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Take a moment and re-read the title of this article. It took me quite a while to fully understand and appreciate the significance of that simple bit of advice.

For decades I struggled with food allergies that none of my doctors ever thought to raise as possible reasons for my migraines and IBS-like symptoms. I figured that the energy crashes I experienced whenever I tried to go on a long hike or bike ride were just something I had to deal with.

Screw all of that!

Piece by piece, I started to look at various aspects of my life, including what I was eating and how I was exercising. I had to admit to myself that the way I was approaching things hadn’t been working.

So rather than just resign myself to feeling like crap as I got older, I decided to change things. I paid closer attention to what I ate and learned that gluten caused serious digestive issues for me, so gave it up. I discovered that dairy and dairy proteins (like casein) were giving me migraines. So I cut those out too. When I cleaned up my diet (it was a process, and took some effort on my part), those problems virtually disappeared.

Then I took a look at what I was doing for exercise. For years I had been a dedicated elliptical machine user but, to be honest, I hated it. It was boring, I felt isolated, and it became harder and harder to get myself motivated for the next workout. I experimented with a few other kinds of exercise, and discovered that CrossFit had what I was looking for. (If someone had told me 10 years ago that that would be what gets me excited to exercise, I would have said they were crazy!) I went into it with an open mind, ready for something new, and quickly found what makes me happy.

Yes, making changes can be scary. It takes work and a desire to learn some new things. It takes a willingness to fail (I tried running and kickboxing before I found CrossFit). It can even require some delicate negotiations with your family when it comes to meal planning. But all of that will seem small once you find the new way of living that makes you feel better rather than worse.

Is what you’re doing working for you? If not, then ask yourself whether you’re willing to try something new.

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