Most of us can attest to the fact that we drink too much alcohol. While alcoholism is a whole different discussion, especially around the holidays, people are presented with more drinks that they can consume (often for free) and it can be difficult to resist temptation. And despite the fact that most of us wake up feeling like death, it does nothing to deter us from doing it again.
I've lost count of the number of terrible decisions I've made after one drink too many and that's not to mention the injuries I've sustained, either. Most of us know what it's like to acquire more than a few random bruises after a night out. So, it only stands to reason that drinking to excess isn't doing our insides any favors, something which one influencer recently demonstrated.
This is exactly what alcohol does to your brain and body:
Twenty-eight-year-old Swedish Instagram influencer "Jelly Devote" went out drinking with her friends around three times a week, Cosmopolitan reported. Despite suffering from hangover after hangover, it did nothing to deter from her party lifestyle.
"I don't know how much I drank - just that it was a lot," she said of her penchant for beer and hard cider.
At the time of her extreme binge drinking, she was just 20 years old. Now 28, she has reduced her alcohol intake to glass or two of wine or Champagne every other week, and the impact which this has had on her appearance has been staggering.
In the caption for this incredible before and after comparison, Devote reveals that at 20, she led a sedentary lifestyle.
She wrote that she ate largely processed foods and "not a single vegetable" and only drank soda.
"All I did was party and stay on the sofa," she explained.
So what prompted Devote's dramatic lifestyle change? I hear you ask. Well, when she was 21, an unflattering bikini photo made her realize that she had to start exercising, otherwise, her appearance was only going to go further downhill.
In addition to this, her grandma, who had spoiled her with sweets since she was a kid, mentioned that she'd gained weight.
"That was the moment I decided things needed to change," Devote said.
She then took her first tentative steps toward a healthier lifestyle by working out at home. After making good results in the first few weeks and losing weight, she realized that the next thing which had to change was her alcohol intake.
"It's simply impossible to have a healthy body and mind with that much consumption of alcohol," she said.
Once Devote made this realization, she swapped alcohol for water and instead of eating three large meals a day, she opted to have six smaller ones consisting of green veggies, healthy fats, and protein - although she still allowed herself the occasional treat.
Four months later, she'd lost an impressive 30 pounds.
Getting to her current physique, however, has not been without its challenges. One of the biggest was a back injury which almost completely eradicated her motivation to exercise, but, needless to say, she managed to get back on track.
"When I drag myself back to the gym, I fall in love with fitness all over again and enjoy it more than ever," Devote said, adding that she values her mindset over her weight these days, which she refuses to track.
"Most importantly, I've gone from hating myself to loving myself," she wrote on Instagram.
The influencer, who has more than 570,000 followers, now spends the majority of her time traveling, but still enjoys the occasional drink now and then, writing, "I have balance."
As for exercising, she works out an impressive five times a week, usually in her hotel room, using a portable resistance band or her backpack as a weight. She also keeps herself active by going on adventures including hiking.
"There are so many changes in how I look, how I feel, and how I live my life," she wrote. "I've never felt better."
So, if there's a lesson to be learned from Devote's story, it's this: you can still drink while looking and feeling great, alcohol, like everything in life, is best enjoyed in moderation. And, if I'm perfectly honest, the next time I'm tempted to go out and have one glass of wine too many, I'm going to take a scroll through her Instagram page to remind myself why I shouldn't!