#22 Live long and prosper

Coffee Chocolate Saviours

  • 13 months ago I started riding a bike again at the age of 47.
  • 12 months ago today I gave up smoking.
  • Every day I still battle with it.

I have discovered that I am like an alcoholic who says “I haven’t quit, I give up every day” because for me nearly every day I face the demons.

Usually it’s just a feeling or an urge but sometimes, when I go somewhere I haven’t been for a while I will remember that I used to smoke there.  For example, I was recently at a hotel in Japan that I had been before where I used to smoke near the front door, that I understood that it’s not until I go there and face it, that I feel I have mainly overcome that hurdle.  It’s is like you have to break every little piece of the habit in your memory and it’s not easy.

If you are a smoker and have done it for decades, never think “I will quit and it will be done” because it’s not that easy and there are so many reminders, so many habits to break and the temptation to go out and buy a pack when you are angry or stressed often exists.  It’s because that is what you did before.

For me, I have found three saviours:

  1. Because I have channelled so much energy into cycling, I know that any cigarette smoke that goes into my lungs will be detrimental.  It will make it harder to climb hills or ride to the places I want to go.
  2. Having a coffee after my dinner has replaced the post dinner smoke although for others, coffee can be another addiction or is not practical if it keeps you up at night.
  3. Eating chocolate is my major replacement, especially late at night before I sleep. It’s the final kick that helps and as a cyclist, the best thing is it’s easy to burn those calories.

So I still need some kicks but today’s choices are so much better than before and when I look at my achievements, especially in the first 5 months, I have seriously surprised myself and am thankful I am on this path.

In the last 13 months:

  • I have lost 12 kgs or 26 lbs
  • I have ridden 6,871 kms or 4,270 miles
  • My longest ride is 132kms or 82 miles
  • I road my first 100km (60ml) ride in less than 5 months
  • I have saved around $AU 3,744 or $US3,368 by not smoking

I will live longer and prosper, and I am so much happier about it!
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