This is what Kenny Dunn looked like just 24 hours after deciding to quit alcohol for good back in 2016
Kenny fully embraced consistency this year. In April, he started his first of several 100-day DDP Yoga workout challenges. “Up until then, I had been working out about 3-4 times a week. It sounded like fun at first but it caused me to completely rethink my commitment to my workout routine,” Kenny told us. “The real kicker was that I had to find other people to be accountable to as partners during the challenge. I found a group of 6 other guys who keep me honest and inspire me with their commitment to working out. We call ourselves ‘Team Savages’ and these guys are a bunch of animals! Being held accountable to my workouts every single day was a major obstacle at first but today it feels as natural as waking up and making breakfast.”
Since then, Kenny’s turned his entire life around
Now, Kenny does DDP Yoga workouts at least 5 days a week. Sometimes, he even does a couple of workouts each day (which is motivating us to get serious about our health and we’re already itching to go exercise). He also lifts dumbbells and kettlebells 3 days a week. And his wife bought him an exercise bike that he rides 3 times a week as well.
He completely overhauled his diet
“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 shared. Incredible discipline? Incredible discipline.
And he started looking at exercise in a whole different light
Early in recovery from his alcoholism, Kenny lost a lot of weight when he switched to a ketogenic diet. According to him, the number one thing that the keto diet taught him is that sugar is poison. Since then, he’s learned which carbs were beneficial to him when eaten sparingly. A lesson that many of us need to learn if we’re being completely honest with ourselves.
What’s more, he also consistently went to 12-step meetings
“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 continued: “I eat them 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.”
Kenny has a very interesting take on 2020. In his opinion, this year has been consistent. Consistently destructive that is. So Kenny had to learn and be consistently constructive.
“My family has certainly had our struggles in the past year, but the thing that has ushered us this far through the never-ending crises, more than anything, has been consistency,” he said.
Part of being consistent for Kenny meant going to his 12-step meetings online.
“In fact, I’ve never gone to so many meetings in so many places in my life! It really is a testament to the undying spirit of recovering alcoholics and addicts. Once the lockdown happened, we lost no time in setting up as many places as we could where people in need could go and hear the message of recovery,” he explained that he and his fellow recovering alcoholics rushed to react and create a support structure for themselves and others.
Here’s what Kenny looks like exactly 4 years sober. Now compare that to his photo from 2016. His transformation has been incredible!
The Covid-19 pandemic has made things very difficult for addicts everywhere as people were forced into lockdown and had to reduce the amount of time spent with family and friends.
Kenny has spent 2020 developing consistency in his workouts
“For an addict, this has only made things worse. If you are a person who is struggling with addiction, the best advice I can give you is to reach out for help. I could never have taken my first step in sobriety, let alone come this far if I hadn’t reached out for help. For me, I reached out to other people who were recovering from addiction,” Kenny stressed the importance of asking for help.
Countless people from all around the globe who were suffering from addiction and were searching for a way out reached out to Kenny after his selfies went viral. He takes every message that he gets seriously and believes he has a responsibility to guide anyone in need of help.
“I have to because when I was in my darkest place, people were there for me to help me learn how to deal with this disease. If you need help, talk to someone you trust like a friend or relative, and tell them you need to stop and you need to talk to someone. Or simply Google search ‘help for addiction near me,’” he said.
Getting so many messages made Kenny decide to start his own podcast, ‘What’s Next? Evolving in Recovery Podcast,’ and you can listen to the very first episode already. Kenny has very high hopes for his project and aims to showcase real alcoholics and addicts living their best lives and doing amazing things in recovery.
The quality of his life has improved immensely now
“In early recovery, after each milestone, I always said to myself, ‘Ok, what’s next?’ Getting clean and sober isn’t the result, it’s just the beginning! Recovery is a process of evolution and I’m looking for people for my podcast who have evolved above and beyond. Most people know someone suffering from addiction and a lot of people know someone who is in recovery. But I hope to share with people that in recovery it is possible for recovering addicts to climb mountains and earn PHDs!”
Kenny also shared some awesome news about what happened last year.
“I was contacted by a high school teacher in Michigan. She asked me for my permission to use my pictures in the addiction unit of her Health class. I not only gave her my permission but I took a special selfie for her class and I held a sign up with her name and their high school mascot. She told me that she could throw facts and numbers at kids all day, but the visual depiction she used really got them engaged. What a thrill to know there was something this alcoholic could do for five minutes that could affect the life of a young person,” he was overjoyed that he could help teach the new generation.
Kenny shared last year that he started drinking back in college and it became a problem around 11 years ago. That’s when he started drinking in excess and found out that he couldn’t control how much he drank after his first drink. Drinking without getting drunk wasn’t an option for him. “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 said.
Here’s a compilation photo showing how Kenny looked 10 years ago and now
The people following Kenny’s transformation are very supportive of him and each other