From Bejiggly to Bellefit (GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!)

During pregnancy, you spend 9 months (or an eternity if you are April the giraffe) watching your body expand in ways you didn’t think possible.

With both of my pregnancies I pretty much peed on a stick and as soon as the tests were positive, I had offensively huge boobs, my waist was gone, and the “birthing hips” emerged.

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Approximately 7 months

I’m also petite, ringing in at a whopping 5 foot 1, so there’s only so much real estate on my body. I tend to show later – like after 18/20 weeks, but once that happens I basically can’t breathe because my stomach is up to my throat.

With my first pregnancy, eight plus years ago, I gained a total of 25 pounds and hung on to the last 8-10 pounds for about a year. I blame it on living in Boston at the time and needing insulation from the cold. I knew nothing of post-partum girdles and corsets back then. Nothing.

My most recent pregnancy was MUCH different. First of all, I was 39 and I honestly feared how my “advanced maternal age” would affect weight gain and weight loss. Plus, at 32 weeks I got thrown for a loop when I was put on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy because of some spotting. Up until that point, I clocked an hour on the treadmill (just walking) every. damn. day…trying to maintain an active lifestyle.

Still, with life as a mom, running a very energetic 8-yr-old from school, to dance, to playdates, etc., coupled with a two hospital visits, a first trimester of dry heaving and puking, and a dash of someone looking down on me saying, “she’s been through the ringer…let’s throw her a bone”, I only managed to gain a total of 18 pounds and still birthed a healthy, 8-pound, baby girl.

9 months

I had the balls to allow a film crew in my house to film something for our alma mater (Go Gators) at nine months preggo, even though it’s a known thing that the camera adds 10 pounds.

All of that being said, I turned 40 just two weeks after delivering, and that was looming in the back of my head. EVERYTHING is harder when you’re older, including losing baby weight. Thankfully, you lose a significant amount on the table, which provides a nice running start. But then this thing happens to your body. In minutes you go from having a hard round belly filled with a baby, to an empty one that is so bejiggly (don’t fake the funk, mamas), that you don’t even know what to do with it. And it happens no matter how much weight you’ve gained. It can be a confidence killer.

This is where I discovered the magic of Bellefit. And it is magic, IF you use it as directed.

I received a bundle, which contained a dual-closure girdle and a corset. The website is great and walks you through exactly what size to order, but I did speak with a real person because I was cocky and thought I for sure would need a small. Pffft. Spoiler alert – I was wrong.

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With this bundle, you get two sizes so that you basically ease into wearing it and tighten it as you go along. So I started with a large girdle and worked my down to the medium corset. I had no idea how long it would take to see results, nor when I should tighten things up, so I just went with what felt right. I began wearing it the day I was discharged from the hospital (two days postpartum), from the moment I woke up to the second I went to bed. I did not sleep in it (although some people do). There’s also an accompanying free app that helps track progress. (Sidenote: My phone used to be filled with nothing but an iTunes account brimming with 90s hip-hop and multiple photo filter apps to give the appearance of Botox. Now it’s filled with apps to track baby weight loss, the last time I fed my child, and live baby monitor feeds.)

Then….when I had a photographer in my home to do a newborn shoot/family photos seven days after delivery, something happened that rocked my world. I took my favorite AG skinny jeans out of my closet and had a stare down with them. In my head, this voice was saying, “Back away from the skinny jeans…you are only setting yourself up for disappointment.” But I flicked that voice off and started one leg at a time…fast like pulling off a band aid. And…They. Effing. Fit. No shimmying, no lying on the bed, nada. They slid right on like I hadn’t skipped a beat and I wanted to cry.

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That’s when I started to do measurements. I’ve never been one to weigh myself or attach a number to anything physically, because it messes with my sanity. I much prefer to judge how I’m doing based on how I feel, look and how my clothes fit. So busting out the measuring tape and scale was out of character for me, but I felt like I needed cold, hard, quantifiable evidence that this was really happening. It went something like this…

11 days pp

one month pp

2 months pp

Here are some other deets and a timeline for my experience.

2/8/17: (two days postpartum) I started wearing the dual-closure girdle on the looser hooks. You will have to lie down to get it closed at first, and it is tight. But not debilitating tight. It actually feels really good and supportive keeping you all sucked in. It feels good from a posture perspective too.

My experience was definitely faster than I anticipated. On day 4, I no longer had to lie down to get it closed. That was so motivating, I did the jig in front of my mirror.

2/18/17: Graduated to tighter hooks on dual-closure girdle without lying down!

3/6/17: (one month postpartum) This is when I measured my hips. At 39 weeks pregnant, my hips were 41 inches. At one month postpartum, wearing Bellefit, I was at 38 inches and graduated to the medium corset on the looser hooks. And hips don’t lie…ask Shakira.

3/25/17: Graduated to tighter hooks on corset and continue to wear it presently and track my progress.

Guys, even my newborn can’t believe it!

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A few more things to know.

This is NOT one of those Kardashian-esque waist trainers. It’s a legit post-partum support system made of medical grade materials.

I wear Bellefit like its my religion. It’s the first thing I put on when I wake up, after I pee holding one child with the other one yelling at me to pour her milk. I am better at sticking to my Bellefit regimen than I am at remembering if I brushed my teeth or put on deodorant before I head to the carpool line (#newmomprobs).

Speaking of peeing…In the interest of full disclosure, I am telling you now to allot time to get the hooks undone before you have to pee. Even if you are the queen of kegels, sometimes you are ready to pee before you realize it. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, mamas.

*****GIVEAWAY TIME!!!*****

Bellefit is, without question, one of my favorite things on the planet and their customer service is just as good as their products. They’re supportive and knowledgable and, such an awesome company. So awesome, as a matter of fact, that they are allowing me to give away a Bellefit bundle (1 Bellefit Corset & 1 Bellefit Dual-Closure Girdle, retail price $254!) to one lucky reader!

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To enter, head over to my Instagram (@whineandcheezits) and follow the directions on the post there. It will be the one with the picture from this post of me wearing my skinny jeans and shocked look, because I live for that picture and that moment.

You can also receive $20 off your Bellefit order, using the promo code RACHEL20. So really, everyone is a winner!! Use this link to order >> https://www.bellefit.com/a/6/

The Bellefit Bundle giveaway is open through Friday, April 14th and the winner will be announced on Instagram shortly after.

Good luck!!

Bellefit Postpartum Girdles and Corsets

How Moms Are Like Superheroes – New for HuffPo

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Did you  know that as a mom, you totally hone superhero-like skills that you probably never knew you even had?!

It’s true.

Read all about it in my latest article for the Huffington Post.

CLICK HERE TO READ >> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58caaf07e4b0e0d348b340ea

 

New Year, New Perspective – NEW from Lifestyle Magazine

My January article for Lifestyle Magazine (page 15) is all about a New Year and New Perspective.

Particularly…PEACE. And not just the kind of peace you have when you get to pee alone.

 

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Happy New Year!!

xx

Rachel

Do the Holiday Hustle – NEW from Lifestyle Magazine

In the thick of the Holidays and I’m talking all about the holiday hustle in my latest article for Lifestyle Magazine (page 15)

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Girl’s Weekend 2016

Every year around this time, we take a girl’s trip. But this one isn’t filled with shots, debauchery and hangovers. It’s much more wholesome. It involves my main squad, a couple of mice, dogs, and ducks.

It’s the annual Disney trip with my mom and daughter and it’s ALWAYS filled with blog content – mostly because my mother is there. This was a big one because it’s the last one with just the three of us, before I evict another daughter from my uterus and add her to the wolfpack.

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The trip always starts the same way – with my mother shoving her selfie-sticked iphone in our faces trying to capture our “road trip” song. We film a few different melodies and then never post any of them because she thinks she’s ugly in all of them and stares at her phone with squinty eyes asking, “Is that what I really effing look like?!?”

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Rather than go into a whole narrative of the trip (because that would take DAYS), I’m going to bless you with the highlight reel.

  • Within 5 minutes of entry to the hotel, my mom was already besties with a young, unsuspecting lad at the front desk (Dominic), who had no idea the stuff he’d be comping in 2 days. She already managed to get the $30/day valet fee comped because I’m 7 months pregnant and there was no self-parking (which was true, btdubs).
  • We didn’t wait more than 8 minutes to get keys to our room from Dom, because I’m 7 months pregnant and my mom has “sugar diabetes” (pronounced Wilford Brimley style aka diabeetus).
  • On venturing out to the Boardwalk on night one, a lovely family stopped to offer their photography help when they saw our selfie struggles. When the woman opened her mouth and said “Do y’all need some help?”, my mother, the super sleuth said, “Oh! You’re from Texas?!” (because y’all = Texas). The woman politely responded, complete with the “bless your heart” tone, “Um, no, that would be Mississippi.” Dammit mom, so close!
  • We got ice cream on the way back and after grilling the 16-yr-old serving us about the great no sugar vs. no sugar added debate, my mom got her cone. Only to lose a scoop right there on the counter as she was paying. They felt bad and gave her a redo, however, when my mom was dancing, at the request of my daughter, she did a fancy triple axel move and lost a scoop mid-twirl. I tried not to pee my pants, but it’s hard because I am pregnant. Then her and my daughter did the next logical thing when you drop a scoop – waited patiently for someone to step in it. Oh the life lessons my child gains from these trips.
  • Finally, it was time to retire to our hotel room, but the fun is not over until the fart-noise fiesta. That’s right! It’s become tradition (my daughter’s favorite actually) for her and my mom to make fart noises with their mouths and try to out do each other. I always imagine the people sharing a wall with us, wishing they were overhearing loud hotel sex instead.
  • Because my mom is the poster child for Type A people across the globe, she literally could not take the hotel clock being set to the wrong time and had to right this atrocity before going to sleep. Cut to around 1am when the alarm clock was going off every 20 mins or so (because she’s super tech savvy). And not just going off, but at the loudest volume possible with only static to hear for miles. Every. 20. Minutes. I literally almost ripped it out of the wall, but it was tangled with about 50 other cords behind the nightstand and I had to turn the lights on to figure out how to undo whatever she did.
  • Then it’s on to the character breakfast, where all my kid wants is to see my mom pull Pluto’s tail. This is tricky though because the characters walk around with handlers to thwart these very things, so she has to be sly.
  • We spent the first part of the day at Magic Kingdom where I read on my ipad as they went on rides and were beyond exhausted for part two of the day, at Animal Kingdom. When we got to AK, my mom was not satisfied with our parking spot and made me drive up to the guardhouse to tell the man…yup you guessed it, that I’m 7 months pregnant and she has a broken toe (also true) and can we park any closer? We got waved to the “med lot” which ended up backfiring because it’s too close to the entrance for the tram to pick you up but still a little bit of a walk. Karma, mom. Karma.
  • As soon as we entered the park, my mom marched right over to the first kiosk selling mouse ears and overpriced water to ask if there was any way “someone could drive us to the entrance of the first ride we had a fast pass for because her daughter is 7-months pregnant, she has a broken toe AND sugar diabeetus”. They looked at her with a loss of words expression, “um, no ma’am, we don’t do that”.
  • Back at the hotel, we had already fed my child kid food and went to sit in a steakhouse to have a real meal. My daughter was so fried she fell asleep, in my lap as we were waiting for dessert, so they gave it to us to go and comped it. My mom did the jig – she wasn’t even expecting perks until checkout when she met with Dom again.
  • Repeat paragraph about fart noises.
  • We had our last character breakfast before hitting the road, but not before my mom gave Goofy a piece of her mind for not having a tail she could pull to delight my daughter.

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Look how defeated he looks.

It was a trip filled with laughter that could (and will) make you pee your pants and I love the memories my daughter gains from these girl’s trips. Colored memories, but memories nonetheless.

Next year, we’ll roll four deep and begin to corrupt another precious little girl showing her our version of the happiest place on earth.

 

 

It’s Better to Give – NEW From Lifestyle Magazine

November’s article for Lifestyle Magazine (page 21) is all about giving thanks.

Not only is Thanksgiving my favorite holiday, but I am HELLA thankful this year, that’s for sure. Let’s make sure our kids know what it means to be thankful and why it’s so important.

xx,

Rachel

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Fright Night – NEW for Lifestyle Magazine

Halloween is coming!

Are you ready for the slew of Elsas that will invade your neighborhood with their ill-fitting wigs and Olaf-shaped candy receptacles (guys, for real, when will the Frozen thing be over?)

Check out my latest article for Lifestyle Magazine Boca/Delray (Page 21) and get the scoop on a few Palm Beach County Halloween Happenings.

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Not My First Rodeo

Last time I was pregnant was almost eight years ago. Here I am again, growing a human inside me but things are a little different. Most obviously, the fact that this is my second marriage which means I have two baby daddys. Guys, I’m basically like a rapper now.

gangta

Now, with another little girl cooking, it’s hard not to notice the differences from the first time around.

While I was not even a little bit neurotic during my first pregnancy, I was much more on the ball with a lot of “stuff” that accompanies pregnancy.

1. YOU BASICALLY CAN’T EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING

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There are so effing many rules. No deli meats, no soft cheeses, no wine (FML), no sushi, no advil, and the list keeps growing. As a mother, wine and advil are usually staples, so that hurts. During my first pregnancy I adhered to EVERY rule without deviation. I just felt like even though I knew they were super conservative and I probably wouldn’t harm my fetus with a Boars Head Honey Maple Chicken Sub from Publix (great…now I want one), I didn’t think anything was worth messing with the rules, archaic or not. God forbid something DID happen, it would be a mindfuck of epic proportions and I would carry guilt forever. I have enough since I’m Jewish, so I didn’t need to roll the dice. I’m a strong motherhustler, so there’s nothing I can’t do without for 9 months.

Except coffee. So this time around I do have one cup a day and I’m not ashamed. Mommy’s sanity is crucial to a functioning household and coffee helps achieve that. Also, I pretty much needed ginger ale intravenously during the first trimester of this pregnancy and I opted for diet (OH THE HORROR!! I KNOW!). But I’m sorry, I think it’s like splitting hairs to determine what’s worse – the amount of sugar I would have ingested in regular versions compared to the “diet” version demons.

2. MY BABY IS THE SIZE OF A WHAT?

kumquat

Yes, the first time I was  dutifully subscribed to those emails I would get each week informing me that my child was the size of a kumquat or some other exotic fruit. I read each one diligently about what body part was forming and what was happening in my womb. This time, however, I have literally lost count of how many times I have called my OBGYN to ask how far along I am. Not kidding.

3. EAU DE BUG SPRAY

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This whole Zika thing is a maje buzzkill for a pregnant chick, especially one living in a Zika hotbed known as South florida. This one scares me, because even doctors are skittish about it since there are so many unknowns. So…that means I have spent tons of money to douse myself in CDC approved bug spray every time I leave the house so I can have peace of mind. But wait, there’s more. Because this gem of an epidemic can be sexually transmitted, my husband is also forced to get in on this trend. No spray, no lay. There was nothing even close to this during my first pregnancy.

Those are some of the major differences but there are also some striking similarities.

  1. THE HORMONES

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I cry at the drop of a pin. Yes, I am emotional non-pregnant and admittedly a crier, but this is next level shit. It happens out of nowhere sometimes and once the floodgates open there’s no stopping it. It also happens when I get upset or frustrated (just like during non-preggo life), but again, it’s MUCH more severe. Like when the people my husband hired to put plywood up for the last “storm” (Hurricane Matthew) that threatened us, failed to deliver at almost the 11th hour and I had a full-on exorcist level melt down. I sufficiently scared the shit out of SLS, which is why he looked at me in the eyes and told me there would be wood on the windows if he had to “drive to fucking Naples to get it”. And he delivered (thankfully without having to make that drive).

2. I’M PREGNANT, NOT BLIND

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I still hate maternity clothes and basically stick to t-shirts and jeans because I think the people who design them are fucking high. In what universe does ANY pregnant woman look good in horizontal stripes and strategically placed bows and things that awkwardly blouse around your growing bump like a potato sack? It’s ridiculous.

3. I DRAW THE LINE AT CHARACTER ONESIES

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One of the biggest similarities from pregnancy number 1 to 2, revolves around baby clothing. There is so much cute stuff to outfit your baby. But for everything I love, there are ones that I seriously cannot stand. I’m probably the minority in this and I recognize that, but I HATE HATE HATE anything emblazoned with a cartoon character like mickey, minnie, pooh, etc. I also have a similar dislike for items that say things like, “Daddy’s Little Girl” or “If you think I’m cute you should see my mom” or “What happens at Grandma’s stays at grandma’s”. And I love a good graphic tee! But unless it’s truly clever and witty, it will never touch my child’s body. I didn’t dress my kid in that stuff the first time and it ain’t happening this time either. While maternity clothes may still suck, baby clothing designers at least have continued to step up their game for sure.

Above all, pregnancy brings a lot of opinions and perspectives (which is precisely why we aren’t sharing names before she’s here so stop asking) and a shit load of unsolicited and even passive aggressive advice – “You’re doing THAT during pregnancy.” That will never change…you just have to be good at ignoring it and doing your thing. Do what YOU feel is right and listen to your doctors, not the internet. Eat what you want, wear what you want, dress your kid how you want.

It’s your uterus, mamas. Am I right?

The Motherhood Edition of Jewish Holidays – NEW from Suburban Misfit Mom

As featured on Suburban Misfit Mom

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The Motherhood Edition of Jewish Holidays

By Jen Schwartz (The Medicated Mommy) & Rachel Sobel (Whine & Cheez – its)

Early fall is Jewish holiday season. That means going to temple, eating apples and honey in hopes of a sweet year ahead, family dinners filled with equal parts kvelling & kvetching, and a day of starvation fasting that culminates in the annual carb loading frenzy with bagels, lox, noodle kugel, and cookies. Lots of cookies. You know…a “light” meal.

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And if your child attends a Jewish preschool/day school, you are basically screwed and they may as well close for the month of October with the amount of days you have off.

That’s right folks, we are currently living in the space between the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) where we atone for our sins and hope to make it into the Book of Life for another year.

Lucky for us, Jews get to make New Years’ resolutions twice. You know, if for some reason you bailed on the ones you made in January for the non-secular New Year, here’s a second chance in October. I don’t know about you, but we’re still eating cake, ice cream and half-consumed bags of goldfish and desperately trying to fit into our skinny jeans because even though we get dressed in workout clothes every day, we don’t actually go work out every day. It’s kind of like our uniform for school drop off and the couple hours following. That is until we can pee and shower without a child opening the door a trillion times asking us to change the channel when the remote control is actually in their little sticky hands.

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Thinking about how you want to live in the Jewish New Year is both a blessing and a curse…because as you start to make promises to yourself about the year ahead, you are also going backwards to relive those times this past year you might not be so proud of. And as moms, there are definitely a few that come to mind. So, rather than focus on personal transgressions this year, we are confessing ours sins of motherhood. Let this be our atonement for:

  • Lying to our children (and maybe even setting the clocks forward) to convince them it’s bedtime so you have enough time to shower and settle in before Bachelor in Paradise.
  • Telling them a store is closed (at 3pm on a Thursday) because you just don’t feel like going to buy another pack of shopkins.
  • Having a salad for dinner but then polishing off the abandoned chicken-nuggets your child left on their plate.
  • Forgetting to wash a school uniform and digging a dirty one out of the hamper, spraying it with Febreze and sending them on their way.
  • Being so desperate to finish homework that you may have “led the witness” to arrive at the correct answer.
  • Letting your child watch back-to-back (and by back-to-back we mean 10) episodes of their favorite show just so you could put the finishing touches on your contributed article with the looming deadline.
  • Regifting a target gift card for a birthday party because you spaced and forgot to grab a gift.

In light of these confessions, here are our Jewish New Year’s resolutions– what we hope to do better or more of as moms in the coming year. And if we fail or don’t hit them all, January is right around the corner!

  • Telling the truth, as in when we inform our little ones that ice cream is not a dinner food, we also don’t eat ice cream for dinner or in other words, I will fit into those skinny jeans!
  • Not beating ourselves up when we need just one more hour of sleep so, without making any eye contact, we slip the iPad through the cracked door of our kids’ bedrooms.
  • Losing the guilt when our child watches ten episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in one sitting because binge watching is clearly a skill they will need when they get older.
  • Admitting that our kids are assholes sometimes because when they are lying face down on the floor screaming, kicking their legs, and shouting “NO” on repeat over not being ready to go to sleep or do anything you ask them to do, they are being assholes!
  • Not stressing about our kids still sleeping in pullups at night because let’s be real, who wants to start their morning cleaning up shit, changing sheets, and doing even more laundry?
  • Understanding that it’s okay to ask our husbands to do parent things like watch the kids, help with homework, feed them dinner, and handle bath time because they aren’t simply babysitters, they are dads and it’s their job too!
  • Realizing motherhood is effing hard and it’s okay to serve cereal for dinner (hey, it’s good enough for breakfast), put ourselves first, ask for what we want, leave the kids home with a babysitter, and drink all the wine…because happy mommy equals happy everyone!

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Let’s Talk About Sex…

Particularly what happens to sex after you have children.

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On our latest episode of The Parental Advisory Podcast, We’re going there.

We are tackling everything – from porn, to sex rooms, to scheduled sex, to quiet sex and everything else (between the sheets).

Just head over to our iTunes page and look for Episode 4. And if you haven’t checked out the first three installments, today is a GREAT day to binge listen.

Direct Link HERE>>> bit.ly/iTunesPAP

xx,

Rachel