Each year at the annual EDRS conference we gather to bring awareness to, and change the story for people with eating disorders. The first evening reception of the conference was all about changing the story from self-loathing to self-love. The Body Positive premiered their new video “This is Beauty” campaign. It was a first time experience for some people in the audience to hear a woman saying she loved her body. Comments from the audience were reflective of many people who were changing their personal stories for the better.
Next on the schedule was the Love Warrior Award Presentation. Five awesome women who spread the word of recovery, self-love and body-love were nominated; one of the five women was my daughter. When I opened the bag that held the award, I was able to say, “This year’s Love Warrior Award goes to Emelina Minero!” My daughter Emelina was awarded the Love Warrior Award! She was not expecting it, and it was touching to see her receive the award with humility and grace.
Emelina is helping people change the story of their lives through the online communities she creates. The Love Warrior Community is one space people can go to explore the process of self-love. Her activism in advocating for the LGBT and queer spectrum through her site T.H.E. is another avenue where she is making inroads to spreading the word of self-love and finding one’s place in the world. As I stood there, allowing the joy of the moment to flow through me, I was invited to read from my newly released book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works to the conference attendees.
I read the first chapter of my book where I tell the story of overhearing my Grandmother say, “Que Lastima, (What a shame!) Michelle has such a pretty face, but she’s too fat!” This was my first conscious memory of the thought that there was something the matter with me. Standing in front of the audience that night I was aware of how I have changed my story.
Returning home after the evening reception I was too stimulated to go to bed, so I went on Facebook. One of my daughters posted a picture of my 22-month-old granddaughter at the conference. I sat at the computer looking at the smiling face of my granddaughter, Ninel. I thought to myself, what an amazing place for her to be. Although she may not understand why we were all gathered that evening, she was surrounded by the message of self-love and acceptance. What a wonderful start to a life!
After the conference I was talking with my son-in-law Matt. We were acknowledging how lucky Ninel is to be a part of this group of people who are changing their personal stories, as well as stepping out and speaking up to change our cultural stories. Matt observed how powerful it was for Ninel to be a part of 4 generations of women; she was with her mother, listening to her grandmother speak about her grandmother!
The conference is over, but I hope that everyone who attended the conference is continuing to change their life stories for the better so each ensuing generation will benefit from the work they do. Together, we can create global healing by changing our personal stories from wounded to a full passionate life filled with self-love and love for others, our culture and our world.
Michelle Minero, the Co-Founder of this blog and the overarching Love Warrior Community published her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You can buy her book online or at the Petaluma Copperfield’s bookstore. For upcoming events and book signings, starting Feb 7, visit Michelle’s Events page.
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. Michelle’s book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works, was published on January 23, 2013. You can purchase a copy through Amazon. Her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies.
Michelle 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. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter.