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Want to Feel Your Best? Listen to Your Body!

Last Saturday morning, my husband informed me that John wasn’t feeling great.  Apparently he was having some stomach “issues” and had spent a little extra time in the bathroom that morning.  Ugh!  When he came downstairs a bit later he smiled at me and said, “Man, I don’t know what my problem was.” 
I knew he had gone with his friend to see the new Batman movie the day before so I asked, “Well, did you get anything to eat at the movies?”
“Yeah, popcorn,” he replied.
“What size popcorn?” I asked.
“Um, medium …but I didn’t finish all of it,” he quickly responded.
“Okay.  And then you had fried chicken for dinner, right?” I asked.  (His father ordered take out the night before as I had met with a friend after work.)
“Uh, yeah.  I guess that did go so well on my stomach,” he said.
“I’d say.  With all that fat and grease you put in there it was kind of like a slip and slide for your food, huh?” I replied.
He made a face and grumbled as he walked out of the room.  Yes, pretty gross, but I can assure you he won’t do that again anytime soon.  Later in the day I explained to John that his body isn’t used to eating that way (thankfully!) and the reaction to all that fatty food was his body’s way of letting him know it wasn’t happy.

We should all listen to our bodies more often.  For example, think about a time when you’ve felt extremely tired.  Have you been sleeping okay?  If so, check your diet–is there something missing?  Maybe you’re lacking iron and the fix would be to add iron-rich foods to your meals like spinach and beans.

How about listening to what your body tells you about feeling full.  Are you eating because you’re hungry or because you’re bored?  Do you stop eating when you feel full or continue until you’re uncomfortable?  Learning how to read your body is an important part of healthy weight management.

For me, listening to my body is an ongoing learning process.  One area where I can do a better job is in keeping hydrated.  I find that, especially during summer, I usually figure out too late that I need to drink something.  I should be paying better attention to the signals my body is sending me before I actually reach for the water bottle.  I try to pay attention to how I’m feeling on a daily basis.  I know I feel much better when I follow a well-balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables.  If I do stray too far away from my usual fare I’ll end up feeling cranky, lethargic or having stomach issues much like John.  The bottom line is to be in tune with your body if you want to feel good–it’s sending you messages all the time, all you have to do is listen!

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