Smoking, Losing Weight, and Making It Matter

I can relate to Daisy's post about getting her significant other to stop smoking. I went through a similar experience with my dad many years ago. I eventually gave up trying to make him quit.

In a similar vein, I have personally struggled with my weight for nearly as long as I can remember. At six, I remember being as skinny as a beanpole. Somewhere along the way, I gained an abnormal amount of weight. The weight kept piling on over the years—all the way up to 300 pounds! For someone who is 5 foot 7 inches tall, this is not a healthy weight to be!

Not too many people have made an issue of my weight to me, though I personally had some bad experiences because of my weight. I also had people like my mom give me all sorts of mixed messages. "You're fat, but here, eat this food that's not so great for you." Is it any wonder I was confused?

I had done nothing about it for many years until I had kids. At some point between Jaden's birth and Gracie's birth I realized that I had a vested interest in losing weight: I wanted to be there for my kids. Not just there, but I wanted to be able to keep up with them. I wanted to be healthy. Heck, I just want to live long enough to see grandchildren, or even great-great grandchildren.

I suddenly had a reason for changing my behavior. I had a reason that matter greatly to me personally: my kids. I then started exercising, eating better, and losing weight. I have made some permanent changes to my diet: caffiene is notregularly imbibed. Same thing with sodas—diet or otherwise. I won'tsay sugar is never consumed by me, but I'm a lot pickier about how whatkind of sugar and how frequently I consume it.

The weight has crept back on as my motivation wanes—mostly in the exercise department. I trying a different diet—one with a bit more variety than Atkins—though exercise has been an on and off thing lately. I am trying to walk at least 30 minutes three times a week right now. I know that I need to do more. I need to rediscover that motivation that got me started in the first place.

At least my own actions I have some control over. However, I realize I cannot control the actions of others. Even my own kids. 🙂 There are three basic things you can do here, based on some advise I heard on Dr Joy Browne:

  • Ignore: This is hard, given we're talking about smoking. The best you can do here is set some boundaries about where it is not acceptable to smoke. I'm sure this will have to be neogitated.
  • Bribe: If he doesn't have the internal motivation to change, give him some external motivation for it. This has to be "positive" and something he really wants. Be careful not to confuse a bribe with a threat here.
  • Leave: If smoking bothers you that much, you can always always threaten to leave until he quits smoking. Of course, do not use that threat lightly. Only use it if you have the intestinal fortitude to actually follow through.

No easy answers here, of course. This stuff is never easy.