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.

skinny jeans

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

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

Bedrest and Birthmarks

Pregnancy is no easy feat. Even despite that, I will never take it for granted. My first pregnancy was a walk in the park and as uneventful as they come. This one – 8 years later – is an entirely different ball of wax. There are a ton of details and stories around it that provide enough for a series of blog posts and will likely come later when I have a chance to breathe (in 18 years).

In addition to the raging obligatory nausea that can often accompany the first trimester, I have the unbearable heartburn that makes me feel like my esophagus might just fall out or burst and that at any moment I may even breathe fire like a fucking dragon. I’ve also experienced more “major” stuff this time around.

dragon

First, was my stay in the hospital with kidney stones almost two months ago. Just FYI this was the WORST pain I have ever experienced in my life (and I say that having pushed a baby out of my vagina). And guess what they can do for kidney stones in a preggo…NADA!

Because the options are basically blasting with radiation and surgery, all they could really do for me was offer pain meds to keep me comfortable, IV fluids, and wait for them to pass. Annnnddddd, that’s the first time my baby in utero and I did drugs together – specifically dilaudid and demerol. It was a real rager.

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On the heels of that shitshow, I ended up back in the hospital this past weekend with another issue that now has me on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. At this point I feel like SLS and I should have a wing named after us, or at least be giving tours to expectant parents. On the bright side, my mom was there and that ALWAYS provides the levity I need to help me momentarily forget that I am hooked up to an IV, a fetal monitor and being pricked more times than a porn star on a busy day.

First, when my OBGYN came in the room, my mom thought she was just one of my friends she’d never met because she was sans lab coat and didn’t look all doctory. Instead she came in on call, dressed normally, wearing makeup, with her LV messenger on her hip. They were instant besties and hugging 60 seconds later. Then my high risk doctor happened to be there and my mom could NOT get over his shoes – which were those horrible shoes that look like gloves for your feet that nobody should ever wear, especially if you want to have sex ever again.

shoes

She was like the cat who swallowed the canary, or that SNL Kristen Wiig character who can’t handle surprises, waiting for him to leave so she could discuss.

wiig

But really, the best part of the whole day came when the conversation turned to sex. My husband, best friend/sister-wife and I were talking about sex during pregnancy, to which my mom chimes in…

“Please, NOBODY should be having sex during pregnancy. It’s not good for the baby. The baby doesn’t need to be poked around.”

“Mom, you know that’s not really humanly possible, right?”

“Rachel, it’s not good for the baby. Plus, all that poking?!? How do you think babies get birthmarks?”

Drops mic. Exits stage.

It was at that point that my husband was laughing so hard in the corner he literally couldn’t breath. I was laugh/crying real tears. And my mom was dead serious and not understanding why we found it so funny.

She continued with, “Well, it hasn’t been disproven!”

Sidebar – I feel it’s important for context to also point out that my mother has a master’s degree in education and taught (wait for it…wait for it) health and sex education. Boom!

My husband then pointed to a birthmark I have had on the top of my chest my whole life and said to her, “Sooooo….is that where this came from?” She just looked at it, squinted a little and pretended she’s never seen it, shrugged and changed the subject.

No matter what, this woman can ALWAYS take the tension out of a situation and make you pee from laughing. I almost think there’s a viable business idea somewhere in here where we can rent her out to people in grim or serious situations who need a distraction in the form of a stand-up comedienne who doesn’t even know she’s performing.

Here we come Shark Tank…

The Nightmare Before Christmas & Hanukkah – NEW Parental Advisory Podcast!!

Did you miss us???

Then you’re going to be stoked for the latest episode of the Parental Advisory Podcast with my brothers from another mother – Pete & Mark from Daddy Mind Tricks.

jazz

We’re covering all of the nightmares before Christmas and Hanukkah (or as I call it, Jewish Christmas…because c’mon let’s get real, that’s basically what it is.)

We’re kvetching about all of it – from Thanksgiving to New Year’s to Black Friday and everything in between.

Ch-Ch-Check it out.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN >>> bit.ly/iTunesPAP

 

 

The Keep It Real Moms are the Illest!

Episode two is here and it’s FULL of realness. We’re talking about everything, because we just can’t stay on one topic. We’re like PTA moms with ADHD, but cool.

This installment has unfiltered discussions about everything including “shitty” baby shower games, dating ladies, being a boss ass bitch, using the Mensch on the Bench as an enforcer, tooth fairy goals and the worst jobs we’ve ever had.

We jump around like House of Pain, because that’s just what we do.

So take a listen after you put the kiddies to bed, or even while you are laying with them as they watch another painful episode of Dora or, god forbid, Calliou. Just make sure you wear headphones 😉

You can access it here on Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/user-997167709/kirm2

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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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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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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.

smm-mommin

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!

smm-bev

 

 

I’m Smitten With This Redhead

So there’s this gal I know and she’s kind of awesome.

I met her during my first marriage through my then husband. But I was not looking forward to the meeting to be honest. We were living in Manhattan and meeting his “sleep away camp” friend and her husband for dinner.

We lived on the UES, which may as well have been the burbs compared to her funky apartment near the meatpacking district. I already had a preconceived notion that because of said apartment, she was cooler than me and I was dreading a dinner where I would have to pretend to be interested in this couple and fake being engaged in obligatory conversation. Just put me out of my misery, I was thinking.

Then the weirdest thing happened.

We TOTALLY hit it off. I’m talking about sparks flying pretty much from the first hug hello. I can’t tell you what it was, but there was just this instant chemistry and I knew I liked her. I went from dread, to not wanting the night to end, in about 6 seconds. And just like that we developed a bond that grew into an amazing and unexpected (at least from my end…she probably thought I was awesome before she met me ) friendship.

Then when I got divorced, that thing happens where your “couple friends” pick their sides. And I’ll be honest…I thought for sure I would lose her. She was his friend first after all. But I didn’t!! She played Switzerland like a boss and maintained a real friendship with me. It’s not easy and I don’t know how the eff she did it, but I think that’s when this fiery redhead with major moxie stole my heart.

She also happens to give the most sound and insightful advice I think I’ve ever received. It’s equal parts supportive and realistic, never sugar coated and always authentic. So it makes sense that she (a lawyer by trade) chased her dream and a vision to become the most incredible entrepreneur, coaching women to create work/life synergy and fulfill THEIR dreams.

Stacy Boegem, my dear friend, was born to do just this.

When she launched her business, I wanted to help wherever I could (partly to support her and partly to physically see her do her thing because as I’ve always said about her…when she talks, you listen…to every damn word.) I videotaped her first event at a small kid’s playspace in boca, wrote some media pitches for her, and last year registered people at her CRA Live (Connect Relate Activate) event and then watched in awe as she took the stage. She’s so smart, charming, magnetic and knows how to command the shit out of a room.

And while this post may sound like a Stacy Boegem lovefest (ok it is a little), it’s so much more. But I feel so strongly about giving you the context of our backstory instead of just passing you a link to an event and telling you to check it out. Because in addition to a wonderful friendship, I don’t even know if she knows how much she has helped me professionally, and that it all came to a head at last year’s CRA Live. I have never really sat down and discussed it with her. So she’s kind of hearing this for the first time like you.

(If this were a movie, there’d be some wavy lines and trippy music designating a flashback moment…in 3, 2, 1.)

Last year, I sat at the  CRA registration table handing out name tags and checking people in, and when the room was full (and it was), I took a seat with other attendees at the table. In the interest of full disclosure, I was not intending on learning anything that day. Yes I was miserable at my job and yes I had been blogging for a while. But I had no “career” path in sight, so a transition just wasn’t top of mind for me. I knew I wanted to leave my job at some point but it felt soooooo far away, like a pipe dream.

I listened to Stacy. I listened to her other speakers. I watched other women furiously scribble notes and excused myself from most of those exercises because I just didn’t think it applied to me. I was there to help not really participate.

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But then, I wrote something down.

biz card

Right then and there, I decided I needed business cards (because in my head, that’s one of the things that make you an “official” business. And I also came up with my own kitschy title.) It may not mean much to others, but it was a moment for me.

Then came a point where we were asked to write a letter to ourselves in the future talking about where we thought we’d be. Here’s mine dated January 2018.

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Guys, it’s barely 2016 and I have literally checked off every single item on that list. Every. Single. One. Yes, some are ongoing, but seriously, I mobilized like a mofo after this event. Consider me “Activated”!

Was I scared? Yes. Shitless.

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Because let’s be real. Hopes and dreams do not pay the mortgage. And I like my house and living in it.

 

The day after CRA, I hired someone to design a logo and ordered business cards. And from there it just snowballed. I started collaborating with people, submitting guest articles to really big sites, growing my social media presence and putting myself out there.

All while working at a job I hated that was slowly sucking my soul out of my body, praying for justification to leave.

One day, after a harrowing experience at work, filled with all sorts of public humiliation, I lost it. I came home sobbing. Snotty, ugly crying. I was inconsolable. Lost. At the end of my rope.

I called Stacy and told her I couldn’t take it and I was quitting the next day. She basically told me she understood where I was coming from but under no circumstances should I quit. I had no business built yet, and while she had no questions about my desire and ability to succeed on my own, it just wasn’t time. She asked me questions I didn’t even have answers to, and that’s when I realized she was right.

So, I listened to her. I spent the next several months busting my ass after full days of  work, to build my own little “side business”. I would come home and put feelers out to people I had already been doing some freelance writing for. After some old school hustling, I had 3 paying clients. I was burning the candle at both ends just waiting to be “ready”to pull the cord and become a full-time writer. Those clients sent me other clients and before I knew it…it was time.

I took the leap.

I now run my own one-woman shop. I get to write everyday for clients who are appreciative and productive. And, I also get to focus on my own blog and writing as well. It’s a win win and the fire was totally lit under my ass at CRA Live 2015.

So, naturally, I am going back to CRA Live 2016 for seconds, to support my friend (and this time purposely learn even more so I can do some next level shit). And here’s the best part…you too can go, and even get a discount if you use the code WHINE during registration.

So, join us at CRA Live 2016!!! (It’s in Fort Lauderdale on April 7th and 8th).

Registration closes 3/23 so get on it and register here:  www.CRALiveEvent.com

And don’t forget to use the code WHINE for 20% off. (I’m hooking you up like cable)

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You may not know it, but you totally need this fiery little redhead in your life. Trust me.

 

That Time I Quit My Job

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that the last thing I am is a quitter.

Until now, I have only quit one job. It was after two days of being the “Snack Cart Girl” at the golf course in Gainesville while I was in college. I had visions of a cushy gig with nice tips for my stellar service but the reality included driving around in a caged golf cart (so I didn’t get hit by rogue golf balls) scoring maybe a quarter as profit for a melted snickers. It sucked and I hated it so I quit. (Note: This is also the worst type of job for someone with zero sense of direction – I must have circled the same putting green 20 times before finding my way to the next hole).

I have also never been fired. Every other job I left was solely because I was moving to a different city or state and in fact, on more than one occasion when I gave my notice, instead of accepting it, the employers basically created situations where I could keep working from wherever I was going. I am certainly not perfect but I can tell you with confidence that I am the type of employee who throws myself into what I’m doing and goes above and beyond to make my superiors happy. I’ve always been a pleaser. Not a pushover by any stretch because I am most certainly not a “Yes Woman”, but definitely a pleaser.

But yesterday, I quit my job.

When I was minutes away actually doing it, I wanted to throw up. I was dreading the conversation. Wasn’t sure how it was going to do down, and just wanted to blink my eyes and have it be over. But, it could not have been a better interaction if I scripted it myself. My boss was beyond understanding and could not have been nicer. We were totally on the same page and while it’s always awkward to have difficult conversations, this one was smooth sailing. And I am beyond thankful to him for that.

Let me rewind a little…

When I first moved back to Florida a handful of years ago, I had a small child I focused my time on instead of jumping back into work, full-force. Instead I chose to freelance (mostly Public Relations type writing) because I need & want to have some sort of paycheck. When my child was in school more full-time and I was coming out of a divorce, it was time. Resumes went out, recruiters were contacted and I began the search.

I loathe interviewing. It’s kind of like one awkward first date after another. It’s total bullshit because the reality is that both sides are on their best behavior and making sure there are no cracks in the facade. Until you are in the trenches you really don’t know how it’s going to go down. I had a bunch of interviews pretty quickly but didn’t love anything. And then, because timing works in mysterious ways, I found something that fit like a glove, and felt familiar and right. So I thanked the other pending opportunities in the wings and signed an offer letter in a matter of days.

I was enthusiastic and hopeful in the beginning. I felt like I made a good decision.  But, after several months and some negative experiences, I just didn’t feel as comfortable, didn’t feel as secure and lost that fire I had in the beginning. The Honeymoon period was over for me (less than a year in) and I was crushed. I struggled, had conversations with people I respect, looked for ways to turn it around in my own head and truly didn’t know what to do. I was disillusioned, and could feel myself checking out and turning off.

While I was struggling professionally, to add a whole different layer, I was also struggling with some personalities I also had to deal with there. You should know I have been in PR my whole career, which means I have always been surrounded by a lot women, and have thrived because I am totally a girl’s girl. This is not to paint the picture that I was chummy or grabbing post-work manicures with everyone, but there was always mutual respect. Always. Also, I was also in a sorority so I am no stranger to an abundance of estrogen and mood swings.

But what I wasn’t used to, was not feeling empowered and motivated by women who surrounded me. Instead I was treated to overall nastiness and a barrage of dirty looks on the regular (guys, they were baaaaddd…like to the point that I thought I must have been being filmed for an episode of Punkd), which is not very encouraging.  I found myself asking, “Did that really just happen?!” on the regular.

I’m not a kiss ass and I’m not fake, so dealing with women who had a blackbelt in bitchface and staying quiet was a nearly impossible feat. If it were in the wild, I could have (and would have) opened my mouth and called them out, but in the workplace, that would not have gone over well. I was beside myself because the reality was these weren’t JUST looks. They were looks pointing to deep-seeded mentalities that I wanted nothing to do with and I was sick of it.

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I 100% just stopped engaging. Kept my head down. Spoke to the few people I had respect for and tried to just go about my day without saying something that would get me fired.

I felt more detached with each day, which had never happened to me at a job before. All of the bullshit that used to make me want to scream, just made me numb. I was basically one frustrating episode away from filleting a fish at my desk like Peter in Office Space.

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Meanwhile, because I like to torture myself and take on more than I should, during the whole tenure of my “day job”, I was coming home at night and still churning out freelance work because I had made the decision never to give up those contacts. I said yes to everything I was asked for. It’s dangerous to say “no” to freelance work because eventually they’ll stop asking. I was exhausted and overworked. Plus, my blog was getting so much more attention and I had work to do there. It was just never-ending.

There were two defining moments (other than the fact that I actually had a pang of jealousy every time someone left) that served as the old nail in the coffin for me.

  1. Every morning on my regular coffee run, I was finding myself literally being envious of the Starbucks barristas, I knew I had a problem. I’m not even kidding. I would watch them and say “Their life must be so great. Sure they have to deal with some real pain in the ass patrons – I mean we are in Boca – but what I wouldn’t give to sling caramel macchiatos all day.”
  2. Then, another low point was when I had a dream about one of the mean girls. In the dream, when she barked something nasty at me in her entitled bitchy tone, I literally pounced on her, pinned her shoulders down with my knees and told me she would NEVER talk to me that way again.

mean girls fight

Yep, that’s how done I was. And let me be clear, neither of these things made for proud moments. They made me cringe actually.

I needed to face reality. I started to really dig into my freelance time/numbers to see where I was. Could I really ditch my day job? Do this full-time? Not be stressed about money (who am I kidding, I could make 3 million dollars a year and I’d still stress about money). Jason and I discussed me leaving, what it would look like, how it would work logistically. And after a few months of me consistently bringing in what was pretty damn close to my full salary, I said, eff it, I’m done.

Although I did realize that my income would most certainly fluctuate, because that’s what freelancing means, the tone and work with my own clients was night and day from what I was experiencing. I was in such a groove with them it felt like the right time to make a bold move.

And thankfully, I have this amazing man who not only loves and supports me, but believes in me. I told him my plan (over and over because I needed to keep saying it out loud to make sure I wasn’t insane) and all he kept saying was “Do it babe! You’ve totally got this. We will figure it out. Don’t worry.”

And so I did. I quit my job. Left behind the idea of a steady paycheck and am taking a risk. Because I know what I want, and what I want is to be my own boss…which is saying a lot because I’m not always so easy. Nobody will ever be harder on me than me.

A while ago, I got this fortune after a chinese food dinner with my parents. It was around the time my blog was growing more rapidly than I thought and I started to question if it could really lead to a different career path for me.

fortune

I have kept it in my wallet ever since and just couldn’t throw it away.

And I am taking that big step and I’m excited but definitely afraid. Down right scared, actually. The vomit-inducing kind of scared. But I’m taking the risk because I have to. My home office space is set up, I have a bunch of amazing clients I am thankful for, and I can wake up everyday, drop my daughter at school, and go to work in my yoga pants. I’m literally living the dream, right?

I can also focus on things that have been on my bucket list for too long (like my book).

Thank you to my supporters (and to my haters – you guys are the ones that push me even harder to succeed).

Now let’s get this party started!