Making the choice to stop drinking alcohol in order to turn your life around for the better is a tough decision indeed. Not only do you have to deal with the taxing physical symptoms from withdrawals in your body, but you have to fight the battle in your mind, too. It can take years of struggle, relapse, and moments of self-defeat before you finally reach that overwhelming goal of sobriety.
Alcoholism is a serious disease affecting over 15 million people per year. Sadly, the addiction kills up to 6 people a day, according to 2018 statistics, with most of the deaths occurring between ages 34-65! These are just the deaths related to being an alcoholic.
Of all of the fatalities resulting from auto accident injuries, drunk driving accounts for a whopping one-third of them. This is to say nothing of the secondary health issues that arise from alcoholism or the serious emotional, and sometimes physical, toll it takes on the people who love the abuser. That being said, alcohol is still shoved in our faces through advertisements implying it’s the only way to have a good time amongst friends or at social events.
So, when a person who is addicted to abusing alcohol decides to take that leap into sobriety and a world of emotional and practical unknowns, it should always, always, be applauded. Sobriety can take someone on the worst path in life and turn it all around for the better. Here are 35 before and after images of amazing people who went through the struggle of getting sober and are proving that it is SO worth it!
At just 14 years old, Jo Barton decided to ditch out on school and spend her time drinking with her friends. After a three year long struggle with alcoholism combined with depression, Jo realized she was going to have to make a change to get her life back in order. With hardly any education, the then 17-year-old knew she was going to have a hard road ahead.
Jo picked up a job as a waitress while she pressed on with continuing education. She later became a caregiver when she realized her passion for medicine. Working her way up into a hospital job in the X-ray department, Jo began her long journey to becoming a doctor with a nursing course that eventually led to getting her doctorate out of St. George’s Hospital in London. She is now practicing her trade in the Emergency Department as she prepares to take her next steps toward becoming a general physician.
When this Dad’s sweet little girl turned one year of age, he decided it was time to put down his bottle. We don’t know what inspired the decision, but we are glad he made it! Giving up drinking is no easy task once you have a taste for it, but the benefits that follow if you do are definitely worth the struggle.
Kicking the bottle for good really turned this Dad’s life around for the better! After five years of sobriety, everything from his complexion to his general stature has improved beyond measure. The huge smile on this man’s face tells us that living the drunk life has nothing on living the sober life!
This guy had been abusing alcohol for over a decade. Of course, prioritizing drinking also means that you aren’t prioritizing your health. This factor really shows in this before image of a young man who knew he was meant for more. After a long haul of getting hammered, he decided it was time to give it up for something greater.
Just shy of one year of sobriety, the difference in this man’s physical appearance is astounding. He dropped 50lbs and his skin tone evened back out and his cheeks tightened up. More than that, though, you can really see the difference it made in his eyes. He now works in a photo lab and does it with passion, and we can see it written all over his face!
This comedian had a serious problem that wasn’t funny at all. After getting up on stage in front of an audience buzzed off nearly an entire box of wine, she proceeded to drink almost 2 cups of whiskey. After that, she knew that she had to address that she had a drinking problem, and begin the long road to recovery.
One year after giving up the booze, this comedian has come to life. Everything about her is more vibrant now, even down to the way that she carries herself. Quitting drinking forces you to get to know yourself and it holds a lot of people back because they are afraid of what they’ll find. The ones who gather the courage to quit and stay quit, though, often find that they really love who they are as a sober person, they just never gave themselves the chance before.
John knew that his drinking was getting out of hand. Unlike other people who struggle with alcohol abuse, there wasn’t any past trauma or an overwhelming amount of stress that was triggering him to drink. He just did it because he liked it. Over time complacency hit and he no longer shaved, exercised, or went above and beyond at work. He just wanted to come home from work every night and drink, but he also knew he wanted to break free of that complacency.
Within the span of just eleven months, John has managed to turn his whole life around. After he quit drinking, his ambitions began to resurface and he became a much more hands-on employee while he was at work. He managed to drop almost 50 lbs when he cut alcohol out of his diet, and instead of drinking to pass the time every night, he now uses it to work on his ideas for a cooking show that he’s passionate about. As a sign of being a changed man who is no longer content just to drink and laze about, he now keeps himself clean-shaven and active.
Alcoholism has so many negative effects on your body and your life. This man became heavily bloated from alcohol abuse, and you can clearly see that he isn’t in the best of moods. Alcohol of any kind is generally full of carbs and sugars that inflame your body and interfere with your digestive system. These health problems compound in people who drink on the daily, and life can get pretty uncomfortable.
He may have lost a lot of weight (53 pounds, to be exact) when he stopped drinking alcohol, but one thing he didn’t lose is his sense of humor! His overall happiness has increased a hundred-fold and after he realized a full year had passed since he took a sip, this gent decided it was time to take an afterimage of his new self. While he was at it, he thought it’d be funny to recreate a picture of himself when he was drinking and bloated.
One of the most immediate reactions to overdrinking is alcohol poisoning. People often think that it won’t happen to them because they “know their limit”. Unfortunately, that “limit” can easily change based on what you ate that day or even the day before, as well as your ever-fluctuating hormones. That is exactly what this girl found out when she got alcohol poisoning that left her in ICU.
When this young woman woke up in the hospital after a nearly fatal overdose, she decided that she “was sick and tired of being sick and tired”. In only 6 months from that time she has been able to completely turn her life around for the better. With one decision (to quit drinking) made day after day, she was able to piece her life back together and come back to her vibrant self.
Drinking can cause even the best of intentions to fall flat in the dirt. Even if you’re trying to be health conscious in every other area of your life, including diet and exercise, if you’re drinking alcohol on a frequent basis then you are just undoing all those good things. Alcohol as a drug is also a depressant, and over time will cause you to lose interest in staying active and doing the things that do make you healthy. That is where this guy was at when he decided he was fed up with it.
When he decided it was time to get his life in order, he started with the decision to stop drinking alcohol. Like a domino effect, it led to better and better things. Within a few months, he still hadn’t drank and he switched to a low-carb, portion-controlled diet and started working out. After only 15 months of quitting drinking, he went through a complete body transformation!
This young woman looks as though she had quite a rough go of it the night before. Seeing herself go through what looks like the worst hangover ever was enough to convince her that she needed to make some serious lifestyle changes. You would be surprised at how fast your body responds to that single decision.
One of the first things to happen when you quit drinking is that your skin clears up and has a more glowing appearance, and circles under your eyes will start to disappear. This is because alcohol dehydrates you by causing you to pee more frequently and disrupts your body’s ability to retain moisture, and it also messes with your brainwave patterns when you sleep so you don’t get any real rest. When you cut alcohol out of your diet, though, your face looks more refreshed and vibrant within several days. That’s what happened with this girl who looks unrecognizable from before!
This forward-thinking gentleman decided to take a “‘before” picture 24 hours after he had his last drink. The scruffy appearance, tired eyes, and sallow skin indicate that he has been overindulging in alcohol for quite a while. He looks as though he is absolutely miserable with life, which is probably what prompted him to make some changes.
He might have the same facial features as he always has, but that smile on his face makes all the difference. After quitting drinking for 12 months, he already dropped a substantial amount of weight and his skin looks fresh and healthy. This afterimage doesn’t leave any doubt that putting down the bottle was one of the best decisions he could have ever made for himself.
This big guy’s drinking was taking a heavy toll on him. Not just on his belly, either, but also on his mood and the way he carried himself. When he realized his drinking and his weight were getting away from him, he decided to do something about it, and we are so glad he did!
Within just 12 months of changing his habits and giving up drinking alcohol, this man was completely renewed. He lost a total of 60 lbs in that short period of time and it seems as though that’s not all that has changed. The way he appears at ease in this after photo indicates that he has also gained quite a bit more confidence than he had just a year prior, and that is key in living a healthier, happier lifestyle.
This young girl was already beginning to show the symptoms of alcoholism. Her face had become red and ruddy, she had bags under her eyes, which looked tired and dark, and her expression doesn’t leave us with the feeling that she is exactly happy with where her life is at that moment. It didn’t take long to notice the difference in her health after she quit drinking though.
After she had reached 100 consecutive days without taking a drink, she courageously posted her update picture online. She captioned it with the statement “Doesn’t seem like much to some but 100 days without alcohol. Don’t let fear of judgement get in the way of a better life.” You go, girlfriend. The only way to ever stay sober is if you are making the choice to do it for yourself. In that short amount of time her skin cleared and tightened, and her eyes light up all the more for that beautiful smile!
After what looks like a rough night, it’s no wonder that eventually this man decided to rethink fun time. Alcoholism has a nasty way of sneaking up on you. The man in the photo had gotten to the point where he was downing at least one 18-pack every single day, and then decided it was time for something harder. He replaced his beer with a bottle of hard liquor each day instead, and was well on his way to catastrophe.
When he stumbled upon an old picture of himself from his drinking days, he posted it to a Reddit thread with an updated one to show the difference that just 9 months without alcohol can make. When he came across a comment on his post about wanting to be able to achieve the same success with quitting, he offered the commenter some advice. He encouragingly explained that it was helpful to be able to replace the time he spent drinking with a different activity, which was the gym for him, and that it would be different for everyone.
It might look like this is just a middle-aged man with a standard “dad-bod”, but it’s actually alcoholism. Maybe that’s where most dad-bods stem from. Either way, what seems like chub or fat is often times bloat and inflammation. Regardless of what it was technically, this guy knew he wanted it gone in reality.
It is truly awe-inspiring what just one year of sobriety can do to your body. When you stop consuming alcohol your brain begins to function better. As a result, quitting drinking naturally leads to making healthier lifestyle choices, like changes in diet and exercise. This is what happened when this guy decided to quit and after just one year he’s taken his dad-bod and turned it into a cut and tone body sporting a whole different kind of six-pack.
Sometimes when we’re dealing with alcoholism, it’s not always our first ride on the merry-go-round. This woman had already been sober from alcohol for a while when she and her husband decided to get a divorce. The emotional trauma that followed caused her to relapse and send her headlong into an unhealthy lifestyle.
Fortunately, it was a short stint and she was only off the wagon for about half a year. When she admitted to herself that she was still an alcoholic, even without her husband around, she decided to hop back on. She has now been clean for 8 years, and in that time has discovered things about herself she never would have explored when she was busy keeping her brain fogged up with alcohol.
When you have an addiction that you’re trying to hide, you will smile at those around you like nothing’s wrong and you try to cover up any physical signs or symptoms that might give you away. That is what this young woman was doing before she was able to come to terms with the fact that she was an alcoholic. By the time she did, she was already drinking up to 4 bottles of wine in one week.
It only took nine months of not drinking for this lady to start reaping all the benefits of sobriety. She lost weight in her face and her skin now has a hydrated look to it. Her entire persona looks lighter in general and she seems at ease with herself. She also seems more composed and well rested.
Recovering alcoholic, Todd, took this photo of himself standing outside of a hospital building during one early morning sunrise. He said he took it to remind himself of that particular moment and what it means to him. This picture is a memory of the moment Todd knew he was going to make some changes.
Fast forward about a year and a half later, and you’re looking at the making of a true success story. Todd put down the booze and began going to treatment yet again to treat his alcoholism. This time, though, he knew that he would never be “cured”, but that he had to build an everlasting network of support through in and outpatient programs and AA. Realizing that alcoholism is always going to be an ongoing battle helped him prepare himself mentally for the daily challenge of saying ‘no’ to the urge to drink, and it’s obviously paying off.
When this beautiful young woman realized that she had been using alcohol as a crutch in life, she also came to understand that her crutch had been her roadblock as well. Time already passes quickly, and even more so when you’re partying. It wasn’t long before she decided to stop letting alcohol hold her back from the dreams she had let flounder.
On her one year sobriety anniversary, she decided to take a picture of her transformation. The idea came to her when she was talking with family about everything in her life that had changed as a result of quitting drinking. In the one year since she stopped, she was able to accomplish a multitude of other things, including enrolling in school, quitting cigarettes, and purchasing her first home. When she gave up the bottle, she suddenly realized that anything was possible if she put in the hard work.
It is so easy to fall into alcohol addiction. Socially drinking is pressed on us from the time we’re teenagers, sometimes even earlier, and every movie ever made indicates that when you have a hard day, it’s a good day to drink. When people start drinking to be able to chat with the person sitting next to them or to literally try and “drown their sorrows”, alcoholism has reared its ugly head. This guy didn’t want to be another statistic, though, and decided to transform himself.
One of the best ways to stop drinking is to re-center your focus on your health instead. After all, drinking has had a BIG hand in helping your body get into the unhealthy state it’s in, so it makes sense that quitting would be the right place to start trying to regain some of that former vitality. This man has been focusing on his health and triumphing over alcoholism every day for the last 10 years, proving that if you trust yourself and make wise decisions, nothing is out of reach.
This gentle giant is in his 50’s and, at the time this picture was taken, weighed 455 lbs. When you reach middle age, your joints and bones are already starting to ache just from the ware and tear of living life. When you tack on the weight of an entire other person onto your body, you’re talking a world of hurt. This man was feeling the effects of that and knew that one of his biggest weight gaining factors was alcohol.
To get his health back on the right track, he put down the booze and opted for healthier choices instead. After just one year of sobriety, he is able to celebrate the massive weight-loss of 160 lbs. You can see the details of his happy face much more clearly now, and his overall health has done a 180°. Even his dog looks happier, if not a little more grey.