At some point in time, we have all come across people who smoke. You also know how often they make resolutions to quit smoking and never end up keeping up with it. Quitting smoking can be a long and hard process. But, staying tobacco-free is the longest and most important part of it. Every day you must decide not to smoke today. One needs to create new habits such as drink lots of water, eat well and sleep well. Now that is exactly what S Balakrishnan (name changed to protect identity) who quit smoking after 29 years of smoking. Let’s hear from him what exactly did he do and how he did it…
I have not been a fitness freak or had a regular fitness regime. But, I would go for my morning walks daily. I never missed it and that was my only exercise towards being health conscious. As for my job it largely involves sitting at my desk but it is stressful. It’s the stress that was an excuse for me to increase my smoking along with being a habitual smoker since my college days. Smoking led me to acidity and lack of sleep as well.
The turning point in my life came when around 5 months ago, I attended a program organised by my company. At the programme, they gave out a fitness tracker–GOQii to create awareness of health and fitness among us employees and we were also told that the tracker is accompanied by a coach who will help us decipher the data tracked and give us tips on health and nutrition and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Initial one month I procrastinated on wearing the band. Then I decided let me try it out. My coach Sweta Karia has helped me a lot in my lifestyle change. My first health goal was to quit my smoking and reduce my acidity.
And I am glad to say that I have been able to stop my smoking habit for the last 1 month and this is one of my major achievements. I have been smoking for almost 29 years. If it was not for my coach I do not think I would have ever been able to do this.
Sweta did not do anything drastic to get me out of the habit. Our target was to get me off smoking in 3 months It was a slow and steady process. I used to smoke on an average 10 cigarettes a day. My coach systematically cut down the smoking from 10 to 8 to 6 to 5 then 4, 3, 2, 1 and then a lot of struggle and she was constantly supporting me then finally I was able to stop it. I’ve had also been asked to go for a walk whenever I feel the urge of smoking. But, I do not have the urge anymore.
My second issue was with my food habits. I thought I ate healthy but obviously, I didn’t. I lacked understanding on what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, what should be daily water intake. All these concepts were well defined and explained to me by my coach over these last few months. Being on GOQii has helped me get clarity on lots of aspects of health and nutrition. It has helped me understand what goals I need to achieve, quantification and how I can achieve them.
The one thing I have realised with GOQii is that one has, to be honest to oneself and your coach and follow the tips given to you diligently to get the best results.
My acidity was aggravated due my excess coffee drinking and smoking. I used to drink 5-6 cups daily. I was asked to bring it down slowly. Old habits die hard but I tried. I knew if I did not, it could only get worse and that would be painful for me. I bought it down to 4, but coach asked me to take just half a cup every time. So, then the frequency also came down from 4 to 2.
My water intake has also increased from 1.25 litres earlier to the current 2.75 litres of water every day. This has helped me a lot. I have also started having a lemon juice after my morning walks and then have my breakfast and bowl of fruits. My vegetable intake has increased and then the food intake has reduced. I have controlled my rice intake to a large extent. I go for a maximum of vegetables and salads, sprouts, carrots etc. These small habit changes have proved fruitful.
My activity levels have also seen a gradual increase. I also participated in a 21 km run and 10 km run and could do it easily. I clock around 13000 to 14000 steps a day which is quite normal for me nowadays. Along with all this, my coach has also advised me to do some breathing exercise at least twice in a day.
One more point what I’d like to mention is that there are 4 units of service that is followed in this industry. These are namely Design of service, Delivery mechanism, Passion, Touch and Feel and lastly building long term relationships.
GOQii follows these four essential aspects very well. The band is designed so well that there is clarity in the band usage. It links to the app easily without a cumbersome process and easy to operate. The charging mechanism is also simple. So the first aspect of design and quality is taken care of. GOQii’s delivery mechanism is also well taken care of in the form of their communication, the follow-ups that they do on a regular basis helping you keep your goals extended etc. The third thing I’d talk about is the passion, the touch and feel and emotion attached is well delivered. Each one at GOQii is a passionate about their roles and that is evident in various ways.The coach takes part in helping you as one of your own family members and she guides you properly.If your step count is down they motivate you to do more
Lastly, GOQii is trying to build long-term relationships by constantly seeking feedback from players on what sort of improvement we are able to do etc. That stems from the CEO who is in constant dialogue with his players trying to understand their needs.They not only take feedback but also try and implement and then they demonstrate to you without even saying explicitly. But, the effects are visible.
What does coach Sweta Kariahave to say about her players?
Initially, his meals were not well balanced and he used to smoke 10 cigarettes per day.
He was very dedicated towards his goal to quit smoking completely within a time span of 3 months and with all the efforts he made things possible. Not only that, we worked on his water intake, vitamin C intake as his immunity which was at risk due to smoking and unbalanced meals coupled with high stress levels..
I have never heard a NO from him for anything that I have asked him to do. We made things happen slowly. We started with initially bringing down his smoking to 2 cigarettes per week and slowly by the end of 3 months we came to 0..and is still at 0.
The other goals were given 100% attention too by him which makes him feel much better now and he is super active, healthy and happy too with the lifestyle changes he has made!!!