The health and wellness industry is mighty strong in the Bay Area. But it’s not good for everyone, including Youth Radio’s Emily Sobelman.
I’ve struggled with eating for most of my adolescence. When I was 9, a friend told me I looked anorexic, and I took it as a compliment. I would stand in front of a mirror and count how many of my ribs I could see.
When I hit puberty and started gaining weight, I was panicked. My entire identity felt tied to being skinny. I decided the solution to my problem was skipping meals. A breakfast here, lunch there, until it almost became a game to see how long I could keep myself from eating. This went on for almost two years, before a teacher noticed and sent me to a school therapist.
Since then I have been learning how to eat regularly and healthily through therapy. I live in a good city for healthy eating. Wellness culture is incredibly strong in San Francisco. It’s a city rich in salad bars, health food cafes and juice joints.
But there are downsides to the wellness trend. As someone prone to extreme dieting, it was easy to take healthy eating too far.