A month ago Guardian account manager Lisa Williams was smoking 15 cigarettes a day and watching £180 a month go up in smoke.
Her carbon monoxide levels were dangerously high and she often complained of feeling ill and lethargic.
But now the 34-year-old is almost at the end of her Stoptober smoking challenge and said she is a changed person.
Her carbon monoxide levels have fallen to virtually zero, she is feeling healthier and happier and is definitely feeling the benefits financially.
Lisa recently enjoyed a big work’s night out and said despite her best efforts she gave in to a crafty cigarette with her friends.
But the mum-of-two didn’t let that sabotage her efforts and got straight back on the programme the next day.
“Before the cigarettes would’ve controlled me but I showed I am in control of them,” she said.
“I didn’t let it ruin what I had achieved so far and I definitely don’t see me turning back now.”
Mum of two Lisa gave up smoking at the beginning of October as part of the national Stoptober initiative and said she initially found it a real struggle.
“The first week was hell and I really thought I could never do it, but now I am feeling and looking so much better I know I can,” she said,.
“I have come too far to go back now and am feeling so much better in myself.”
Lisa has also been getting plenty of support from Bassetlaw specialist stop smoking advisor Kate Burley and her friends and family.
Said Lisa: “Kate has been coming to see me every week and she regularly texts me message of support, which has massively helped.”
“It’s also been a big help to have my carbon monoxide levels tested every week as it’s really shown me how much they have dropped.”
Lisa is going to continue her support sessions with Kate as well as use the inhalators to help control her nicotine cravings.
She said the main hurdle she now faces is learning to cope when things - particularly at work - become stressful.
“That’s the only time I really feel like giving up and starting to smoke again,” she said.
“But Kate said doing so isn’t going to make me feel less stressed - it’ll just make me feel worse in the long run, which I need to remember.”
And her advice to anyone else trying to give up smoking?
“It’s really tough but just stick at it. You will feel so much better health and finance-wise,” she said.
“It is about the bigger picture, but just focus at getting through one day at a time. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up - just take it day by day.”
• If you would like help to stop smoking, it is not too late.
Bassetlaw Stop Smoking Service offers free help, advice and visits - just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 3288553.
You can also find out more about Stoptober and read Lisa’s online blog by visiting www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/stoptober
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Weather for Gainsborough
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
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