YWM Convention story by OAC Member Shekinah Samaya Thomas. YWM2021-VIRTUAL will take place online this summer from July 17-25. Click here to learn more.

What makes the OAC’s YWM Convention an experience you won’t want to miss?

If you are seeking renewed commitment to your health, connection, clarity, education, fun, or even an extended “family” that supports you/your loved ones/your clients on this journey called life, then this conference is for you!

I was blessed to attend YWM2018 in Denver, which at that time was an in-person Convention. After a lifetime of “yo-yo” dieting and more than my fair share of facing weight bias in life, I desperately sought the support of a community as I managed my successful weight-loss.

Attending Last Year’s Virtual Convention

OAC Member Shekinah Samaya Thomas at YWM Convention
Shekinah (pictured right) at YWM2018 in Denver

It was 2020 before I could attend again, and only then because the world “went inside” and the OAC moved to a virtual conference (YWM2020-VIRTUAL). I was thrilled to reconnect without having to pay travel fees or take time away. At YWM2020, I found people like me – people who had a sincere desire to manage obesity through lifelong good health habits, but who had also maybe struggled a bit with weight maintenance. There were people struggling with consistent exercise, people who felt alone and isolated, and people who were simply unsure about how to stay focused as life changed along with their bodies and the world around us.

The education, community chats, and strong encouragement from people all around the world was just what I needed to recommit to my health! I reconnected with wonderful, friendly faces I met two years’ prior but had not been in close contact with. I was reminded that I am not alone – even when literally in my own home! I was also reminded that success is relative and that life, and health, are so much more than a number on a scale. YWM2020 helped me get back into regular good habits with my food choices and daily exercise by exposing me to ideas, information, options and resources I’d never before considered. I re-engaged with my lifestyle choices I’d let slide while in isolation.

Looking Forward to YWM2021-VIRTUAL

OAC Member Shekinah Samaya Thomas
Shekinah (pictured right) with her mom and husband

When it was clear that 2021 would need to go virtual once again, I was excited! I couldn’t wait to reconnect with everyone and reinvigorate my health commitments. It’s also affordable and easy to attend a virtual conference. I looked forward to registering as soon as it opened!

Almost immediately after the OAC announced that it would go virtual this year, my mother suddenly died. An already difficult and devastating year became overwhelming. But because of the commitments, habits and connections I’d reinforced at YWM2020, I was able to shorten the time that I struggled with unhealthy coping choices. Within two weeks – not potentially two years or two decades – I was able to get back on track with food and exercise.

YWM2020 helped me reinforce the skills I needed to function in a trying time. I know that YWM2021 will bring more of the same! That’s why when registration opened, I immediately signed-up. And that’s why I know this conference is for you, too! I’ll see you there, and hopefully in Las Vegas for YWM2022!