A mother-of-two has revealed how becoming permanently teetotal after trying Dry January, has completely transformed her life by curing her health problems and increased her income, after her improved focus and energy boosted her career.
Writer and entrepreneur, Kate Beavis, 45 from Cranfield, Bedfordshire used to drink three glasses of wine every night to unwind from the pressure of work and motherhood, and admits it was a habit she couldn’t break.
But she would wake up every morning feeling sluggish and fuzzy and was suffering health issues such as back pain and sinus trouble.
Since quitting alcohol for good almost three years ago, she’s seen her income increase fivefold thanks to having a clearer head to focus on her business, and she’s also cured her allergies and back pain as well as losing more than a stone.
Here Kate tells Femail how embracing Dry January quite literally changed her life – and how anyone can do the same.
Writer and entrepreneur, Kate Beavis, 45 from Cranfield, Bedfordshire has been teetotal since making Dry January 2015 a permanent state of affairs – and is now earning five times more thanks to having a clear head to focus on work
Kate before she gave up drinking: She’s since lost two stone and has banished health issues, including back pain and sinus trouble
For the last 15 years leading up to 2015, I drank two-three glasses of wine daily with a few more at the weekend. What started as a way to unwind after a hard day’s work, soon became a habit that I struggled to break.
It was normal, as it is with so many women, to break open a bottle of white at ‘wine o’clock’ once the children have been put to bed.
I often said to myself that I should have a few days off a week, reading that it takes 48 hours for it to leave the liver, but when my day off came, I felt agitated, struggled to relax and soon gave in.
The first glass always went down so fast, relieving myself of the stresses of a heavy workload or a long day with my young children. That first glass was my reward, the second was my need. The third was habit -one I could not break.
The mother-of-two would drink three glasses ow wine a night to de-stress after a hectic day and found it hard to break the habit
Kate now finds she has more patience and energy as she juggles raising her children Herbie, nine and Kitty, seven, with running multiple businesses
In 2014, I gave up for Dry January and soon felt so much better; with ongoing health issues such as my sinus problems clearing up after a few weeks. I continued into February but had given up by Valentine’s Day.
The following year, I knew I would start again and secretly had the plan to give up entirely but didn’t tell anyone.
I knew I was too dependent on it, I knew that my mornings were becoming fuzzy and I knew that the habit was controlling me which needed to change.
KATE’S DRY JANUARY TIPS
Find a support buddy
It is a lot easier to give something up or adopt a different lifestyle if you have support from a friend who maybe is doing the same. This way you can check in on each other, gee them up when it is hard and spend time together doing something that is not drink related. But remember that this is not a competition and we are not here to judge if another fails, but be kind to yourself and others who are trying. Work together at planning nights out and decide up front what you will drink and that the two of you will have a great time. Or why not swap the night out for a lunchtime juice?
Find a hobby
The best way to fill the time and your thoughts is to learn something new to take you away from any struggles. Maybe read that book that you have been meaning to enjoy, learn to knit, or even crack open your latest box set – anything that will occupy your mind while you kick the habit.
Congratulate yourself throughout
Give yourself a huge pat on the back for doing this throughout the month. You are amazing for even giving it a go! If you are thinking of quitting, remember a time where you have surprised yourself when sober and remember how well you felt the next day. Reward yourself too by giving yourself permission to treat yourself such as enjoying a slice of cake with your friends. Not only do you deserve it, but you will have saved a bit of money by not drinking. If you need extra incentive, decide now what you will spend the money on come February.
It is OK to falter
If you succumb to the grape or feel that you are going to, remember that is OK to falter. No one is perfect, and we must allow ourselves to mess up from time to time without beating ourselves up about it. The fact that you are trying is amazing so if you have had an unplanned tipple, pick yourself up and try again. There is no rule that it must be Dry January – how about Dry February? Or even, have a few weeks off the alcohol not tied to any week or month.
Download the Dry January app
Alcohol Concern offer lots of help and support online and through their new app. It features a progress calendar, money saved tracker, calories reduced tracker as well as tips and motivational support to help you throughout the month.
The biggest impact has been on my businesses. I run a creative wedding blog with shows across the UK, which I have had the confidence to rebrand with the new name Magpie Wedding, and a new focus.
I have also launched Indie PR, where I help businesses with their marketing, focusing on my retail marketing experience.
I have been able to do this as my concentration levels have increased, my focus has improved but more importantly, I can now see what needs to be done and how to achieve it fast and smartly – and I’m taking five times more the money I did before.
Kate (left) before she gave up drinking altogether. After almost two years of abstinence (right) she’s lost weight, improved her skin and boosted her work life
The mother-of-two used to spend all her time working but she now gets more done in fewer hours, allowing her more time with her children
MORE FAMILY TIME
Having more energy means I’m better at juggling being a mother of two children; Herbie, nine and Kitty, seven, with running multiple companies.
Set up in 2013 by Alcohol Concern, the campaign started with 4500 people all trying to improve their health, their sleep and to save money.
The charity is concerned that alcohol is the ‘biggest risk factor for death, ill health and disability for people aged 15-49’.
The campaign encourages people to start looking at our consumption and the impact it has on our health and lives.
It has soared soared in popularity as the trend for cutting out booze altogether has gathered strength in the UK with five million people set to give it a try this year.
The proportion of adults drinking is at its all time lowest since 2005 and there is a 2 per cent increase in teetotalism.
The morning fuzziness disappeared too, and instead of being stressed with my children, shouting at them to get ready, I am now calmer and on top of things. We have time to walk to school and talk about the day ahead which is a far more positive start to mine and their day.
I used to work day and night but now I achieve more in less time, meaning I get to spend even more time with my family.
I also lost two stone and have clearer skin, although I have discovered deserts as I need and deserve a treat.
I’ve been able to spend the money I’ve saved on enjoying pampering myself and a gym membership.
There have of course been financial benefits, saving about £40 a week, which adds to more than £2,000 a year.
BANISHING LOWER BACK PAIN
I had experienced lower back pain daily since being in a car crash in 2002. My pain was due to inactivity when lying flat, standing or sitting for long periods of time, which meant I woke in pain at 4am most days.
Within a few weeks this pain had gone completely which I can only put down to sleeping better, moving freely in my sleep rather in the semi comatose way I lay before.
The entrepreneur now sleeps better and has banished the chronic lower back pain she battled for years
Before she gave up alcohol, Kate felt like her face was bloated and puffy (left). Since quitting booze she’s noticed a definite improvement in her skin (right)
My sinus issues also disappeared again. Back in 2010, an ENT consultant told me that I was allergic to something that I came into contact with daily such as dust, which affected my breathing.
It turns out it must have been the histamines in wine that I now have no contact with; and have enjoyed being able to breathe and sleep better ever since.
IMPROVED ENERGY LEVELS
My energy levels increased quickly. In the first few weeks I needed to fill my time with something to take my mind away from the lure of the grape, so I started to craft, creating upcycling projects from vintage items.
Filled with a new motivation, I sent an idea off to a magazine who accepted it the next day. I now create a monthly project for them and was awarded Highly Commended in an interiors craft blog award this year – which all started with Dry January
The entrepreneur started a new hobby of upcycling to give her a focus after quitting booze
Kate, pictured with her husband Adam, has been teetotal since January 2015