Over the past month I’ve been taking part in Stoptober, the 28-day national stop smoking challenge, with the help of Boots who set me four weekly challenges to celebrate the changes I was due to experience becoming a non smoker.
The first was all about preparing myself to go smoke free. Knowing my smoking triggers, learning how to beat my cravings and giving myself a goal to aim towards. This week was undoubtedly the hardest with a pounding headache cursing me for the first few days which made me incredibly moody and and saw me have a little bit of a cry on more than one occasion. I persevered and started stashing money I’d usually spend on cigarettes with the aim of purchasing a new pair of boots by the end of the month.
The second challenge was a lot easier and one that I quite literally stuck my teeth into! With smoking dulling my taste buds and me being a whole a week smoke free my taste should have been returning to normal so it was put to the test with a tasty Coffee, Chocolate and Avocado cookie recipe.
They tasted incredible and were a huge hit with the whole family, especially Joseph who I’m sure is giving his Mummy a little bit of encouragement here with his “you’re doing great Mum” thumbs up!
In week three Boots sent me a lovely half way treat which was also to be my third challenge, “The Smell of Success”, a lovely bouquet of sweet smelling flowers so that I could enjoy the return of my sense of smell. This is something I noticed return very quickly especially during week two’s challenge making coffee for the cookies, it’s one of my favourite smells and one that has obviously been dulled for a long time!
The final of my challenges was entitled the “Look of Success”. Smoking can have a big impact on your appearance, not only staining your teeth but affecting your complexion and reducing the nutrients in your hair but these can all be reduced by quitting. I received top tips from fashion photographer Claire Pepper on how to take the selfie.
Over the past four weeks I’ve been on a long journey, one that has been extremely hard but with the help and support of family and friends as well as the team at Boots with their challenges I’ve noticed small changes in me that have made a huge difference. I am now smoke free (and fully intending on staying that way too), as well as healthier and a lot more well off with new boots on order as well as money saved towards to my next target, a MacBook!