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Diary of a Delirious Dieter

Dear Diary,

Day #4184 of starting my new “health” kick. Hopefully this time I will finally be able to stick to a routine (let’s hope and pray to every higher power) because I NEED to fit into this homecoming dress at the end of the month. Side note: Mike still hasn’t asked me (it’s okay, I know he’s just intimidated by my beauty), so maybe I can drop subtle hints during Algebra. Another side note: He looked so adorable in that mint colored button up, I could hardly contain my excitement. Anyways, back on track. It's time to log my calorie intake into my food journal. I’ve come to the conclusion that counting calories is hard work. Harder than balancing equations in Chemistry. Harder than the school cafeteria cookies that are served on Tuesdays. Harder than a diamond found near volcanic activity. You get the point. It’s hard! Good news is that I had a really healthy lunch today, so I’m super proud of myself for that. A nice kale salad with no dressing (go, me!) and some cut up fruit (bananas, blueberries, pineapple, etc). However, after school a group of my friends went to the local pizzeria and had a couple slices, a coke (I should have picked up diet) and some ice cream (soft-serve for the win). I guess one healthy meal cancels out a bad meal, right? Oh wait, I also had a handful of M&M’s after Environmental Science class and Stacy baked these delicious chocolate chip cookies that I couldn’t possibly turn down, so I had two. Let me break it down.
Breakfast: Didn't have time, so I grabbed a granola bar from the cabinet.
Calories: 150 (For the SMALLEST granola bar, IMO)
Lunch: Kale salad, mixed fruit
Calories: 330
Snacks: Handful of M&M's, chocolate chip cookies (2)
Calories: 100-200? (I really have no clue)
Dinner: 2 pieces of pizza, soft serve ice cream w/ cone, medium sized Coke
Calories: Let's go with 500 calories.
Okay, so today wasn't the best "clean eating" day, but there's always tomorrow! Maybe I can eat less to speed up the weight loss process. Why didn't I think of that beforehand?? I'm kind of bored/tired/unmotivated to start homework, so I'm going to grab a light snack (Mental note: something healthy) and maybe I can get to bed at a decent time tonight. I guess that's it for today. I can only hope that day #4185 turns out differently.
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According to researchers, those who decide to quit smoking make up to 30 attempts Estimating the number of quit attempts it takes to quit smoking successfully in a longitudinal cohort of smokers before they succeed. This is due to the difficulties of abandoning bad habits in general, as well as with the individual characteristics of the body. The method that worked for five of your friends can misfire you. And vice versa: you can come up with your own way to tie up a smoke that categorically does not suit your friends, but it turns out to be incredibly effective specifically in your case. These 7 ways to quit smoking have proven both statistically and scientifically. Try to find yours among them. 1. Set a date to prepare Image - Source It is from this that experts recommend start a personal fight against smoking. And there are reasons for that. Most smokers have decided at least once in their lives: “Everything, from tomorrow - not a single puff!” Of course, they kept their word. Up to the first nervous shake or moment of oblivion. “Oh, I'm with a cigarette, I don’t even know how it happened ...” The problem is that smoking is not only physiological, but also psychological dependence. You may not be aware of this, but a cigarette is closely associated with significant, vital things. For example, the ability to exhale in the midst of a nervous working day. Discuss in the smoking room what cannot be discussed in the office. Talk on the phone with your loved one. Drink a cup of coffee without thinking about anything - just "sticking" into the landscape around. If you quit smoking on the same day, a gaping hole forms in the place of these significant pleasures. Everything seems to be OK, a cup of coffee in hand, but something is missing. And this deficit spoils all the pleasure. Or a little different: before a smoke break was an opportunity to take a pause relatively legally, but now you do not smoke, which means that there is no reason for a pause. And so you continue to work without interruption, exhausting the nervous system and driving yourself into a state of permanent fatigue . It is not surprising that your subconscious mind will try to return a saving cigarette, which is associated with relaxation and pleasure. And it will return, believe me. Therefore, quitting smoking from tomorrow is a controversial option. It’s better to set an exact date. Not too close to get ready, and not too far not to change your mind. The preparation is as follows. You need to untie smoking from everyday relaxation and pleasure. If you are used to combining a cup of coffee with a cigarette - drink, but without a cigarette. Promise yourself: “I will drink coffee now, and have a smoke in 15 minutes” - and keep the promise. If you need informal communication with colleagues, go for it without a cigarette, again promising yourself a smoke break some time later. When day X comes in the end, your withdrawal from quitting a cigarette will not be so strong, because at least psychologically you will be prepared for it. 2. Record triggers and exclude them from life Image - Source This recommendation is partly related to the paragraph above. The bottom line is that often we could not smoke. But there are situations that directly make us reach for the pack. These are the so-called triggers. Calculate them: for several days carefully describe all the moments when you lit a cigarette. "I drink morning coffee." "I lit up to talk with a girl." "I went out with my colleagues into the yard, I smoke for the company." Then try to modify at least those situations that are repeated day by day. For example, if you are used to smoking a cigarette with morning coffee, start drinking tea. Or go to healthy breakfasts : you hardly want to smoke with oatmeal. Try to develop a replacement strategy for each of the detected triggers. You will not get rid of the addiction right away, but you can significantly reduce the amount of nicotine. And this is a serious step towards success. 3. Replace smoking with other pleasures or employment Image - Source Perfect time to quit smoking - vacation. There are no stresses provoking to reach for a cigarette. Interesting activities are full. It’s enough not to take cigarettes with you to the rafting along a rough mountain river or go on a bus tour in Europe, where no one will brake or air the Louvre to give you the opportunity to smoke, and you will be surprised to find that you can easily do without smoke for several rich and interesting days. The main thing here is to draw the awareness from such an experience: “I do not smoke because I want, but because I am just bored and have nothing to occupy myself with.” Sounds so-so, right? Try to get rid of boredom. Look for activities that could replace cigarettes. And you quit smoking. 4. Go in for sports Image - source If we talk about substitution therapy, then exercise is one of the most healthy options. Studies show, sports activities distract from thoughts about cigarettes, cheer up and give a sense of control over oneself. After working with the barbell or swimming a kilometer or two, you begin to feel like a strong, strong-willed person who can’t completely give up on the teeth for the sake of some kind of puff. 5. Decide how to overcome the impulse Image - Source The desire to smoke most often occurs spontaneously. First, we grab a cigarette on emotions, drag ourselves on, and only then the brain yells: “What are you doing, we promised!” And it's too late. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain a short pause between “Oh, how I want to smoke” and the click of a lighter. This pause is really small. Experts assure that an acute desire to grab a cigarette lasts no more than 3-5 minutes. Think about how you can fill this time - and try to bring this action to an automatic level. For example, pulled to nicotine - push up several times. Or a minute we stand at the bar. Or chew a hard apple. Or bite a toothpick. Or just open the window and take a few deep breaths. Any option is suitable, if only the pause placeholder was stably at hand at the right time. 6. Connect social networks Image - Source It sounds funny, but those smokers who talk about the course of their struggle with a bad habit in social networks are successful significantly more often than those who try to fight cigarette cravings offline. Thanks to Facebook or Twitter, other people seem to support you. In addition, social networks are full of motivating stories of those who have already started smoking. And the more we get to know other people's successful cases, the more we believe in our own victory. 7. Increase the content of vegetables and fruits in the diet Image - source A study conducted by scientists from the University of Buffalo (USA), proved: the more vegetables and fruits a person consumes, the easier it is for him to stop smoking. The point is that our brain often confuses cravings for tobacco with cravings for fiber. Having treated ourselves with a cabbage salad or a crispy apple, we are deceiving the body: it begins to seem to him that he has already received the desired, and therefore the cigarette seems to be irrelevant.