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Kate Rowe-Ham's Sober Journey

We were delighted to sit down with health and fitness connoisseur Kate Rowe-Ham recently. Kate is an incredible peri-to-post menopause fitness coach running live workouts over Instagram during (and beyond) the pandemic lockdowns, plus she’s been featured by the likes of Women’s Health Magazine, the One for the Road podcast with Sober Dave, the Evening Standard and Women’s Fitness.


Kate discussed her journey to sobriety on a recent podcast interview. Like many of us, her relationship with alcohol during lockdown wasn’t initially a positive one. Kate took up the opportunity that Dry January provided to take a step back from the drink and hasn’t looked back since.

We wanted to dig a little further into this decision and invited Kate for a chat where we discussed everything from why she chose to go sober, the social challenges (and benefits) she has encountered so far and her top tips for others looking to start their sobriety journey...


So, to kick things off, how long have you been sober for now Kate?


I’ve been sober for almost 10 months now, I started in Dry January 2021.


And why was it that you decided that you needed to shift your approach to drinking?


I have a very addictive personality and alcohol didn’t work well with that. I’d also researched the impact of alcohol on menopause symptoms and found that not drinking could really help me with these too.


Can you tell us about the lead up to making this decision?


I’m sure there are lots of people out there that can relate to this; I found myself using alcohol as an excuse for everything that was going wrong or right. It became the reward or the go-to. If I had had a bad day - that’s ok, have a drink and you’ll feel better. If I had had a good day - great! Have a drink to celebrate! My attitude towards drinking was really impacting my overall health by the time Dry January arrived.


Often social pressures are at the root of a lot of our drinking habits, how did your family and friends react to you stopping drinking?


At first I think nobody understood quite how much I was relying on alcohol and therefore why I was making such a ‘drastic step’. I hadn’t really let on to anyone in my social group how reliant my relationship with alcohol was becoming. There were definitely concerns from some of them that they wouldn’t have as much fun with me but quite frankly it’s been the total opposite. For one thing remembering conversations the next morning has been a revelation!


Overall, I am simply doing my best to encourage more women to see this as a positive lifestyle change and not a negative one.


Has stopping drinking changed the way you socialise at all?


It has actually made me appreciate the time I spend socialising and, in fact, I am socialising more now because I’m less anxious about how I may behave when I’ve had one too many!


What impact have you felt it’s had on your mental and physical wellbeing?


Quite simply I feel like my life has begun again. I’m at my strongest mentally and physically this year.


What, in your experience, have been the best and the most challenging parts about stopping drinking?


It’s all about breaking the habit and connections at first, then facing my triggers head on. I used to use alcohol to take away much of the noise but I can now face the noise and make decisions with clarity and precision.


What are your top tips for those who are looking to stop drinking or be more mindful in the lead up to the Christmas party season?


It’s a total journey but it’s worth it. Keep the long term benefits on your overall well-being at the front of your mind and remember that you aren’t missing out on anything as much as people at first might tell you that you are. In fact, you’re actually gaining everything and more.


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Thank you so much for your time Kate, we’ve loved learning more about you and your sobriety journey! You’re a total Mavrik and we’re delighted to be sharing your story, and hopefully helping to inspire a new generation of like-minded souls.


When it comes to our own top tips for mindful drinking during the ‘Party Season’ we’ve got buckets of them, so here’s just a taster:

  • Bring a gift. We can’t always assume that every Christmas party will cater for the non-drinkers so remember when you head over to bring something non-alcoholic as well as your gift to the host (if you’re bringing them something stronger!).

  • Opt out of the rounds. We often drink more when we’re doing rounds as you’re having to keep up with the quickest drinker a lot of the time. If you opt out of the rounds early on then you’re able to drink at your own pace and choose what you want without the peer pressure.

  • Stock up early. Fill your fridge with non-alcoholic alternatives (like a box of 12 Mavriks!) for yourself and for your friends to crack open with a Christmas meal.

  • Set your limits. If you’re going to drink that night, set out in advance how many drinks you’re going to have and stick to it. If you’re staying later than you thought, simply switch to the delicious non-alcoholic options for the rest of the evening.

  • Enjoy your evening. Whether you’re drinking non-alcoholic or alcoholic drinks, savour it. Pause to notice the flavours and enjoy the taste. Soak up the ambiance and chat with your friends rather than down your drinks.


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FILL YOUR FRIDGE WITH NON-ALCOHOLIC COCKTAILS


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