Thursday, February 21, 2013

Afraid of the Pain

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

Gosh I have so many topics that I want to talk about. I basically have a backlog of ideas.  I actually made a list on my phone so that I don't forget them all. One that I have been thinking about for a while is dealing with the Pain. This can apply both physically and mentally, but right now I want to focus on the physical.

The Former Fat Girl was scared of pain. She didn't want to exert herself because she didn't want to feel it later. She LOVED walking around and exploring whatever city she was in, but in a limited capacity.  As much as she loved walking and seeing the sites, if there was a subway to be taken...well she was all in for the short cut.  If the walking was for any extended period of time then she cleared her schedule for the next day because there was no way she was getting off of the couch. In fact, any day of activity pretty much cleared her for the rest of the week. She could nurse that "sore back" for days.

If she did a workout dvd and felt sore later that dvd got put away for another month...or two...or it was never to be seen again. Her body was uncomfortable with this activity and she didn't like it. And rather than increase the activity so that it would no longer hurt, she dove into inactivity with avengence. "My legs and back hurt so bad after that walk that I need to just lay in bed for a couple of days to give them rest."

Looking back, I realize that it wasn't about the "pain". It was about facing myself. It was about acknowledging that I was in bad shape. It was about being unhappy with myself and shying away from the uncomfortable. I knew that I wasn't in shape. I couldn't look in a mirror for goodness sake. I didn't need my body's pain to remind me.  I was in pain anyway just carrying that weight around every moment of every day. Why would I want to increase that?  It was so much easier to escape into a tv show while eating a box of cheez-its than it was to get up and move around.

What I know now is that there is a big difference between sore and pain. Sore means that I'm using my muscles in ways that they are not used to or that I have upped my intensity. Pain means that something is wrong and I need to rest and heal. The Former Fat Girl used "sore" as an excuse not to get injured.

The way I like to think of it now is that if I have never gardened in my life and I got out there and start weeding the yard for a couple of hours then in two days I am going to be feeling muscles I never knew I had. That doesn't mean I did anything wrong. It just means that I'm waking my body.  If I continue to go out there every day then eventually it won't hurt. My body will get used to it. My Body will welcome it. It's the same with working out. Eventually it will stop making you sore and be a lot easier.  Eventually your body will crave it!

What you need to remember is the Two Day rule. After an incredibly intense workout you will feel sore the next day. But, you will feel even more sore the day after that.  It's your muscles rebuilding. Know the difference between sore and hurt. If you don't feel better after two days then you may be injured. You may also still be sore, but it should not be equal to or worse than day two.

I have learned to embrace the pain (sore). That means that I am pushing my body. I am working hard. If I don't feel sore then I'm not going to make changes in my body. I need the sore to know that I am still on the right track. I need the sore to know that I am on my way to my flat belly. I need the sore to know that I am on my way to my future butt!  I need the sore to know that I am on my way to smaller boobs.   It's when I don't feel the sore that I need to worry.

Every crossfit class kicked my butt. I was sore for two days after each one. It sucked, but it felt so good. As active as I am, I was challenging my body in ways it wasn't used to. And what happened? I burst through my plateau! 

What I also know now is just how important stretching is. I can minimize the soreness by stretching before and after the workouts. Heck, I stretch now even if I am just sitting around. I WANT to use my muscles now. If all I am doing now is tightening them then they will be sore a lot. By stretching I am lessening the pain and increasing my mobility. That's one of the reasons why I love yoga so much. I always feel 100% better afterwards. It's my reward to my body for all of the hard work I am putting it through.  And a massage every now and then doesn't hurt either. Haha.

Have a Blessed Night.

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If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

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