Prepare! It’s the season of preparation!
Before Thanksgiving, I chose to do a quick ten-day challenge towards health. I did really well for a week and then when I started baking for Turkey Day, I fell off the “sugar, potatoes, and carbs cliff”. Without even knowing of my nosedive, a friend in the private Facebook group, called Brain Gym® Bootcamp, suggested we do a longer challenge after Thanksgiving. I agreed.
How do I prepare for an Advent Challenge?
And the Advent Challenge was born. Being a list maker, I wanted a week to prep myself mentally. I guess physical prep was important, too, since I spent three days in a sugar detox headache. Never fear! I’m feeling great this week and ready to hit the ground running. **But do know that if you omit sugar and other white foods like flour and potatoes, you may feel worse before you feel better. It’s temporary, but you may feel like !@#$!!!
What is an Advent Challenge? Let’s make it up as we go! To me, Advent is a season to prepare. For many it’s about spiritual preparation. I’d like to argue for our physical, mental, and emotional preparation as well. So in this challenge, there will be some of everything.
For this first week, I am starting with flesh and blood—physical preparation. At church yesterday, the pastor spoke about creation, specifically the 6th Day, when we were created in anticipation of the 7th Day. I want to work hard today in anticipation of the 7th day. I want to be ready.
To start, I put myself out there and did a Facebook Live video of myself working on my core. I chose three Brain Gym® movements that are very core-oriented: The Rocker, Cross Crawl Sit-ups, and The Energizer. Why focus on the core? Well, once the sugar bloat receded, it became clear that I could benefit from some intentional movement to tighten my built-in “girdle”. All three of the movements I chose also strengthen the neural connections between head and tail and support spinal flexibility. The end result will be increased attentiveness to things other than “woe, my poor aching back”. Arms and legs, while not worked on directly, will benefit indirectly as I rediscover my core and let it do its job of supporting me. Disclaimer: These movements are not done with perfection. I did my best in the moment and encourage you to do your best. Listen to your body. Back up to move forward. (E.g. if you can’t lift your head, leave it on the ground and just touch your hand to opposite knee.)
I set a goal to do these 3 movements once every day this week. Bonus Challenge is to do them twice a day!
Great output of energy, what about input? I started today with yummy gluten and sugar free pancakes topped with strawberries. Lunch will be a salad with “wipe your mouth BBQ chicken.” Dinner is going to be taco wraps with these cheese wraps I found at HyVee. My goal is to alternate meals focused on carbs with meals focused on fats. Every meal and snack will be built around protein! If you want to know more, check out Trim Healthy Mama.
Mental, Emotional, Spiritual Preparation
To me, it is easier to begin with the physical. It’s tangible, visible and in-my-face! Focusing on my body is intended to decrease my physicality while at the same time increasing my spirituality. Life (and death) are bigger than me. I trust that the mental and emotional elements will unveil themselves. I already know I have an unhealthy relationship with the scale so that will be addressed soon. Baby steps.
PS I would love to receive as much as I give. Please share what you’re eating, how you’re moving, and the thoughts that are supporting or deceiving you.