The Balance Between Pain and Pleasure

A few weeks ago while at the doctor’s office, I had a wonderful conversation with my doctor about the balance between pain and pleasure.

The ARThletic Girl (source)

In everything we do, my doctor shared, we are in a constant battle to find the balance between pain and pleasure.  The balance is different for every person, which is why each of us face an inward battle with each decision we make.  My doctor went on to share that she feels this theory falls into many areas of life, but we were primarily talking about fitness/health/and weight loss.

For some, they allow pain to take over their life and become weak, ill, and unhealthy (think about various eating disorders).  My doctor shared that these individuals become so comfortable with pain that it becomes a pleasure to them.  On the flip side, some allow pleasure to become their sole focus and sometimes too much pleasure become painful.  Swinging to the pleasure side of the spectrum may look something like overeating, eating too often, and not working out.  What pleasure and pain look like though are different for every person.

The ARThletic Girl (source)

The goal is create healthy pleasures and to learn to accept and enjoy small amounts of pain.  For example, you can learn to find pleasure in working out, eating healthy foods, and getting into better shape.  You can also learn to push yourself in your workouts and become ok with waiting to eat until you’re hungry (pain).

The ARThletic Girl (source)

My doctor shared that she truly believes that this is THE KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS.  She said that people struggle with weight loss because they are having a hard time finding the balance between pain and pleasure.  They may be working out too much and not eating enough… too much pain.  They may be eating healthy/good portions but not working out and vice versa.  They may be finding a perfect balance Monday-Friday but then swing too far on the pleasure side of the spectrum over the weekend… too much pleasure.


If you’re going out with friends and know you’ll be indulging in a little more pleasure, then you need to insert a little more pain that day.  You may work out a little longer or you may decide to not drink any alcohol with your friends.  You have to find the balance.

The ARThletic Girl (source)

This concept has really helped me over the past month.  Ask yourself, am I finding the balance between pain and pleasure or do I need to take some steps to find a better balance.  Small steps/changes can really make a huge difference in your life… it is just a matter of how badly you want it.

What can you do today to create a balance between pain and pleasure?


  1. says

    There’s some stuff here to think about. I am a big fan of finding the right balance, but I hadn’t thought of the pain/pleasure balance like this.

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