Last year, I ran the Boston marathon with Team World Vision to raise money for clean water projects in developing countries. I'm planning on doing so again this year. Training for marathons requires discipline and motivation over a long period of time, much like what's required to form any new habit or routine.
The pain and terror that seem, for those first few days, like everything -- seen, smelled, tasted, heard, felt -- will be replaced by a longing similar to the kind one feels towards an old paramour. It is even possible that you will be capable of returning to the warm arms of the infrequent cigarette at some distant speck in the future without drowning again in the compulsion.
Let me explain: When I tell patients to stop smoking, they know exactly what to do, namely to stop putting a cigarette in their mouth and inhaling its smoke. That's a behaviour they can change. When they stop smoking they have "successfully" changed a behaviour -- that's behaviour change, end of story.
There's a gnawing in my stomach, as if a string of spikes is gently lodged against my gut. It's this that prevents me from eating; the stomach pains. In fact, a Big Mac Meal is the first thing eaten since waking up yesterday morning. I'm at six cigarettes. Usually by this point, I'd have smoked about 15.