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bipolar, Body Positivity, eating disorder recovery, my life, paranoia, queer, queer identity, self-love

The Launch of My First E-Course: Building the Foundation for Self-Love

For the past year, I have been working with my mom, Michelle Minero, a therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery, on co-creating an e-course based on her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works.

I’ve been working with my mom since 2010. I joined the board of a nonprofit she founded, Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc (EDRS). We created the Love Warrior Community together, an online community that uses creative expression (writing, videos, art, photos, music) to foster healing, self-acceptance, body acceptance and self-love. And each January, for the past 5 years, we’ve been hosting the 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge. Last year, it was that challenge that inspired us to develop this e-course. People asked us, “What next?” And we had nothing to followup the event for people who wanted to continue to pursue their self-love work in a safe, structured and supportive space. Now we do.

This e-course and the work that I do with my mom is one of the things that I’m most proud of. Through the Love Warrior Community, our Self-Love Diet writing challenge and my mom’s book, people have told us that they started to get help for their eating disorder, that they stopped cutting themselves, that they have lessened their eating disordered behaviors, that they accept and love the aspects of themselves that they struggled with and that they have fully recovered from their eating disorders and are empowered and excited about life and self-love.

I’m excited about this e-course because I know the impact that it’s going to have. Not just from what people have told us about our previous work, but because of how my Self-Love Diet practice has impacted my own life. It helped me let go of my shame and fear around my sexual orientation. It helped me to let go of my shame and fear around having bipolar disorder and paranoia. It helped me increase my emotional intelligence and coping skills. It turned struggles into strengths. I love every aspect of who I am, when before I struggled to, and I have my Self-Love Diet practice to thank for that. A Self-Love Diet practice is just regularly offering yourself love, and that’s the foundation of the e-course we’ve built.

I’d love for you to check it out and share it.

http://theselflovediet.org/self-love-diet-e-course-building-the-foundation-for-self-love/

Thank you, 🙂

Emelina Minero

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About emelinaminero

I'm passionate about people, community, self-love and the diversity in the human experience.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “The Launch of My First E-Course: Building the Foundation for Self-Love

  1. You tagged bipolar – what does your course do re that?

    Posted by blahpolar | January 23, 2015, 3:15 pm
    • The e-course has a strong body acceptance thread, and from the title, Self-Love Diet, people will probably assume it’s only for people who diet often and want a better relationship with their bodies and food, and they would be partly true. The e-course is based on my mom’s book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works, which was inspired by her own self-love journey and struggle with compulsive overeating, and the work that she does with her clients with eating disorders.

      But the Self-Love Diet is about a lot more than just food and body. On the grand scale of things, it has very little to do with food. It’s about offering yourself love by focusing on your relationship with your spirit, body, mind, emotions, relationships, culture and world.

      This e-course is like an online book study, following parts 1 and 2 of her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. Some of the Self-Love Diet lessons the e-course covers: “Paying Attention to and Challenging Your Thoughts,” “Separating Your Inner Critic from Your Authentic Self,” “Adopting the Five-Step Process – Catching, Confronting and Changing Your Negative Thought Patterns,” “Neutralizing and Letting Go of Your Thoughts,” “Becoming Aware of Your Everyday Healing and Invisible Successes,” “Healing through Deep Breathing,” “Healing through Instant Replaying a Positive Memory,” “Creating Your Safe Place,” “Living in the Present Moment and Cultivating Awareness,” “Nature as a Healing Self-Love Diet Tool” – a lot of the tools it teaches are about cultivating mindfulness, awareness, becoming aware of your thought patterns and how they impact you, being with your emotions, processing your emotions, letting go of thought patterns that don’t serve you, self-soothing techniques – these tools have personally helped me with my bipolar, as well as paranoia.

      My Self-Love Diet practice has given me more self-awareness and mindfulness about my thoughts and emotions. It has equipped me with coping and self-soothing skills. It has helped me to more easily be with and express my emotions. It has given me more comfort in asking for help and reaching out when I need to, instead of isolating myself, which is one of my default modes, and only makes my moods worse. I’m more aware of what my triggers are, and how to prevent them from happening. When I’m in certain situations or if a triggering thought comes to mind, I’m more aware and equipped to work through it, and let it go, instead of having it consume me. And if I can’t let it go, I can prevent it from escalating. And if it does escalate, I feel comfortable seeking help, so I’m not alone in working through it. Whenever I’m cycling, I’m more at peace with myself, and I surrender to the experience, not giving into, but not feeding it either. Before, I’d give into frustration, anger, helplessness, but now I know I’m not helpless. My Self-Love Diet practice has helped me build a support network and more structure in relation to both bipolar and paranoia. I’ve openly talked with my close friends and family who live nearby me about how it impacts me, and what best helps me and how they can help when I am cycling. Because of that, they often can see signs of when I’m starting to cycle, and they give me their support. And I can also reach out to them when I need support. When I do cycle, one of my sisters will call me daily and check in with me. One of my other sisters will go on more walks with me, so I’m getting movement, and I’m leaving my house and not isolating myself. And she’ll check in with me via texts.

      A huge part of the Self-Love Diet practice is self-care. I know how important having a regular wake/sleep schedule is, and being aware of my thought patterns, my behavioral patterns (how certain activities effect me, taking in caffeine, etc), my emotional patterns – that awareness of what helps me and what I need, helps me to follow through. Instead of staying up and working late, or watching that TV program, I’ll consciously make the choice to start to unwind earlier, and read a book, instead of watching TV, so I can get to bed earlier. And the nights where I have a hard time sleeping, and when my mind won’t stop running, I give myself patience and kindness, when before I gave myself frustration and anxiety. And when I can’t let go of my anxiety, I just sit with it. Sometimes I’ll I can do is sit with my emotions until they run their course, like anxiety or depression, but I also realized that I don’t need to feed or fuel those states, and that by just surrendering to them, it brings me more peace, even if the experience is still uncomfortable or uneasy; I know that eventually it will pass, even if it takes awhile.

      In the e-course, there are more body specific lessons. There are about 33 Self-Love Diet lessons, and about 10 of them are body specific. But even the lessons that are super specific to food and eating, like “Eating When You Are Physically Hungry,” “Stop Eating When You Are Satisfied,” “Test Driving Foods & Discerning Your Body’s Cues,” “Distinguishing Between Body Hunger and Emotional Hunger,” and “Learning the Symbolic Messages of Your Food Cravings when Your Body is Not Physically Hungry and Taking Non-Food Actions that Fill Your Symbolic Cravings,” – the underlining goal is to connect to your body emotionally and mentally and to be able to discern when you’re body is communicating to you and to increase your mindfulness. Even though I don’t have an eating disorder and I’m relatively confident and comfortable in my body, there are still many times when I eat mindlessly while working, while on the go, while watching TV. And increasing my mindfulness and ability to be in the present moment while eating is a practice that increases my overall mindfulness and ability to be in the present moment. There are still times where I’m not sure if I’m hungry or not, or time will pass and I’ll be irritable and tired, and then realize that I need to eat, instead of having that foresight that I should have eaten earlier, which would have prevented my irritability and energy. Even the food and body specific lessons cultivate overall mindfulness and an increased awareness of your body’s cues, not just to your hunger, but to your emotions as well. When I’m feeling angry, my body feels a certain way and reacts a certain way. When I’m scared, my body feels and reacts a certain way. When I’m happy, my body feels and reacts a certain way. Being more in tune with my body, helps me to be more in tune with my emotions. If I’m tensing up or if I start breathing shallowly, that’s a cue that somethings up for me. Once I’m aware of that, I can explore my thoughts and emotions and check in with myself.

      The e-course is writing intensive, which is the biggest tool that helps me to reflect, process and cultivate awareness. There’s also a sharing component, a private Facebook group where people participating in the e-course can share their process of going through the e-course and how it relates to their personal self-love journey. And there’s optional conference calls, as well.

      Sharing – that adds accountability and support, and for me personally, it helps me let go of fear and shame. Writing about bipolar disorder and sharing my experience with it has helped me to let go of my shame around it, and has showed me that I have a lot of support, and that I’m not alone in my experience.

      The e-course wasn’t created specifically for people with bipolar disorder, but it was created to reach people outside of eating disorders and body image, although it does have a food and body component and a strong body image component. With my mom having an eating disorder recovery background, and me, with my personal experience of accepting myself relating to my sexual orientation, bipolar disorder and paranoia, we created the e-course with all of that in mind.

      Posted by emelinaminero | January 23, 2015, 5:22 pm
      • Yoh, I really hope you had most of that somewhere you could copy/paste it, and that you didn’t have to type it all out here. Thanks for the really comprehensive answer – it all sounds very sensible and you seem incredibly enthusiastic. Hope it all goes well for you.

        Posted by blahpolar | January 23, 2015, 5:34 pm
      • I wrote it all out, but I’ve been working on the e-course for the past year, and my Self-Love Diet practice for the past 5 years, so it’s second nature to me and stored easily in my brain. 🙂 Thank you for your response and well wishes. 🙂

        Posted by emelinaminero | January 23, 2015, 5:36 pm

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Day 25 to 29 Update: Tired, felt down, plus gratitude.
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