Mark Twain once said "Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it a thousand times." A lot of people, who have tried unsuccessfully to break the habit, can relate. We check back in with a Sioux Falls women we introduced you to in November who made the commitment to quit and is sticking to it.
Sheila Wasserman works with thousands of different insurance policy numbers at her job in the Admitting Department at the Avera Heart Hospital, but she's tallying up quite an impressive number herself; 5 months, 1 week and 1 day. That's how long she's gone without a cigarette (as of April 2, 2009). She quit October 25th and hasn't cheated once, not once in 159 days.
Sheila says, "The hardest part for me is when I get stressed. That's when I really want a cigarette. And it's all I can think about is somebody give me a cigarette."
And when she gets that stressed out she just heads out. She takes a walk outside to breathe in some fresh air which helps take the edge off.
Sheila says, "I just try to relax and if that doesn't work I'll eat some popcorn or something like that."
Respiratory Therapist Deb Murray runs the Quit for Good Program at the Avera Heart Hospital. She says it's important to have a support team around you when you kick the habit so you can call on them when your will power starts to wane.
Deb Murray says, "It helps to make small goals. Then once you reach those goals give yourself a reward. Pat yourself on the back. You should be proud of yourself for quitting tobacco. Then make a new goal. Another thing I suggest is to put away the money you are saving by not smoking. Put it in a clear jar so you can see how it increases and how fast."
Every Friday Sheila faithfully puts $5 in a jar at home (the money she would have spent on cigarettes that week). So far she's saved $120 and intended to buy herself a nice present, but instead gave it to charity. She helped buy Christmas presents for kids at the Children's Inn and donated money to buy food for people who desperately need it in this economy through the Food Pantry.
Sheila says, "I honestly believe with her support I've been able to do it and I don't want to let her down. I don't want to let myself or my kids down either. I've done it before in this regard and I don't want to fail this time.
This life long smoker vows she has quit for good this time and she means it. Judging by her commitment, I for one believe her and believe in her. Hopefully she will inspire other smokers to follow her lead.