How Kicking Cigarettes Changed Amanda's Life

97SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/19/2014 12:00 AM   :  11 comments   :  10,544 Views

Many of us begin the new year with a desire for a fresh start in a new direction. With the right habits, motivation and support, our goals can become so resolute they carry us to places we never imagined. We want to help you remain steadfast in your healthy living quests this year by introducing you to several people who set goals for 2013--and stuck with them all year long.  

Name: Amanda Sharpe
SparkPeople username: MOMMYSHARPE1        
Hometown: Nackawic, NB, Canada
Occupation: Customer Representative - Banking
Age:  26
Starting weight: 152 pounds
Current weight: 129 pounds

What was your New Year's resolution? To be happier and healthier in 2013, starting by kicking my smoking habit.

Why did you set a New Year's resolution?  I set a New Year’s resolution because I had an extremely hard year in 2012. I was determined to have 2013 be my positive year of change in every aspect of my life. I knew that it needed to begin with me.

What did you do to stay motivated? In January I kicked the nicotine habit partly because my kids wanted me to, but mostly because I wanted to! After almost a month, I decided to reinvest some of my savings back into myself. That’s when I signed up to my local gym. Once I began to get into a routine, the two things began to feed each other. My motivation became "I know if I pick up smoking again, I cannot justify my monthly gym membership costs," and on the other end of things, I also knew that if I were to abandon my new healthy lifestyle, I'd likely return to smoking.

Why do you think you stuck with your resolution when so many people give up? I think the main reason I was able to stick with it was because I wanted it so bad. I was tired of feeling sluggish, unhealthy and about twice my age! I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror anymore. I also understood that sitting on my couch and complaining about it wasn't getting me the results I was looking for. Once I was able to accept that, I became ready to put in the work.

What tools, routines, habits, and motivators did you find most helpful in sticking with your resolution? Tracking your progress each day means you must hold yourself accountable. I tracked everything I ate (yes, even the condiments used on my food) and kept a fitness journal! I also used the available resources at my gym including weightlifting classes and meeting with a personal trainer. One of my favorite motivational tools was reading about others' successes. There's nothing like a good success story to make you stop and think "hey, if they can, then why not me!"

Did you ever slip up or hit a plateau? If so, how did you overcome it? I think we all have slip-ups from time to time. You have to be forgiving of yourself and be proud of how far you've come. When I get off track, I always made it a point to get right back on track. Not tomorrow or the next day but right away. Just because you had a slice of cake after lunch doesn't mean your day is a write-off. The next meal or snack is another opportunity to make a healthier choice.

What was the hardest part about committing to your New Year's resolution? Like most other busy women, I have children and a husband. Sometimes life feels hectic. As a mom, taking care of your own well-being often comes second to most other things. It was very hard for me in the beginning to understand that it's OK to do something for just myself. In the end, however, I think I did something that benefited the entire family. They now have a happier and healthier mother and wife.

Did you experience any other benefits (improved relationships, reach other goals, improved self-image/confidence etc.) while sticking with your resolution? My confidence has skyrocketed. I've accomplished two things I never imagined I could. Two things I've struggled with for so long. It truly makes me feel as though I could conquer anything and has motivated me to continue to set new goals for myself. I also love that I can motivate and inspire others in my life to make positive changes as well.


What advice do you have for others who might set a similar resolution for this year?
Don't give up, always hold yourself accountable, celebrate all your success -- no matter how small, understand you deserve to do something to better your health and wellness, and finally if you are willing to put in the hard work, I promise you will get the results. Anything is possible with dedication and determination.



Now that you've succeeded with this resolution, have you/will you set any other goals? My goal for 2014 is to focus on strength training and to start cutting preservatives out of my family's diet.

How did SparkPeople help you achieve success? SparkPeople's biggest role in my success had to be the amazing online community and your presence on my Facebook timeline! I loved seeing all the motivational posts and the chance to see other user responses to them. The different challenges posted kept things interesting and the other members were inspiring! Thanks Sparkpeople.com!
 
Have you set up a plan to help you reach your goals in 2014? Our SparkPeople Goal Board is a quick and easy way to keep your goals close at hand. You can use this tool to enter and update your goals and action steps including images that will keep you motivated each day as you check in. The more you personalize your Goal Board, the more effective it will be to help you stay resolute all year long!


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Comments

  • LEEANNKVBT
    11
    Congrats on a new, heathier you! I kicked a 20 year habit in September of 2013 and have never looked back, now onto getting the rest of me heathier and loose the weight! I am so proud of every success story I have read! It just proves that anything can be done if you are committed to it! - 11/24/2014   1:47:59 PM
  • MOMMYSHARPE1
    10
    Thanks for the support! !! Teresa, I found the best way to get past those "triggers" was to face them head on. I have tried quitting many times before this so I became some what of an expert on my own triggers. Most people will tell you to avoid those things for the first little while but I didn't feel like giving up everything! So instead of not drinking my morning coffee and switching to tea like some suggest, I continued with my regular routine. I just went into knowing that it wouldn't be easy but the sooner I started doing the things I normally do anyway but doing without smoking, the sooner I can live my life normally and not feel like not smoking was depriving me of everything. You really just have to be strong. A week in is an amazing feat. If you can do that, than I'm confident that you can get through a month, year and beyond! Good luck - 2/17/2014   8:18:08 AM
  • TERESA7281
    9
    Good For You!!! I am trying so hard, its been 1 week without cigarettes. Can you share what you do for your triggers. I have notice the longer I stay off of them the more confident I feel!!! Lets live!!!! I want to be on Team Amanda!!
    - 2/11/2014   6:31:52 PM
  • 8
    Congrats on your journey to success! Many people give up on their resolutions within a couple of weeks, you showed us all how to really stick to our plans. Good job - 1/20/2014   6:32:42 AM
  • 7
    Congrats!! Way to go!
    Quitting smoking was the smartest (and hardest) thing I ever did. But so worth it We are neighbors. I live in Nova Scotia. (: - 1/19/2014   4:37:36 PM
  • MOMMYSHARPE1
    6
    Thanks everyone! ! Wishing you all the best in 2014! :) - 1/13/2014   5:59:22 PM
  • 5
    I agree completely...the key to success is in making one (or two) resolutions with complete commitment. Then all your daily decisions can be made considering the changes you want to make. Then it's just deciding each day not to smoke or (whatever your goal is). If you really want it, and commit to doing just one thing, you can stick to it. Too many things at once make it easier to fail. - 1/13/2014   11:55:43 AM
  • LILYOFVALEE
    4
    Congratulations! - 1/13/2014   10:48:49 AM
  • 3
    Congrats! I'm 4 months in...tomorrow! - 1/12/2014   9:31:17 PM
  • DELLMEL
    2
    Awesome. Those things stink so bad besides your good healthy lifestyle. Way to go. - 1/12/2014   3:28:47 PM
  • 1
    Congrats! Good for you on quitting and getting healthier. - 1/12/2014   9:54:54 AM

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