Laurene Bizarro, teacher at Studio iO discusses her relationship with food, her body and how it’s evolved and her mindset developed after having her child.

During my twenties, I remember denying myself delicious pleasures to appear toned. I would practice and teach yoga, run, and survive on a banana and coconut water during the day. I truly believed I was looking after my body and was proud of achievements to cleanse and detoxify.

Looking back, however, I was simply living up to the Instagram image of how a ‘yoga body’ should look, rather than what it should feel like.

The beauty of a renewed confidence is loving the skin I am in. Blessed with good health I can now recognise what a gift it is to be in this healthy body and how best to use it at this stage.  

The shifted in concept of self-love and body positivity was having my son. The route to self-love and body positivity was a rocky one through childbirth.

My son was born at a massive 9lbs 7 for my 5ft frame. A cesarean section left me with scarring and excessive skin stretching, radically changing my body. I suffered from diastasis recti (abdomen separation) which required a total shift in how I saw and knew my body to be.

This is my body now. In trying to get back to the body I had before childbirth was a stressful process and it took me two years to understand that my focus needed to change and concentrate on being happy to be alive, happy to have a healthy child and therefore happy with my own body. The perfection of my body then lay in the creation of another human being.

My body is therefore perfect in a different sense and I am grateful for looking after it and showing it love.

My body is what is going to carry me through this life, to set the example for my son as to what a healthy woman is.

The strength of our bodies is shown in our personal histories. Body positivity reinforces the survival of scars and stretches.

Having said all of the above – that’s MY story. I know that body positivity goes far beyond loving yourself, curves, scars and all. 

For the generation my son will be growing up in body positivity will reach beyond what people look like. In the meantime, we all have our survival stories from post breast cancer patients, amputees, and burns victims, your stories are very important especially within the context of body positivity.

I look forward to hearing your stories and to a time when body positivity becomes a norm for everyone and not just something to aspire to.

Laurene Bizarro, Shakti Mama, Studio io