Defining “healthy”

A couple of weeks ago, Fitblog chats held a twitter chat session that involved the question: How do you define ‘healthy’? Of course, I always end up missing out on the fitblog chat fun each week (I blame it on my barre n9ne addiction, ha!), but this question in particular got me thinking.

How do I define ‘healthy’?

Especially in light of my recent post on imperfection, I thought it was time to really sit back and think about what my definition of healthy is and how I try to live that philosophy every day.

So here goes.

Healthy is…

…excitedly opening up this week’s farm share goodies. Seeing purple carrots, (more) beets (I know what I’m putting on my salad today!), swiss chard and fresh, still-on-the-stock garlic waiting for me. Joy. 

…happy. Happily enjoying my favorite breakfast lately – a sandwich thin toasted with all natural peanut butter and sliced banana on top. With a side of iced coffee. Perfection.

…knowing when a splurge is worth it. For a special treat now and then, to fulfill a craving, etc., and how to work it into my eats for the day without overdoing it. (a lobster roll at our favorite seafood shack in Maine comes to mind…) And not feeling guilty over the treat, but enjoying and savoring every single bite. That’s healthy in my book.

…a community. Each of you have taught me so much about being healthy, have opened my eyes up to new ways of thinking, and have been a gigantic support system for me. That is the beauty of healthy living for me – the community of support, from bloggers to friends, to family, to my husband. Healthy is unifying.

…exercising and truly loving it. Not dreading every single step from the parking lot to the gym, or the living room to the front door for an outdoor run. Working out is so tightly woven into who I am, it makes me feel alive and energized and strong. It makes me, “me.”  It’s about finding sweatastic workouts that YOU love, not relying on someone else’s definition of what a “good” workout looks like. If you love to run, run. If you don’t love to run, don’t. Find what works for you. You’ll naturally stick with it if you love it.

…balanced. Balance means so many things to me, but it mostly means learning to weigh the hard work I put into my workouts and healthy eating, with enjoying the things that I love that might not quite fit the typical definition of healthy – but it fits my definition. Like wine. ❤ Or a dove chocolate. ❤ Or a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. ❤ Or our famous Sutera pizza (that we will be thoroughly enjoying next Saturday the night before the half marathon!). ❤

…a lifestyle. Like I’ve said before, living healthfully doesn’t have a start and end date, it’s a lifestyle. But that lifestyle doesn’t equate to deprivation. Nope. That was the “me” I tried to be years ago – the one that would try Atkins diets or Weight Watchers points counting, or any other fad diet I could find that I thought would magically make me “healthy” (and by healthy, I mean skinny, something I thought I wanted to be back then). But guess what? There is no magic potion to being healthy. There isn’t just one “thing” that makes for a healthy lifestyle – it’s a combination of things: balanced, nutritious, wholesome foods; a workout schedule you love and can’t help but coming back to everyday; and a healthy body image, where embracing your (perceived) flaws (hello, crooked nose!) is most certainly part of the equation.

All told, healthy isn’t always easy, it takes dedication, but it’s so worth it. Healthy is who I am. 

So now the burning question(s) — does my definition of ‘healthy’ jive with yours? Did I miss anything (I’m sure that I did)? And ps if anyone knows a good way to use kohlrabi, I’m all ears…we now have three of them sitting in our fridge from our farm share, no idea how to use it, but dying to try it! 😉


18 thoughts on “Defining “healthy”

  1. Amen sista. Absolutely agree. I would also add healthy, to me, is happiness. I feel so much better when I feel healthy. And I need to know how to use kohlrabi too, since I have one too!

    • Um yeah, there are now THREE sitting in the fridge. no clue what to do with them haha.
      And I totally agree – I feel so much more ME when I feel healthy and active. It’s so important to me.

  2. I think everyone’s definition of healthy is different…though I DO think that regardless of what your definition is, it has to be a lifestyle. If not, then it’d be impossible to maintain 🙂

    • totally totally agree – it’s about consistency and making it part of your everyday, not just a stop and start kind of thing (that’s why those fad diets never work…or at least ONE of the reasons, anyway, haha).

  3. “Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.” That’s always how I’ve seen it, too. You choose it, you’re dedicated to it, you enjoy it, and it’s YOU. I wouldn’t do things I don’t enjoy, and I wouldn’t eat things I don’t like the taste of. Being “healthy” is different for everyone becuase our preferences and, more importantly, Needs, are different. 🙂 Everyone just has to decide for themselves what that means.

  4. I love this post! I am so jealous of your farm share it is not even funny. Wow, I would love that. Wonder if they have anything in Queens? Doubting it…but maybe.

    What would I add? Healthy is not a destination! Unless you are sick. Hm. Nope, never mind, I think you covered it!

    • The farm share has been SUCH a treat – it’s our first time doing one and we LOVE it. My salad today was so good with fresh beats and those purple carrots on top!! Oh and fresh romaine too 🙂 You never know, there might be some farms in the outskirts that would deliver to you??

  5. I read this earlier today and have been thinking about how I define healthy ever since but I really do think you’ve covered it all – very well said. I think a lot of people make being healthy so complicated – vitamins this, supplements that, but it really means going back to basics – eat your fruits and vegetables, have a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep and exercise. Sounds so simple, but as we know, not always easy.

  6. Ahhh, I’m finally catching up. 🙂

    It’s really hard for me to comment and not make it into a huge, long novel. So I’ll say this: it’s beautiful. It’s so true how unifying healthy is…the friendships I’ve made connecting with people like you over passion for living a healthy life have been my favorites by far.

    Healthy is so much more than simply diet and fitness. It’s mindset. It’s reality. It’s a life of happiness, balance…and here I go on my long comment.

    You’re beautifully healthy my friend. Beautifully healthy.

    • Have I told you lately how much I LOVE your novel-length blog comments! Always so thoughtful and insightful and beautifully written!
      You are a beautifully healthy friend too, sooo love seeing your growth in every single blog post. It’s so awesome to see and be part of it!

  7. Pingback: a weighty history. | Live, Love, & Run

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