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Old 05-22-2010, 06:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Physical changes since sobriety....

Hello everyone. Kind of feel like I've been overdoing the postings (sorry!), but SR obsessing is helping get me through my first week. One thing I've been wondering about is the physical changes you have gone through since you quit drinking. I've read that many people lose weight and have more energy, but are there other shifts in your body/appearance you've experienced? Closing in on day 6, my hands are a little steadier, no abdominal pain, and my body and face don't feel as puffy. I'm hoping my complexion will eventually clear up and be less splotchy.

Thanks! It's hard to remember what my body's natural state is like - unaltered by the effects of alcohol. Also waiting it out as the anxiety decreases....

Abby
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes defo, I lost 21 pounds, my skin completely cleared up, I was less puffy in the face (and body) and looked 10 years younger! (I'm 34) When I started seeing the changes it spurred me on because, as vain as it is, I HATED the way I had started to look (and feel of course). Good luck, keep it up
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Better bowel movements.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Decreased blood pressure (no longer get that "red" face like I did when I drank or when I was stressed out)
I'm closing in on day 7 and have lost 11 pounds (also on a strict diet with intense workout routine though)
Better bowel movements
More energy
The anxiety is gone now - just give it some more time it'll pass patience is key your body is adjusting to how it is really supposed to function on its own
I used to have chest pains with a shortness of breath from the high blood pressure - no longer have that
SLEEP - god how I love it. The feeling of waking up and feeling refreshed is unmatched with anything else. Not like those mornings with a wicked hangover wanting to just lay there all day.

Edit to add: I believe the weight loss would be almost expected since in reality, depending on how much alcohol one consumes in a night (say 12 beers @ 100 calories each) that's 1,200 calories LESS than the normal diet for the day. If one was to cut alcohol out of the diet and continue to eat the same thing they always have I would expect to see weight loss until the body adjusted to the current caloric intake. I could be wrong, but IMO, it makes sense. Keep in mind one pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Badlove,
I am on day 4 and I am really looking forward to positive changes in my appearance. I used to like the way I looked: slender, fresh, well-groomed. Drinking turned me into an overweight, puffy, bloodshot-eyed, tired 28 year old who goes into public place disheveled.
I agree with Mimi. The physical changes are enough to keep me going. Aside from the detrimental health effects, believe me I know what those are, I ask myself these questions to keep going on my sobriety:

In three months, do I want to be at my goal weight?

Do I want my appearance back? I'm 28 now. I won't be in my twenties much longer.

Do I want to wear my old, fashionable wardrobe in a few months? Or do I want to continue wearing the one pair of 36' dockers I bought at Target a few months ago, keep wearing them every single day as the only pair of pants that fit even though they have a hole in the crotch? (I have refused to buy another pair because I can't bring myself to spend money on pants that I "deem" to big for "me." LOL

Do I want to wear my contact lenses again? Or keep wearing my glasses everyday because my eyes are bloodshot in the morning and only get worse if I put them in.

Like I said I get that my sobriety is a matter of life or death, happiness or sadness, but I think that focusing on the positive changes in our appearance is a HUGE motivator.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I actually put on weight initially because when I drank I could go days without eating. I later lost it and my skin was a lot better.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have lost 15 pounds in the last month or two. I don't have a craving for fatty foods (no more McDonald's for me ;-). I am also getting out & being active (walks, inline skating, biking etc.).

Its amazing how much better you feel when your not putting poison into your body anymore
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archives28 View Post
Like I said I get that my sobriety is a matter of life or death, happiness or sadness, but I think that focusing on the positive changes in our appearance is a HUGE motivator.
Exactly, at the beginning use whatever works to keep you sober, the better sleep, self-esteem, health, energy etc are guaranteed to follow. I used AA to help with the psychological stuff which keeps you focused on changing inside.

You have nothing to lose (except a few pounds maybe)
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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For me it is definitely the loss of puffiness in the face. I don't have bags under my eyes any more and I do look younger. People are starting to tell me how well I look

I am sleeping much better (most nights) and have a lot more energy.

I have no anxiety, mood swings and am more motivated.

If this has been achieved in 47 days then I am very excited to see what happens over the next few months.

Hopefully weight loss will follow. Unfortunately, I hit the sweet food quite a lot when i stopped drinking but that has calmed down now and I am not craving it as much.... woo hoo!!!

Sobriety rocks!!
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My favorite positive change is waking up feeling good and not feeling sick all the time. Being alert and aware instead of feeling dull and 'numbed' means I'm ready for emergencies and can respond appropriately. More energy and ambition to do little things like walk the dogs or clean the house.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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After I quit drinking, I experienced the following physical changes:

1. I lost weight - body fat, not muscle. Around 9-10 kilograms to date. I wasn't fat but certainly slightly overweight. My current body mass index (BMI) is well within normal levels. I look and feel a lot better, stronger and even younger. The only one negative side-effect was that my bespoke suits no longer fit me - I was thinking of getting them altered but figure I'll just order some new ones.

2. Within one month, my slightly elevated liver enzymes (no other symptoms other than what was indicated in the blood tests) dropped right back into normal acceptable levels. So, did my elevated cholesterol levels - without statins or anything else (probably due to the fat loss).

3. "Clean" digestion. I actually never realized that alcohol somehow screwed up my digestive system. It's extremely gross and admittedly too much information but I took the morning 'beer shits' and accompanying toxic gas for granted or mistakenly attributed it to having eaten some particularly spicy ethnic food like Indian. I now realize that the sole cause was the booze and the way it messed with my gastrointestinal system.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Red face

I've been sober for a year & 1/2. My face is thinner,, blood pressure is down. I have lost some weight, but not as much as I thought I would- a LOT of the fat turned into muscle, tough by no means I am a jock. People have told me I look15-20 years younger than I really am- a BIG PLUS as far as I am concerned!!! The ever-ending feelings of anxiety have largely disappeared, I can actually relax...................quite a trade-off.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I did a LOT more incessant posting and a started a thread very similar to yours during my first week too...it was called "physical vanity".....i was so utterly amazed that i could look in the mirror without disgusting myself.

at 3 months, my bp is way down, i am on a 1/2 dosage of the meds, my HRT is not needed and i have few hot flashes...more energy, thinner hips, much less bloat in my face and less depression....people comment on the change in my personality and say i look and act different.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've had rheumatoid arthritis for almost as long as i was drinking (a long time), and a lot of r/a-related surgeries. I used to drink a lot to "kill the pain" but since I stopped drinking I have found the opposite to be the case: the pain has actually decreased markedly. My BP has dropped from around 140/90 to 115/70; my heart rate has slowed; my skin has cleared; my liver has stopped hurting; my former depression has eased significantly; my handwriting is firm and clear; and i think more clearly and hear music with greater clarity and peace. those who know me have said unanimously that i'm looking good. alcoholism vs sobriety = no contest!
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I've lost 32 lbs so far. Went Low-carb also so its not just from booze. My liver doesn't hurt daily anymore (or whatever that pain in my side was, coulda been pancreas as well). Less puffy face, not as sweaty all the time. Can remember things now. Less anxious Lots of good stuff!
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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One other thing, & I don't know how I could've forgotten it: the acid stomach/ indigestion(!). I would buy a box of selzer-type antacid EVERY WEEK. I would make sure to take a few packages with me to work just to make sure I would have something when the burning hit. I STILL have the last box I bought, & I opened one of the packages- it had turned into some brown-looking thing that praticially became powder when I touched it )!).
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Just to add to the chorus...

I am sleeping WAY better than I have in years. I am becoming a bit of a morning person! That's like saying Dracula got a paper route.

Deffo on the lost weight tip. It is one hell of a motivator to stay sober when everyone keeps commenting on how I am looking much brighter these days!!

I made a point to replace my drinking time with exercise time, so this undoubtedly has been helping it all along too... at any rate, I can only see mountains of positive physical changes since quitting drinking. What's not to like?

Keep posting, SR helped me tremendously my first few weeks of sobriety!
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Lots and lots of changes. My eye sight got better. My recovery included other stuff so my sinuses opened up!!! I gained and then leveled out. I still to this day each chocolate at least twice a week. I started being able to read. That was new. And speak to people with less fear. Oh and I found my ankles again. My legs were so swollen I didn't realize that my cankles were booze related....ROFL.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I quit drinking on tres de mayo. I am antabuse and I feel a lot better physically. I am sleeping great and feel lighter on my feet although I have only lost a couple of pounds. My gut feels good and my face and body is thinner. My appetite is ravenous and food tastes a lot better, too.

I have no real craving for drinking cause I know the sickness it will cause from the antabuse. My biggest concern my is being bored because I use to drink during downtimes and now those times are sober and there is nothing to fill the void. I am trying to work in some exercise and activities in the time after work but I havent done it yet.

good question, i am hopeful my next liver tests come back better as well.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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my depression is markedly less.....drinking fueled it which fueled more depression which fueled more drinking....about acid stomach....I've been taking Nexium for years....but if i sskip my dose time, I hardly even notice it.

I sleep more soundly and have even started to remember my dreams, they alternate between strange and scary but i remember themQ my thought process is much more clear and nothing seems to be such a big deal...my patience is up and my temper is down.

i stopped dry-heaving every morning.
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