Greetings true believers!
Hope eveyone had a wonderful week. Currently relaxing on a lovely Sunday recovering from a busy week and a Saturday of cleaning. Have to admit, there's nothing nicer when you get your cleaning done and are able to sit and relax in a clean house it's like a reset button for the week. Granted 99% of the time by mid week you are a back in a mess but that's what happens when you have two full time parents and children with busy activities.
Anyhoo, I had an exciting Friday since HEAL was released on all of the major platforms like ITunes, Spotify and a bunch more! Although I really miss the days of record stores where you can flip through crates and rows of CD's and vinyl looking for that cool find its always a thrill when you pull up something like iTunes and see your music up there and posted with other bigger established artists. Once again thank you to everyone who shared and emailed me to tell me that they picked it up! Hopefully now that it's everywhere we will see more and more people checking it out and reviewing. It means a lot to me!
Also, another thing that I tried to accomplish this week before the upcoming approach of the release date was one of the things that I've been thinking about conquering for a little while now...which was smoking.
Like I've mentioned, with the new change of lifestyle that occurred this year I've been doing it in small stages which I feel is the most effective way of having it stick. Eating better first, then yoga, then Fitbit/calorie tracking apps, then prayer/meditation but now I'm in the "4th quarter" and with 3 months and 40lbs still to go I'm at the point where I'm going "ok what else can I accomplish?" I feel like I'm at the point where I'm maintaining, but not losing which I'm kind of ok with (the plateaus are frustrating) but at the same time I like to introduce new things to see if I can make things even better. If I would of tried all of this stuff all at once it would of been too much and I would be destined to fail.
So it took me a few weeks from my Initial Sept 1st projected start date, but I decided that I was gonna give quitting a try by switching to those e-cigarettes. It was a lovely warm weekend last week and after taking my car for a way overdue oil change and wash (inside and out) after sitting in a nice clean car, ash free and smelling like a new clean cotton Yankee Candle I thought to myself "well, perfect time to hit the Rite Aid and give it a try". Figured since I see those Blu ones all over that would be a good place to start. I bought the old Starter Kit of regular tobacco, plugged in and gave it a shot.
Now I'll be 100% honest. I lovvvvvve smoking. Sure it's horrible for you, gross to most and it seems like more and more it's harder than ever to do it anywhere these days but I have no problem with it for the most part. For me, there's nothing better than sitting on the deck with an iced coffee with my phone and smoking like a chimney, or after a nice meal sitting back and smoking or especially while drinking alcohol. I literally have to buy a pack to go along with the beer.
I remember literally the day before I decided to make a change at my cousin's wedding. It was a cold and rainy night at the reception, I went out after a few drinks to have a smoke outside and I'm literally standing there shaking in my suit, puffing away trying to stay dry and I look over at my cousin who is smoking with me and we are looking at each other saying "can you believe we are doing this in this weather?" But he looks over at me and says "yeah, but I fucking love smoking" and I looked over and agreed wholeheartedly.
But as much as I enjoy it, honestly I love bad food, beer and drugs too and since I've given up all of this stuff this year why not this too? In the past year I've seen a few friends battling cancer as we speak (ironically none of them smokers), a pack is now up to almost $11 in NY and my poor grandmother is in her 90s barely able to breathe on her own from over 70(!) years of smoking so there's no reason to do it. Not to mention my daughters. Of course I don't smoke anywhere near them, but you can tell there's not a taboo about it, they are at the age that they aren't ignorant about it and they don't hassle me about it. It's just something daddy does.
So, for anyone curious or interested in "vaping" here's my review....
Honestly? It's different....but not that bad.
Is it as good as taking a drag on a Marlboro Light? Not really but it's all in the mindset. I use it in the car and you get the crackle, heat and "smoke" that pours out of your mouth but it's not smoke, it's vapor. I often found myself rolling down the window but you don't have to there's no smell or ash to it! Instead of freezing your ass off in the snow or rain you can stay warm (which if anyone knows me I fucking HATE the winter and being cold) I've even sat on my couch, inside after the kids go to bed vaping away watching TV! I'm getting the nicotine but not all of the other poison that goes with it. They even have other flavors/scents like vanilla, cherry and yes even Java which I have yet to try. Instead of a cloud of toxic smoke you can get the rush of the "drug" I'm addicted to and be smelling like an ash free candle. Plus 3 cartridges are like $10-13 which when you consider the cost of smokes..a 3 pack of 200 puffs to a cartridge is way cheaper.
But naturally...there's been a struggle and some down sides.
Its literally the smoke that never burns out. Each cartridge Like I said has about 200 puffs to it so I figured "ok so like a cartridge a day..makes sense" but with a regular smoke, it burns away and you are done. The struggle is "when do you put the thing down?" The first day or so I'm sucking on this thing constantly and not knowing when to put the thing down. The only good thing about Blu is that the battery part drains pretty quick so once it flashes it's time to charge. It comes In a cool black cig pack that charges one and holds the cartridges so you can switch out. Charge one while using the other. On the commute I have to time it like "ok smoke it till you get to 684, put it down and not pick it up again till I get to 287 (for those people who know the NY highways 😜).
Another thing I noticed is the "classic tobacco" cartridges I got are anything but. You get the effect but if I had to describe its more of a pipe tobacco taste than a "regular" smoke.
After a day or so I felt like I wasn't getting what I wanted. It didn't feel as strong or taste like a regular cigarette. I was sucking on this thing as hard as I could and getting discouraged. "This isn't smoking! It's not working this is a pipe not a Marlboro!" So at work, going out with my "smoking buddy" since I'm outside anyway I would rationalize "well let me try a regular smoke and see if I can tell the difference" the difference? Really not much and I had to keep tell myself "dude, the Blu is giving you the nicotine so you are not going through withdrawal"
But alas, after about 3-4 days of it sneaking a real smoke here and there I put it down and went back to buying Marlboro. I started feeling these weird pains in my ribs and chest too which kind of frightened me (looking back its probably because I was puffing too hard and using muscles and part of my lungs i havent used in decades). I wasn't sure why so I used that as an excuse to go back. I left the Blu pack charging in my car and I bought a new 3 pack but I never opened it. By mid week I was bummed that I gave up so fast.
But a weird thing happened yesterday.
I was home alone for awhile cleaning the house, popping in and out of the house having smokes And eventually I ran out. I had to go to the grocery store anyway to pick up some stuff so I said "eh, I'll pick up a pack too but I'll have a Blu on the way to tide me me over". It had been charging for awhile and I got the new 3 pack of cartridges so I screwed in the new one, which was bigger than the other ones I had for some reason (the lady in the gas station couldn't figure out what the hell I was asking for) so I took a few drags on the way to the store.
By the time I got there I didn't even want to buy a pack.....at all.
I think the new cartridges I bought must of been stronger, or maybe I gave it awhile to charge or who knows but I enjoyed the Blu so much I had no desire to even get "real ones" at all. I couldn't believe it instead of ripping open a pack of Marlboros I said "I'm gonna use the Blu instead on the way home it was really good!"
So I'm going back to the vaping. Like I always say I never want to sit here with any of this and say "I'm cured!" There's always going to be moments and days where I go over my calories, sneak a few cocktails and probably suck on a smoke while doing so but like all of this the good days are soooooo much more and better this year than the bad ones. Once you realize that you don't crave it anymore, you don't get obsessed about the falls, get up and keep trying you are destined for success. I love the fact that there's kale drinks in my fridge instead of beer/soda, a yoga mat/area next to my music area, cold nights where I can vape indoors in said studio working on music and now to dig out a certain jacket down in the basement that I'm dying to try on 👍