Love Warriors

What is a Love Warrior?

A Love Warrior is a person who spreads the news of Self-Love and Body Acceptance for optimum health.

A Love Warrior uses love as a tool for recovery and well-being. Using a warrior’s spirit, a Love Warrior battles our culture’s diet mentality and “not good enough” messages by consciously choosing self-loving thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

The qualifications for being a Love Warrior are to be a person who advocates for eating disorder recovery and self-love. The EDRS board nominates individuals, typically non-professional (i.e. non-licensed) folk who are advancing recovery through a variety of actions, including advocacy, education, and living as an example of self-love and body acceptance. The board votes on nominees and awards the winner with a plaque at our annual conference/event.

The purpose of establishing the Love Warrior Award was to acknowledge the many people outside of licensed professionals who are doing great things to promote self-love, acceptance, and recovery from eating disorders. We can all spread the word of recovery from harmful dieting and shame-based behaviors in so many ways, regardless of level of training or academic degrees.

The Love Warrior Award seeks to recognize our community members who are actively promoting the message that radical self-love and body acceptance are key to living fully.

Love Warriors

Amy Waddle


Amy Waddle is a former pre-professional classical ballet dancer, and eating disorder survivor. After winning an 18 year battle with bulimia, surviving suicide, and allowing God to finish His work, Amy has dedicated her life to serving others and being the person she needed long ago. Her work started as a hobby in 2012, but quickly turned into a nonprofit organization. Dancing With ED is the first nonprofit of its’ kind, serving the dance and recovery communities in a way that’s never been done before.

Kara Miller Pate


Kara Miller Pate specializes in relationship building, mentorship, brand identity, mental health awareness, and treatment placement providing the best care possible for every individual. Along with her extensive experience in the field, Kara’s personal journey has gifted her with a unique compassion and ability to help others find their meaning and purpose.

Past Love Warriors

Emelina Minero


Emelina is a tireless advocate for self-love and strives to increase understanding and collaboration between people. She created Community Bucket list, an online community dedicated to helping its members live their passions. 

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She co-created the Love Warrior Community(LWC), an online community which offers a place for exploring self-love through the creative process. Her latest endeavor is the creation of The Human Experience (T.H.E.), an online publication focusing on the diversity within the queer spectrum and the diversity of the human experience.

Emelina believes that people are best able to explore and grow into their authentic selves when they are listened to, valued and welcomed by others, and she strives to create that supportive space for others through her online and offline communities. Emelina is an EDRS Inc. Intern. She focuses on expanding the awareness of recovery from eating disorders through her writing, social media and her day-to-day interactions. Emelina is also an active self-love blogger on the LWC’s group blog, Self-Love Warrior

Deborah Brenner-Liss, PhD


When a group of Eating Disorder specialists from EDRS, (Eating Disorders Recovery Support Inc.), Beyond Hunger and Body Positive gathered to prepare for this year’s conference, they nominated and unanimously agreed upon this year’s Love Warrior.
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This woman moved to California in 1985. It was her vision to develop an organization that replicated the clinic she had left in Manhattan which had a direct-service clinic, a training program, a prevention division, a research component, a group department, an intake department and a community outreach effort. In addition, she wanted to create an opportunity for eating disorder therapists and other professionals to know one another, network with one another, and have access to learning opportunities and collaborative opportunities with one another. Out of these goals she created The Association of Professionals Treating Eating Disorders (APTED), a non-profit organization in San Francisco, serving the Bay Area for over 25 years. Her life’s passion has been to promote recovery from eating disorders. Thank you to Deborah Brenner-Liss, PhD our Love Warrior for 2012! 

Audrey Bell


Our 3rd Love Warrior recipient courageously and lovingly told her story of recovery from anorexia and bipolar disorder at the Eating Disorder Awareness Week, EDAW Conference in 2009. Her life story was a valuable contribution to our audience.

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She was able to personalize the complexity of recovery, and the extra challenges that occur for those with a dual diagnosis. She spoke from the heart and touched many people with her story of hope and successes. Her personal choice to continue with on-going therapy in order to stay balanced and healthy helped others view therapy as a supportive process versus something you do if you are sick. She ended her presentation by reading a poem she wrote which helped the audience understand what recovery is. She received a standing ovation. Her story helped others trust that they could heal.

Lauren Sowell


The second Love Warrior distinction was given to a senior in High School. She produced a dinner/raffle fundraiser in collaboration with her school and her community in honor of Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
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She received help from a 4 star chef who worked in a therapeutic program that treated people with eating disorders. She got donations for dinners from local restaurants, artwork, massages, jewelry and assorted gifts. She donated the profit from the fundraiser to a deserving young woman to help finance her continued recovery work. Thank you to Lauren Sowell, our second Love Warrior!

Lindsey Wert


Eating Disorders Recovery Support, EDRS Inc. was a fledgling group of committed professionals and community members who were passionate about spreading the word of recovery for people suffering from eating disorders.
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We offered our first community conference during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, EDAW in 2007. Professionals, as well as community members, shared their energy, experience, expertise and passion. One young woman stood out amongst the crowd. She was a Sonoma State student who wrote and performed a one-woman play as part of her course work, and she scheduled it for Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW). Her moving performance focused on her journey of healing from chronic sexual abuse, self-harm and anorexia. At the end of the show she invited the viewers to come to the stage, light a candle and speak. One audience member told the audience she would practice self-love by going back to residential treatment to recover from anorexia. Other people in the theatre spoke of feeling more self-love and acceptance, others resolved to go to therapy and seek help for themselves. There was laughter and tears. All who attended the play were moved by the power of the message. This student became our first EDRS Love Warrior. Thank You Lindsey Wert for your passion, honesty and courage in telling your story.

"Owning your story is the bravest thing you will ever do."

Brené Brown