Wellmania

In today’s busy, connected world, more and more people are looking for ways to switch off; to achieve a sense of balance in their lives, and to discover what it means to live in a state of ‘optimal wellness’. Wellmania is the result of one woman’s yearning to be ‘clean, lean and serene’; kind of like a version of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ minus the love!

Journalist Brigid Delaney admits that she’s a hedonist at heart: a lover of late nights, parties and booze. Her life is full of adventure and fun – travelling the world, eating her way across America, and writing about it – but on a deeper level, she knows something is missing. She doesn’t feel sick exactly, but definitely sub-optimal, lethargic and overweight. Something has to change.

Within days, she’s asked to undertake and report on Sydney’s most talked-about detox regime: a strict 101-day fast. Thinking it may just be the catalyst she needs, Delaney agrees, and jumps head-first into the experience; and, true to form, she’s out drinking cocktails until 3am the night before the fast begins.

Through three main sections, the book tells of Delaney’s adventures (or as the book’s cover says, misadventures) in the search for wellness, including attempts at hot yoga, meditation and colonic irrigation. The writing is refreshingly honest, light-hearted and easy to read. There’s plenty of humour, too; but she also discusses some thought-provoking deeper topics, such as the decline of organised religion and the corresponding increase of wellness and mindfulness techniques. Deep down, do we all need to believe in some higher purpose? Or not?

And Delaney grapples with the fact that our quest for wellness has created a billion dollar industry, essentially by marketing ancient traditions to affluent people in first-world countries. It's definitely a cause for reflection, especially if you're a Lululemon-wearing yogi like me.

Overall, if you’re a health and wellness enthusiast, or even if you enjoy dipping in and out of wellness pursuits, then you’ll find this book entertaining, informative and insightful.