Would you like to feel better?

One particular Friday night when our kids were in grade school, our schedule was extra crazy. We had to rush around as soon as my husband got home, take kids to their own things, have our date, then pick them up and get them to bed.

As I was urging my daughter to bed, she was more easily frustrated than usual. I sensed a meltdown coming. Sure enough, as I was tucking her in, she burst into explosive tears over nothing.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” I asked. “Why are you so upset?”

She knew: “All I had for dinner was birthday cake!” she wailed through her tears.

Oh dear! I’d assumed there’d be pizza at the party, but no. Guess I didn’t read the invitation closely enough. #momfail And now we were dealing with a seismic meltdown.

It’s pretty easy to recognize when a kid is having a post-party meltdown. And we might even occasionally recognize it in ourselves. But what many of us don’t see is the connection between what we eat every day and how we feel every day. I sure didn’t, until I learned to pay attention.

Did you know that what you eat can affect…

  • How much your joints ache?
  • Your energy levels?
  • Your mood?
  • How clear-headed you are?
  • Adult acne and other skin issues?
  • Your frequency and severity of headaches?
  • The quality of your sleep — and therefore, how you feel the next day?
  • How open your sinuses are?

For me, losing weight was great, but it was feeling so much better every day that motivated me to keep eating healthy. Joint pain gone, fuzzy brain gone, mood improved — these made life better every day, and I didn’t want to go back to before.

I discovered that a certain artificial sweetener makes one particular joint inflame and hurt! I’ve heard the same thing from friends.

I’ve also discovered that whenever I eat cheese, my face breaks out. That’s something I wish I would have discovered in my teens — not my fifties!

Other women I know have had similar experiences (click their name to see their full story):

“This past Monday, I experienced having such a clear mind, full of energy, so I was able to accomplish more on my writing day. Tuesday was the same. And the last three days, I haven’t ‘needed’ my afternoon cup of coffee. Now that’s a true miracle!” – Norma

“I’ve been eating cleaner and healthier — and my body likes it! Now I have much less pain, fewer migraines, better sleep, and the energy to keep up with my busy 2-year-old grandson. The added bonus: the brain fog I didn’t even realize I had is now gone!” – Cathy

“I’ve found that when I avoid sugar, sweeteners, and gluten, I have fewer body aches and just feel better overall.” – Joni

I also love this comment found on a Facebook page (shared with permission):

“This 65 yr old has ankles and knees that greatly appreciate not carrying around an extra 40 pounds. I try to remember to listen to all parts of my body, not just my stomach.”

– Christine Allen

Another benefit to listening to our bodies and feeding them good food is extra motivation for our weight loss or get healthy journey.

Usually we focus on how many pounds we have lost or haven’t lost as a measure of our success. When the scale moves too slowly or doesn’t budge at all, we get discouraged — and often give up.

But when you learn to look at the other, more immediate things diet does for you, you may find much more motivation to want to stick with it.

(Also, read What to rejoice over when the number on the scale won’t move.)

How about you? What aches, pains, or other hindrances would you like to get rid of? Can you imagine life without them?! Might that be worth the try?

If you want help sorting out how to determine which foods give you trouble, you might try:

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