Thursday, July 31, 2008


True Confessions: Bad Habits and Book Epiphanies

Do you have something you've been putting off for a long time? Something you want to change about your life--perhaps, a bad habit--but you keep ignoring that little nagging voice inside your head? Maybe it's time to listen to that voice and take action.

Two weeks ago I quit smoking for good. I'd been smoking a pack a day for at least six years. I started smoking when I was twelve-years-old and actually quit a couple of times for a few years, but somehow I ended up picking it back up again. I know, I's horrible!

I also quit drinking, since the two go hand-in-hand for me. I don't plan on giving up drinking for good, but until I can have a social drink without wanting a cigarette as soon as the buzz sets in, I know that I can't have that lovely glass of wine. That makes Italian food worth avoiding as well. There's nothing more I love than a glass of Cab or Merlot with my pasta.

I was inspired to kick my bad habit after reading Jennette Fulda's book, Half-Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir. Her book is incredible. It's not the weight loss that inspired me; it was her journey and self-discovery. Well, okay, losing 200 pounds did inspire me in the sense that, if she could do that, I could surely quit smoking. Addictions come in many forms--from food to checking email, even--but if you don't acknowledge them, they'll never go away. You also have to want to fix them for good. Don't think of it as a temporary fix, like dieting to lose weight, think of it as a lifestyle change.

So, I changed my life because I read a book that was unrelated to my problem, but it inspired me. And that's not the only book. I've been having a lot of "book epiphanies" lately. For our August issue I interviewed Jill Butler, author of Create the Space You Deserve. Jill's book inspired me to give my messy office an overhaul. You’ll have to wait to read the story. ;)

The point is...the written word on the page continues to amaze me. I really don't think TV could have the same affect. I can't imagine changing my whole lifestyle because of something Chef Ramsay or the Bachelorette said, LOL. Maybe it's because we process the information differently. While TV bombards your senses and shows you what it wants you to know, books invite your brain to participate and make our own reasoning, constructions, and epiphanies.

One thing I do know...kicking a bad habit, such as smoking, is sure making my writing ramble! But that's okay because I know it will pass.

Now I want to know, have you ever read a book that inspired you to make a lifestyle change? What was it, and how did it help you?

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