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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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!
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.