by Lyndsey Hafer-Williams
I can’t stop thinking about this time last year, how miserable I was.
I remember the desperation building inside of me.
I remember the overwhelming desire to hide from the world.
I remember crying every night in the shower.
I remember feeling like a fraud and a failure.
I remember being so uncomfortable in my clothes, in my skin, it felt unbearable.
I remember words like fat, ugly, and no-good, running through my head.
I remember shame and its constant companion, guilt.
I remember insecurity and doubt.
I remember wondering why sugar had such a hold on me.
I remember thinking that I was unable to control my cravings.
I remember wanting change desperately and deeply, but not knowing how.
I remember making everyone around me as miserable as I was.
I remember pain in my joints, and in my soul.
I remember feeling helpless and without hope.
I remember buying new clothes to accommodate my new size.
I remember how I tugged and pulled and shifted those clothes to hide my body.
I remember hiding from the camera as embarrassment engulfed my soul.
It has been one year since I started following Lighten Up, and I can’t stop thinking about how much my life has changed in just a year. I’m astonished at how much I have changed and grown into the woman I have always wanted to be.
I can’t stop the overwhelming feeling of gratitude that infuses every moment of my life. Gratitude to Molly and Michelle for providing the way, for showing me a better path, for helping me save my life.
Yes, I have shed weight. 65 pounds to be exact.
But, the real story here is what I have gained.
I am at home in my body.
I am confident that a dysfunctional relationship with food, and a body out of balance, will never again be an issue for me.
I am full of knowledge and confident that I have finally found my way.
There is an all-consuming peace that comes from knowing that whatever life has in store for me, I can handle it.
There is a quiet joy that calls to my soul and helps me sing and dance throughout my day. It keeps a smile on my heart.
There is confidence running through me that has taught me to love the laugh lines that crinkle around my eyes, the natural color of my hair and my huge, toothy grin.
There is an underlying excitement that wakes up with me each morning, to get on my mat, drink my juice and go play in my kitchen.
There is a gentle happiness that seems to flow directly from me and into the atmosphere around me. My friends and family have responded to the joy they are seeing and have matched it with their own. It’s unintentional, but it’s there. And it’s beautiful.
There is now a profound understanding between my body and my mind. As I go into the new year, a time when depression hits its hardest for me, my mind is saying:
“Fuel me right and I will keep you strong and happy…”
It makes me tear up just thinking of it.
A January without profound sadness? Could that be real?
I’m going to bet on it.
For me, this journey has not been about beating myself up into submission. It isn’t about hunger, deprivation, restriction, or getting “on track”.
This has been about loving myself so much that I naturally want to nourish my body. I don’t have to try; I just do it. This has been about moving my body in ways that I didn’t even know were possible.
This has been about finding out who I am, who I am meant to be and then taking a leap right into the life I have always wanted.
Lighten Up is a pure, glorious celebration of life. It is a gift. And my life will never be the same.
How do you want to feel a year from now? Talk to us in the comments below.
Nutty Herb Rice
Nutty Herb Rice
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice (360 g)
- 2 1/2 cups water (590 ml)
- 2 cups chopped arugula (40 g)
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley (15 g)
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions (30 g)
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds (75 g)
- 1/4 cup mint (6 g)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Rinse the rice well and drain in a fine mesh strainer. Tap the strainer against the sink to remove excess water. Press the saute button on your Instant Pot (IP) and allow the inner pot to heat up for about 2 minutes. Place the rice into your IP and stir continually for about 2 minutes, until the rice is fragrant and lightly toasted. Turn off the Instant Pot, then add the water and stir once.
Lock the lid into place and make sure the nozzle is pointed in the sealing position. Using the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) mode, set the timer for 23 minutes. Use the natural release method when the timer goes off. After 10 minutes, use the quick release method to release any remaining steam from the pot.
Remove the lid and add the remaining ingredients and then stir.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with juicy, satisfying, energized life.