what is healthy?

Healthy: possessing or enjoying good health or a sound and vigorous mentality. (source)

What exactly is being healthy though? So many people have misconceptions and opinions of their own. For example, is healthy…

  • waking up at 5am to workout?
  • drinking vegetable juice for breakfast?
  • eating organic 100% of the time?
  • eating little to no sugar?
  • ordering salads (with dressing on the side) when at restaurants?
  • forgoing hanging out with friends to go to bed early?
  • or forgoing hanging out with friends because the food is too “unhealthy?”
  • not eating dessert…ever?
  • doing a cleanse once a month?

Or is healthy…

  • working out when you want, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or night?
  • and if you don’t want to workout that day, you don’t?
  • eating what you feel like eating, even if it’s not a load of vegetables?
  • hanging out with friends, even if it brings you home at 2am?
  • eating french fries, ice cream, or pasta every once in awhile?
  • smiling, from the inside out?

I think that the term “healthy” can be very misleading. I used to think healthy was good-for-you food and workouts. That’s it. Then family and friends came along after that. But now I know, that isn’t the case. Family and friends come first. When that part of your life is aligned, then healthy eating and exercise will just come naturally.

If you are able to juggle nights with friends and cleanses, then more power to you! My point is, there needs to be balance. It can’t be “HEALTH HEALTH HEALTH” 100% of the time. You need to find that happy medium where you can go out with family and friends, order that pizza, and be okay with it. You should be able to wake up in the morning remembering the time spent with your loved ones, not the pizza that you ate.

I guess the point of this post is that happiness is the most important of all. If you’re healthy but don’t have much happiness in your life, then things really need to change.

Be happy. Then be healthy.

What is healthy to you?


26 thoughts on “what is healthy?

  1. I like this post! It really reminds me of how we define health in Maori culture. Hauora (total wellbeing) is viewed as being a complete whare (house) with physical, mental/emotional, spiritual and social elements being the walls of the house, which all affect one another. If you think about it mental and emotional sickness often leads to physical sickness etc. so if one is missing it can kind of have a domino affect on the others Like if a child is getting abused, there is no point in just patching him up in the hospital and sending him back into the same social surrounding for it to happen again- you need to fix all elements to become healthy again.Therefore to me, health is balancing all four of these”walls” and continuing to strengthen and enhance these “walls” to be able to weather external influences trying to break them and wear them down. It’s cool coz our government is finally getting with the program to facilitate this into our health system! Phew..sorry if this makes NO sense, it’s kinda hard to explain in English πŸ™‚

  2. AWESOME post,Haley!
    I absolutely agree,healthy living doesn’t mean depriving yourself from foods and activities you actually enjoy – it means finding a balance,living your life in a way you can be happy about it. What does it give you to eat organic,work out regularly and go to bed early each day when feeling absolutely frustrated about how boring it is? The answer is obvious,I guess: Nothing.
    In recovery – since that’s the point I’m at now – I of course try to become healthy again and surely don’t eat loads of fast food and sugar-y sweets… But contrary to numerous others,I refuse to give up on these completely. For me,it is important to be able to feel “free” in my decisions – also my food decisions! – and that wouldn’t be possible if I’d cut several foods out of my diet. I could never become happy this way,never. And yeah,being healthy is definitely a part of living quality – but being happy plays an even bigger role.

  3. Healthy is making positive choices but it is NOT letting those choices consume your mind or life. You sound like you have the right idea and have written it out way better than I ever could.

  4. I couldn’t have said it better myself! I remember senior year of college I was in counseling and I took this β€œexercise addiction quiz” (you can see where this is going hah), and one of the questions was β€œIs exercise the most important thing in your life?” and I realized then that my answer was actually β€œyes”. Let me tell you, I’ve never felt worse about myself than when I realized that – no WONDER i was miserable enough to need counseling! exercise doesn’t love you back!! Anyway yeah. If 5am is the ONLY time of day you can work out, then go for it if the workouts you do make you happy and more balanced. But workouts are not worth sacrificing time with friends if they don’t make you happy – so I think the real answer is, HAPPY is healthy. And by that I mean, making the REAL YOU happy, not making your ED or exercise addiction happy!

  5. This was such a wonderful post Haley! I totally agree with you– happiness leads to being truly healthy, not just following the status quo of the exercise/eating world. πŸ™‚

  6. Very well said Haley! I really love this post! ” When that part of your life is aligned, then healthy eating and exercise will just come naturally.”<- especially that!!! SO TRUE.

  7. YES! Healthy is moderation without deprivation. I made a cookie brownie cheesecake dessert the other day and a piece here and there won’t kill me. I’m still healthy, though I do like my sweets. Itz all about balance! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ And happiness is KEY!

  8. to me health is more of a mindset than what we put into our bodies and how much we work out. I seriously think its ridiculous to get up at 4 am to run or to just eat vegetables/cut out major food groups but that is my two cents.

  9. Wonderful post, when I was the worst in my disorder it was because i thought I was being ‘healthy’. I have realized people have totally warped concepts of healthy just because of what the media is showing . Healthy to some is all about thinness and eating clean. I couldn’t disagree more. Healthy for me is that second list of yours. Sorry I’m not sorry I had way too much candy last night, I enjoyed every freaking bite.

  10. The concept of health can be very hard to understand and explain because it is so much more than just work outs all the time but it is also isn’t just doing what you want all the time. It’s a weird balance that you have to find.

  11. I loved this post I still struggle with finding that balance sometimes and obsessing over how to be more ‘healthy’ (when I know obsessing = not healthy!). This post was a good reminder, so thanks love πŸ™‚ have a great weekend!

  12. “Be happy. Then be healthy.” LOVE THIS. In my eyes, health is a tricky thing because it’s so incredibly dependent on the individual. What works for one person doesn’t work for every person, making a “perfect solution” quite impossible. Food is a wonderful part of life, but life is so much more than just food. This post is a wonderful illustration of that very fact πŸ™‚

  13. Oh, gosh. This is the very question that got me into trouble in the first place. I took healthy to an extreme. I think you’re on track, though. Healthy comes when we find it elsewhere and feel it all over–not just in what exactly went into our body, but how it feels after that and before that and every moment in between as we LIVE.

  14. Great post! I used to obsess about working out before work at like 5am.. I was so miserable with the stress that brought. Now sometimes I work out before work and sometimes in the afternoon.. and if I don’t feel like it when I get home.. I don’t πŸ™‚

  15. Great post Haley! Defining what healthy is is a very personal thing, I think. I agree with you though πŸ™‚ I feel healthy when I make good choices for ME. So, if I need a night out, heck yes I’mma take it. If I want to sleep in and run later, then that’s what I’mma do. My life is all about me being happy and healthy!

  16. I really love this post. My younger sister is a bit obsessed with “healthy” and misses time with family and friends because, for example, she wants to go to be early. It’s a bit sad to see how it’s turned into an obsession for her and is negatively affecting other aspects of her life.

  17. “The state of being free from illness or injury.”

    By the way, I feel the need to mention that I eat ice-cream almost every day and I have a life-long obsession with pasta; I don’t have them every once in a while, I have the all the time, and I still think, should I feel the need, to wear the badge ‘healthy’; and even now I’m beginning to ask myself if that’s the character attribute I need to put all my effort into striving towards. Taking a closer look at science and medicine I realize how much more health is than a weight, an ingredients list, or a workout plan; it’s incredibly wholistic. And I fully believe it includes delicious amounts of ice-cream and pasta πŸ™‚


    Healthy = happy. Healthy = long term. Healthy = trusting your body. But I think what’s important is that Happy = healthy. Long term = healthy. Trusting your body = healthy. Look at it both ways! Our health is important, but our happiness, longevity, and how we feel about ourselves is perhaps even MORE important! It’s easy to focus on outcomes. It’s important to realize we want to be healthy to live our lives–not to live our lives to be healthy!

  19. I love this!! I am currently trying to let myself be free and not be so obsessed with being “healthy” all the time. It definitely is hard because whenever I slip up, I feel extremely guilty and will either make myself work out or eat way less the next day to “make up for it”. The obsession with being healthy takes a negative toll on pretty much all aspects of your life (for me, at least). This post was really inspiring to me, so thanks for the advice! πŸ™‚

  20. Oh my gosh. Haley, this post is AMAZING. πŸ™‚ That is exactly what I’m trying to find in myself — that balance with health: not being obsessed and strict, but picking foods that are healthful for me more of the time and those that are just okay less of the time. Going to bed at a decent hour, exercising in a way I love, etc. πŸ™‚

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