While we can’t always control what happens to us, we can choose how we respond. You are both the main actor and the narrator of your life.
Among others, these were memorable takeaways from YWM2021-VIRTUAL, OAC’s Annual Convention that we hosted in July. Each year, we put together this long-awaited event to educate and empower individuals who are affected by weight-related issues with unbiased information, compassion, and a supportive community. And YWM2021-VIRTUAL once again delivered.
The success of the week-long online event series was truly energizing. Nearly 2,000 people registered to watch the live streamed educational sessions, participate in Zoom social events, and connect with the country’s leading experts over relevant topics on weight and health. In total, all 50 U.S. states were represented in attendance as well as 48 countries from around the world!
There were of course some other notable highlights, like the powerhouse lineup of psychologists, nutritionists, obesity medicine physicians, researchers, and other experts who are the best in their field. The virtual EXPO Hall featured 20 exhibitors with helpful products and services in the weight and health industry. There were also the live-streamed cooking demonstrations where we could practically smell the food through the camera!
But something much more powerful also took place. YWM2021-VIRTUAL opened people’s eyes to the need that exists right now. Perhaps more than ever before, our community needed real education, real support for managing their weight and health, and help hitting the “reset” button in various parts of their lives. With all the ups and downs in the last year and a half, especially as we’ve navigated a global pandemic, we knew people needed a place to break away from it all and focus on themselves.
Throughout the week, YWM2021-VIRTUAL empowered and equipped attendees with education and tools to build resiliency, recharge their health, stand up against weight stigma, and be the narrator of their own health journeys. We learned about self-compassion and how we can practice self-care, even in our greatest challenges. The Convention also reinforced that we are deserving of respect and care at any weight, size or health status, and that we should ask that from others.
And even though the event was held on a virtual platform this year, YWM2021 provided a welcoming, energizing and inclusive community where people from all backgrounds, journeys, and treatment paths found a place to be supported.
For more information about OAC’s Annual Convention, including YWM2022, visit YWMConvention.com and sign-up for E-News alerts to get the latest updates. You can also stay connected with our social media pages and website at ObesityAction.org.
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