All this hoopla about healthy eating, and all along I've been doing something to my body that is as bad, if not worse, than living on fast food.
It's pretty interesting how the human mind can rationalize all sorts of crazy shit in the interest of staying in its comfort zone. I mean, what person in the developed world doesn't know that cigarettes wreck your body, pollute the environment, and just generally suck ass?
And yet, it was always "okay", because:
- I only smoked outside
- I was eating good food to make up for it
- I could quit whenever I wanted
- It would be far worse if I was out drinking and crashing cars instead
- I always kept it under a pack a day
- I'm still relatively young
Never mind the fact that I felt like the south end of a goat every morning when I lit that first cigarette. Never mind that cigarettes contain acetone, formaldehyde, arsenic, benzene, hydrogen cyanide (gas chamber poison) and a host of other nasty chemicals. It's easy to forget about all of that when you wake up and your body is screaming for nicotine.
Then there were all the times I would have to drop everything and go have a smoke, no matter what the weather or what had to be put on hold. It was more important for me to stand out in the snow in January, trying to light a cigarette with half-frozen fingers, than it was to start another game of Chutes and Ladders with my daughter. She would understand.
Well, anyway, today I finally declare myself free from the idiocy. Few things are more important than my health, and I can no longer pretend that smoking and having good health are concurrently possible.
So I'm done. I quit.
Actually, I quit about 1:00 PM yesterday... but since this is my first full non-smoking day, I'll call this my quit date.
And you know what? I'm not ready to mangle somebody like I thought I would. I'm not even really any more irritable than usual. (I mean, come on - I am a curmudgeon-in-training.) Getting to sleep last night was kinda tough, but a short meditation (and the ousting of a couple of daredevil cats) fixed that.
You do bump up against all kinds of situations that remind you of the "smoker programming", though. I woke up this morning and started to head outside out of habit. Then I just kind of went, "Oh, right, I don't do that anymore", and went in the kitchen and made a smoothie instead. Then, the drive to work. Then, the morning coffee run. Then, the daily "meeting", which was just an excuse for the department to go out to smoke.
Funny how a smoker's brain associates everything s/he does with a cigarette. What's even more interesting, though, is how freaked out the human mind gets when the prospect of changing those associations is introduced. "What?! Drive to work without a cigarette? I'll get stuck in traffic and have nothing to do and end up dragging someone out of his car and and and..."
Now for all of that fear, here's what really happened:
I got in the car, drove out of the subdivision, got on the freeway, and ended up in a traffic jam (big surprise). Oddly, though, instead of committing battery, I plugged my iPod into the stereo and cued up a collection of Mussorgsky compositions. ("The Great Gate at Kiev" makes it kinda hard to get too mad about anything; "Night on Bald Mountain" just makes me silly.) In about 3 minutes, traffic started moving again, and I made it to work with no altercations whatsoever.
Not so bad.
So now, it becomes not so much about "getting through my day" as "getting my life back". I can handle all of the little habit changes. It's worth it to start getting my health back.
Goodbye, Marlboro. Don't let the door hit you in the ass. Or do. Whatever.
I'm done with you.
Note: Sorry about the irrelevant tangent/post. I know this is a vegan blog, and this post had absolutely nothing to do with veganism. But it is about optimal health, in a rather convoluted way.
Maybe somebody out there wants to quit with me today. If you've been thinking about quitting, I challenge you to speak up and make your decision known.
We now return you to your regular Veggie Guy, already in progress.