Hey, that wasn’t so bad! My first run yesterday was a walk in the park. No, literally – it was a WALK, albeit along the river Thames out here in Chiswick, not in a park. I downloaded an app called ‘10k’ and I think it’s designed for people who are really starting from scratch. Yes, I’m unfit and haven’t been running for months, but I have been a runner for years so it’s kind of in my backbone and my basic fitness is fairly sound. The first week (you build up to 10k over 13 weeks) you’re out for 40-45 minutes each time and do 7-8 repetitions of walking 4,5 minutes, running half a minute and so on. Meaning, in total you’ve run for FOUR minutes, which is nothing. I’m tempted to skip to week six or seven, which I know I can easily cope with – walk two minutes, run three, repeat ten times – but my inner OCD freak can’t stand the idea of not doing the programme in perfect order..
I can really feel it now, by the way, the absence of all that smoke going down into my lungs. I breathe more easily and even after just, let’s see, five days of not smoking, I feel a world of difference. It’s amazing what you trick yourself into believing you like, because even now when I’m feeling so great, the thought of sneaking out on the balcony and lighting one up is more than tempting. What a defeat that would be, though, and I know I’d A) feel a little sick, as I always did after smoking the day’s first cigarette, and B) feel really disappointed with myself for caving in to cravings so weak they don’t even wake me up at night. Imagine people trying to kick stronger stuff!
No really – imagine! A heroin addict or an alcoholic – writhing around on the floor having seizures and shitting themselves because of terrifying withdrawals. And what happens to me when I crave a cigarette? You know what? I can’t name a single discomfort! NOTHING HAPPENS. Nothing beyond that slightly empty feeling, a little restlessness but so mild that I instantly forget about it if I’m distracted. The health industry has a lot to answer for, drumming into us how insanely difficult it is to quit nicotine. Bastards! But they didn’t pull the wool over my eyes – I know it’s dead easy, so I won’t be lining the pockets of nicotine gum or vapour cigarette companies. And that’s the craziest thing of all: I’m not addicted to the tar and shit in the cigarettes that are the substances that actually ruin my lungs, I’m addicted to nicotine, so why in God’s name keep this mild, easy-to-kick addiction going? Recipe for disaster, if you ask me.
So I acknowledge that empty feeling and slight pangs when they hit me and instead of pining for a cigarette, I’m focusing on how easy it is to resist and how nothing – NOTHING – terrible happens when I do. Those little pangs subside after a few seconds anyway!
Now then! I’ve started on my healthy approach for 2015, now I need to get on with Alice – I owe it to myself to see this through.