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Would you be willing to share your physical transformation?

Old 08-25-2018, 02:02 PM
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Would you be willing to share your physical transformation?

Hey fam,

I saw a post from another member stating they giggled waking up half expecting a dramatic transformation in 24 hours, and it got me thinking. I'm still going strong in my longest sobriety stint yet (52 days today) and this has been my best recovery experience yet! I have to admit though, I'm pretty bummed about my lack of physical transformation. I was drinking almost a 750ml a day and not eating too much granted. I am eating fully balanced meals now and am being a lot more cognizant of what I put in my body. I have been drinking a LOT more coffee than I ever have been (about half a pot a day) which I feel has been the only other difference BUT:

- I haven't lost a single pound, in fact, I feel like I'm gaining weight
- I'm constantly bloated all of the time
- My skin has gotten super oily and I'm breaking out a lot more frequently
- My joints feel a lot more stiff and crack more

I'm also not sure if I'm being impatient, but it gets pretty discouraging at times. I know everyone is different but I was wondering if others would be willing to share how they transformed physically (if at all) and at what stages in their recovery?

P.S. The mental transformation and benefits I've experienced in sobriety far outweigh any physical discomfort or lack of positive physical transformation. I'm still committed to this!
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:37 PM
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It took awhile until I lost weight, even though I was working out. I did the whole P90X3 and ate well, my problem was never food, it was beer. It wasn't until about a year that I noticed all of a sudden the weight started dropping off on its own. I think it was my liver. But there was a point where my skin, my allergies, all the inflammation I used to suffer from in my joints, just started to clear up.

Throughout the whole year I gradually felt better and better though, my cognitive abilities came back. I didn't realize how drinking was messing with my mind until I got it back.

Now at a year and half I just keep feeling better and better. I look way better.

52 days is still early, stay the course and give it time. It's worth it.
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Old 08-25-2018, 06:29 PM
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I agree with Billie.
I'm 11 months sober and at about 10 months is when I was seeing physical change. The first 3 months I did nothing to change my physical, just mental. 6 weeks ago I committed to working out where as months 3 to 7 I worked out here and there, for sure changed my eating habits, I did a lot. Of things to just get myself active.

Give it time, you're still adjusting!
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Old 08-25-2018, 06:34 PM
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I'm close to 2 years and I didn't notice any changes in my appearance. But for me that was also nothing I hoped for or why I chose sobriety. My weight was healthy already.
(Lately I lost a lot of weight but that was because of other health issues and I am now working on gaining that back, this is however totally unrelated to my sobriety.)
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Old 08-25-2018, 07:06 PM
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Iím at 74 days and broke out badly around one month in. It seemed like it came out of nowhere! It did subside after 2-3 weeks.
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Old 08-25-2018, 07:11 PM
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Detoxing can be ugly, depending on a number of things. Mainly toxins. You would be excreting them through your GI as well as your skin. More fruits but mainly vegges, lots and lots of water. Coffee (to me) is just more junk. I live in the PNW where coffee is a deity but I don't drink it. Processed foods and meats like bacon and sausage is really hard to digest as are deli meats and whatnot. If you can afford, try to go organic. Things should improve for your skin. Don't worry about the weight yet but be sure you're exercising and "sweating" which can make things ultimately better in terms of cleansing. Good luck to you! Congrats on the sober time, that is so awesome!
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:28 PM
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At a month:

* put on five pounds (I wasnít eating when drinking. I love food and this doesnít bother me at all!)
* skin awful, to extent I got an infection from breakout on my scalp. Anti biotics is sorting this
* sleep - wonderful
* exercise - through manual labour
* energy - good up to 29 days. Days 29-31 I can barely stand, achy, stiff, exhausted

My memory is ok; motivation to work poor; productivity about the same. But my mental health...wow. Like being born again
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:50 AM
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I lost a lot of bloated weight. So about a month in my silhouette was slimmer.
My skin got a lot better after the toxins left. Much more supple. I had some work done too, once everything settled down I loved the way I looked.
My hair is always in great shape, about the three or four month mark my hairdresser noted I wasn't brassy and no split ends. Now I do use anti brassy shampoo, but, you know.
Sleep settled down and that was awesome.
My nails are in great shape and grow like crazy!

Mentally, my anxiety cleared. I have noticed this summer I dress more casual. I actually own t-shirts! Still no jeans. I have a far more neutral palette for the fall for make-up, I don't think it happened consciously.
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Old 08-26-2018, 04:02 AM
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I haven't lost weight - in fact I've gained a stone but my hubby and mates say this actually looks a lot better on me as I didn't eat for 6 months before I quit and all of my clothes were hanging off me. Skin is 100% better - and the thread veins are nearly gone, hair is well shiny and I sleep well, considering I've been bordering on insomniac since being a wee tot. Stomach issues have cleared up, anxiety is now gone and moods are much better, (maniacal 8 months ago), all round brighter with a love of coffee that I really should kick to the curb but all in all? Fab. Wish I'd had the sense to do this 30 years ago x
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Old 08-26-2018, 04:09 AM
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I lost about 15 pounds over the last two years. I guess the empty beer calories were not helping. It was gradual. Also I made an effort to avoid sugar which I think helped a lot. I did not want to replace my drinking problem with an eating problem... or a gambling problem... or shopping problem... etc.
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Old 08-26-2018, 05:16 AM
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Wow, thank you all for taking the time to post and share!

This has made me feel a lot better. You all are right too, how I feel mentally is unbelievable and so worth whatever discomfort I'm currently feeling. I probably am being impatient but I'm going to continue to tread through. I just ordered some probiotics, so I'm hoping that will help with some of the GI issues. My body too probably isn't used to all of the variety of food (especially fruits and veggies) so it could possibly be pushing out more toxins.

You all keep me going, thank you! <3
#53days
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:47 AM
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It will take some time and work, but the physical change for me has been as important as the mental. Ok, not as important, but follows close behind, especially as I believe in the deep interconnection between mind and body.

I've been sober almost 5 months, I've lost almost 15pds from a pretty in-shape 190pds to begin with. I'm in the best shape of my life at 41 years old. My sleep is deep as can be. I have patience, energy, focus etc.

Others may feel differently but for me really committing to my fitness goes in step with my sobriety. One fuels the other - ie I'm not getting up for a heavy weightlifting session at 5:30am if I'm hungover etc. And I think by committing to a fitness/diet program (I intermittently fast as well) I see results that I can correlate to sobriety that otherwise may take longer or not manifest themselves at all.
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:52 AM
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Three Part Illness

So, I put on roughly 50 pounds in four months time (after 10 years of active drinking/drugging) which for the longest time I shamed myself into believing I was overweight (even when I was quite frail, my mind was warped with self-delusion) I have a healthy tan, spending my days working in a greenhouse in a longterm treatment facility, and spending the afternoons swimming or being active.

All the Vitamin D that I was deficient of, hiding out in a room drinking myself to death, really gives me good hair growth, and my face no longer has deep flabs/wrinkles from malnourishment.

I mention the three-part malady of our illness to say that I believe fitness is essential for our recovery. We have used substances as a crutch for so long that our bodies need natural feel-goods to help us stabilize. Even a brisk walk or some light calisthetics almost immediately get me feeling great.

Being a bit of a homebody I know it will be hard to maintain this fitness, but I would highly advise some cardio atleast to get a good sweat, and working on myself always makes me feel better, and it has results that reflect that too!
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:00 PM
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truth is.... I'm physically not as fit as I was when I was actively a binge-drinking alcoholic.... almost 5 years later.

truth is.... I went harder at fitness when I was a mess.

truth is.... I think I was pouring a lot of my angst and shame into working out.

truth is..... I used exercise as an obsession back then and it was probably a counterweight to my guilt and my burden of anxiety and depression.

truth is I used to run drunk, go to the gym hungover, run marathons while drinking.....

Now it's been a few years since my last ultra.

Truth is, I got sober and I also got engaged, remarried, debt-free, built a significant volunteer life, moved up in my career, had another child, got a few years older..... and I have less time to go as hard and less self-loathing to fuel my obsession.

So.... I'm maybe 10-15 lbs overweight. I eat pie. I eat bacon. I don't run nearly as much as I did. I'm super busy in my work, family, career and volunteer life.....

Truth is - I'm NOT as physically fit-looking and I'm NOT currently in marathon condition and I'm arguably out-of-shaper than I was.

Truth is - I didn't get sober to lose weight or get fit. I got sober to live my life fully, present, with meaning and with richness.

Truth is - I have all of that.

Truth is - I'd still like to be a little fitter and I'll continue working on the balance in life that will allow it, but I'm also OK with who I am and overall, I'm far healthier than I ever was when I was "Fit".

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Old 08-27-2018, 02:53 PM
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You can google before and after drinking photos. Bored panda has some that people send in, and some are pretty impressive transformations.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:07 PM
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I second bored panda or reddit. I looked at people's transformations almost daily for thd first couple months.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:13 PM
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Thank you Free Owl. I find your posts so inspirational!
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:53 PM
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welcome aboard MrToga

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Old 08-27-2018, 06:01 PM
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I got sober after 30+ years of drinking and it was like my body didn't trust me. It didn't know what to do with actual food and when I was actually hydrated.

My skin was so bad for the first 3-4 months (and it was never bad, not even in the throes of puberty) that I was googling symptoms and trying to figure out what dire skin condition I'd come up with. Guadalajaran toxic frog dermatitis? I would not have been surprised.

I had to learn how to do most things sober, like sleep, eat, work, have relationships, all the life stuff that I should have had figured out long ago. But I did it, and it wasn't impossible. I kind of threw myself into working out as a way to pass the time that I'd spent drinking, so that helped a lot.

Everyone's journey is different, so the best advice I've gotten is listen to your body. If you think something might be wrong, visit the doctor (and be honest with medical personnel, no matter how awful it sounds in your head). Don't hold up some weight loss goal as being your reward for sobriety. I did think I'd look like a freaking supermodel within 48 hours of putting the bottle down. Shocker; I didn't. And that's totally fine with me.
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Old 08-28-2018, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by FlawedNFntastic View Post
I got sober after 30+ years of drinking and it was like my body didn't trust me. It didn't know what to do with actual food and when I was actually hydrated.

My skin was so bad for the first 3-4 months (and it was never bad, not even in the throes of puberty) that I was googling symptoms and trying to figure out what dire skin condition I'd come up with. Guadalajaran toxic frog dermatitis? I would not have been surprised.

I had to learn how to do most things sober, like sleep, eat, work, have relationships, all the life stuff that I should have had figured out long ago. But I did it, and it wasn't impossible. I kind of threw myself into working out as a way to pass the time that I'd spent drinking, so that helped a lot.

Everyone's journey is different, so the best advice I've gotten is listen to your body. If you think something might be wrong, visit the doctor (and be honest with medical personnel, no matter how awful it sounds in your head). Don't hold up some weight loss goal as being your reward for sobriety. I did think I'd look like a freaking supermodel within 48 hours of putting the bottle down. Shocker; I didn't. And that's totally fine with me.
Hahaha, your post made me chuckle because I'm wondering if my body is doing the same thing! "First no booze, now all these fruits, vegetables, teas, coffee? I don't even..." Lol.

Thank you for sharing; I'm accepting more and more this is part of the journey. I am a bit concerned I have some sort of bacterial infection and am going to see my doctor today. And then, naturally, Google and Web MD have me convinced I have a tumor or pancreatitis. Unfortunately, stimulants, tons of water and fiber aren't providing me any aid, so this way I can see if there is something going on. But otherwise, DAY 55!
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