A Very Personal Post

As most of you know I lost my brother Rusty to lung cancer this past April.
Now I will give you a little information that you don’t know.
My grandparents on my mother’s side of my family both died of smoking related disease, my grandmother, who I don’t remember because I was so young when she died, died of lung cancer, my grandfather who I do remember and have fond memories of, died of emphysema.

On my father’s side of my family, I remember both of my grandparents and I am thankful for the time I had with them. My grandmother died of lung cancer, and my grandfather died of lung cancer, both were smokers for as long as I can remember.

I do not know my family’s medical history beyond my grandparent’s, and quite frankly I don’t want to know, because it is scary enough knowing what I know now. My mother, who I miss very much, also died of lung cancer 15 years ago because of smoking. I have just recently found out that my father now has lung cancer, although he hasn’t smoked for 13 years or so, and he is about to start his treatments.

Now we have me, Jim. I am a husband, a father, and a grandfather and I am only 43, but I have been thinking of my own mortality as of late, I think justifiably so.
Although I would like to live for 1000 years ( someone is actually working on this believe it or not) that technology is not yet here. I have been a smoker for 31 years, I have quit before for some time, but I have always gone back. I quit again this spring after my brothers passing and it lasted a few weeks, but I am back smoking again. I am also overweight according to the CDC, I am 6 ft and weigh 212 lbs. I have a few inches of fat in my belly.

This blog is about my journey to becoming a published author, but it is also about motivation and inspiration, and each one of you motivate and inspire me with your support. I have decided that for me, and for my family, I am going to change myself. I am going to start holding myself accountable for my own health, and I am going to be doing a weekly post showing what I did and showing my progress, on top of my weekly posts on writing. I am looking to change myself for my family and for myself, and I will succeed, I am going to get down to a healthy weight, stop smoking, and stop filling my body with the poison we call fast food.

Now all I ask is that you, my friends, sit back and read my progress posts, and get ready for JIM 2.0 Because here I come.

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51 responses to “A Very Personal Post

  1. greetingsfromcoupeville

    Dear Jim,
    First, I honor your courage, and not only will I follow your journey to success, I am offering my support. Need an encouraging word? A kick in the pants? Need a virtual hug? Reach out and I’ll be there. We’re all in this together. Michaelene

    • Hey Michaelene, thank you so much πŸ™‚
      We are in this all together, I say it all the time, because of that support and that of my family I will succeed.
      Thank you for taking the time to stop by πŸ™‚

  2. Jim…this is so wonderful to read….especially. for me…on this day. I’m going to join you & make some changes myself. You inspire me.

    • I am glad you found some inspiration here today, Rayne. Good for you on committing to yourself for the better. Change is good for us and for me this part of the journey will be nothing short of awesome.
      Thanks for coming by πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Jim…I agree with the ladies…If you need an encouraging word, just let me know. I am rooting for you! πŸ™‚

  4. Your post brought a tear to my eye. I lost three grandparents to Cancer caused by smoking. I was lucky my parents never took it up and neither did I. My husband quit a couple of years before we married and am thankful for that. I am sorry about the loss of your brother. Good luck with keeping the cigarettes in the store and not in your lungs. Just blog me or tweet me if you need a boost. I have been trying to eat better and I walk four miles three times a week. You would be surprised how much better you would feel to get moving and it keeps your mind off other things. Praying for you!

    • Hey Stephanie
      Thanks so much for your kinds words of encouragement, that really helps, I had to fight back the tears in my eyes when I wrote this, that tells me I am doing the right thing.
      Thanks for stopping in πŸ™‚

  5. Jim….I am SO rooting for you! I too have been trying to tackle this most deplorable habit, and it’s so difficult…I know you got this my friend! I will be checking in on you always πŸ™‚ very inspiring to know I, and you are not alone in this!

    • Erin you and I have known each other, well forever, all the way back to hillside elementary. I am thankful for friends like you. It is a deplorable habit but it is one we can change and get rid of, you know I got you 100% when you’re ready to quit I will be there for that to.
      Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  6. It is a brave thing you do sharing your journey with us and I wish you good luck. I have been in your shoes so I will be very blunt, honest and not nice πŸ™‚
    I was a heavy smoker for many years before an automobile accident. After recovering I had been warned not to smoke and to be careful and take care of my lungs. I had lost half of one of them in a car accident, along with a severed aorta and when my broken ribs punctured my heart had to have open heart surgery. Once I recovered, guess what I did? I took up smoking again. Fool that I was.
    Even after all the pain and warnings it wasn’t until I wanted to start a family I knew I should stop. I tried everything even as far as hiding cigarettes all over the house. Then I would proceed on a frenzied frantic hunt for them. One day I had torn apart everything in a cabinet looking for a cigarette and that was when I had a real good look at myself. I must of looked like a drug addict. I not only made a mess of the house, I was one.
    I was playing games with quitting. Making up rules that I could stretch and break. I made the rule that I was not allowed to buy any but I had bought cartons ahead of time and hid packs and individual cigarettes everywhere. “Just in case,” I told myself. Then I found people to buy them for me.
    I made up rules with all the “things” I tried: gum, chew, toothpicks, patches.
    But that’s the nuts and bolts of it, they are all different things to get hooked on. More excuses to blame, “It didn’t work for me.” Excuses to just not stop. I was different it was harder for me to quit than others who had succeeded, I told myself.
    Too often I’ve found people will try to replace one addiction with another. They will eat every time they crave or chew nicotine gum. The replace game, it doesn’t work. You have to face it head on and know only you can do it. All the support in the world won’t help either if you yourself don’t really want to quit.
    For myself, I realized I had a gift of setting myself up for continual failure.
    Face that it will be hard. Know you will have good and bad days. Most of all face yourself, what you know is the truth of what can happen to you if you don’t stop smoking and face what you will gain if you succeed – life, family, friends, more chance at opportunity to be all that you deserve and want to be. You must decide that cigarettes are the enemy, they do not taste or smell good, and you must learn to believe it.
    Nothing worth fighting for is easy. You are worth it.
    You can do it. Have people you can call when you feel tempted and stay away from the things that set off those temptations. For me it was morning coffee, alcohol, and social drinking at bars when I was out dancing.
    Take care & good luck to you. I quit and believe me it was difficult but I did it and so can you.
    Blessings your way,
    Barbie Herrera

    • Hey Barbie,
      Thanks for that comment and sharing your story, and I am sorry you had to go through that accident. You said it was like you were a drug addict, well the truth is, as smokers we are drug addicts plain and simple, it just happens to be legal. I have no illusions about how hard it will be to quit but I am a take the bull by horns kind of guy and not much scares me. I will dig into this and I will fight, and I will win, you are 100% right I’m worth it.
      Thanks for coming by πŸ™‚

  7. It’s something about how all of us in one point of time or another are thinking along similar lines…Best wishes to you my online friend (GoTeamPIF) & I pray that you not only have success that we can see, but success that you can feel. πŸ™‚

  8. Jim, you WILL make it, and Team PIF will be right by your side, cheering you on, holding your hand, and taking those sticks out of your hands, then swatting your fingers with a ruler. I’ve only seen a bit of your determination and you inspire and motivate me every day. I hope we can do the same for you. Go sweetie! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

    BTW, 6′, 212 lbs, sounds great. Take up working out – do push ups every time you want to smoke. Seriously. You’ll be thrilled with how your body will change, and you can swap one unhealthy addiction for a healthy one. xox

  9. Hey Melissa
    Thank you so much for everything you have helped me with. I know team PIF will be there for me so will my wife and kids and that means so much at succeeding, when I do decide to DO something, such as this lifestyle change I achieve great success, I always have, thats how I know I will be a published author and a smoke free one at that πŸ™‚
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by πŸ™‚

  10. Hi Jim,
    I never smoked, but am an eater. I struggle everyday to keep up this new lifestyle change for me. My blood pressure was going up and up and I was not sleeping at night. I made the decision to be a healthier me. I take it a day at a time and sometimes an hour at a time. I’m learning how to listen to my body of the “hunger” clues and make good choices. I’m thinking of you in your struggle and your goal. Every cigarette you choose not to smoke is a step forward.

    • Hello Margaret,
      We all have our demons, unfortunately, its just when we realize it is time to exercise them that we do move forward. Thanks for your kind words and continued support, Margaret we have both had a tough year this year, just know I am also thinking of you πŸ™‚
      Thanks for taking the time to stop by πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Jim. I am also a smoker. I’ve quit a few times; but have only made it as far as a few months. I know how difficult it is but you sound ready to take up the challenge. πŸ™‚
    I wish you luck and success and look forward to learning what works for you. I’ve joined a gym in my struggle to get healthier but I know my smoking habit needs to stop.

    • Hey Denise,
      exercise will also be a part of this process for me and I will keep this post updated weekly. Thank you for your kind words and support.
      Thanks for coming by πŸ™‚

  12. Inspiring blog and commitment. You remind those of us don’t smoke (by a happy stroke of luck) just how insidiously addictive the habit is when we wish our own loved ones would stop (including my lovely new daughter-in-law). I’ll be reading your posts and rooting for you, Jim.

  13. Hi Jim,
    Sorry to hear about the loss that you have been through in your family. I am rooting for your. Here in the UK October has been named ‘Stoptober’ with the government and the NHS conducting a huge campaign to get people to quit smoking this month, so there is a tonne of support on this side of the pond for you πŸ™‚

  14. Jim, I wish you all the best in your endeavors. They say it takes as little as a couple of weeks to start a habit, but it can sometimes take us a lifetime to drop one. I can tell you that my sister and my X-husband have had great success with Chantex. Others I’ve known have used the patch or just done it cold-turkey. But I believe the most important thing to quitting is having the mind set. When you decide that you’re done, finished, ready to move on. You can do it, Jim. Just think, you wrote a book. How many others can say they’ve done that? But millions have quit smoking. It’ll be a piece of cake in comparison. πŸ™‚

  15. Hello Katheen,
    Thank you so much, it is in the mindset you are so right, I have quit for a year before with chantix and will use it again, it was a moment of weakness and overwhelming desire for a cigarette that brought me back to smoking because I did not know how to deal with it. I have written a book, and just started a novel, I am in a league of very few and such great company πŸ™‚
    Thanks for stopping in πŸ™‚

  16. You sound to me like a man who does what he sets out to do! I know you will succeed on your health quest πŸ™‚
    *hugs*

  17. Brought tears to my eyes jim!!! You can do this! If you want more accountability in your eating and fitness there’s a program I use on my phone called MyFitnessPal. You track what you eat and your workouts and it counts calories for you. Ive lost 15lbs and 8+ inches in the 4 months Ive been on it. Smoking? ahhh thats a toughie. I quit 13 years ago (with a few month long relapses) You CAN handle that! Good luck to you my friend! #GoTeamPIF

  18. I lost my spouse to stage 4 lung cancer in January, and my 13 year old Italian Greyhound in April. I am sorry to hear of your loss. Warm wishes for a peaceful day.

  19. Way to go, Jim! I’ve been wanting to make some changes too! I’ve been wanting to exercise and lose weight. I’m 42, and I don’t want to have another bypass (I had a double-bypass 2 years ago — 6 weeks after my 40th birthday). So, it’s time! I’ll be following your progress and will be a cheerleader to help you maintain your motivation. You can do it! Go, Jim, Go!

  20. AirportsMadeSimple

    Hi Jim – kudos to you on this brave journey. I’m also an ex-smoker, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve done to quit. I don’t know an easy way out (took me about 8 times), but I can share what worked for me. I saw the movie called “The Insider” with Russell Crowe. A true story, great movie. I used to work in a similar industry (that’s another loooooong story, but I knew one of the lawyers in the movie). The story shocked the crap out of me, so when I went to pick up a cigarette, I just couldn’t smoke it. I also would puff on cigars (sometimes the small ones) because it gave me the hand/mouth/tobacco feel without actually inhaling (and without the toxic chemicals). So sorry to hear about your family. Good luck. You can do it.

  21. Hi Jim, I’m on a similar journey, just getting back to walking for exercise, and losing weight that needs to come off (again). I quit smoking 34 years ago today. My grandmother died of lung cancer, my mother died of emphysema. Both my children smoke though both have quit for years, and have gone back to it. Fortunately none of my grandchildren (all teens) show no interest in smoking. I applaud you for making your journey and your commitment public. You see all the support that is available here! Let’s go Jim! I’m walking today, again.

  22. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

    Jim, That is a scary family history. My first thought on reading of all that tragic loss was that if that was my family, I would feel almost trapped by a fate I could not escape. I am very glad to hear that Jim 2.0 is not going to accept that sentencing. I am very glad to hear that you are committed to making the life changes that will keep you here, if not for a thousand years, at least for several more decades. A lesser man would just give up. A weaker man would say he had no chance and slide back into a deathly dance with his personal demons.

    I’m proud of you for choosing to fight. We’ll be here to cheer you on. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Jamie,
      I am glad to see you here πŸ™‚
      It really is and like I said I really dont want to know the rest, fate is fate but we ALWAYS have options even with fate.
      1000 years would be nice, but I am not holding my breath haha, I have decided to exorcise my demons. You know me I am a fighter, and I will keep swinging πŸ™‚
      Thanks for your kind words Jamie, and for all your support I really appreciate it.
      Thanks for taking the time to stop by πŸ™‚

  23. Olivia Martinez

    Good luck Jim!

  24. Hi Jim, that’s awesome. Very happy for you, looking forward to reading about your progress. It’s never too late. Good nutrition is key to a healthier life. Good luck on your journey!

  25. Hi Olivia,
    I am glad you found my blog, welcome.
    Thank you so much, it never is too late and I am really looking forward to this part of my journey. Tell Charlie I said hi πŸ™‚
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by πŸ™‚

  26. God for you Jim! I’ve given up quite a bit recently in terms of stuff that’s bad for me. I’m no expert but I will share one bit of unsolicited advise: WANT to quit. You already know you NEED to, but that’s different. Give yourself something now that you can only enjoy or afford smoke-free. Make it fun.

    Nicely written post. I can see why you want to do more of it.

    Good luck,
    Charlie

  27. Hey Charlie,
    Welcome, Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate them.
    I do Want to quit, I want it more than ever and now is the time, you know me personally and know my struggle over the last few years, this time something is different , something inside me just clicked.
    Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  28. Dear Jim,

    thanks for sharing this with all of us. I applaud you and I can only imagine how you felt losing so many of your loved ones. I think you are courageous and I admire what you are going to be working on – I can not imagine it is easy! But I am here for you we all are! thanks for sharing this powerful message on your blog and I wish you so much success. My husband is a smoker and I gravely worry about him too, I hope that by me sharing this with him will encourage him to quit and start on a healthy path. Thanks again my friend!

    Syl Stein

  29. Pingback: Grandfather: results from smoking » Get Smokeless

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