I spent the summer after my sophomore year of college living on campus. This was just after a semester abroad in Argentina. While studying in Buenos Aires, I took full advantage of the food, drink and nightlife offerings in the Paris of South America. Lots of pizza, Malbec and going to bed at 7 am.
I returned that summer with a long-term relationship and a gut. I ballooned from skinny to skinny fat. My college is located directly on the beach in Florida. So, just about every moment outside the classroom was spent by the pool or on the beach, sans shirt.
A few days after moving into an empty dorm hall as its lone resident, I sat down to draft a list of goals I hoped to accomplish before the beginning of the following semester. Go to the beach at least three times a week. See twenty new films. I glanced down at my belly protruding over my shorts and let out a defeated sigh. Get fit.
I had never been an athletic guy growing up, and I could count the number of times I had seen the inside of a gym on a single hand. That same evening I spent hours on Google searching for ways I could avoid joining the ranks of the summer semester bros at the campus gym.
I ended up purchasing the original P90X along with the numerous in-home accessories that would allow me to transform my body within the dark confines of my empty dormitory. I paid for the expedited shipping and felt for my future abs.
The Birth of Wellfellow
Several weeks into the program, the solitude and repetition of my nightly P90X routine became monotonous, and I turned to the internet for some inspiration.
In search of a community for gay men in the wellness space, I Googled “gay fitness” and “wellness tips for gay men.” Almost all the fitness and wellness content I discovered online for men leaned exclusively heteronormative. “How to Impress your Girlfriend with 7 Easy Ab Exercises”.
Forums dedicated to bodybuilding filled with a mix of misogyny and unapproachable jargon. Spammy wellness blogs with posts farmed from other sites. And some porn. Nothing.
I wanted to hear anecdotes from other gay men around their fitness and wellness routines and read about the success stories from guys like me. Thus, the idea for Wellfellow was hatched in June of 2010. And an idea it remained until early 2017.
Almost seven years later, the gay wellness landscape remains frustratingly bleak. I’ve continued on my journey from eating pizza almost every night to transforming my diet, committing to an active lifestyle and incorporating practices like mindfulness meditation into my daily mix. A huge part of my identity is my health and wellness lifestyle and regimen.
What is Wellfellow?
The goal for Wellfellow is quite simply to become the leading destination online for gay men in the wellness space. Wellfellow will take a holistic and realistic approach to healthy living. We’ll focus on featuring men, both famous and average Joes, and their unique routines that keep them well.
We’ll showcase a diverse perspective of guys from all demographics, ages, and stages of their wellness journeys through our community of bloggers and storytellers. Our content will be a broad range of discussions and reflections on sexual, physical, emotional and mental health.
This community will also focus on the latest research and common sense approaches to diet and food. Workout showcases and tips for mixing up your gym routine will be featured as well.
Our Core Values
We have three core values. Holistic, Realistic, Inclusive.
That’s it. Many brands have lengthy lists of buzzwords plastered on an “About Us” page. But we feel this dilutes the meaning behind these values tremendously. The longer the list, the easier it is to conflate, skew or even forget the meanings behind each value.
Wellfellow has a holistic approach to wellness. We don’t just focus on the 7 Tips for Bigger Biceps, or showcase only the Adonis and not the guy next door. We believe that living well must be inclusive of the mind, body, and spirit.
We’re also pragmatists, and we take a realistic approach to just about every fitness tip, diet guide, mindfulness exercise and Fellow showcase on the site. No ideal of wellness is the same, no two bodies are identical, and what works for some will simply be too much for others. And that’s okay.
Finally, we strive to be inclusive in our philosophies, in our representation of Fellows, in our writing and topics, in our beliefs and in the community we foster through the site and brand.
We aim for Wellfellow to resonate with every gay man. The pudgy-recently-out guy thinking about getting fit in his dorm room to the retired yogi to the gym rat muscle head.
We’re looking forward to starting this adventure with you.
Noah and the Wellfellow team
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