Tag Archives: fighting for recovery

How to Get Control of the Quit Smoking Bloat, Weight Gain, and Constipation! Must DBT my way through it!

I teach DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)…in fact I wrote the DBT-CBT Recovery Workbook, “Out of Control.” I have the skills and understandings for behavioral change…I’ve recovered from many things…and I’ve kicked many habits…but this one is kicking my butt this time. This is a follow-up to two previous “I’M TRYING TO STOP SMOKING” WordPress blogs. It’s been about two weeks since my last blog on trying to quit smoking and the bloating and weight gain that compels me to resume smoking. So, I’ve been smoking again for the last two weeks. It’s really a love-hate relationship with smoking…I love to smoke, I hate to smoke. I hate it more than I love it and I’m determined to quit. My plan continues to be to get a Game Plan for quitting. I am going to a conference tomorrow in California on risk assessment, the Reid Meloy PCL-R one. I didn’t want to suffer the agony of being three sizes bigger and “feeling fat,” so I’ve allowed myself to smoke for this period…two weeks plus the conference.

Folks in my DBT Group would say I am just sabotaging myself and falling into the trap of Emotional Mind by coming up with Emotion-Driven Lies and Excuses to continue smoking…that my excuse to smoke is nothing but an excuse to smoke. Alike many people who sabotage themselves this way, I would say, “I’ve got a plan to quit and this is part of my plan. If you knew me, you’d know I was going to quit…and this is part of my quitting plan.” And everyone else would say…”Bull Sheets…that’s just bull, Sheets!” And I would say…”Just sit back and watch. I’ve quit many things in my life and I will quit this…come hail or high water…I’ll find an umbrella to make it through this storm.” And, I will. I’m determined to quit and I’ll find a way. If I knew that smoking two more weeks and through the conference would cause me lung cancer, I’d put this cigarette out right here, right now, and call it quits. Glad I don’t know that! I do think about it though and I’ve asked God to see me through this…and keep me safe while I get ‘er done.

I sent an email out to the Docs and nurse practitioners at the hospital yesterday and was just about desperate enough to send an email out across campus. I explained this bloating – constipation – weight gain problem and I asked if they knew of a medication or patch that would minimize this. I read a bit about Chantix and stopped at the side effects of constipation and gas! I haven’t studied any more…so, I don’t know if Nicorette gum or other nicotine replacement therapies will help. I’m hoping some readers will share their experiences and we can figure out what to do. Many people are reading this blog, so many are struggling with the same thing. Please leave some comments and let us know what works and what doesn’t. I’d really like a magic pill or patch so I can easily quit smoking. I’ve quit 5-6 times this year and I’m fine mentally, emotionally, and psychologically after the first couple days…until this bloat thing happens and my weight soars…and my pant size increases by 2. So, if I can get this bloat thing figured out, I’d be quit again in no time. I seek the “No pain…big gain” method of recovery!

So, if I don’t know of anything else to do when I return from the conference, I’ll set another quit date, try Nicorette gum or something similar and go at it again. I understand that the gum is expensive…and I did try to sabotage myself with that excuse…but, my Rational Mind isn’t going to put up with that crap and quickly reminded me that smoking is more expensive. Ended that. I do have a doctor appointment set up in early July and I can get some information from my PCP at that time if Nicorettes doesn’t work. I’ve also become Mindful that my current diet is very high in fiber and protein and that may be why I am having this new problem with quitting smoking. I’ve always been able to quit for long periods of time and have never had this problem…until this year. Maybe I have to change my diet and eat more roughage rather than soft protein bars. Maybe I have to exercise more often. Do you know that riding a horse burns about 200 calories an hour? All I have to do is to go outside, sit on a horse for an hour, and let it take me for a walk! That’s sure a lazy woman’s way to exercise. If I can hold on while the horse gallops, I can burn about 500 an hour! I thought about putting a sign on my horse’s butt and trotting past power-walkers on the road or galloping past a jogger that says “I’m burning more calories than you!” FUN-NY! Yes, I know I’m not getting the same cardio benefits…nor pulmonary…but the mental picture is quite amusing!

Long blog short…I’m still smoking and I’m not done quitting! I’ll keep folks posted on this journey and what I learn as I go…and what I have to do to get there! Hope there’s a magic pill!

Fighting Through the Battle to NOT Smoke Cigarettes…Armed with DBT-CBT Skills and Understandings

I weighed myself this morning and I lost 4 pounds over the past 24 hours. Back below the 130 mark. That part of my Emotional Mind feels relief. I’m about mad and frustrated though that this is the way things are…that I have to smoke again to get my body working again…that smoking does this for me and my body is addicted to the cigarettes. I’ve smoked and quit smoking probably 20 times in my life with about 6 times being over the last 5 months…I’ve never had this kind of problem before when I’ve quit smoking. My body has never reacted like this. For me, quitting smoking has always been a choice…a decision. I would decide to quit and I quit…and that was that. I was fine. It was a no big deal type of thing. It was a decision.

Today, it’s not just a decision. It’s not so easy. I’m having big major problems quitting. My body is addicted and it’s causing me big major problems. That makes me angry / frustrated because I want to be in control of my body and my life. I want to be able to make decisions about my behavior…and to be able to change my behavior without all these problems. I want to decide to do something…and then it happens. I did quit smoking for 10 days because I set my mind to it…but then, something happened. The something that happened is that a big boulder fell out of the sky and slammed right into the middle of my recovery path. That something was the bloating, constipation, and subsequent MASSIVE weight gain. My reality changed. Things aren’t the same as they used to be. I have something new to deal with.

That reality is that I’m not 16 or 25 or 35 anymore. I’m getting older and my body is changing. Things aren’t the same as they were before when I’ve successfully quit smoking…and my task in life right now is to adjust and deal with my new reality. My reality is…my body is having a major GI (gastrointestinal) response to withdrawal from cigarettes. My body is reacting in a big way. My reality is that to be successful with quitting smoking, I am going to have to find a way around, over, through, or passed this big obstacle in my recovery path. I am going to have to find a way to deal with it.

A bit of history. I have lost 145 pounds over the last 4 years. I was never FAT until I got FAT at about the age of 29. I was usually in the 115 to 135 range…but then, marriage to a man that eats, children, and a job AND a business away from home that created a chaotic out-of-control eating lifestyle…led me to gain a pound or so a month…over many months…to become VERY overweight. This is another story and over time, I’ll blog about it. But today, I’ve lost a ton of weight…and I am determined NOT to get fat again. I don’t want to go back there again.

So, it really alarms me when my weight starts going up and I’m NOT IN CONTROL. Since I quit smoking 10 days ago, my weight went up 7 pounds. The last day before I quit smoking, it jumped two pounds. Rationally, I know it’s not real weight, granted maybe ½ a pound of it is because I was eating a bit more those days. However, I went up two pant sizes and even the bigger size was a little tight. My Emotional Mind was very disturbed. If we can even call it Wise Mind…it kicked in and said smoke again, get your weight back down, and get a new Game Plan. That sounds like a horrible Emotion-Driven Lie I told myself. However, I know me and I know my sense of determination and I can get away with that. I am bound and determined to kick this smoking thing because I don’t want to be 65 and tied to an oxygen tank. I have other plans for my life and it doesn’t include toting around an oxygen tank. I will find a way to make this happen…one way or another…and come hail or high water.

I still have some options. I can talk with a doctor and find out if a patch or a pill can ease my physiological withdrawal from cigarettes and can keep my body from reacting so intensely to the lack of whatever poison it is in cigarettes that is causing this bloating, constipation, and major weight gain. I can start exercising regularly to keep my metabolism up and to offset the increase in calories. I can ask my family NOT to bring ANYTHING in the house that will tempt me to eat…to hide it in their room, leave it in the car, but to keep it out of my range of vision. In the last few days, Sour Cream and Onion Lays potato chips came in the house and a box of Reeses’ cereal. Even snacking on those added 300 calories to my day…on Thursday…the day I decided to smoke again. I can also make some calorie / diet changes to what I normally eat on my own and without temptation from others. I can adjust my routine diet. I’m not done yet. I still have some options…and I still have a helluva lot of fight inside me to get past and through this tough time. Come hail or high water and boulders that fall out of the sky, I will make it through…because it is important to me to quit smoking. Do pray for me because I really want this to happen…and I need all the help I can get!

Copyright Statement: Material contained within this blog is copyrighted protected with all rights reserved © Melanie Gordon Sheets commencing in 2009 and extending through the present age. Please request permission to quote or otherwise use material obtained from this blog by emailing: service@dbt-cbt-workbook.com

Please visit the website www.dbt-cbt-workbook.com for more information about the DBT-CBT Workbook. The full title is “Out-of-Control: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Workbook for Getting Control of Our Emotions and Emotion-Driven Behavior” – Recovery Works Publications, 2009.