Here, Greatist staffers share what healthy means to them. As expected, everyone had something different to say (told ya healthy means a million different things).
Jamie Webber, Senior Food Editor
"I drink matcha lattes on weekdays and margaritas on weekends. I love green smoothies, but I never say no to a bread basket. I make Paleo-friendly desserts
, but ice cream happens too. Am I perfect? Nope. Am I healthy? IMO, yes. To me, healthy means living, eating, and exercising to feel good, happy, and energized. If that means eating a bagel for breakfast instead of my meal-prepped egg muffins or skipping spin class to go for a walk when it's pretty out, as long as it makes me feel good, then I consider that healthy."
Lauren Berger, Executive Editor
"To me, healthy means never saying 'no' to dessert. Did I get the memo about sugar not being awesome
for you? Sure did. Which is why I listen to my body and try to eat less of it when I’m feeling sluggish or like I’ve overdone it. But I know myself well enough to know that any diet that forces me to eliminate the sweet stuff won’t make me happier (or fun to be around, for that matter)."
Dria de Botton Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
"I was obsessed with women’s magazines as a kid. Like, remember-Seventeen’s-cover-in-January-of-1992 obsessed. (I know. Also it was Niki and Krissy Taylor.) But my fascination with these beautiful unrealities led to a pretty screwed up sense of my own body. I found confidence later through sports and fitness—and realized how being healthy felt a hell of a lot better than trying to be perfect. To me, healthy is about the choices that make me feel like a better version of me and not someone else's ideal."
Caroline Olney, Associate Platforms Editor
"I've been running pretty consistently for close to eight years, but to be honest with you, I'm not very good. I'll probably never win a race or finish a long run feeling like the whole thing was effortless, but that's not the point—the point is that I lace up my sneakers anyway. I try. I commit. And the way I see it, that's enough to make me healthy."
Suze Kaufman, Assistant Platforms Editor
"Healthy is all about listening to my body. Remembering to honor what my body needs (rest) is so important, even when it's not what my brain wants (exercise). Mental health is just as important as physical health, and self-care is a huge part of that. Face masks and alone time are a few of my favorite things—they give me clarity and space to decompress. Also, HELLO, our bodies work so hard breathing and moving every day! Be grateful and give it some love. That's what I call healthy."
Derek Flanzraich, CEO & Founder
"After years of seeing six-pack abs on the cover of magazines, I got 'em
. All six! And standing there, shaved and sexy and shiny, I realized I'd never felt less healthy. I didn't feel sexy. (I did feel shiny, but that was all the baby oil... at least that's what I hope it was.) We've been terrifically misled about what 'healthy' is. It's not superficial—it's the total, absolute, complete opposite."
Jess Novak, Senior Editor, Voices & Identities
"Two of my biggest loves are pub food and street food. I'm talking level-10-spicy, outfit-ruining buffalo wings and butter-smeared, charred-black elote—basically, if it tastes high fat, high in salt, spicy as all hell, and carcinogenic, I'm here for it. So for me, healthy has meant finding ways to incorporate the flavors I love into foods that aren't going to make my body feel horrible. This can mean going for healthyish buffalo chicken
, or just finding creative ways to work those spices and textures into dishes packed with fresh vegetables, lean protein, and healthy grains and fats. Of course, healthy also means sometimes saying, 'Yeah, today's the day,' and totally demolishing a big, vinegar-soaked plate of fish and chips (with a pint or three)."
Simon Hau, Software Engineer
"I am proud to be wrong about my chicken-with-broccoli-and-rice-only phase, proud to be wrong about my intense (seven-days-per-week) workout routine, and proud to be wrong in thinking I was fine without enough sleep. It took time, patience, and open-mindedness to find what sufficiently and truly satisfies my mind and my body. Figuring out that sweet balance that works for me is, I believe, what being healthy means."
Sarah Argus, Digital Designer
"I get really bored at the gym and intimated when a lot of people are using weights. Instead, I go to kickboxing—punching and kicking a heavy bag is my favorite form of therapy. To me, healthy means that I’m making conscious decisions. I try to sweat a little, try not to stress-eat, and sometimes I’ll choose a lettuce wrap for my burger instead of a bun… sometimes."
Jay Blades, Head of Content Development
"As much as I geek out over bone broth and ashwagandha and collagen powder, those aren’t the things that make me healthy. Being healthy is about making small choices every single day, whether that’s cooking at home instead of ordering Seamless or choosing a walk over a glass of wine. It’s about being a little bit better than I was yesterday."
John Bashant, Office Manager
"In America I think it’s atypical to really assess your relationship with food. To take the time to think about and appreciate what you eat and to listen to your body’s feedback. We tend to focus on outcomes (weight loss, most commonly) and pursue them with unsustainable behavior. To me, healthy is developing positive associations with foods and habits that bring joy to my life and elevate my well-being, not thinking of food as a means to an end."
Jess Siler, Chief of Staff
"Healthy to me means trying to do something good for my body every day. Some days this is going to Spin class and drinking green smoothies; other days this is finding the time to go for a walk, be outside, or—even better—bake homemade chocolate chip cookies."
Iliana Rabun-Wood, Product Manager
"Being healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy every moment. Sure, I had big slice of apple pie (with ice cream on top!) this weekend, but I also rode my bike two hours with friends to a pie shop in the middle of nowhere. Last night I ate almost a whole pizza in front of the TV, but this morning I had a green power smoothie after a killer TRX workout in my apartment. Being healthy should ultimately make you feel better about yourself, not worse. It’s all about finding the right balance that works for you."
Jenna Haufler, Associate Video Producer
"At some point in college, I got sucked into the idea that my athletic body, which enabled me to be a collegiate-level swimmer, wasn’t enough. It was too easy to go from a healthy, balanced lifestyle to one obsessed with counting every calorie consumed and every calorie burned. Today I’ve realized healthy means being proud of what my body is capable of achieving, rather than what it looks like. It means focusing on being happy, not being ashamed or anxious about eating ice cream after dinner or skipping a workout for a happy hour. Healthy means feeling good in my own body, wanting to be strong AF, and striving to be more, not less."