How Do You Define It?

It seems that more and more websites, newspaper articles and even television show are talking a lot about healthy living. Whenever I hear that phrase I smile to myself because I really hated thinking about anything healthy when I struggled with my weight.

I had friends who truly did live healthy. They ate fresh foods, ground their own wheat, took walks with their kids and even *gasp* went to the gym. I did not live healthy at that point in my life. Back then, even if your definition of healthy was simply getting to bed before midnight I didn’t qualify.

I had very little healthy living habits. I ate tons of processed foods, bought frozen BigMan meals for myself as a snack, ate fast food way too much, sat on the couch as much as possible and kept getting bigger and bigger.  And quite honestly, when I first started on my quest to lose 150 pounds I still wouldn’t have fit any definition of healthy living.

Yes, I did stop eating fast food every day, and yes, I stopped having chocolate for breakfast. But I didn’t really embrace whole foods or green living until several years after I reached my goal weight. For me, healthy living was a process and an evolution – and it still is.

That being said, I’m very curious if there are certain components that anyone who wants to life a healthy life has?

Is it?

  • types of food
  • exercise habits
  • avoidance of certain foods
  • all natural ingredients
  • recycling
  • green living
  • raw food
  • no sodium
  • no refined sugars

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what it takes to fall into the category of “healthy living?”  Diane

36 thoughts on “How Do You Define It?

  1. AmandaLP says:

    Healthy eating is such that your body and mind feel fulfilled and good. I tend to relate “healthy lifestyle” with one where stress is managed, and a person is in a generally good mood (says the student who is overstressed).

    However this managed stress life is expressed, I think that good food and fun movement are essential. I do not think that rigid rules are keys to anyone’s happiness (besides those eating rules essential to one’s physical health, like gluten or allergy free, and those “rules” that make one’s body feel good.)
    .-= AmandaLP´s last blog ..Steel Cut Oats =-.

  2. vickie says:

    since you had ‘recycling’ in there, I feel it is okay to bring up a few more non-food, non-exercise things to add to your list:

    medical/dental care
    shopping for recreation
    low stress/anxiety
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..Done things =-.

  3. Marisa (Loser for Life) says:

    Healthy living is still an evolving process for me, too. I generally think of it as eating well and exercising. However, I’m starting to realize that a strong component is also mental/emotional health. That is where the real work and evolution come in!
    .-= Marisa (Loser for Life)´s last blog ..A NuNaturals Giveaway =-.

  4. Marisa (Loser for Life) says:

    Healthy living is still an evolving process for me, too. I generally think of it as eating well and exercising. However, I’m starting to realize that a strong component is also mental/emotional health. It all goes hand in hand!
    .-= Marisa (Loser for Life)´s last blog ..A NuNaturals Giveaway =-.

  5. John says:

    I think it’s a matter of different levels for everyone. For me healthy living is simply eating healthy food and exercising where as someone else it will be more involved than that

  6. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman says:

    I don’t think healthy living is one diet or way of eating over another (raw/all organic/gluten free/etc). I think it’s eating right for your body, minimizing processed foods, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. So much of healthy living, to me, goes beyond food and exercise–making time for family and friends.
    .-= Tracey @ I’m Not Superhuman´s last blog ..My Weekend, The Mad Libs Edition =-.

  7. Marcelle says:

    Hello….okay now its working!!!!!!!!!!!

    To me all of the above is important…am working hard at making small changes in my life…
    Am now working on dairy….

  8. Lori (Finding Radiance) says:

    Healthy living really is an evolving process. There is no set standard. Someone who has traded in fast food for Lean Cuisine is on the path to healthy living, and yet someone else would say that isn’t healthy living, but for them it is a huge change.

    I try to live a healthy lifestyle for *me*. I live the healthiest I can while still being happy. Sure, I could cut out every bit of sugar or caffeine or never have a cupcake again, but I don’t know as that would make me happy. It really is a balance.
    .-= Lori (Finding Radiance)´s last blog ..Warning – deep thoughts ahead. =-.

  9. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    Interesting question Diane! I think for me it is exercising, eating healthy, trying to do my part with the environment but I know I have a long way to go, wishing I could afford more organic & natural foods but I do what I can. I am taking steps but I know I have more to learn!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Plus Size Models? You Tell me! =-.

  10. Tish says:

    I’d add a few to your list:
    1. getting enough sleep every night
    2. eating a variety of foods
    3. drinking enough water every day
    4. getting a variety of exercise
    5. regular check ups with all the necessary doctors
    6. feeding the spiritual needs
    7. keeping stress at bay

  11. Pam says:

    For me its eating well (all things in moderation), activity – be it intentional or recreational, learning to balance life and what it deals you, having harmony in your immediate family, having creative outlets and your spiritual relationship. I think each piece is a key factor in a balanced existence. But…that is just me : )
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..The Beginning =-.

  12. Susan says:

    Healthy living to me is eating whats good for me phsyically, and getting my exercise in. It also includes taking care of my health with regular exams and trying to keep stress to a minium and depression under control where you don’t feel the symptoms…. Every body had good answers so far!

  13. asithi says:

    I agree with Tracey that healthy living includes stress management. No matter how little processed food you are eating, if you cannot manage your stress, your quality of life is still not as good as it can be.

    I believe healthy living is about your quality of life, being able to do the things you want to do both phyiscally and mentally. Minimizing processed food, exercising, and limited environmental toxins are just components that will improve your quality of life.
    .-= asithi´s last blog ..How to Determine Your Body Shape =-.

  14. Hope @ Hope's Journey says:

    To me, healthy living is trying to eat as healthy as possible: whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean protein, etc. while still being able to eat food that I want in moderation as well.

    It also means exercising at least 4 times a week, but also being able to know when to rest. 🙂

  15. Bree Watson says:

    I think that mine would be…along with those you noted…taking my Thyroid Medicine. I wish my Thyroid was me friend.
    And choosing the right kind of Diet. Not just eating a certain way until a certain day. I needs to be a healthy long term and life style change.
    .-= Bree Watson´s last blog ..Clutter =-.

  16. tammy ortagus says:

    It’s definitely an evolution in your choices and habits. For instance, I don’t use sugar anymore, I use Stevia. I use lite mayo, cut out 3 Cokes a day down to 1 on the weekend, wheat bread instead of white the majority of the time, Kashi bars because there’s no HFCS in them, water water water, etc. And exercise really needs to be in there for balance….it just has so many benefits. 🙂
    .-= tammy ortagus´s last blog ..Sunday’s Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms =-.

  17. Julia says:

    Trying to eat clean, make smart choices. I believe it is different for each person and small steps in your right direction are better than NO steps at all 🙂
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..Tasty 2 =-.

  18. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    I don’t get wrapped up in how all the little bits and pieces make up healthy living. For me it is doing what makes my body feel at it’s healthiest. I don’t do them all all the the time but I’m okay with that as long as I’m striving to do my best.

  19. JourneyBeyondSurvival says:

    I guess the only thing that I could possibly add is that I make sure all of these things hinge on one thing: my mental health. I believe that my ability to live healthy and accomplish all of those things in my life should not be more important than what my stress levels can handle.

    Most people think that stress levels are superficial and should just ‘magically’ be managed by themselves. However, if I-and most people-am not careful it can send me into a tailspin which is hard to recover from. This gives me reason to say no to anything on that list that is too overwhelming for me at that time.

    I am at a point where eating healthy and exercise will not be an option to remove. But most everything else is.
    .-= JourneyBeyondSurvival´s last blog ..Flaunting Traditions =-.

  20. Kate says:

    To me, ideal (haven’t reached it yet!) health is:
    -Clean eating (whole foods, no chemicals, low-no sugar, healthy fats and spices, lots of veggies and fruits)

    -Exercise daily

    -Adequate sleep. I’ve heard 9 hours is ideal!

    -Relationship with God

    -Strong bonds with family and friends

    -Fresh air

    -Purposefull living
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..3 Mile Run and a Pic =-.

  21. Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble says:

    I think types of food and exercise habits are definitely the most important part of healthy living, but that doesn’t necessarily me depriving yourself of other things. There has to be balance in all parts of your life and you have to feel satisfied, otherwise it’s easy to resort back to old habits.
    .-= Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble´s last blog ..R&R =-.

  22. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    For me, healthy living is constantly evolving as well. I think as we learn and try new things, we learn to make healthier/different choices. For me, healthy living involves all the things you mentioned to a certain degree. That is, I try to fit healthy living into our lives as much as I can without being “too extreme.”
    .-= Andrea@WellnessNotes´s last blog ..Warm and Delicious Weekend =-.

  23. Tami says:

    Great question and I was just having this same conversation recently with my hair dresser.


    A positive out look.


    Regular medical and dental care.

    Fresh, whole foods. Organic veggies and fruits when possible.

    Lean protein, low fat dairy, whole grains

    Omega 3 oils

    Exercise, moving more, eating less.

  24. Miz says:

    knowing that each action I take is a conscious choice. that the majority of said actions are to further my live in a positive way but, even when they are not (hello! movie popcorn) they are actions of choice.
    .-= Miz´s last blog ..New Two Fit Chicks podcast. =-.

  25. Kelly says:

    Healthy Living is a mad subject in itself! What one person deems to be healthy another will suggest that you are doing it wrong. I say as long as you feel better about yourself, exercising often and eating more vegetables and fruits when you able, then you are living as healthy as you possibly can!
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Baby Nightlight And Soother Activated By Sound =-.

  26. Leah says:

    Wow. I don’t think I would fit into the popular standards of “healthy living”; however, I feel I’m living more healthy than ever before. “Everything in moderation” works for me when it comes to the healthy department, but I know it’s not a popular concept if it includes fast food and junk food on occasion, which is does for us.

    hhmm…still trying to sum up my answer.

    I think it would be, being healthy is eating when hungry, stopping when satisfied and getting regular exercise. Fresh fruits and veggies added to every meal are also something I strive towards, though that’s still a major work in progress.

    Very thought provoking. 🙂
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..All In Good Time =-.

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