Elizabeth E George

Kicking the Butt Bucket: A How-to List and Diary

In Blog, Health and Fitness, Health and Humanity, Help (Me!) Guide, Uncategorized on May 10, 2012 at 7:01 am

By Elizabeth E. George

Cough. Cough. Wheeze.


Image from miguelbenga.com


I’m sick again. Oh, Please!

Sound familiar?

That’s the health of a long-term smoker, for sure.

Well, I’m not one to judge. I still smoke…Well, for a few more weeks.

Smoke, if you want. Smoke ’em, if you got ’em.

Heck! Smoke where ever you want.

But, that’s not the point, though.

I’m getting older (yes, grey hairs and less hair in general), and I don’t want to live the rest of my life, clutching the cough syrup and biting my nails every time I want a cigarette, I think as I look at the beckoning butt bucket in the corner of the room.

(“I want cigarettes as much as you do,” it seems to spout.)

So, I make a butt bucket list. How do I get rid of this attachment, this dependency, and, I hate to say it…addiction?

1. Drink! A lot. Water, that is.

(Alcohol just seems to make almost everyone want a cigarette, or am I wrong here?) This will not only flush out toxins and help with withdrawal symptoms, it curbs the appetite as well as –you said it — keeps the oral fixation at bay.

2. Snack!

Eating more is good.  You just have to know what to eat: carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, and anything else with a very low calorie count that curbs both the desire to light one up and eases the oral fixation of putting mouth to cigarette.

Treat this like a cleansing diet. So, try eating  a yummy chicken instead of, let’s say, a Philly cheese steak for dinner.  There are studies that say you need to eat in order to lose weight, for those who are worried about binging on everything in the fridge. Another thing. Remember the basics: don’t do things like eat a big meal at midnight. Your metabolism will thank you.

3. Get another habit! (Or, hobby.)

Replace something bad with something good — just don’t go crazy with it.  Find more things you enjoy doing, but don’t spend all of your day off playing video games.  Instead, divide up your free time (and times of easing the pain of I-just-want-a-cigarette) into various “habits.”

There is a basic psychology called classical conditioning that proves this really works. For example: Dog salivates at the sight of a bone, and yelps ’til he/ she gets it.  By slowly changing the association of Dog and bone to something more positive, like Dog craving bone to Dog craving a pet from his/ her owner, a transition can be made.

The only thing is that negative reinforcement may have to be used as well. Negative, though? Yes, that’s just a psychological term for reinforcing the actions of not doing something, or taking it away by implicating rewards. This method works well with Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning quite well.

4. Know things! Know more!

Look at pictures of cancer-ridden lungs, fake voice boxes, and, overall, be disgusted by the very thought, sight, and smell of smoking.

I know. I know. It seems like I’m talking about a slide show from D.A.R.E class, but it’s true. No doubt about that.

5. DON’T listen to advice from non-smokers on how-to kick the butt bucket once and for all.

They know as much on how-to stop something they never started as smokers do on something they never stopped. No one knows the right way — the true path to a smoke-free life! That’s poppycock! And, everyone in their right mind knows it to be true.

6. Get Help!

But, therapy?

Yes, in a way. Seek counsel from former smokers, or, even, someone who is going through the same crazy, do-you-think-I’ll-ever-quit? trail and error process as you.

Well, we’ll see how this works out for me. So far, I’m still lightly biting the tips of my nails from cigarette to cigarette (I’m at a little less than half a pack per day and gradually decreasing each week), but this is only week 2.

But, most of all, not everything works for everyone.

What do you think? Any tips?


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