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Book Review: I Quit: Cigarettes, Candy Bars and Booze by Linda Joy Allen

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I Quit: Cigarettes, Candy Bars, and Booze is the courageous account of one woman's struggle to overcome three addictions. One woman, three addictions, the odds are not in Linda Joy Allen's favor, yet she manages to do what many others have failed to do on numerous occasions and some with grave consequences.

Allen isn't like most people you meet; I think she demonstrates that as her life's story unfolds. Allen wasn't born overweight, a plus size, with a full figure, or whatever term society dubs as sympathetically correct. She was exposed to hurtful conditions and situations as a child and became bitter because of it as a teen and then carries that approach over into adulthood.

Like so many of us, she finds comfort in food, therefore she eats…binges, repeatedly. Needless to say the pounds attach themselves to her once "average" body. At this point, she has to contend with being overweight and in her fragile state of mind the weight factor was the fuel added to the fire.

Next Allen is introduced to smoking cigarettes. After failing one diet plan after another Allen becomes desperate to lose weight and a friend tells her that cigarettes will cure her appetite. Whoa – although this may be true to some extent (this is not based on personal experience) what is that in comparison to the potential of developing cancer? Is it really worth the risk? Apparently for Allen, apparently for a lot of people.

In our society weight can make or break you. From the celebrities to the commoners, we are all painfully aware of our weight and are willing to go the extra mile to reach status quo. Image is everything in the world we live in today. Sad but true.

Finally, to drown everything out, the hurt, the pain, the feelings of worthlessness, the guilt, and the shame, she lavishes herself in liquor. Alcohol, in my opinion had the greatest negative impact on her life because it took her out of her senses. At least, with food binging and smoking she still has the ability to make a conscience decision. However, alcohol robbed her of her ability to make a sound conscience decision . She would start off with just one drink, then another, then another. She would wake from a drunken stupor and have no recollection of the events that happened after those first few drinks.

Allen is an ordinary woman with extraordinary perseverance. She takes the phrase "I Quit" to another level. For all the addicts, let Allen be an inspiration to you. She called on an inner strength that empowered her to kick the habit out the park. She's an ordinary woman, who endured some major obstacles in her life, many of them you may be able to relate to as well, but she found a way to overcome. Will you?

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