My good friend, Lisa Stark, is a total hard body. She’s a fitness competitor, so she is incredibly disciplined and works hard to be in “show shape.”

She also does my nails. Multi-talented, that one.

We were talking at my last appointment about how things were going for her getting ready for her upcoming show, and she said, “I was working on legs the other day at the gym, and the woman sitting next to me on the leg machine was just *staring* at me. I was working my legs to failure, giving the whole face squish, grimace, pain-thing, and when I was done I couldn’t really stand up. Staring lady looks at me and says, ‘Why on earth would you DO that to yourself?'”

Lisa said, “I had kind of an epiphany in that moment. I think people don’t work themselves very hard in a workout because they think, ‘if it hurts, it must be wrong.’ It’s a totally DIFFERENT kind of hurt. It’s not fall down and skin your knee hurt. It’s changing my body and that takes effort and soreness. You have to actually TRY to make something change, and change doesn’t feel that good when you’re in the middle of it sometimes.

Here’s the point I’m trying to make: There are two kinds of pain. One kind of pain is that WITHOUT gain. A good example of pain without gain: is you, sitting on the couch, eating food that does nothing for your body, and bemoaning the fact that you aren’t happy, then soothing that pain with the food that ultimately makes you unhappy.

Pain WITH gain: the last mile on your longest ever run, the extra five pounds you just lifted, saying “no thanks, I’m full,” even when you’re tempted to eat one more cookie

Losing weight is hard. Getting stronger is hard. Change can really hurt sometimes. But I defy you to find something in your life that you value that just landed in your lap without effort and sacrifice. I.e., Pain with gain.

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