Even though we started seeing summery weather months ago in the northeast, it took me awhile to change my closets over from my winter stuff to summer stuff.
And by "awhile" I mean I just did it this past weekend 😬.
(I never pretended to have all my shit together).
Anytime I do tedious chores like this, I throw some music on and do a LOT of thinking during the process. And changing over the seasonal closet was no exception.
In fact, I noticed that some of the decisions I was making during this entire process have a LOT to do with things my clients are facing when it comes to navigating their own life situations, especially when attempting to reach new fitness goals (and yes, ending the constant battle of leaking DOES count as a fitness goal)!
So, without further ado, here are the 3 lessons that popped into my brain as I was cleaning my closet (that no one asked for) that I hope are helpful to see!
Lesson #1: Long term goals are overwhelming AF. And that's okay!
This is the first time in my life that I've ever had a walk-in closet. And while yes, it is amazing, it is also a pain in the
ass to organize. When I change over my seasonal stuff, I donate all the shit I haven't worn over the course of 1-2 years. Staring into a closet with a ton of stuff hanging + drawers full of MORE stuff is overwhelming AF. I have high anxiety, so automatically my brain is thinking "this is gonna take you 5 hours to do and it's never gonna be all done and then you're gonna have piles and piles of stuff just lying around for weeks." I almost didn't do anything because I was so stressed out. So I walked out of the room, grabbed a seltzer, pet the cats, and then said "okay, maybe we can just go through the hanging stuff today." Small, concrete goal. Less overwhelming. DOABLE.
WTF does this have to do with fitness and pelvic floor performance? If you've been leaking with exercise (or even in general) your goal might be something like "I want to be able to do hard workouts without peeing my pants." Awesome. LOVE it.
And, while I do love a nice long term goal to work towards, I love small term goals leading up to that larger one even more: they help us break things down into digestible parts to give you smaller wins which helps with momentum to keep going, making you more likely to stick to your plan of attack because you're seeing some kind of progress...progress that might go missed if you were just hell-bent on the big goal the entire time.
Let's go back to the leaking with exercise example: say your large goal is to stop leaking during your Peloton HIIT workouts. The smaller goals we'd work on that lead up to that longer term goal might look something like this:
--> relaxing your pelvic floor with breathwork in different positions
--> squatting and engaging your deep core during the squat without clenching or bearing down
--> popping up on your toes when you come out of the squat with good deep core coordination
--> jumping with good deep core coordination which keeps your pants dry and your HIIT workout on the schedule
We would never pick up a steak and just start gnawing on it right off the fork, right? We cut it up into small pieces.
Same goes for whatever monster we are trying to tackle, no matter what that monster looks like.
Lesson #2: Things don't have to look a certain way. Ever.
I wanted to separate my clothes into sections: shorts go here, jeans go here, capris (don't judge) go here. But I couldn't fit them all into the tiny drawers if I did that, so I had a mini
panic attack (did I TELL you I have anxiety lol). So I took a step back and was like "what if I hang my jeans instead of put them in a drawer?" And immediately my brain was like no, we don't do that, jeans go in a drawer, Mel!
Welp, not this time.
Did you ever stop to think who writes the rules? Like, who says that you HAVE to workout at 5am? That you HAVE to lift before you do cardio? That you HAVE to lose weight before you learn how to lift weights? That you HAVE to stick to gentle yoga and walks on the beach, and never pick up a weight over 5#s in your life (I mean, unless there is a medical reason other than just being postpartum or owning a vagina, so get SUPER clear on why you're being given parameters re: your workouts)?
As long as you're not harming yourself, your workouts can look however the fuck you want them to look. 5 min. 45 min. Happening at 4am. Happening at 11pm.
At the end of the day, the people shoulding all over you aren't living YOUR life in YOUR skin, so kindly tell them to kick rocks.
3) Your body is going to change over time. Dress the body you have NOW.
Something I did last year that was phenomenal for my mental health was I donated EVERYTHING that no longer fit. I admit it: I am a jean hoarder. I had
jeans that were 15+ years old sitting in my closet, in hopes that they "might fit again."
They never did.
They DID, however, cause me a ton of grief because I would try them on periodically, they still wouldn't fit (shocked face), and then I would feel like shit about myself and the day would be ruined.
Miss me on all of that.
Today, everything in my closet fits the body I have now. I'm not waiting for my body to shrink in order for me to enjoy myself and how I feel when I wear anything outside of athleisure. I'm not forcing myself to wear pants that cut off blood flow to my brain every time I sit down or BREATHE.
Which brings me to the next point: dress for the body you have NOW so that you're comfortable NOW. If you shop in women's sizes, it's no surprise that the sizing for our clothes is all over the place and not consistent between brands. TBF, I have sizes ranging from 10 through 16, from small through extra large, and it all fits. So, dress for the body you have now instead of vowing to wear "something nice" when you reach a certain size, or refusing to buy something you feel amazing in just because you feel some kind of way about the tag.
Cuz that's just like living in purgatory. And no one wants to be there.