Pick Your Pain

In my badass journey, I’ve encountered several different types of pain:

  • Hunger pain
  • Holy shit, I ate way too much pain
  • That workout kicked my ass pain
  • My butt hurts from sitting on it pain
  • I should really start doing yoga pain

Best ab exerciseFood Pain
Before going any further, I will say that there are a couple of people in my life who don’t experience hunger pain. To them, I say I hate your guts. (OK, not really – I love these people – but I’m still pretty jealous.) Also, when I say “hunger pain,” I’m not starving myself – I love food too much for that to ever be a problem. I’m talking about the hunger pains that set in when it’s an hour until my next meal and I want a snack – that sort of thing.

That said, where food is concerned, I struggle with moderation. When something tastes good, and there’s a lot of it, I tend to eat until I’m physically uncomfortable. What’s encouraging in sort of a twisted way is that the more progress I make in my badass journey, the less I need to eat to get to that point. Still, I don’t like the way I feel physically or mentally when I experience the holy-shit-I-ate-way-too-much pain. So what it comes down to is: Would I rather feel pain from hunger, or would I rather feel pain from overeating?

imagesExercise Pain
I love the that-workout-kicked-my-ass pain, which comes in two stages: immediately post-workout, and two days later when my muscles are sore and recovering. I don’t experience the latter that much anymore since my exercise routine has been consistent for quite a while now, but that post-workout sore muscle feeling is the badass feeling that keeps me motivated. This is my version of a “runner’s high.”

Unfortunately, this is often followed by I-should-be-doing-yoga pain – those moments when all you do is stand up and walk across the room and you end up with a leg cramp so bad that you turn into a sniveling whiner. Every time I experience one of these muscle cramps, I swear at past self for not being better about stretching.

And then, of course, is the pain that comes from not moving – the my-butt-hurts-from-sitting-on-it pain. I’m dealing with more of this than I’d like lately, partly because of studying for my certification. Since I’m so not OK with this, I’m brainstorming all kinds of ways to keep this from happening, such as planking or doing push-ups while watching my training videos or reading. Those two exercises in particular are so boring because of the amount of time you spend staring at the floor. But if I set my tablet on the floor and (try) to study during those exercises – problem solved! Yeah. We’ll see how that goes…

Pick Your Pain
The pain I try to choose is temporary discomfort that will ultimately get me closer to my goal. And when it wears off, I truly feel amazing. It’s not to deprive myself or take an unhealthy approach to achieving my goals; it’s about recognizing and finding empowerment in the different types of discomfort.

The way I see it is if you’re going to be temporarily uncomfortable either way – such as eating too much or feeling hungry – you might as well go with the discomfort that’s going to get you closer to your goal.

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