27 February 2017, by Rachelyn Gordon
Marriage educators Claire and Boaz Nazar helmed a recent talk that I Love Children organised on 11 February.They have been married for 21 years and as a result, had several tried-and-tested tips on how to keep a relationship alive. (Click here if you are keen to find out all their tips!) Among all the tips shared, one stuck out like a sore thumb to me.
“When you engage in a healthy lifestyle, you are showing your commitment to one another. And that helps to keep the [relationship] alive and fun.” – Boaz Nazar
The basis of this quote is simple. Couples need to have fun to keep a relationship – regardless of how old it is – alive and exciting. This is common sense. What is less common knowledge however, is that to have fun, you need to be healthy. It then occurred to me how so few of us (including myself) really understand the significance that health plays in a relationship.
In December 2015, N and I went on our vacation to Krabi. Then, on the second day of our five-day trip, like the klutz that I am, I fell, cut my head open, lost my newly bought holiday clothes to the putrid smell of blood and required five stitches. Our activities, food choices and general merrymaking spirit drastically decreased after that. After all, like N bemoaned “Every time I look at the back of your head, I feel the need to put you in bubble wrap so you will stay safe until we get back home.”
That memory came flooding back to me upon hearing Boaz’s quote. And opening my mind up a little further, I realised it isn’t just cuts and bruises that limit you physically. Poor stamina, getting fatigued easily and coming down with the common cold frequently limit the amount of fun in a relationship as well. And I am guilty as charged of all the above crimes.
So, I suppose I started wondering how much more fun N and I could have if I started sleeping a little earlier, running a bit more and eating more regularly. Given that I am currently on a month’s break from University and only have work commitments to juggle, I no longer have the excuse of an overcrowded schedule. And thus, it was decided that I had the perfect opportunity to take stock of my health. Plus, I had the goal of learning how to cycle and swim while on break!
My first run was terrible. As were the next 10 runs. Then, by the grace of the running gods, it started getting a little easier.
Eating regularly and well has also been a game changer about how I feel about myself. I no longer crave obscene amounts of sugar and am not as grumpy as I normally am. (But perhaps that is because I am on break.. :p) Going to bed earlier, however, has been, by far the most challenging thing I have had to change. I am by nature, nocturnal and get my best ideas in the dead of the night. So, yes, I have had many nights where I fail miserably at sleeping early but I guess at least I am trying and hopefully I will get there. Or even if I don’t, I think achieving two of three things is an encouraging enough sign of me trying to be healthier.
As for cycling, I have discovered that I have absolutely no balance if both my feet are not on the ground.
But I have somewhat mastered the basics AFTER I fell and received some boast worthy scars that I wore around with pride for a week. I reckon I should be able to independently cycle with a few more lessons. Then and only then shall I tackle swimming.
So yes, taking better care of my health has helped inject more fun in my relationship. I like the way I look more, feel better about my general state of health and N is excited that physical activities with me no longer just mean dancing! 🙂