After moving to Spain from her home-town of Newcastle, blogger Jules Rutherford decided she wanted to make a positive change to her lifestyle. When she hit her mid-50s, Jules started thinking more about her health and gave up alcohol initially for 30 days in May 2017, to see how she’d feel.
Jules said: “When I first made the decision to take a break from alcohol, I was initially inspired by my friend to try it for 30 days and see how I felt. At the time, I didn’t realise how much of a difference it would make to my life.
“Looking back, I’d describe myself as a regular drinker and I probably did drink too much. I grew up around alcohol and drinking was just what we did. Like many people, I’d always have a glass of wine or two with dinner and drinking became a regular thing.
“When you drink, it’s easier to blank out the detriment to your health. I knew it wasn’t good to drink too much but it was only after I gave up and started writing the e-book about my experiences that I read into the health risks associated with alcohol, like cancer, and realised how scary it is. I always saw the stories and read news about the harms but like a lot of people, I just thought it wasn’t me."
Jules gave up alcohol initially for 30 days in May 2017.
She continued: “I was worried at first that my social life would just disappear. The first few weeks were the hardest and I was really tired for a while, but by day 21, I had a bit of a ‘Eureka’ moment. I think that was the point I broke the habit I’d got into with drinking. I felt like I became more myself again, I was the real me, without the bad-tempered fuzzy-headed side of myself.
“Before, I felt like alcohol was getting in the way. I’d made some big changes in my life, leaving England to start a new life in Spain, and I wanted to experience new things. I wanted to take a break from alcohol to see how I felt and I made the decision to live a healthier lifestyle all round.
“I now don’t drink because of how much better I feel and I’m also looking at my lifestyle generally, eating healthier food and exercising more. Now that I’m in my mid-50s, it’s really important to me to stay healthy, fit and well. I struggled with my weight for a while and throwing alcohol into the mix really didn’t help. Many ailments are preventable and I want to stay in good health. I also enjoy yoga, meditation and have done lots of personal development over the past few years. Giving up booze made me realise the benefits of all my hard work. I’m much more motivated now to do the things I want to do. I’m currently even planning a motorcycling trip around Europe which I’m very excited about!
“Going through my experience has encouraged me to do something to support other women like me who might be thinking about taking a break from alcohol, or taking more days off than before. I started my blog – Sobersistas – to offer motivation to others.
“What I’d say to anyone thinking about cutting back is just to give it a go for 30 days and just see how you feel.”