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Be Whole

Why do we repeatedly do things that we know aren’t good for us? It’s a sad situation when you hurt yourself and you don’t realize it, but when you do it knowingly, that’s just dumb.

I’ve promised myself that I am going to stop smoking because it takes more out of me, than the pleasure it gives me. It conflicts with my desire to be fit and healthy. Even though I’m more of a social smoker and don’t *light-up alone anymore.

I deserve to have extra-fresh smelling breath all the time, hassle-free breathing, sparkling un-whitened teeth, and not have to work so hard on toning my butt and thighs because cigarettes promote cellulite.

Non-smokers are probably wondering why the hell we as smokers began the habit in the first place – if it doesn’t do us any good.

I smoked my first cigarette in my early years of primary school, after I’d caught my teenage stepsister pursing her lips on a Rothmans Red. She asked if I wanted to try and of course I wanted to try. I imagined that it couldn’t be so bad since everyone else like my father and his friends, smoked cigarettes as well. I took a few puffs and my eyes began to tear as the smoke caught in them. My stepsister was smart in the way that she knew that I wouldn’t tell my father she’d been smoking, if I did it too. Then every time I was around, and she had a craving, we would smoke together.

My father still doesn’t know – unless by some divine intervention, he never will.

As the dynamics of my family changed, I was separated from my stepsister and stopped smoking for a few years, but then picked it up again in my late teens. And this time it was all me. I already knew how bad it was and I think that’s what made it more enticing. I wanted to be *badass. Everyone claimed that I was angelic, and I didn’t want that. At the time (and place), being good seemed like a such bad thing. Everyone was badass, even the smart kids. I didn’t like being called *teacher’s pet and I certainly didn’t strive to earn that title; I was just likeable. Now all I want is to be good. I think smoking is most of what links me to my past and I really want to tear it away. Right now. Forever.
I’m craving a cigarette right now, after last night’s uptown gathering. And I think that I’d smoked more than half the pack of 20 last night. But since I’ve never broken a promise to anyone else, I think that I deserve to keep one to myself.

Aside from stating the obvious of how unhealthy cigarettes are, they’re also not as sexy and glamorous as they appear in the movies.



Some nights, especially when I’m wearing something vintage, and sitting in a scenic space, I like to light up a *smoke and imagine that I’m a cast member of my favorite movie: Midnight in Paris. I’ve never been to Paris and I’m sure that it’s nothing like it was in the ’20s, but there’s something about Paris or the idea of it, that makes you want to light a cigarette.

In that now-vintage era, cigarettes were glamorous; they were accessories, and sexy women smoked them. One of the after-shots of a sex scene, if the sex was really good, would usually have been a close-up of a half-lit cigarette burning in an ashtray, or a half-naked woman with messy hair, sitting up against the head board with a cigarette in her hand.

Smoking is like the stamp of approval that you’re badass.



Except you’re really not. And I speak for myself when I say, it’s so stupid. Because I can’t vouch for why other people started smoking. It was never about relieving stress for me. It was never me. And now that I’m discovering who I want to be, there’s little room for being short of breath and taking puffs on make-believe pain-killers. If I have to be obsessed with something, as we all have one or more things, I’m going to make sure that it’s at least something that benefits me.

It’s hard to quit the habit so I have to break away from those who encourage it. At least until I’m no longer tempted.

When you want to change your life for the better, other people may take it personally. If you value those people and you’re serious about making a change, they will understand. If not, forget them.

I’m interested to know your thoughts, especially if you were previously a smoker. I’m going to need all the tips I can get! Please leave a comment in the space below, telling me how you quit smoking, and feel free to share tips that have worked for you.

Robyn is the plant mom behind all these juicy posts, written from a sofa in her Cape Town apartment. Through her passion for beauty and wellness, she helps women feel confident in their skin and has created a resource for holistic beauty in South Africa.


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