Wellness has become a sexy buzzword over the past few years. Instead of remaining as some obscure ancient ayurvedic practice or other, it has now permeated mainstream culture and is conscientiously practised among our increasingly health-conscious generation.
Wellness. The state of being in good health—physically, mentally, holistically—especially as an actively pursued goal.
And man, did I pursue it actively.
I’m not sure if it’s my perfectionist streak that drove me down the path of wellness obsession, or if this obsession is a grotesque permutation of anorexia during my teenage years. But my determination to bring my body to a state of optimal wellness saw me radically altering my lifestyle—to the detriment of my mental health.
How can wellness be bad for me? The word itself involves the word well. But too much of a good thing may, in fact, result in something pretty messed up.
I had battled anorexia when I was in junior college, and in retrospect, a large part of it had stemmed from my desire to do well at everything: my studies; my appearance, and my social life.
I scored good grades, I had a close circle of friends, I hit my goal weight—until my goal weight kept going lower and lower, and I was starting to miss my period and feel faint from climbing a flight of stairs. I was doing well on the surface, but deep inside I was a mess—depressed and anxious and even suicidal.
No more, I thought to myself after A-Levels. I just want to be well from now on.
It felt like closing a chapter. It felt like I was walking away from a toxic, miserable part of myself.
But little did I know I was walking right into the grasp of another fixation.