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The Groove - My journey to quit smoking
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The body is a temple holding the soul and spirit of a person -- the emotions, character traits, personality, beliefs and all of the things that make up who a person actually is. Treating your temple with respect and kindness is incredibly important when it comes to living a physically, mentally and spiritually sound life.

I will be completely honest about my own dealings with my body. In the past, I have trashed it and overlooked the necessity of maintaining my well-being. I’ve put substances into my body that have thoroughly disrespected my physical health. I was drinking up to four Redbull’s a day. I drank sodas, as well as diet sodas containing aspartame, a chemical sugar substitute. I’ve eaten the greasiest junk food, and I’ve often deprived my body of the water it needs for proper filtration and hydration. 

One of the worst things I’ve done in the past several years is smoking cigarettes. I was up to over half a pack per day. I began smoking at 18 and never stopped besides two weeks after my 27th birthday. 

I wasn’t truly determined to stop at that time. Everyone wanted me to quit, but I wasn’t fully dedicated to the cause. If you’re never been a smoker then you won’t understand the fact that cigarettes actually taste and smell good to those who smoke. Not the leftover smell, but while the cigarette is burning, it is pleasurable, at least to me. I think most smokers feel the same. I smoked menthols so the flavor wasn’t as strong as regular cigarettes.

After stopping for two weeks, the next time I smoked it didn’t taste well. I recognized progress had been made when the taste was not enjoyable. In fact, it was downright gross. If it tasted badly, then why did I begin smoking again? The habit and addiction resurfaced after smoking for nine years. 

At this point in my life, I’m beginning to fear the health effects smoking causes. I am worried about premature aging, gaining lines and wrinkles on my face, staining my teeth, causing tooth decay, having my clothes and car stink of the musty leftover smoke smell and making my breath have a certain funk. I simply want to stop now.

I am chewing Nicorette gum and cutting straws into the length of a cigarette to use for the hand/mouth fixation. As of Thursday, this strategy has worked for six days. I’ve not bought a pack in six days when I was previously buying one per day. The monetary savings are also a plus

I am not perfect and may make a mistake or smoke one cigarette during a lapse of judgement; however, I WANT to quit this nasty habit now, and I will do all I can to continue to put down the cigarettes for good. Wish me luck on this journey of doing what is best for my temple. If you have any tips or advice, email me at

Standard reporter Atlanta Northcutt can be reached at 473-2191.