Hello Solcana Community & Solcana Enthusiasts!
It is my pleasure to bring to you Shannon’s words and wisdom as she embarks on her second round of the Essential You 101! This time with me, Emma, as the facilitator. If you haven’t yet read Shannon’s story, I encourage you to pause, read it, and come back. It’s powerful and moving and one that I revisit when I’m needing a good dose of inspiration!
Ok, you’re back! Thanks for being here. Each week I will be opening up Solcana’s blog to Shannon so that she can share her experience and insights to my unique approach to the Essential You 101 programming. For the participants of this round, if they’ve done it before, some of the content is familiar and some will be new. Read on to hear what Shannon thinks and feels about the EY 101 redux! And stay tuned
Essential You: Round Two!
Some folks at Solcana know who I am. I’ve been a member going on 2 years now! A lot don’t, because unfortunately I haven’t been around much for the last 6 months or so (and have been on membership hiatus for the last 2).
My initial Solcana Story was actually re-shared on Facebook by Solcana recently, and it was really powerful for me to re-read. It’s a story of growth, and strength, and empowerment. All things I haven’t really been feeling much of as of late. In addition to my normal chronic illness (which you can read about the in the first Solcana Story), I’ve been dealing with some other medical issues which culminated two weeks ago in me getting surgery. I’m now on the recovery side of things and was looking for some support as I work towards moving forward in my wellness journey.
Enter Essential You!
I completed the Essential You program in its previous iteration roughly a year ago. It was a phenomenal learning experience. So when the opportunity arose to try it again, I thought it would be perfect mechanism for pursuing my post-surgery wellness goals. The program takes a look at food in a way that I had never encountered before. The current version is five weeks and includes an optional food challenge (where you can follow an elimination program to see how certain foods may be affecting your mind and body), as well as discussions of food and non-food related subjects like body awareness, blood sugar regulation, etc.
For the first week, we spent some time exploring our goals and motivations for the program- an exercise I found incredibly illuminating! So often nutrition and exercise programs are framed in terms of weight loss or body shape. This goal setting activity was so much more open ended. While body composition changes could be a completely valid goal from a program like this, I don’t think a single one of the participants named it as a goal for them in this experience. Instead, we had an incredibly interesting and powerful conversation around complex ideas like integration, control, self-compassion, data gathering, and so much more. We talked about wanting to create time to check in with ourselves. About reconnecting with our bodies and our minds through food and connection with others.
I feel incredibly grateful I get to share this experience with some super cool folks, and I can’t wait to share more with the Solcana readership as well. Look for another update next week once I’m a few days into the challenge!