Am I a Non Smoker or an Ex Smoker?

Truth is – I don’t really care what the correct terminology is. I DID IT!   Am I a non smoker, an ex smoker, or smoke free person?  As of July 11, I am 6 months without a cigarette.

I quit my 38 year long addiction to cigarettes.  I started smoking when I was just 12 years old.  Back then (in the early 80’s) it was the “cool” thing to do.  All of my friends were smokers.  My high school actually had a “smoking section” as part of the cafeteria called the smokeroom.  Can you believe that?

I have a 12 year old daughter – I can’t even IMAGINE her with a cigarette in her hand.  I drive along and see young kids (babies really) still smoking around the schools and area hang outs.  It makes me so sad. I wish they knew how hard it is to quit – maybe they would never start.

But here’s the rub…Nobody could have told me back then and had me listen, and I’m sure it’s the same with the kids now-a-days.

In fact for the last 38 years my family and friends who love me dearly have been trying to get me to quit.  The harder they pushed, the more I would push back and smoke.  Nobody was going to tell me when or how I would quit.

I didn’t know if I would EVER be able to quit.  I was literally afraid to try and fail – so in 38 years I have probably only attempted quitting  2 or 3 times.

How Did I FINALLY Quit Smoking?


The thing for me was – I had to be ready and I had to make the decision myself in my heart.  

As with so many things in my life, my mom was my inspiration.

Mom has bad lungs from all the years of smoking she did.  She was admitted to hospital again just after new years in January.  I made the decision at that time that I could no longer sit in a hospital room and watch her be so sick while I was still smoking.

So the first weekend that I didn’t have any kids around, I slapped on a patch and decided that it was done!  I would not smoke anymore!  I haven’t had a cigarette since that day!

Also, quitting smoking was #4 on my List of 50 Things to Achieve in my Fifties.

Why did I choose NicoDerm Patches to Quit?

In the past when I tried to quit, I did try to use products like Champix. Many people have great success using this product, however it didn’t work for me.  I had some weird side effects.  It gave me headaches, strange dreams and really made me kind of “loopy” in that I felt like I couldn’t think clearly.

I’ve also heard of many people using Vape very successfully as a smoking substitute.  I did not go down this road, partly because it made my choke.  But the bigger reason for me is that there has NOT been much testing or research on using a vape.  We honestly don’t know if it will be better or worse than smoking cigarettes in the long term.  I hear about thing like popcorn lung disease from vapes and it really does scare me.

My family does have a history of Asthma, COPD, and Emphysema so I WILL NOT take that chance.  Also I didn’t like the idea of just trading one habit for another.

I wanted to be done and free from that “ball and chain” for good.


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For all of these reasons, the Patch seemed to me like the wisest choice.  AND coincidentally, the patch is  what my mom was successful with when she quit smoking 26 years ago.

Living a Healthier Smoke Free Lifestyle

My plan was to have this blog post ready for July 11th – the actual date of the 6 month anniversary that I stopped smoking.


I was out and busy living life with my kids, and having some summer fun.  So although I am sorry that it is late, I won’t apologize for spending time with the kiddos.

Part of my goal and determination for me this summer (during this COVID-19 pandemic) is to make sure my kids have a great summer full of awesome memories and the knowledge that they are loved.  Instead of them being scared that the world seems to be in upheaval every where we turn these days.

5 Things I LOVE about Not Smoking

  1. Being able to hug someone and not STINK.  (Especially my mom and kids).
  2. Being able to breath deeper.
  3. Being able to play with my kids more without having to stop and smoke.
  4. Being able to get up and go without checking my purse to make sure I have smokes with me.
  5. Being able to go anywhere and not having to worry about finding a “smoking area”.

5 Things that are Still HARD about Not Smoking

  1. It’s like I am grieving the loss of a dear friend, smoking has always been there for me for the last 38 years.
  2. Smoking when talking to a friend (on the phone or in person).
  3. Smoking when I am stressed (or sad, or mad, or happy or celebrating, or mourning, or thinking etc you get the idea).
  4. Going for a “smoke break” as some quiet and alone time.
  5. I can’t think of a 5th thing that’s important enough to put on the list lol.

So what’s my next move?

As I mentioned, my plan is to make sure my kiddos remember the summer of 2020 as a summer full of fun, and love and good times.  NOT the summer of COVID, racism, anger and despair!!

We just got back from their first ever camping trip (thanks to my sister letting us share her trailer).  I do want to take my kiddos on some day trips and do some more swimming and beach play as well.  I even plan to start riding my bike with them again, simply because I can.

With this pandemic, I am feel like we need to keep ourselves HEALTHY to fight it and build immunity.  A great way to do that is by being outdoors and PLAYING!!

The other great way to do it is to get my butt back on KETO and lose all of this holiday, COVID, non-smoking COMFORT weight gain that has happened to me over the last 10-12 months.

Funny how eating “comfort” food doesn’t feel so “comfortable” when the extra fat is hanging off your body making it more difficult to move.  

August is VERY QUICKLY approaching – this August will have been 5 years since that I did my original KETO weight loss journey where I lost 155 pounds.  It makes sense to me that August is the perfect time to get my butt back into ketosis and lose all of the weight the have gained over the last 10-12 months.

I need to get to a place where I am being a NON-smoking fit, and  healthy AMMA

So this is what is coming up next for me and my family.  What are you working on for the rest of the summer?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and plans in the comment section below 🙂  or even better, sign up to my email list so that you get all of our updates directly to your inbox.

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Talk soon,




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