A few friends have told me that I need to go back and look at pictures of myself from a year ago because they see such a difference in how I looked then versus how I look now. So I did recently — and it was pretty shocking.
You guys. I forgot how tired I was. How utterly bone weary exhausted I was. How much I was living on fumes and adrenaline… and, let’s be honest, coffee… to make it through each day.
But the pictures of 2015 Crystal bring me right back to that place and space of burn out.
I don’t shame myself or condemn myself for being in that place. It was what I knew. It had become my existence. And I had bought into the hustle of more.
To be clear, I was chasing good things overall and my heart and intentions were good, but my body was suffering from all of the pushing and pursuing and productivity.
When I declared 2016 as my Year of Rest, little did I dream how much that commitment was going to change my life!
The changes began on the inside as I stepped back from the crazy, said no to almost everything and everyone, and pared down my life to the basics. It was in that space of quiet that I started to really re-examine my life and my priorities and realize that I had made productivity more of a priority than my family, my marriage, and my health.
I processed through a lot the first few months as I walked into a space in my life where there was so much breathing room. It felt too quiet. It felt too empty. And it forced me to work through a lot of unresolved hurt and grief and wounds I had stuffed down deep in order to stay focused and driven for so many years.
Once I had cried and cried and cried some more, I began to experience a new season of wholeness. I stopped finding my joy and worth in what I did. I stopped living life according to who I thought I was supposed to be. I started experimenting with new things and letting myself try living a little less on the ultra-frugal, ultra-minimalistic side.
This gave me newfound freedom, joy, and LIFE. It also emboldened me and my husband to make some decisions that were in the best interest of our family — like having our kids start going to a small Classical Christian School (which was a really, really big decision for us!). It also encouraged me to think long and hard about what would spark more joy in my life and I began to add in a few new things — like serving in the Children’s Ministry at church and joining a Discipleship Group at church.
And then came the completely unexpected change: I got connected with a nutritionist and made some radical changes in my diet and overall lifestyle.
I did a cleanse.
I gave up white flour and all sweeteners and pretty much all processed food and a host of other foods.
I started drinking a gallon+ of lemon water a day.
It was torture for the first few weeks. I missed coffee and chocolate and pancakes and cinnamon rolls and, hello, all the NORMAL foods!
I was sick of salads (I had to eat them for breakfast many mornings on the eating plan — yuck!). Sick of fish. Sick of Wasa crackers. Sick of drinking so much water.
But because I’m not one to be a quitter and because I had committed to stay on the plan for 2 months, I stuck with it.
At 5 weeks in, something changed inside of me. My head cleared. My energy sky-rocketed. And I stopped craving junk food and started wanting to eat healthy stuff.
Not only that, but I felt so empowered. I was living without coffee! I was surviving without chocolate and sugar and empty carbs.
Most of all, I HAD GOTTEN OFF ALL OF MY MEDS!
Every. single. one of them.
My eczema meds.
My acne meds.
My allergy meds.
And even the 5htp that I never thought I’d be able to function without (I’d been on it ever since having Silas and any time I’d go off of it for even a day, my anxiety would come back in a serious way.)
I was functioning really, really well and feeling AMAZING — without a single pill! It was incredible — and it gave me enormous motivation to stick with the nutritional program and not give up.
It has now been 12 months since I officially started my Year of Rest and 18 weeks since I radically transformed my eating and my overall lifestyle and I look in the mirror and it almost seems as if I’m looking at a different person.
So many people have asked me about my Year of Rest and about the radical health changes I’ve made. For many months, I’ve been working on a special project to share some of the things I’ve learned this past year to encourage those of you who are interested in becoming the best version of yourself that you can be, too!
I have a passion to help you become your best self. I don’t want you to go through life feeling exhausted and burnt out. I don’t want you to have to rely upon coffee or coping mechanisms to make it through the day.
That’s why I created 15 Days to a Healthier You. It’s a brand-new program to help you prioritize your health and give you the hands-on strategies, support, and know-how you need to create real, lasting change — without an overwhelming time commitment!
When you sign up for 15 Days to a Healthier You, you’ll get access to:
- Daily 15-minute LIVE videos in our exclusive private Facebook group. In these videos, I’ll be your coach and cheerleader to jumpstart your success to better health! We’ll discuss the daily lessons and projects and I’ll take a few questions live, too.
- Daily lessons covering important topics like why self-care is important, what self-care really is (probably not what you think!), and why self-care looks different for different people.
- Daily projects to help you stay on track and meet your personal goals.
- Access to an exclusive members-only private Facebook group where you can find encouragement from others who are going through the series.
- Daily accountability through the Project Check-In Threads on the Facebook Group where you can share your progress and struggles with all the participants.
- Bonus links and resources I love for additional inspiration!
You get all of the for just $15 total! That’s just $1 per day! Go read more about this program and sign up here.
No, I’m Not Going to Make You Give Up Coffee!
Please note: This program is not about giving you an exact formula for what you should eat or how you should exercise. Nor am I going to try to convince you that you have to give up coffee (I promise!).
I will be talking about my own personal journey and I’m happy to share more details on what has worked for me, but I want to help you figure out what works best for YOU — and that might be very different than what works for me!
Rest assured, I will not make you give up coffee, drink a gallon of lemon water, or eat salads for breakfast! I will, however, be walking you through a lot of practical exercises to help you determine simple changes you can make so you can have more energy, feel less drained, and experience a lot more joy in your life!
25% Of All Proceeds Go to South Africa!!!
Now for the really exciting part…
You all know that our family is madly in love with South Africa and we are very committed to using the gifts and platform God has given us here to be able to make a difference in some of the poorest communities there.
Because of this, 25% of all sales through my blog and email newsletter will be donated to fully finish the Reagoboka Centre Preschool & Community Centre where you all already helped build a two-classroom building last year.
You can see that the building is so close to being finished above (that’s a picture from our recent trip to South Africa!) and I’m prayerful and hopeful that this sale will allow us to have enough funds to help them completely finish that building so they can serve many more children, get a lot more government funding, and make a bigger difference in that community. (Read more about the building and what the money will be going to here.)
What Are You Waiting For?
Go register to join us for the 15 Days to a Healthier You program here. But hurry! Because enrollment ends January 3, 2017 and it likely won’t be open again for at least another 6 months — or even longer!