Sunday, May 24, 2009

Avoid the Most Embarrassing Situation of your Life...

My little guy Jackson is taking a nap right now so I thought I’d take the time to fill you in on a lesson that was affirmed for me yesterday.

Started the morning off with a brick workout with my Triathlon Group. We did an 11 mile cycle followed by a 3 mile run. A perfect workout on a perfect day. Afterwards, I had about 1.5 hours to get home, showered, grab some lunch and head to our Portland studio for a 2 hour meditation course that we were hosting. My little girl wanted to hang with me so we decided we’d grab a quick sandwich at Rosemary’s café, a quaint little deli in downtown Vancouver that we both love. When we arrived at Rosemary’s, there was a note on the door saying “Closed for Memorial Day weekend”. So I blame what happened afterwards on Cheryl, the owner of Rosemarys! At this point, we didn’t have a ton of time, she was hungry and I was starving due to my earlier brick workout. She pleaded to go to McDonalds and I said absolutely not – something to do with the fact that I worked at Micky Ds for 5 years when I was younger (a separate topic for another blog!) So we compromised on Burgerville – the route that any Northwesterner trying to be healthy will take while trying to justify eating fastfood. Afterall they do use local ingredients…And isn’t it all organic?! Not to mention they are very community-oriented and environmentally friendly. Yes, they do make it very easy to justify…

So needless to say, I’m not sure whether it was the fact that I had to eat so quickly to get to the meditation course on time, or whether it was because it was a fast food burger or whether it was because I ate so close to the start of the meditation course (what was I thinking – aren’t you supposed to meditate in a fasting state?!)…Anyways, I’m sure you know where this is going…Right as our meditation instructor was leading us through the most tranquil visualization technique…As we were focusing on very slow, deep, cleansing breaths. As we were imagining our breath inhaling as a pristine white light purifying our entire system and thoughts…As we could hear nothing but the tick and tock of the clock in the distance, we were all startled and I mean ALL-the entire room-startled by a loud eruption, a monstrous, groaning and moaning as if something was being tortured and enduring a slow death. I literally jumped. And then a sense of complete mortification engulfed me as I realized that that sound was coming from me – deep inside my belly as if something was trying to escape. I nervously murmured a low apology to all those around me. A few giggled.

The next 2 hours became a constant struggle between trying to focus on tightening my core to control my inner mumblings, whispering a few apologies when squealing sounds would loudly emerge to disturb and distract all those around me and at the same time, trying to personally benefit from this meditative session. Once I realized that it was going to be impossible to actually truly achieve a meditative state in my current situation, I contemplated leaving. I’m sure many around me wished the same. But I decided to endure after feeling a sense of hope when a number of minutes would pass where my intestines would calm down and I could almost relax only to be rudely awakened by a ‘cat in heat’ screech. I was mortified to recognize that the instructor knew what was happening even though I was at the back of the room and she at the front when numerous times she mentioned cues such as “No matter what else you hear, acknowledge it but then refocus back on your breath” or “Regardless of what your body is experiencing, recognize it but then return to your meditation.” I could only imagine some of the other gals around me smirking. Or worse, being annoyed by my involuntary gurgles!

Finally, the meditation session ended and I could escape. I offered a few light-hearted apologies to those around me. One gal mentioned, “Wow, that must have been some good lunch you had!” I laughed at myself and mumbled something in response but then quickly retreated.

So where is the lesson and why am I telling you all this?! At the very least, I’ve ruined your appetite so you will consume less calories at your next meal! 

• Grab & Go. I could have avoided this whole scenario by having some quick food options available that we could have grabbed on our way out. Fast Food isn’t really faster than pulling together a quick sandwich, raw veggies with dip, fruit, granola and yogurt, hummus and pita, crackers and cheese…I could have had some energy bars in the car to tide us over until after the course. We think Fast Food is fast but often it takes longer, costs more and can obviously lead to some pretty significant short and long term health concerns!
• Eat Slowly. Your food will digest better, you’ll feel full more quickly, be less likely to overeat and avoid the most embarrassing meditation session of your life!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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