Hey Dave Nation,
My name is Jonah Istifan – Some of you may know me by now as the guy who puts together all the fun and exciting contests on 107.5 Dave Rocks. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of the amazing DAVE NATION members in my time here, all of which have been extremely supportive in the major change I made in my life on February 27, 2017. The day I officially QUIT SMOKING and started my journey to a better life. I owe my current and on-going success to Run to Quit, The Canadian Cancer Society, The Running Room, and all my friends/family.
I’ve officially been smoke free for almost 4 straight months. The journey has not been easy whatsoever, but I am proud to say that I am feeling more confident in every aspect of my life. After being a hardcore smoker for over 10 years, I can’t believe how much money, and life I’ve wasted on such a crippling habit and lifestyle.
Why did I quit? It was quite simple – It was my time to say NO MORE.
One night in early February, I was casually having a cigarette on my balcony (as I normally would on any given night) walked back into my apartment and immediately felt light-headed (a feeling that usually goes away after smoking for so many years), my body started to hurt, sweat pouring from my face, chest throbbing and my senses started to leave me.
I had to lie down, and as I laid there trying to concentrate on my breathing and understand what was happening to my body, I became extremely scared. It took me almost 30 minutes to regain my strength to sit up, and feel ready to grab a glass of water.
I reflected a lot that evening – it made me think about all I have to live for; my family, my career, my friends, my passions, hobbies, and all the places I still want to see, along with all the experiences I still need to achieve.
I am still unsure of what exactly happened to me that night, but I laid there thinking; how sad would it be to have a heart-attack, be dead in my apartment, and have my friends and family find out the next day that I am no longer around to share in the laughter and love of life, all because of my addiction to smoking. At this time, I knew it was time to set a quit date.
I often see a lot of my friends, family, and other community members enjoying cigarettes, and I want to tell them; YOU CAN QUIT, If I can you can too. But I always stop myself, this journey is not for everyone right now, but know that you have the tools and resources in place to quit when YOU are READY. It only took me thinking that I was having a heart attack to really make this happen. For you it could be any of a number of reasons; I’ll leave that to you to figure out.
However, If you have considered quitting, and think it’s time for YOU; here’s a couple pointers from someone who has been there, done that.
1) SET A DATE
-If you set this out, and stick to it; you’ve created a goal. Just like anything else in life, set your goals, set them reasonably and stick to them. Your success will be based on how passionate you are at achieving your goals. Procrastination will never accomplish your goals.
2) TELL PEOPLE (friends, family… everyone!)
-Once I quit, I broke EVERY single cigarette remaining in my pack, in front of a couple of my co-workers; took a picture and posted it on my Facebook page. The amount of support and confidence people had in me for taking this first step REALLY helped me along the first few weeks. Every time I’d get a craving, I’d read the comments from all the friends that care about me and it kept me motivated to stick to it! This was also a great way to stay accountable, as people have been and still check in my progress, then congratulate me on how far I’ve come!
3) DOWNLOAD AN APP
-This was instrumental in the early stages of kicking the habit – tracking your progress through an app on your phone (ie. QUIT PRO) will show you real-time results of how great you are doing, and you can see how much money you are saving, and how many cigarettes you would’ve smoked since your official quit date. I still look at it from time to time, to remind myself that I’ve made the right decision.
LOOK AT THE NUMBERS – It’s outstanding!!
4) STAY DISTRACTED
-Replace your cravings with something more constructive and keep your hands busy. Resisting having a cigarette during working hours was a tough one; I grabbed a stack full of elastics and constantly played with them while I sat at my desk. While at home, I’d pick up my guitar and keep my hands busy whenever I wanted to pick up a smoke!
5) GET ACTIVE
-Do something that’s easy on your mind, but newly demanding on your body. When I first quit, and the weather started improving, I went out and purchased a basketball; this was a great way to start to get active, and do something that I actually enjoy doing. Since then, I’ve recently completed a 10-week “Learn to Run” program with The Running Room in Waterloo. I was assigned a Run to Quit coach (Jody – she’s awesome) and was teamed up with a group of amazing people that were also going through the same transition as myself, and we used each other as support mechanisms, shared stories, and got active together while learning to run!
Everyone will have their own way of coping with the stress, the pressure and the change of lifestyle during their time of transition. Just know that you CAN do it, and you have every reason to quit.
On Saturday, June 24 – I will be participating in my first ever 5km run; BREAK FREE 5K FUN RUN in Toronto at ET Seton Park (Something that I would’ve never thought I could accomplish when I first quit smoking). I am however, extremely confident that I will be able to complete this race with ease, thanks to the training and support I received through Run to Quit.
If you’ve made it this far, and are seriously interested in quitting smoking, or learning more feel free to click the image below to learn more about how RUN TO QUIT can help you.
Send me an email to Jonah@1075daverocks.com if you’re interested in chatting, learning more about my journey, or hearing stories about my progress. You also could win a RUN TO QUIT Prize Pack which includes The Running Room Swag, Products from Aveeno, Listerine and Tylenol and more! This package will get you started on your life changing decision, for the better of your health!
I hope to one day become a Run Coach and encourage others to make the positive change in their life.
Happily enjoying breathing, walking up stairs with ease, playing tag with my niece and nephew, and feeling healthy. Keep rocking Dave Nation!
Promotions Coordinator (107.5 Dave Rocks)