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chiara the belly lab blog

A fulfilled and healthy sportswoman, Chiara experienced a painful and traumatic event at the end of 2019. After this episode, she slowly became active again by practicing yoga and THE BELLY LAB programs developed by Joëlle Bildstein. According to her, her recovery was 50% because of TBL. This is the tale of a return to life …


Chiara begins our interview quickly: “I bought the program last year – specifically in the summer of 2019 – but I couldn’t practice. So I got into it more seriously during confinement and after my heart attack. I did the 6 week challenge proposed by Joëlle and it motivated me enormously! “

With her perky voice, Chiara tells us that THE BELLY LAB has helped her a lot in her recovery.

And this step was also an opportunity for our 49-year-old Italian Belly to realize that she had been living in stress for years, to the point of sometimes forgetting to breathe!


> Two weddings and a small company

In my first professional life, I was an export salesperson and I traveled a lot. I was married the first time, but when I wanted a child, my ex-husband left me.

My current husband and I moved in together late, so we couldn’t have one. I then created a small business offering translation and support for expatriates in France.

With her perky voice, Chiara tells us that THE BELLY LAB has helped her a lot in her recovery.

And this step was also an opportunity for our 49-year-old Italian Belly to realize that she had been living in stress for years, to the point of sometimes forgetting to breathe!

> Menopause

It is now too late for me to have a child, because unfortunately I am menopausal. I also find that menopause is something that we talk about too little!

It’s a step to take for self-acceptance. Our feelings change, the waist size gets bigger, it’s really THE part of the body that takes center stage, and we suddenly feel that there is something wrong! (laughs). We have joint pain and that’s why I decided to do yoga. I feel the benefits of this sport and practicing THE BELLY LAB programs helps me learn to accept myself.



I have always had a stomach ever since my childhood: my stomach has never been flat, even if I did a lot of sports (classical and artistic dance). Then as an adult, I went to a gym to practice traditional abs workouts. My back is strong and well supported, and my abdominals are fine with me, despite a little layer on top that you have to accept … or not ?? (laughs)

When I came across Joëlle’s blog it immediately struck me, because I found this completely new technique and I said to myself “Why not?”, especially because when you practice indoor sports you often forget to breathe. It is important to work on your breathing. In my case, when I am stressed I do not breathe!

The confinement allowed me to practice TBL, because I had a lot of time every day and I was able to do the 6 weeks challenge proposed by Joëlle.

The challenge taught me a lot: I followed the instructions in the videos step by step, and I organized my week at my own pace. In the morning it was time for me to work, read my emails, etc. And every evening from 5 p.m. I had my yoga ritual, which I followed up with my THE BELLY LAB program, and finally my husband and I went for a walk.


“I started my life all over again after my heart attack, thanks to THE BELLY LAB. ”

chiara the belly lab blog


Joëlle’s method has been 50% responsible for my well-being, because it deals with several aspects.

We work on several things at the same time: first, it’s a meeting with yourself, it’s a bit like meditation, it’s a very relaxing moment where you breathe quietly.

There is also a psychological aspect which goes far beyond the mechanical part.

After my heart attack I gained weight, and after this trauma and my menopause my approach to sports completely changed. I wanted an activity that was more focused on flexibility and well-being to have a moment of my own, during which I could stay motivated and do it regularly.

I was looking for a qualitative training, to please myself above all, to feel more beautiful, to be more satisfied with myself when I look at myself in the mirror.

In addition, there’s no need for equipment: I can do THE BELLY LAB practice outside in my garden, I don’t need my yoga mat, and I am not locked in a gym.

I had already worked on the perineum thanks to a friend of mine who had two children and introduced me to this “culture”. I had always thought about it and she had shown me a few exercises, but I had put that technique to the side.

My husband has noticed the change in my body shape, and in certain positions I can see that my body has evolved. I also feel it in my clothes.



> My food

In terms of food: I eat Mediterranean food and I have a very healthy diet. A typical day for me is:

in the morning, a yogurt with fruit, a coffee without sugar and milk – or – cereal crackers and sometimes a little jam.

Then, at 10 am, a snack: apricots, almonds …

At noon: meat, fish, vegetables and pasta (only 2 x per week).

4 p.m .: fresh fruit or nuts.

And finally, in the evening: white meat + vegetables.

I try to spice up and flavor my dishes as much as possible with herbs (oregano, parsley, rosemary, basil, etc.).

I also make marinades with lemon and coarse salt and presto! … In the oven!

> Massage

I have not yet tested the belly massage recommended by Joëlle, but I saw in the TBL – Mutual Aid and Support group that someone was talking about it and that interests me.

It must be said that I have no problem with constipation, because I am set like a Swiss clock! (laughs)



For the moment, I continue to work remotely with my set routine in the evening.

If I go to Paris, I think I will practice more in the morning, and then if I go to the hotel, doing TBL is less restrictive than yoga, because there’s no need for a mat! You can do THE BELLY LAB everywhere, it’s true that it’s practical!

In conclusion, I would say that this heart attack and the ensuing confinement pushed me to look at the positive side of the events: discovering and practicing TBL.

Joëlle's word

I thank Chiara for her confidence. If I can help in difficult times in life with THE BELLY LAB, then I'm just happy. Gratitude. 🙏