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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
October 10, 2011
Trick or Treat
Halloween candy and decorations are appearing just about everywhere right now. Soon we’ll be seeing little costumed people and hearing “Trick or treat?” as kids hold out bags to collect a treat.
I’ve been thinking about the phrase “trick or treat” in another way—how it relates to smoking and to quitting. It makes me furious to think about the tricks that the tobacco industry has used for decades to get people hooked on their product. Did you think that smoking was cool, a way to feel grown up or a way to rebel when you first started smoking? If you did, that’s no accident. The tobacco industry pours billions of dollars each year into advertising that targets specific groups like teenagers. Back when you started, you probably thought smoking was a treat. Before you knew it, you were addicted to nicotine—the trick.
If you feel tempted to slip and have a cigarette, ask yourself “Trick or treat?” Is your mind tricking you into thinking that cigarette is a treat? It’s no treat to jeopardize your health or to have to go through the process of quitting again. Being smokefree is just about the biggest treat you could give yourself.
There’s no trick to becoming smokefree. As you know, it’s not easy to quit smoking. It takes a lot of hard work. I commend you for all you’re doing to stay on your smokefree journey—hour by hour, day by day and month by month. All of that hard work has gotten you to where you are now, ready to savor the treat of a smokefree life.
I often say that every tooth in my mouth is sweet. I love sweets and some types of candy are very tempting for me. Since candy is front and center in just about every store this month, use caution with your intake of sweets. If you’re buying Halloween candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters, try to avoid buying your favorite kind so you won’t be tempted to eat it all yourself.
Speaking of candy, do you have concerns about controlling your weight? Review the handout from Module 6 for tips on changing your behavior around food. Share your ideas on the Message Boards about how you are cutting calories, increasing physical activity and reaching for healthy things to cut your hunger pangs.
It’s finally feeling like fall in many parts of the country. If you feel a nip in the air, get outside and move around:
- Go apple picking and make up a healthy treat for yourself.
- Keep your hands busy by carving a pumpkin.
- Enjoy a hot cup of cider.
- Play some touch football with friends or family.
- Rake those leaves—it’s a great way to increase your physical activity.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
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