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Guy Gives Up Alcohol And Transforms His Life, Here’s His Progress After 5 Years
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People, Social Issues1 year ago

Guy Gives Up Alcohol And Transforms His Life, Here’s His Progress After 5 Years Interview

A wide smile, an athletic body, a focus on being as healthy as he can be, and a desire to help out anyone who’s feeling at their lowest—this is what Kenny Dunn is like now. However, exactly half a decade ago, you wouldn’t have recognized him at all. This November, Kenny is celebrating 5 years of being completely sober. He wanted to share his incredible story and powerful transformation with Bored Panda.

In 2016, he was at his lowest point, having anywhere from 12 to 24 alcoholic drinks every single day and blacking out 3 to 4 times each week. Now, he’s the exact opposite. He’s turned his life around, embraced exercise with the help of DDP Yoga, and has set the bar incredibly high for all of us when it comes to focus and discipline.

He told Bored Panda that he’s been “flooded” with correspondence from all over the world from people who need help getting sober. “I have decided that my yearly pictures and progress are now no longer about my own recovery but about the need to share the message of hope to addicts all over the world,” he told me.

One of the things we have in common is that we’ve both been looking up to Arnold Schwarzenegger for a long while as a source of inspiration for getting stronger. Scroll down to take a look at how much Kenny has changed over the years. Meanwhile, you’ll find Bored Panda’s previous features of Kenny right here and here.

“If you had told me five years ago that my life would have this much joy and meaning as it does today, I wouldn’t have believed you. I was just waiting to die while I was drinking,” Kenny was candid in my interview with him.

“This biggest difference between that man five years ago and me today is my attitude. I wake up every day excited about what comes next. Even in the seemingly mundane parts of my life, I can find satisfaction in what I do, that’s the real gift that’s been given to me,” he told Bored Panda. Read on for the full interview, including about how Kenny’s been helping recovering addicts, what advice he has for anyone struggling, and what he’s been up to this past year.

More info: Instagram | Twitter | Imgur

Meet Kenny Dunn. Exactly 5 years ago, he quit drinking alcohol and has been taking photos of how much he’s changed ever since

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

He was at the lowest point in his life when he decided that he needed to make massive changes in his life

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Kenny started going to 12-step meetings, began fixing his diet, and cut out almost all carbs

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

He also started taking a keen interest in exercise

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

“This last year and a half has been an absolute nightmare for addicts and their families,” Kenny told Bored Panda. “Once the in-person meetings dried up due to the pandemic, it was hard to connect with newcomers. The guys I work with have been so amazing in how hard they’ve worked in order to stay clean and sober. My hat is truly off to them. Anyone who got and stayed clean and sober during these times is an absolute walking miracle.”

Kenny also opened up about the “awakening” that this year has been in that people from all corners of the Earth have been getting in touch with him, asking for advice on getting sober. “People see my pictures or read my interviews and they decide they finally want to stop. As always I simply tell them that I don’t have all of the answers, but I can connect them with people like me in their own community. It’s kind of exciting, making calls and writing emails to connect people with others in recovery. A few months ago I even helped connect an alcoholic living in Liberia with recovering alcoholics in South Africa!” he said.

Asking for help isn’t a weakness, in Kenny’s mind. If you’re struggling, you have to speak to those closest to you. They’ll lend a helping hand. “If you feel like you are absolutely at your rock bottom and you cannot go on living with addiction, please reach out to someone you trust. A friend, a family member, a co-worker, anyone. Just tell them you need help and get the ball rolling,” he told me.

“It is my experience that the best way to recover from addiction is to reach out to other people who are in addiction recovery. I tried to stop on my own and it was nothing but a lesson in futility. And if you want to stop and you don’t know who to reach out to, you can even reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram. I’ll help connect you to people who can help you, no matter where you are there is help for you nearby. But you have to have the courage to reach out!”

Within just a year, the man looked completely different

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Kenny also opened up about what he’s been doing this past year. He shared with Bored Panda that he dove “head first” into the DDP Yoga community. “What started as a Halloween costume last year as Macho Man Randy Savage turned into a recurring guest appearance on the BTTR Hit the Mat Podcast with its four Hosts,” he shared.

“As cheeky as my Macho Man impressions were they caught the attention of the folks at DDP Yoga and I was invited to participate in a 12-week transformation challenge using Blood Flow Restriction cuffs. Diamond Dallas Page calls it DDPY Jacked. I’ve got to say, after running through his jacked program I am in the best shape of my life!” Kenny said.

2 years after quitting alcohol cold turkey, he was happier than ever

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

And his smile would keep on getting wider every year since

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Last year, Kenny told me that he’d put on 20 lbs (9 kg) of muscle between 2019 and 2020. “My journey with exercise this year has been one of the most spiritually enlightening experiences of my entire life,” he told Bored Panda last year.

“I once was a man who couldn’t do more than a single push-up let alone a pull-up. In the month of October 2020, I racked up 1,500 pull-ups and 7,000 push-ups. On Halloween alone, I pushed out 575! I remember being able to do 5 push-ups in a row and believing it was a miracle!” he explained that consistency is one of the secrets of his success.

“I could never have gotten into the best shape of my life at 38 years old if I hadn’t been consistent,” he revealed to Bored Panda during a previous interview.

Kenny used to work out 3 to 4 times each week, but bumped that number up to 5 as he got more confident with his body and skills. Sometimes, he’d even do a couple of workouts each day if he felt like it. Some of the gear that he uses includes dumbbells, kettlebells, and riding the exercise bike that his wife got him as a gift.

“I’m sure it sounds like a lot but it will never add up with the amount of time I wasted drunk on the couch. Certainly not as time-consuming as binge-watching streaming TV. (Which is my favorite thing to do while I exercise!),” Kenny told Bored Panda.

Last year, Kenny found the courage to reveal how much he’d changed in 10 years

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

After getting sober, Kenny embraced DDP Yoga and upped the number of workouts he’d do each week

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

He’s been pushing himself further and further every day

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

The results speak for themselves

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Now, fitness, healthy living, and helping recovering addicts are integral parts of his life

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

In the early days of his recovery, Kenny switched to a ketogenic diet that helped him lose a lot of weight. He was very blunt about the fact that the new diet taught him that sugar is poison. This led him to figure out which carbs were beneficial to him when eaten sparingly.

“I spent most of my life battling a sugar addiction and like most Americans, I was obese as a result. Once I had detoxed myself from sugar and carbs, I was able to see more clearly which carbs were good for my body and which ones were bad. For instance, in order for me to build muscle, I had to learn which carbs could be beneficial to me. Today, I eat my good carbs in portions. Things like sweet potatoes, beans, oatmeal, and rice,” he explained.

“I eat them [carbs] sparingly and portioned with lean protein and vegetables. I also love to eat fruit now but only whole fruits and always reasonably portioned. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to an alcoholic that excess applied to food just as much as alcohol.”

Here’s what Kenny looks like now. The difference now and 5 years ago is like night and day

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Image credits: sobrietycosmos

Kenny had started drinking back during his college days and it eventually spiraled into a real problem. He started drinking in excess and could no longer control how much he drank after having his first drink. He would drink to get drunk. “So I decided to quit. I would last a few days, a few weeks, a few months, one time for a year. Always with relapses in between,” he opened up.

“I knew I had a problem, but I didn’t know what to do. I used to stand in the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror and wish I wasn’t a drunk. I would wonder how I got this way. Sometimes, I was just indifferent to whether I lived or died. I just wanted it to be over and I didn’t care how,” he said.

Kenny told Bored Panda about the very last time he tasted alcohol. “The last time I drank, I had a week of vacation and I had bought myself a case of beer and was going to ration it for the week. 3–4 beers a night. The first night after I put my son to bed, I opened my first beer. That was at 8 p.m. By 11 p.m., I had drunk 19 beers. Something inside me said, ‘Kenny, your life is no longer manageable.’”

Kenny reached out to a friend who had gotten sober a year before the very next morning, asking him for help. She drove him to his first 12-step meeting and he’s never had a drink since. He’s been getting stronger and stronger every year and we can’t wait to see what new challenges he’ll set his sights on to overcome in the future.

Here’s how people reacted to Kenny’s continued progress

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Abhinc
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

5 years !! means he had to fight every single day. more than 1800 fights and he won every single time. if this is not an impressive achievement i don't know what is !!

Steve Wilson
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A very uplifting story. I quit drinking 38 years ago and never regretted it.

James Tartaglione
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

good for him. im proud of you. its not easy but it's worth it. i'm almost at my three and a half year mark for sobriety

Kitty Jordan
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Congratulations on three and a half years! That's amazing. Keep it up! :)

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Abhinc
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

5 years !! means he had to fight every single day. more than 1800 fights and he won every single time. if this is not an impressive achievement i don't know what is !!

Steve Wilson
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A very uplifting story. I quit drinking 38 years ago and never regretted it.

James Tartaglione
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

good for him. im proud of you. its not easy but it's worth it. i'm almost at my three and a half year mark for sobriety

Kitty Jordan
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Congratulations on three and a half years! That's amazing. Keep it up! :)

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