Sunday, April 09, 2006

Life Is Pain -- Or Is It?

"Life is pain, you just get used to it." -- Spoken by Gina Davis in "The Long Kiss Goodnight"

Some might think all mantras are good: "No guts, no glory," "Slow and steady wins the race," but "Life is pain, you just get used to it?"

I didn't think it was a problems until my 3-year-old ran into the computer room and and screamed the new family motto to her father. What is life, Cece? "LIFE IS PAAAAAINNN, Daddy!"

I'm trying to remember the word my sweet husband used to describe my teaching my baby this valuable lesson about life ... MORBID, yup that's it.

But my life is pain and I'm drawn like a moth to flame by the movie that helped me to see that if pain was a naturally-occurring part of your life, you could conquer it by excepting it. "Sam/Charly," in the movie, is a tough-as-nails assassin who has developed a life from her cover identity and is now your regular PTA mom raising a young daughter. She can take a bullet, spit it out and carve her initials in it, so when her daughter whines about her broken ankle, she has a serious flashback and tells the kid "Life is pain, you just get used to it!"

Cece and I talk a lot about the surgeries and she's fascinated by the scars and marks. Several weeks ago, she walked up to my arm and noticed an old burn scar. Pacifier hanging out of one side of her mouth (Yes, I know, she's too old), she grabbed by arm and exclaimed "Who did that ... did Docta DeBlanc do that?"

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Oh, boy. How do you explain to a child with a pacifier that SupaDoc, Dr. Karl LeBlanc, isn't responsible for every "bo-bo" on mommy's body. And duh, how did she know that he was Dr. Frankenstein, anyway? Mommy's got a lot of bo-bos, but Docta DeBlanc has only helped make mommy better.

Now, when you have to explain open wounds, scars, abscesses and recurrent times that "mommy can't pick you up" to a preschooler, you might opt for an easier mantra "Life is pain." (or you might seek family counseling and avoid whatever trauma I'm inflicting on this baby.)

"Life is pain" has worked for me until I started working my abdominals this week. I've not had much of an exercise routine in this weight loss journey because of the six surgeries in 14 months thing. I was pretty excited and took Foxy's Fitness Center's Buz Blanchard up on his offer to help me develop a strategy for core strengthening and rebuilding my tattered abdominals.

My hat is off to Buz and the awesome organization at Foxy's. I was happy just to be back in the gym and working with a trainer like a normal person, but it's a classy environment to boot and Buz had a heart for where I had been and my desire to go "some place else."

We went through some exercises that are like "abdominals on training wheels." No machines, no weights, just basic and careful abdominal and core strengthening exercises and stretching. Here lies the kicker "Don't do anything that hurts," Buz said, "you know the difference between a muscle burn and something ripping, right?"

Uh, Hmmm... Life is pain?

I went home all excited and the next day I rode my bicycle twice and showed off my new tummy exercises to Scott. Later that night, I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. No problem. Kept going.

The next day, back on the bike, back to the floor exercises afterward. Geez, those lower abs do complain loudly. I could barely do the leg lifts that day because of my old friend, pain. Life is pain and I've gotten used to it, but pain is bad while exercising and I can't discern the difference -- something always hurts!

I finally found something that I feared -- regression. What if I tear something, develop another hernia, have a (eeeek!) another abdominal surgery? Pain, I can live with. Surgeries are finally wearing my nerves thin. I don't wanna go back.

Fear is paralyzing. Well, temporarily. I forced myself to recall all SupaDoc's advice and all the times "pain" led to something that wasn't a good thing. Like a scared little kid, I almost wanted to see SupaDoc just to get the reinforcement that everything was fine. I called and left a message that I "missed" him, but I declined an appointment for expert "hand-holding."

I finally decided (after a one-day pain break) that I feared a lack of progression more than regression and I wasn't going to be "buff" without a little pain, but I could learn to discern good pain (muscle burn) from bad pain (guts being ripped apart) if I gave it enough time. I'm now concentrating on each word and description that Buz gave in my session with him. I'm blessed to find another expert to help me in this journey to wellness.

Everyday, I'm working my upper and lower abdominals and stretching before and after my bike rides and exercising. Buz also helped me see that my water goals were still missing the mark. I was drinking 96-100 ounces a day, but 130 is on mark for my specific weight. This has even helped me with Scott's intake. He was almost to 64 ounces a day when I had to break it to him that his weight dictates (gasp) 180 ounces a day. I thought if he could do 80 that would be great, but he had a 150-ounce day and his energy level was remarkably noticeable. (and appreciated)

Tomorrow ends the first day of the two week challenge on the Lap Band message board. I've not been on the scale, but I've lost more than an inch in my waist alone after I learned to move pass my fears while still being careful. No, I'm not buff yet, but I do feel I know path to get there.


Anonymous said...

Frances you are amazing! An inspiration in many ways!

Oh and do you know the calculation your trainer used for how much water you shuld be drinking? I'm dying to know!

God bless,


Anonymous said...

You're a constant inspiration!!
My "Pain" Mantra?
"Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional."

Onward and Upward!!

Best Wishes-