I met someone who was touting his raw food vegan diet and all the health benefits associated with it, but was also a chain smoker. The irony was not lost on me and I had a hard time keeping my mouth shut, but I decided not to go there.
Are you, or anyone you know, still clinging to an unhealthy habit while trying to be paleo? Do you think the healthy eating makes up for the bad habit or do you realize the consequences and are unable to stop? I'm not here to judge anyone, I'm just trying to understand the thought process. Perhaps an addiction defies logical thinking.
Well let's look at this from another side for a minute - what if I were talking to you about the health benefits of Paleo while being a chain smoker? Yes, chain smoking is not good, but does that mean what I am telling you about Paleo is a lie?
The logic is, you realize the health consequences, but you haven't yet come to terms with your quit. For some, quitting can take months or years. Or even multiple attempts. You could have caught him in between quits. Or he could just be petrified of quitting because it isn't just like giving up bread, it's an entire lifestyle change. What do people do when they have a glass of wine? Or coffee? Or need a break from work? Or, by god, after sex?! It's scary. And then the health side effects. There was a while there where I felt so horrible I swore I was healthier before I quit.
I quit 6 months ago. It is my second long term quit. I am only now, six months in, starting to feel human again. My quit was easy. The physical side effects over the course of months were downright debilitating. But I was still paleo the whole time - before my quit and after. It doesn't change whether Paleo is good or bad because I was putting off going through the quit.
So you were right not to say anything. Maybe it's ironic to you, but chances are, it's a war in his head. And he probably likes someone poking at his personal struggles the same amount that you would like someone poking at yours.
There's not much of a thought process with addiction. This I know for sure.
While not ideal I think it's better to be a chains smoker who's at least paying attention to what they put into their mouth rather than not. Nothing makes up for being an addict of any kind but trying to eat something beyond Doritos and twinkies is a move in the right direction.
I try to take people where I find them and always assume they are more than the worst thing they do or have done be it to others or their own bodies. Everyone's out there just trying to do the best they can or at least I like to operate out of that assumption.
No one is born addicted to cigarettes, but whether one is predisposed to becoming addicted to smoking depends on a confluence of physiological and environmental factors. This is why the "stickiness" of smoking varies from person to person.
Heavy smokers typically have a someone in their life who, indirectly or directly, introduced them to smoking. This may be a "cool" friend or older sibling. It could also be a respected/loved parent or grandparent who simply smoked in the presence of the child.
Heavy smokers also have a strong pleasure/reward response to nicotine. Like anything else, this response varies from person to person and as a result, some are repulsed, some are ambivalent, and some become chain smokers.
The bottom line is that the decision to start smoking and whether or not one continues is not rational.
Smoking was not particularly "sticky" for me personally (smoked on and off for a few years in high school and college), but when I decided to quit I had no problems.
However, this does not give me the right to assume that everyone's experience is the same as mine.
If someone wants to do right by their health in one area, and is dealing with an addiction in another area, they are at least trying to do right by their health in one area.
It's called licensing. You feel that since you did something that was so good, you can reward yourself with something that is just a little bad.
People have a tendency to overestimate the good they've done and minimize the bad.
Here's an article on psychology today:
I'm a vegan and a heavy smoker, it's simply because I'm addicted and have trouble stopping. Though I'm never giving up on trying to quit. I don't believe it compensates at all, I'll still likely get cancer if I keep smoking no matter what my diet is like however I still feel there are lots of benefits from a vegan diet that are not negated by smoking & I have moral reasons for being a vegan as well. Just cause I have one unhealthy habit doesn't mean I should and do other unhealthy things as well.
I'm a raw food vegan who has been smoking for just under a year. I smoke because I like smoking: the feeling of smoke entering my lungs and exiting my mouth and nose. If I could smoke weed in public, I'd do it. However, that's not possible, so I smoke cigarettes during my time away from home. Not everybody smokes for the nicotine.
I was never a heavy smoker, but smoked about three packs a week from ages 17-22, maybe 23. I would sometimes chain-smoke while drinking (which was pretty much every weekend). 4 years ago or so I got Bell's Palsy, and it's really hard to smoke when half of your face is paralyzed! I guess at that point I was ready to let it go; I quit completely for about a month, and since then I've been able to have a smoke or two with drinks, and that's it (and I rarely do that any more). I guess I'm lucky that I can have an occasional cigarette and leave it at that; a lot of people who used to smoke regularly can't, and end up getting addicted all over again. Sometimes I feel a little ashamed about smoking at all because I'm "such a health-conscious person," but I'm probably being a bit hard on myself. For a lot of people, it's a tough addiction to kick, and raw vegan smokers probably are a lot better off than SAD smokers!
I started smoking coincidentally around the same time I started eating Paleo, not sure why. The irony is obvious enough for those around me. Not trying to defend smoking here, but I´m healthier than ever because of eating the right foods and exercise. I´m going to quit this month, but I don´t think there is any logic involved in such an unhealthy habit.
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