Melissa Wells teaches women how to get over their eating disorders and how to start loving themselves. The former actress experienced self-destruction herself as she suffered under a long-lasting eating disorder.
«Switzerland is so beautiful», Melissa Wells, who introduces herself as Mel, greets us. It is her first time in Switzerland and at a Ted Talk, for which she made the long way from her home in Bali. She was very excited about her speech, but also a bit nervous. Her own speech about eating disorders was the first one at this years’ Tedx HSG. According to Wells these disorders exist due to women’s missing self-love. «The problems are often deeper than the craving for food. Sometimes it is problems at work, with their husband or the craving for change», Wells knows. Having had eating disorder herself for six years when she was working as a model and actress, she definitely knows what she is talking about. In one of her videos she tells the audience how she thought losing just five more pounds would make her happy. But it was never like this. Her wake-up-call was when she believed to be pregnant. «I realized that I was abusing myself and I didn’t want to do that to my child», Wells explains.
Now she helps women to be the «goddess», as she calls it, they really are. Wells even got a tattoo with the goddess symbol on her wrist. The symbol looks like two moons with a circle in between. According to her many other women, who have gotten out of eating disorders thanks to Wells and are part of the so-called «goddess community», got the same tattoo. The tattoo has become a symbol of self-love and being confident and satisfied with your body and yourself.
Being friends with yourself
Wells really wants to make women discover their inner «goddess», so her happiest moments in life are when she can see the women make progress on their journey. She wants women to treat themselves like a friend. Women care about their friends, make them feel good, look after them. And so, according to Mel, should they do to themselves. In her opinion self-love is for everyone. She adds that she knows what it is like to hate yourself. Seeing her on the street or having a normal conversation with her, you would never imagine that the beautiful, slim Wells could have hated herself. When you hear how it came to that you might be able to relate. Wells tells us that her eating disorder had started when everybody around her had been doing diets and had been feeling bad about their bodies.
When she finally managed to get out of her eating disorder and started sharing her story, people took a lot of interest in it, so one day she decided to write a book. «The Goddess Revolution» was born. The book about how to «make peace with food, love your body and reclaim your life» has gotten extremely diverse feedback. Some say it is amazing, positive and progressive. Others criticize the lack of scientific background and claim that there are no actual suggestions on how to do the mentioned things.
Now Wells just finished writing her second book titled «Hungry for more» another self-help book about the deeper cravings and the hunger for change. It contains bits of her story and lessons she learned. It will be published worldwide next May. At the beginning of December Wells posted a picture of the cover on Instagram, where she has 48 thousand followers. She lets her fan base know that she loved every second writing it and cannot wait until her readers will be able to read it. Wells also mentioned that it would contain some «vulnerable shares» from her own story.
Mel Wells’ experiences and her knowledge are shared. But everything has its price. Her first book for $ 20 has a fair one. Her so-called «academy» costs a bit more, counting $ 49 per month. A subscription to the video-based «academy» usually lasts for a year. The video course contains about 50 videos and seems to be well-spent money having had over 800 subscriptions. «I get a lot of positive testimonials on it», Wells says with a bright smile. The videos really seem to help her subscribers. Women who want to dig deeper can also book one of Well’s retreats, which take place twice a year and cost $ 750. So what do these retreats offer, that one cannot get cheaper? «Usually retreats are just about doing yoga or relaxing. Mine are about growing as a person and changing the mind-set», Wells explains. Her retreats contain yoga classes, a goddess workshop, spa treatments, cooking classes and goddess circles. They are treated with «amazing» food, cooked by Jay Halford, a cook specialized in raw vegan food.
Besides the retreats one can have an even more personal meeting with Mel Wells called «Date with Mel». Costing £ 1 200 a day the meeting is set for her VIP-clients, Wells says. Under VIP-client she not only understands women who are quite loaded, but also such that followed her for a long time, read her book and are inspired by her.
At this meeting women can spend an entire day with Mel and talk to her about all their problems.They can do something they love doing and work on a new possible lifestyle for the client together. Sounding a bit like a one-day-therapy, according to Mel, the whole day is about «getting down to the nitty-gritty», so getting to the crux of the women’s problems. So far Wells has had about 10 of these «dates».
From blog to label
Wells is a very positive person, who smiles a lot. During the interview not a single minute passed without a smile on her lips. Nevertheless, there are moments when she is sad too. «The death of my father was the saddest moment of my life. We were very close and he died of stage 4 cancer», she says still very sad about it. Wells allows herself to be sad, but when she is on this stage she also thinks about what she is grateful for. That is one subject she talks about in her blog on her website as well. Her blog is all about self-reflection and defeating eating disorders. The topics reach from the secrets of happiness to the perfect diet, that – according to Wells – doesn’t exist.
However the website contains a few recipes as well. Most of them being both healthy and nutritious like salmon avocado burgers. But there is also a recipe for homemade Nutella. You can order her first book on the website, and come across a link to O.M.G.oddess as well. O.M.G.oddess is a new clothing label with clothes designed by Mel. On the T-shirts and pullovers slogans like «You got this Goddess » and «Exhale the bullshit» are printed. The Instagram site of O.M.G.oddess counts 6 000 followers.
Mel Wells is definitely successful. And in order to be successful women should have a vision, says Wells, being one of Forbes 30-under-30. «You should try new things and not be afraid to fail.» Procrastinating is the worst, she believes and tells us that it is important to start in order to succeed.