This is harder than quitting cigarettes & deadlier than fentanyl

In a biology class, I had a handful of my friends who also happened to be classmates. We were the rebels who were respectful of our teachers and would skateboard to school covered in piercings and tattoos many adults did not approve of haha. Just to give you an image that the immediate perception of us was not what people would expect of us.

One day, there was a speaker – who I have no idea if they were a third party wanting to spread news or a friend of our teacher’s – who wanted to talk to us about the dangers of cigarettes. They started out with, ‘Here is why I quit cigarettes.’

‘Quitter!’ My friend Jonathan quipped and snickering through our side of the class emerged. I had to put my head down in respect of the person speaking trying to hide their smile. Thank goodness they had a sense of humour and could handle our immaturity. 

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Fast forward to a couple years later when I was nineteen in a studio apartment I earned all by myself proud of my place I called home. I was out every other night wondering what I was going to do with my life. What were the next five years going to look like, how to purchase a home, and flirting with the idea of retirement savings.

When I say I was out every night, it was a red carpet invitation to a producer friend’s event she was hosting. Other times, it was a visit to my local comedy club with a two drink minimum, jazz clubs throughout the city, and planning trips across the world on my own. Socialising did not mean drinking for me. I would order a Coke Zero or sparkling water. 

It was being home alone with my thoughts that was the open invitation to chain smoking. I listen to Astor Piazzolla’s ‘Taguedia III’ as I write this, and it triggers all the memories of wallowing in sorrow, longing, and yearning that his ‘Escualo’ still, till this day, renders me nostalgic. But even nostalgia was once considered a deadly Swiss disease during wartime. Everything will kill you if you let it.

The day I stopped smoking and put the giant carton of fifty cigarette boxes in the freezer was the day Mr. Dixon and I met. Perhaps it was hope for a better future that made me stop, you might think. But I know it was experiencing unconditional love that made it so easy to drop the filtered tobacco and preservative chemicals laced with nicotine. 

There was an old blog post I had contradicting what I wrote today that made me pursue these chances of quitting even further: ‘How luxury shopping forced me to quit cigarettes’. Something along those lines. It was a satirical take on – no, not trading one vice for another – but realising how much I care about my clothes. So much so that I dare not to smoke in cashmere. It takes so long to save for it, I want to keep it pristine with the least washes as possible, and not be associated with such a filthy habit.

It only furthers my point that there are so many other fabulous things to focus on that makes life terribly spectacular once you find solid ground to stand on. 

Quitting cigarettes was easy, because it was so disgusting to begin with. People openly grimace at you when holding a freshly rolled delight. There is something else as unsavoury we do not immediately  see. Because both these things are legal. One is less frowned upon than the other. ‘Why not enjoy life?’ Let your body take you when it wants, because you expedite the process. 

The people who want you to stop smoking have a sugar and carbs addiction at the end of the day. There is always something to frown about. Always something to criticise someone about, but when you look at the statistics of people in the U.S.A who die of heart disease, strokes, and diabetes – it is ugly. 697,000 people die of heart disease, 140,000 die from stroke, and 282,801 die from diabetes. That is a total of 1,119,801 deaths annually, because of eating sugar. 

Cigarette-related deaths are 480,000 a year in the United States. Fentanyl had 12,122 deaths in 2015 and rose to 53,495 in 2021. Sugar is legal and more widely acceptable, so we do not see it to be harmful as it is in almost everything we eat. Those sugar-related ways to die are not all the diseases that can overcome you when having too much sugar in your life. Not to mention the teeth rot. 

I remember reading about skeletons years ago. Skulls were dug up from Medieval times with no cavities. Typically heart concerns are directly correlated with teeth issues. 

Both cigarettes and sugar come from a plant. They are mostly natural after a touch of processing. Tumours and puss are also natural, but nobody wants to talk about them. Vultures are natural, but they are still hard to look at. Both sugar and cigarettes kill you from the inside.

This past week, I wanted to quit sugar for the fifth time. It is probably somewhere around that much. A friend of mine visiting me in Los Angeles from Oregon shared how she quit sugar. She had an incredible body of beautiful muscles from head to toe without looking masculine. 

Years before, a friend from Seattle told me how he does not and has not ingested white sugar or flour in years. It did not rub off on me as I ordered pancakes that day. Ate them in front of his face as he said it hahaha. I think he was shaming me indirectly, but I was OBLIVIOUS, and still laugh till this day on how I learned the hard way on my own terms.

Obviously, I am surrounded by wonderful influences, who get me out of my bad habits even when I am leagues behind. Thank you. I sincerely appreciate your paradigm participation.

The real reason I wanted to stop eating sugar was because of all the yeast thriving in my body. How yeast works is we always have some of it to keep us healthy, but when it grows too much, you inflame and become itchy everywhere. 

This is one of the reasons why wearing breathable materials in my clothes is so important. Preventing that initial itch of sweating and feeling trapped in an unhealthy body is worse than a flu or fever. 

The first few times this happened to me was when I had my apartment to myself and did not pay attention to my diet. I was still a bit anorexic and surviving on eggs and fruit. Sometimes too many berries would get me. I would be sitting in a hot shower to ease the discomfort and would air dry with scratch marks all over my body no matter how short my nails were. 

Marrying the healthcare professional that Mr. Dixon is, he pointed out to me that this was the issue. I looked online for remedies to find that apple cider vinegar was the answer. Bragg’s three dollar liquid I would down a tablespoon of made me want to vomit. I stomached it nonetheless, and would feel the liquid burn through the insides of my body. Yeast hated it and I was grateful. In pain and itchiness, yet grateful.

A few times I tried quitting sugar, and would fail after three days. The first day is always the hardest. The second day you start to feel crazy. The third day is when I want to give in, but remember the pain of the apple cider vinegar and body breaking out in hives. 

Three days is the typical time of what it takes to get my body back into balance, but I still feel like something is not right. This is why I am quitting sugar at least every other day until I can go two days straight without it. Then three, so on, and so forth. 

It has to start with a habit, then develop into a lifestyle. Small steps mean everything to me when detoxing. Sometimes I feel like I am going through withdrawals, because I definitely have a sweet tooth. Mr. Dixon says to have a bite of something sweet to ease the whining. Poor man. What he has to put up with. But I swallow my pride, forego the whining, and do everything I can with my hands and mind to avoid my body going red with eating sugar. 

I even took up smoking again to ease the malaise, but it is not a perfect solution. Our entire house is so clean from trying to keep busy not thinking about satiating my appetite with sugar. After a meal. During the day when I want something sweet to pick me up from finishing a workload. At times, just because. 

Growing up, I had a classmate whose mother quit cigarettes after three days of not smoking. He said, ‘Once you can get through the three days, you are not addicted anymore.’ Others who have experimented with more radical solutions express how ayahuasca might be the answer. I want to do things on my own without help. Simple mind over matter. Without complaining and whining about my aches and pains. It feels more like an achievement when I know I did it on my own without aiding remedies, and nobody can take that away from me. 

I went one day without sugar, and today I had a cup of chocolate chips. I failed. But after this, I am going to count the days I go without sugar, and put them on a post-it to see everyday. No added sugars. No carbs. No white sugar. No vegetables not trying to look like they are healthy. Photographs of models with clear skin on catalogues I get in the mail are the reminder of the result. They do not have yeast issues. They do not succumb to sugar cravings. Photoshop or not, if they can get in healthy shape body, mind, and soul – I can definitely do it too.

Thank you so much for taking time to read the end of this post. I hope you find some inspiration in this and feel free to share with your friends as a free way to help my blog grow. Your support is endlessly appreciated. 

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Gia G. Dixon
Gia G. Dixon

I’m Gia G. Dixon, an etiquette consultant certified under Royal Charter of King Charles III. Here is my guide to elegant style, high quality living, and little things that make your daily life glamorous.

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