Three Years Smoke Free

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life115 Comments

Three years ago today I quit smoking.

It was a good decision.

It has not been easy thing to do.

I'm 30 pounds heavier, but smell much better and have much pinker lungs.

As a moderately self-righteous ex-smoker, I often act like I know all the secrets to kicking addictions of every kind, but I think it's pretty obvious that I don't.

But I do know this: You quit doing what you know is bad for you when you are ready to do it. End (and beginning) of story.

Apparently, I'm still ready to stay a non-smoker.

Go me.

Thank you.

Cathy ZielskeThree Years Smoke Free

115 Comments on “Three Years Smoke Free”

  1. #2

    You go girl! That is awesome. That was the best decision you could have ever made. Your family is blessed by that decision.

  2. #3
    shari (tigsnbitz)

    Congratulations CZ..I hope you keep that drive in you to stay smoke free.
    Not only do your family and friends need you, so do we CZ addicts! : )
    Keep up the good work, and stay strong.

  3. #6

    YAY for you!!

    I quit five years ago (soon) after reading the Allen Carr-book. It is amazing. It really REALLY helped. I have never ever felt like a cigarette since. Not even once.

    So… If ever in doubt – find it and read it.
    You’re doing GOOD!!

  4. #9

    That is awesome. I quit smoking 20 years ago…after a lot of quitting and “thinking” I could just have one cigarette at the bar with friends. It doesn’t work that way for me. You go…and keep on going! Excellent! I also just realized that I came across your blog long enough ago to remember when you quit smoking. Crazy!

  5. #12
    ~ Kim

    Congratulations! Just over 6 mths smoke free here and I gained about 30 pounds too! UG! And that’s not counting the 15 or so I needed to lose before I quit! Some days I still miss it …. especially during fights with my sometimes-not-so-dear-hubby! I’m guessing that will eventually pass…and slowly but surely I’m working on losing what I gained.

    Congrats again! And happy St. Patty’s Day!!

  6. #16

    Congratulations on being smoke free for 3 years now!!! You are quit when you are ready for you to quit!!

    I’m happy to say I’ve been a non-smoker now for 20 years now!! Best decision I ever made for myself!


  7. #17

    you go girl!!
    not a smoker myself, but my mom quit after 44 years of smoking 4 packs a day! she’s been clear for 22 years now, and i’m so proud of her!

  8. #21
    Jan Connair

    For me, it’s caffeinated tea, which gives me migraines, but which I am drinking right this minute (after having successfully given it up for several months). Well, I haven’t actually taken the first sip yet. Should I go toss it down the drain?

  9. #23

    Congrats on your smokeless anniversary ๐Ÿ™‚
    I quit 17 yrs ago and to this day when I am really stressed, I still think about how good it would taste, but 99.9% of the time I think of how disgusting it would taste. lol

  10. #25
    debbi hyden

    Congratulations!! its a big accomplishment! i quit 11 1/2 years ago and it really was one of the hardest and best things i’ve done for myself. But well worth it.

  11. #27

    Congrats CZ – I quit 18 monthe, 30 lbs. heavier, but THE BEST thing I have done!!!
    ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mart

  12. #28

    Congrats – It’s one of the hardest things to accomplish!! I am almost 3.5 years myself and also 30 pds heavier…is that some kind of evil, magic number??!!

  13. #31
    Katie Scott

    Yay for you!

    I was an occasional smoker in college & law school but have been 99% quit since 1995 (smoking only in the “M” states – Maine, Massachusetts & Missouri – although its been so long that if I try to have one now it burns my throat and I actually don’t like them anymore).

  14. #32

    You go girl. I am 1 1/2 years smoke free and also 30 pounds heavier. LOL Weight Watchers and I are great pals these days.

    Way to go. You are an inspiration.

  15. #33
    ronni H

    I am another ex-smoker… 8 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days, with an extra 15 lbs to show for it. But I feel great! Congrats Cathy! =]

  16. #35
    Melissa LaFavers

    Good for you, Cathy. I’m glad you’re healthier and happier. But smelling better? Yeah, that’s the best reason of all, am I wrong? ; )


  17. #42
    Amy Louise

    YES!! Go you!!!!!


    I work in Mental Health & Addictions and it is true – it is less difficult to quit Heroin than smoking – so pat yourself on the back! You are an amazing person!!

  18. #45

    As a nurse who works in a radiation oncology treatment center, I applaud your decision to quit smoking and really applaud your continued smoke-free status. You go, girl!!!!

  19. #46

    Great for you!!! Here’s to more smoke-free years!! And I love you honesty and the fact that you don’t claim to know the way to quit (fill in bad habit here).

  20. #48

    Congrats! It gives me hope to know that someone had done something real hard and I might be able to do something hard too.

  21. #51

    Rock on Sister! 7.5 years and 25lbs here but you can loose the weight, you can’t get new lungs. Am I correct that you quit on St. Patrick’s Day? Most people go the other way…

  22. #53
    Tracy Johnson

    Congrats! I quit about 20 years ago, and weight much more than I used to (varies from 15-40 lbs!), but I say it’s healthier to be overweight than a smoker. Plus we smell better and have more money. Well, maybe not more money in hand, but more money to spend on other things, ie scrapbook and stamp supplies! Keep up the good work no not smoking. I won’t ever go back, becasue quitting was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, including giving birth and dieting.

  23. #54
    Michelle Giaimo

    that i great, quitting smoking is the best gift you can give your family. I know because I care for my mom who has COPD.

  24. #55
    Sandi Malloy

    Quitting for my BD was my best self-given present ever! 21 years later I’m still thankful that I finally did it. You go girl! You have great reason to be proud.

  25. #56

    Great job, Cathy! If I lived on your street I would bring you a giant bouquet of flowers. And some brownies. And maybe a beer.

  26. #61

    Congrats and good for you! My hubby wants to try and quit again this month. He wants to, I really don’t. So, it’s kind of a struggle of feelings and what is going to win out. They have raised the prices of cigs so bad now, I shouldn’t need too much more incentive! LOL!

  27. #65

    Congrats on the huge milestone. I don’t smoke but my mom does. I’ve watched her try to quit a number of times. It’s so hard. You should be so proud of yourself! I’m sure your family is!

  28. #66
    Joni Arcocha

    Congrats on the 3 years!!! I agree…it is one of the best things you could do for yourself and your family!!!! This year will be 21 for me.

  29. #70

    YEA YOU!

    Mostly because now you’re going to live longer and I can read your blog longer. Which equals…

    YEA ME!


  30. #72

    Yay for you! Alot of hard work involved with this but so happy you pulled it off. Next time I have a glass of wine, I’ll toast to your three years and then to three more!

  31. #74
    Jeannette P

    That is an amazing feat to quit smoking & not turn back. I applaud you!!!! Great job!
    Enjoy breathing better, smelling better & actually being able to taste good food. The next feat will be to reach your wt loss goal. Good Luck!

  32. #80
    emily ruth

    that’s awesome! great job! i’m hoping this starts happening for me & food soon…no joking, i need to be ready to kick it out (or up or in or something)

  33. #81
    Ami Pilon

    I too gained way too much weight after quitting. For the last two years I have been walking a mile a day (four times around our condo complex) five days a week and lost 30 pounds. It takes time, but I now miss walking if I let it go for more than one or two days. My new habit is way better than the old one. Congratulations.

  34. #84
    Carol in SLC

    BIG congratulations, Cathy! I know what an accomplishment it is, finally succeeding myself after many, many attempts (now 22 years smoke-free). I attended a medical lecture once where the speaker said nicotine is more addictive than heroin – I believe it. You’re awesome – keep it up!

  35. #85
    Rhonda P

    Congrats Ms Z! Definitely something to be proud of. It’s hard sometimes. Me, I’m going on 8 years. Am also 30 pounds heavier. If I can do it, you can too!!!

  36. #91

    Cathy! Great job on the quitiversary!

    I’m really excited about the “anyone can write a little” workshop, but could you give us a hint about how much it’s going to cost? I really want to do it, but I have to start planning now…


  37. #92

    Congrats on being free of cancer sticks for three years! There is and should be no looking back. You can always work on the weight gain when you are ready to. Just think how much better off you are not be poisoning yourself anymore with smoke! Yippee!

  38. #93

    I am so proud of you! And glad that we’ll be blessed enough to enjoy more of your blog posts and classes. lol…


  39. #96
    Lisa Cole

    wow – I’m PROUD of you! I lost my dad to lung cancer (45 years as a smoker) 23 years ago, I still haven’t gotten over it. I always applaud people who can kick the habit.

  40. #98
    Madeline St Onge

    I am right there with you but it has only been a little over 4 months for me this time, but I am also 30lbs heavier and I hate that part of it.
    Congratulations on the 3 years Cathy. Go you is right

  41. #99

    To your “I do know this” statement – Amen!!! Congrats to you. The end of May will be 6 years for me and every once in a while – I still want a cigarette. Yes, I am fatter, but I do feel better and smell better. Yay for us!!!

  42. #101

    so true; that’s what happened w/ weight for me–I was just “ready” no reason or answers to how I got “ready”; Congrats Cathy–addictions of any kind are horrible to kick and sustain; you should be very proud of yourself

  43. #105

    Congrats Cathy! My husband is also at 3 years since he quit. He said it was by far the hardest thing that he has ever quit. Of course he also gave up drinking to be healthier, then smoking, and then gained 40 or so pounds. He said he still has some cravings but then all he has to do is stand by one of his friends that smoke and he is glad that he quit…he said the smell is gross! Once again, Congrats!

  44. #113

    Hey Cathy you are my hero:) I wish I was there at the quitting point. I think about it everyday, but still have this attachment. Ugh.

  45. #114

    YOU GO GIRL!!! You should be so proud–quitting is an amazing feat!. I am an RN in the ER and I see, on a daily basis, how smoking absolutely ruin the health of not just the smoker but the small (often asthmatic ) children of the smoker.

    I feel if you can quit this terribly addictive habit you can do ANYTHING! Whooohoooo–sure hope your wings are not getting tired yet!

  46. #115
    Bheng Tria

    Congratulations for having the courage to do this for 3 years now.. but will it really put more weight if u quit smoking? I’m a smoker for almost 20 years now but not an addict. I can go through a whole week without smoking, provided i don’t have to drink ’cause i couldn’t help smoking while drinking.. anyways, i’m, i think, 20 lbs. overweight and i’m thinking again, should i decide to quit smoking, does it mean i’d put on more weight?????? gosh..

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