I Just Need 3 Things

exercise self-care sleep Sep 03, 2021

Before we got married I told Jake that as long as I had 3 things, I would be happy. 

Food, Sleep, and Exercise

Like for reals. As long as I am well-fed, have had plenty of sleep, and workout several times a week, I’m a pretty happy person and can handle just about anything.

When I initially told Jake this, I think he thought that he had won the jackpot with me. At least his facial expression seemed to say, “Wow! That’s it?! I’m not marrying a high-maintenance woman!? This is going to be so easy.”

Then he met, Crazy Lady, The Food Thief, and He-Who-Does-Not-Believe-In-Sleep. 

Crazy Lady happens to be the same person he married, and she comes out if any of the 3 needs aren’t met (which in our stage in life happens a lot). He had no idea . . . . 

The Food Thief steals whatever food Crazy Lady has (I have now taken to ordering 2 things of parts of my meals when we go to restaurants).

And He-Who-Does-Not-Believe-In-Sleep. . . . well, the name says it all. And if Crazy Lady hasn’t gotten sleep, exercise usually gets forfeited too.

But here’s the best part, if those three needs are met, Jake really IS married to that person he dreamed of. 

How often do we sacrifice taking care of our bodies because there is something “more important” that needs to be done? 

What if taking care of our bodies IS the most important thing that needs to be done?

I’ve noticed with myself (and Jake has very quickly learned) that if I’m missing any one of those 3 things, nothing else matters. 

We find a way to fill my belly.

We figure out how to get me a nap, or he takes an extra turn with the night-waking babies. 

We prioritize a workout or figure out how we can exercise as a family. 

When my body is healthy, I am strong. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

When my body is tired and weak, I don’t have the energy to serve or be a good wife and mother.

I know the oxygen mask in the airplane analogy is used a lot (heck I used it a few weeks ago in a post), but that’s because it’s so good and so true. 

If oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, you are to secure your own mask first before helping others. There’s a reason they say that! If you’ve passed out, you won’t be able to help others.

The same rule applies when it comes to our bodies. 

Food is my fuel. If I have a hungry body, it’s really difficult to focus (Fast Sundays are tough!). This is usually the easiest need to fill, because food is so readily available. 

Lack of sleep is my kryptonite. I lose focus. I lose perspective. I lose patience. And I get physically sick. Sleep is also the hardest need to fill right now, so Jake and I are constantly trying to come up with new solutions to make sure we’re both sleeping.

If I don’t take time to exercise, how in the world would I be physically strong enough to keep up with my Goliath babies? 

Both of my babies have consistently been in the 90th percentile for weight and height, so they are not small people. They are also FAST! Because I want to be an active and involved mama, my body has to be able to keep up.  

Exercise also helps me keep perspective. Physical exercise keeps my body and my brain strong.

I wish I could say that Jake and I do a great job with the 3 things. The truth is that 1 of the 3 things is usually missing at any given time. 

But we’re trying. We’re trying to take care of our bodies, and we’re teaching our babies to do the same. And they’re starting to get it (well, today anyways).

And that really is the point.

But in the meantime, my sweet Jake is learning that there is some truth in the statement “Healthy Wife, Happy Life.”

Originally Published 11/21/19

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