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How losing the booze helped me shed 3 stone and gain £3k for vital research

The Bloodwise logo. Bloodwise appears in black text against a white background
Posted by
12 Dec 2018

Jason tells us how taking part in Lose the Booze helped him slim down before his 40th birthday and raise over £3,000 for lifesaving blood cancer research.

Jason pictured before and after he lost three stone by giving up alcohol

Why inspired you to lose the booze?

I'd decided that I wanted to improve my health and fitness in the lead up to my 40th birthday in June 2018. I wanted to lose some weight. Giving up alcohol in January felt like a great way to kick start the overall effort. I set myself the target of returning to my weight when I was married three years earlier. This meant losing over three stone.

Why did you decide to fundraise for Bloodwise?

We lost my brother-in-law Jude to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in November 2015. He was only 41. Ever since, I've really wanted do my bit to raise money for research into lymphoma and other blood cancers. My mother-in-law told me she was planning to lose the booze for Bloodwise. To show support, I promised to get in on the act too. My wife Mairi-Claire and Jude’s wife Ali  have also been an inspiration to me since Jude sadly passed away. I wanted to do this for them all.

How challenging was it?

When I set my mind to something I’m normally pretty good at seeing it through, so I didn’t find keeping my focus too difficult. Blood cancer research is so important to the family and that definitely provided extra determination to succeed and raise as much money as possible.

It was challenging at times because I do like socialising. But I was careful not to arrange too many things in January that associated with alcohol. The bigger hurdle in January was kick-starting my fitness initiatives as I embarked on regular gym sessions again.

How did you promote your JustGiving page and encourage people to donate?

I pledged to match any donation made if I didn’t achieve my weight loss target, which showed everyone I was taking the challenge seriously. I made the whole process as fun as possible. I sent regular updates on JustGiving and made sure I consistently raising awareness of my challenge. I was amazed with the support I received and how generous people were, which made me more motivated to stick with it.

Jason Bowler pictured from behind and front. He wears a football shirt with Jude printed on the back

What were the main benefits of giving up alcohol?

It definitely helped to kickstart my weight loss, which was my goal. I got into a much better routine, which kick started other good habits. I found myself sleeping better, and eating healthier – after all, I didn't want to waste the effort I’d put into training. I also had more energy and better concentration levels. 

What advice or tips do you have for someone losing the booze?

After the initial kickstart, it gets easier to break the habits linked to drinking alcohol. But you do need focus and commitment. It helped me to set targets and make the process competitive.

Fancy going sober for charity? Find out more about Lose the Booze