thing to do then and she’s always been pretty darn hip, even now at the age of 88! She smoked about a half-pack every day for many years. Over the years, I begged her to quit. I hated the smell of smoke. It lingered in everything—the furniture, curtains, my clothes and even in my freshly washed long hair. It stayed with me even when I wasn’t around my mom.
For my mom, smoking was a coping mechanism and gave her the “permission” she needed to take short breaks. She knew it was unhealthy, but she was addicted to nicotine physically, mentally and socially. I saw her struggle with recovery symptoms during her quit attempts and I remember how hard it was for her. It took several tries but she finally quit for good more than 20 years ago. While quitting smoking certainly improved her health, she’s still suffering some of the effects. My mother now lives with COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She has trouble catching her breath when she climbs a flight of stairs or walks a short distance, and she had a heart attack a few years ago. We are both thankful that she became smokefree when she did and that there are so many more resources available now to help people make the switch to a smokefree life.
Perhaps this story seems familiar to you. Maybe you grew up in a home filled with secondhand smoke and witnessed a loved one trying to quit. Maybe your children or grandchildren are begging you to become smokefree, or perhaps you’re living with the diagnosis of COPD, heart disease, lung cancer or another of the host of illnesses that are caused by smoking. Perhaps you are here because you don’t want this to become your story.
You’re in the right place and now is the right time to get all the information and support you need to quit for good. You can do it! Millions of Americans have become smokefree and you can join them. You are making the best choice you possibly can to protect your health and the health of those around you.
This week, focus on these ten positive tips to help you become and stay smokefree:
- Read about the physical benefits of quitting.
- Talk with your health care provider about using an FDA-approved medication to help with recovery symptoms.
- Take pleasure in small breaks by downloading and practicing deep breathing.
- Share your victories with your buddy and post them to the Message Boards.
- Send an e-card to your family and friends with tips on how they can support you during your quitting process.
- Celebrate your success and reward yourself at meaningful milestones.
- Do three things to reduce your stress.
- Eat healthier. Keep healthy, low-calorie snacks on hand.
- Purposefully increase the intensity of your physical activity level.
- Help others in order to help yourself. Leave a supportive post on the Message Boards for a fellow participant who needs encouragement.
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.