JBForrester, on 03 January 2013 - 06:20 PM, said:
moleface, on 03 January 2013 - 02:16 PM, said:
You might be surprised how much your appearance can recover after you change your lifestyle.
I've had debilitating anxiety problems for my entire life, and I used to smoke and drink heavily for about a 5-6 year period to cope with the symptoms. I also ate complete garbage - lots of soda and fast food. The only healthy habit I had back then was drinking lots of water to offset my heavy alcohol consumption. I still looked aged and run down for months after I quit, but eventually I bounced back and now I look completely healthy again.This recovery happened without the use of any supplements.
I think it has a lot to do with genetics though, since my entire family looks significantly younger than their age. My sixty year old father has a full head of dark hair, I'm 32 and coworkers told me they originally thought I was in my early 20s, etc. In any case, there's still hope if you just give it time. I looked absolutely ghoulish for about six months after I quit smoking and drinking.
How old were you during your drinking period? If you were younger, that could be the reason why you bounced back so quickly.
From 21-25, I got drunk almost every single day(6-10 drinks) with about a week's worth of occasional abstinence altogether if you add up my occasional days off. I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day during most of this period, two packs a day toward the end.
My diet consisted of never eating breakfast, then getting dollar menu fast food for lunch and dinner. I didn't eat vegetables or fruit or take vitamins. I did drink about a gallon of water a day though.
I knew at the time that I was being careless and idiotic. I was having serious anxiety problems that manifested in daily panic attacks, and instead of committing suicide I decided that I was just going to live a hedonistic lifestyle where I did whatever I wanted without any regard for the health consequences.
I started to drastically cut down on smoking and drinking at 26, then I quit everything altogether at 27 after I had a major paradigm shift and got heavily into running, health food, supplements and general fitness. I've had no problems whatsoever with substance abuse after I experienced this shift in my mindset. That's why I'm so skeptical of the disease model of addiction - I was able to quit on my own by recognizing how destructive and weak my behavior truly was. And I don't even fully abstain - I still drink alcohol and smoke tobacco a couple times a year, but polluting my body with neurotoxins and carcinogens is no longer my idea of a good time. Based on the disease model, I shouldn't be able to do this without reactivating my "disease".
I was pale and had terrible skin during my substance abuse period. My body's defenses were so compromised, even minor wounds would take forever to heal and would leave terrible scars. I experienced a complete reversal of these symptoms after about six months of cutting out all drugs, eating a clean healthy diet, and exercising daily.
On edit - I'm not bragging about my substance abuse. To tell the truth, I'm deeply embarrassed and ashamed that I ever acted that way. I just went into these details to illustrate that a person CAN bounce back from even extreme abuse of their body. I'm sure that genetics play a role, but my positive lifestyle choices made a massive noticeable difference after only a few months.
Edited by moleface, 03 January 2013 - 08:17 PM.