In this emotional blog posted to metabolism.com, Greg (from Tampa) shares insights from his personal struggle to stop smoking and deal with the weight fluctuations that accompanied those efforts. Not everyone can achieve this kind of success but, according to Greg, by keeping your eye on the prize you can get through the worst of it.
I hope what I am about to write will be an inspiration for those who are truly serious about quitting AND losing weight. I have now been almost five months without a cigarette (the longest I have EVER lasted) and unlike every other time I tried quitting, this time I FEEL its for good. Truthfully, no temptations other than a quick subconscious glance (like noticing cleavage on a woman)!
Every time I quit in the past, I gained at least five pounds, then lost it as soon as I started smoking again. This time I tried a different strategy overall and it has made a world of difference. Instead of making my goal â€œquitting smoking and holding weightâ€, I made my goal far more ambitious: â€œquitting smoking and losing weight..gaining muscle, and looking 100% better overall.â€
I am now 42. About ten years ago (while I was still smoking), before I met my wife, I lost about 20 lbs (and 12% bodyfat) in four months by simply using a bodybuilderâ€™s type workout (3-5 set pyramid, every five days upper body and lower alternating), light-medium cardio two to three days per week, plus eating on the â€œZone Dietâ€ (40 Protein/40 Carb/20 Fat) and five time per day. The results were so dramatic and so fast that one of my teachers at college thought I was sick or on drugs.
When I quit smoking in October, I started the same routine. At first, my goal was to hold weight onlyâ€¦not to gain. But now, four and a half months later, I went from 200 lbs to 184 lbs and over 29% bodyfat to under 22% bodyfat. Now thatâ€™s not nearly as dramatic as the last transformation when I was 32 and smoking, but hell, at 42 and no longer smoking I am beating the monster and looking and feeling better every day.
Truth be told, if I was smoking and my metabolism was up, Iâ€™d probably be losing faster. But who cares, the fact is Iâ€™m clean of smokes and feeling and looking better than I did this time last year.
This isnâ€™t a pitch for supplements, a workout program, or any other BS. I am just saying, if you truly want to quit AND lose weight, it is possible even at 42. Just be smart about it AND totally committed. I think this time what made the big diffrence was making my mind up that I will settle for nothing less. Now, four and a half months into my quit, my goal is 170 lbs and 12% bodyfat. F#@k smoking! F$#k gaining weight! I want to breathe a full breath of air and see a six pack of abs in the mirror!
Anyone who tells you that gaining weight is the price of quitting is lying or, more likely, just doesnâ€™t know otherwise yet. Keep the faith!
Dael is taking a lonely path as a confirmed smoker. So far the benefits seem to out weigh the risks, but we all know what the end of this road will look like. I am posting Dael’s comments to see if the community at metabolism.com can make a positive impact on Dael’s rebellious attitude.
hey guys and gals just to let you know,
am down to 130lbs and feeling fit as a fiddle. have the 6 pack and abs i dreamed of and am fitter than i have ever been.. it really is odd cos i hate smoking but here i am having lost 42 lbs and loving every second of it apart from the smoking. what can i say â€“ maybe rather die skinny and liking myself, than a fatty with some self righteous notion of how wonderful i am for not smokingâ€¦ i hated myself with the extra weight, sorry but trueâ€¦. i really canâ€™t give a f***k for what anyone thinks on here but at least i can bear to look at myself in a mirror and like what i see, not loathe what i look like and try to bullshit myself into believing that i am sooooo happy cos i gave up the cigsâ€¦.. but next is the NRT â€“ lets see what happens there, and b4 anyone says it, yes i lost two of my best friends to cancer, of the spine and brain, but all i can say is like james dean , iâ€™d rather live fast and furious, that be fat and dumb til 101, you can all choose, but in the end what do you all want?
i do not advocate smoking !!!
I know who i am
Hey everyone. Itâ€™s been a while since i checked back w/you guys so hereâ€™s an update- it will be 11 months on the 25th of July for me. I have continued to gain in spite of my efforts -cutting calories, upping activity, working on my stress levels etc â€¦ I have gained 22 lbs back of the 30 I had lost before I quit. I have gone to the doctor and gotten checked out and it may actually be a thyroid problem [my TSH is deficient ..?..] Evidently smoking not only assaults the lungs but also other thingsâ€¦ You guys may want to talk to your doctors even if itâ€™s just to rule out anything. Iâ€™m hoping that sheâ€™ll put me on meds to tell the truth. If itâ€™s low but not enough to do anythingâ€¦ I really donâ€™t think I can handle the thought of that right nowâ€¦ Anyway, Iâ€™ll let you all know what happens-cross your fingers n send me some good vibes Good luck everyone
In this post Debbi gives advice to Melanie who is concerned about weight gain when stopping smoking:
Melanie: Not sure if you have read all of these posts, but a few years back, I quit and gained THIRTY pounds just as you described. Made me feel exactly like you say â€œhumongous slugâ€ and buying bigger clothes every 4 weeks. It drove me back to smoking. Recently, (Nov. 14, 2009), I quit again and gained 13 lb. by Christmas!!! I had to buy new clothes once again & could feel the depression rolling in again, but instead of smoking this time, I started going to the gym like a total maniac. I follow Weight Watchers also. I am 54 years old, 5â€² 2â€³and have weighed 120-125 most of my life â€“ now Iâ€™m â€˜hanging tightâ€™ at 135 by doing what Iâ€™m doing. It will be 6 months smoke-free for me on Friday and I donâ€™t feel too bad about it. I love going to the gym, especially my weight-lifting classes 2x week. I also do Pilates and a lot of walking and rowing. I just came back from a 18 day vacation and only gained 2 lb. â€“ which isnâ€™t bad considering I did NO exercise at all! Hang in thereâ€¦.things WILL even out. I am waiting for the day I can drop these 10 unwanted pounds and I know eventually it will happen. Be proud of yourself for not smoking â€“ I am!
Melanie: Not sure if you have read all of these posts, but a few years back, I quit and gained THIRTY pounds just as you described. Made me feel exactly like you say “humongous slug” and buying bigger clothes every 4 weeks. It drove me back to smoking. Recently, (Nov. 14, 2009), I quit again and gained 13 lb. by Christmas!!! I had to buy new clothes once again & could feel the depression rolling in again, but instead of smoking this time, I started going to the gym like a total maniac. I follow Weight Watchers also. I am 54 years old, 5′ 2″and have weighed 120-125 most of my life – now I’m ‘hanging tight’ at 135 by doing what I’m doing. It will be 6 months smoke-free for me on Friday and I don’t feel too bad about it. I love going to the gym, especially my weight-lifting classes 2x week. I also do Pilates and a lot of walking and rowing. I just came back from a 18 day vacation and only gained 2 lb. – which isn’t bad considering I did NO exercise at all! Hang in there….things WILL even out. I am waiting for the day I can drop these 10 unwanted pounds and I know eventually it will happen. Be proud of yourself for not smoking – I am!
Marion brings us up to date on her progress after stopping smoking, gaining and then losing weight. Thank you Marion for sharing your experience with metabolism.com members!
Just wanted to give you an update, quit smoking 8 months ago and have gained exactly 20 pounds, seems like the weight gain has finally slacked off. Last Monday a week ago I started Atkins, lost 9 lbs in 7 days, must be alot of fluid. Just the effects of being on Atkins, I feel so much better, but the best part is it forcing your body to burn fat and increases your metabolism. Try it its not as hard as you think. The NEW Atkins is alot more flexible and easy to learn than the old version. Basically the same with a few easier ways of understanding it. Good Luch I hope it works. Thanks, my goal is to wear a bikini this summer, not in public of course just at home in my pool, lol.