Reddit User's '500 Days Sober' Photo Goes Viral

By McCarton Ackerman 05/16/16

Meatteo has been chronicling his sobriety journey on Reddit, posting photos and exchanging words of encouragement.

Reddit User's '500 Days Sober' Photo Goes Viral
500 Days of Sobriety Photo via Imgur

A man who admits that his drinking nearly killed him has seen his transformation photos go viral after celebrating 500 days of sobriety.

The man, simply identified as “Meatteo” on Reddit, posted a before-and-after photo of himself last week after his 500th day free from alcohol. Looking noticeably slimmer and more youthful, he’s seen wearing the same "Save Ferris" shirt in both sides of the image, which he captioned, “One day at a time.” The photo has since gone viral and racked up over 3.1 million views on Imgur, the online photo sharing site.

Meatteo explained on Reddit that he “tried quitting numerous times before this,” but was compelled to stop after he “started blacking out more frequently and it started to scare me.” Describing this as his “rock bottom moment,” Meatteo posted the transformation photos in the hopes of inspiring others.

"I was drinking about three cases of beer and a handle of Jim Beam a week,” he wrote on Reddit. “I've tried quitting dozens of times before. This is the longest I've gone without a relapse. I basically hit rock bottom and was sick of being sick." Meatteo also credited cutting out processed foods and running, which he began four months into sobriety, with contributing to his weight loss.

Meatteo has periodically chronicled his sobriety journey over the last year. He posted a before-and-after photo after reaching 300 days of sobriety and wrote, “One day at a time. Thanks everybody for the kind words. Hopefully this helps anyone looking to quit drinking. I promise you won’t regret it.” And he celebrated his one-year anniversary by writing, “Twelve years of drinking everyday nearly killed me. One year sober today! Lost 80 lbs in the process.” 

The photos have received plenty of positive reactions from users on Reddit and Imgur. One user wrote that Meatteo “looked so much younger and fitter,” and another said he “looked fifteen years younger.” His advice for other people looking to quit drinking is to find their own motivations for doing so, and to set realistic goals.

“Exercise and eat right. Remember why you’re not drinking. Don’t keep alcohol in your home or apartment,” he wrote. “If you relapse, don’t spiral. Dust yourself off and get back up on your feet. If I can do it, so can you!”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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