“Que Lastima!” (What a shame!) my grandmother cried, “Michelle has such a pretty face, but she is too fat!”
My mother countered,“It’s just baby fat, she will grow out of it.”
The tone of my grandmother’s voice clearly articulated that being fat was bad. Even though my Mom defended me, from that day forward, I believed there was something wrong with me.
This arguing over my appearance became a continuous clash between my grandmother and mother that took root within my psyche and started me on a life long battle with my body and issues with food.
I grew up with a subtle, ever present message that appearance is important, and being pretty leads to acceptance.
Compulsive overeating became my main means of dealing with uncomfortable emotions and life’s challenges.
The seed of inadequacy that was planted in my childhood paradoxically has led me to self-love and acceptance.
This journey has had many twists and turns, leading me intuitively to my current profession as a marriage and family therapist specializing in helping people recover from eating disorders.
The hurts of my past have given me the gift of recovery. Each day I have an opportunity to be conscious of my power to make loving choices for myself in each moment.
This mindfulness is miraculous. Others may mistake these miracles as mundane occurrences. I do not.
My life in recovery is filled with miracles, grace and love.
My recovery is amazing; it urges me to impart my good fortune to others.
This is what has led me to write this blog.
My minimum prayer is that you will add one positive practice into your life that comes from reading this blog, the website, and the creations from the Love Warrior Community.
My maximum prayer is that you will begin each day from this day forward with the intention, and action of loving yourself and others. Self-love is possible, and is available to you.
May you be filled with gratitude and appreciation for your miraculous body.
May you be conscious in each moment that you are a spiritual being partaking of this life in the gift of your physical form.
I invite you to share any thoughts or feelings this blog has created in you.
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. She created an intensive outpatient eating disorder program in 2000, brought ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.) to Petaluma shortly after and founded EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc.), a Marin and Sonoma County based 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005. In 2011, Michelle co-founded the Love Warrior Community with her daughter, Emelina, an online community that helps people cultivate self-love, self-acceptance and body acceptance through creative expression. Michelle is finishing her book, Self-Love: The Only Diet That Works, and her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter and help spread the Self-Love Movement!