Within a few months, the excess weight came off, my muscle increased and I was preparing to run my first half marathon!


Joe Alcaraz“I made the decision to relieve myself of my pack a day habit on February 28, 2007 at 11:59 precisely. I had been a habitual smoker for over three decades and understood that in order to be successful I was going to have to replace my old habit with a new one. Knowing that weight gain is the biggest hurdle many soon to be non- smokers face, I choose exercise. I began a 2-year mission that I liked to call “Redefinement & Reinvention”.

Before starting anything I made a quick trip to the Doctor’s office where I received the green light to increase my physical activity. I joined the local gym and began phase one of my mission. It had been quite some time since I’d been in a gym so I signed up for the free orientation session to familiarizing myself with the equipment. I worked out regularly on my own for almost a year and was pleased with the results. However, I wanted to set some new goals and engaged the help of a personal trainer to achieve them.

My trainer became one of my greatest inspirations and motivations to succeed. Her dedication and unwavering enthusiasm propelled me forward. Within a few months, the excess weight came off, my muscle increased and I was preparing to run my first half marathon!

I look forward to 2009 with an increased will to succeed and have set the goal of three half marathons for this year. If I could offer any advice to smokers looking to quit it would be this: Your mind and your heart has to will it. Choose an alternative habit, such as an exercise program, that will be easy to follow. Make healthy food choices a part of your lifestyle and always remain positive in your thinking. Focus on your goal each day, and you will change for the better.”

Joe Alcaraz, 54, Electrical Technician

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