Holidays Are Here: Have a Nicotine-Free Celebration

Jim Christopher Health Guide
  • The turkey may not be grateful, but I am. Thanksgiving is upon us. "Watch out, waistline!" some might exclaim, but yours truly, since tossing out tobacco in '93, has successfully consistently kept off the lbs with simple moderate exercise and smart food choices. I'm not alone: Lots of ex-smokers don't necessarily embrace their refrigerators as a reaction to cigarette-free living.

    I'm not a vegetarian but I have fewer "meat-centered" meals than I did years ago. Born in Texas, steak or beef served in one form or another was indeed the center of most of my "cow town" - as Forth Worth was referred to in that era - meals. Deep-fried chicken ran a close second.

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:

    Last year I spent Thanksgiving with others who, not only pardoned the turkey, but served only vegetarian delights. None of these folks excused themselves for a smoke break. Maybe if a study were conducted in regard to the tobacco use of vegetarians, I suspect researchers would be hard-pressed to find many smokers in that group of individuals.

    I'm grateful for a smoke-free life, health, loving friends. The holiday season doesn't require stuffing until one is ready to pass out. I certainly don't feel deprived at holiday time. I just don't think it mandatory to gorge greasy super-sized helpings of foods I don't ordinarily want. Pumpkin pie, for instance, can be enjoyed sans whipped-cream topping - and, as an extra fatty-calorie-reduction procedure I simply lop off the back-crust portion of my piece of pie with a fork, excising an additional 100 fat-laden calories. Holidays are for getting close to folks and I haven't forced friends to hug a toxic-tobacco me for over 15 years; friends haven't been subjected to my arrested alcoholism for over 30 years.

    I, in turn, am turned off by drunks; festive is fine and fun can be had during the holiday season without drugs (nicotine, alcohol, etc.).

    Although I don't drink alcohol, I'm OK being with folks who have a drink or two and with smokers who stand well away from the rest of us.

    I've enjoyed walking with groups of friends after a holiday meal, then topping it off with a movie at a local theatre. Holiday "blahs" can grab many folks with varying degrees of severity. Nicotine won't fix it; a supportive hug from a non-smoking friend could help.
    Here's an idea: use this holiday season to seek out stop-smoking support for yourself. Lots of groups await your arrival. Join others in a common cause and maybe make a new friend or two.

    Happy Holidays.
    Visit me at I look forward to being with you again next week.

Published On: November 25, 2008