What IS healthy?

3 Jun

Hola People!

First of all, I hope you guys have noticed & like some small changes I’ve made to the blog. I finally figured out how to make a new banner (haha) & I also added a page called “Let it Out.” Check it out, I hope some of you write comments on it!

In other news, life has been pretty good the past few days 🙂 Can’t really complain

This wrap I had the other day was soo amazing- I stuck in turkey & goat cheese & let it get all grilled up 🙂 & then had an apple & some Southwestern flavored Baked Lays

on Memorial Day, My family & I went with some neighbors to see my Dad’s baby horse. We have race horses and we thought it’d be fun for our neighbor’s little kids to see.

I started off with a breakfast, inspired by a not-so-healthy but oh-so delicious cereal purchased by my Mom!

Then it was off to see the horses !!

Afterwards, we were hungry, so we stopped at a cute little local diner for some lunch!

& I drank this drink on the way there

I went to dinner that night with my friend & then we met up with some of our guy friends to just hang out.

The next morning, I introduced my long-lost love (for breakfast) into my life! yoatgurt 🙂

sooo good. 1/2 serving of oats, 2% fage, cocoa bumpers, fresh strawberries, 1/2 a banana, and some cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter for some healthy fats

I went to work out & then made a quick run to TJS.. it is right next to my gym… not good for my wallet, very good for my soul

I used the chicken-less strips, guac, & pretzels for lunch. I was amazed by the chicken-less strips! They have 110 calories & 20g of protein per 9 strip serving & they REALLY taste like chicken.

I made a mexican style wrap with salsa, guac, & chickenless strips & all the necessary sides

soooo good. I absolutely loved this lunch.

I snacked on this bar, which was impressively delicious

This kept me full for a few hours & then I went to BBYO (a youth group I was really involved with in high school) with my sister because she is the President of our chapter now. Afterwards, we grabbed dinner at a restaurant called Aladdin’s. We started with a hummus appetizer

I ordered the Tawook Salad with their tahini yogurt dressing.

& Hannah got the falafel salad

I thought it was good overall. Fresh food, nice atmosphere- so definitely enjoyable.

Last night I spent time at home with my family & then woke up to another bowl of my fav- yoatgurt!

& yes, those are cupcake pebbles again… no shame! They are freakin’ good and 100% worth it.

Yesterday I went shopping with my Mom for a bit & we got some stuff for my birthday party (soo fun), & then I had an outpatient therapy appointment, & I babysat last night. Afterwards, some friends came over and we just caught up and goofed around.

I have been doing well in my recovery, as I’ve written here for the past few posts but as I have continued to see a therapist, I’ve realized that I am very confused about where I stand with regards to my eating disorder. I am struggling to determine which behaviors/attitudes are eating disorder related and which are just normal feelings that all women have.

I have been thinking a lot about what defines healthy living & when it goes too far. I definitely believe there is a fine line between being healthy and being too healthy. The question is, what is that line?

In my opinion and through my experiences, I’ve realized that it is important to make sure that healthy eating & exercising are a priority, but not #1. Issues have arisen for me when I have put exercising before socializing, or when I have worried about healthy eating to a point where I can’t focus as well on other things.

Healthy living is not simply how you eat and how you exercise. It is about how you feel– how happy you are, how many friends you have, how often you laugh. To me, I know I am happiest when I am not even thinking about healthy eating or exercising (though they could still be happening) because in those moments, I have not a care in the world.

I know for me to be truly living healthily, I have to be surrounded by friends and family, eating to a point where I am satisfied but not stuffed, exercising moderately, and doing things I genuinely enjoy. Foods like cake and cookies may not be healthy, but they are satisfying, so they should be enjoyed every now and then.

Sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed by all the knowledge I have obtained about healthy eating/exercising. I want to be perfect in every way, but I know that that is absolutely impossible. I wonder –> Am I wrong for not eating a vegetarian or vegan diet? Is it bad that I drink alcohol sometimes? Are the artificial sweeteners I consume (too much probs) going to kill me (k i’m prob exaggerating)?

I don’t know the real answer to those questions, but I know that my personal health is the best when I am not stressed about them.

I want to open this up to you all because I am so interested to hear your opinions: When Do you think “healthy living” goes too far? What even IS healthy living?

Have an absolutely amazing day- love you all to pieces!

64 Responses to “What IS healthy?”

  1. blueeyedheart June 3, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    This is something I wonder about all the time… to some extent, it’s considered “normal” to have some disordered thoughts / behaviors, if only because it seems to be mainstream. Most women DO focus on these things too much, but that doesn’t mean that’s the way it SHOULD be. I think you hit the nail on the head… when you’re not thinking about them and they’re happening anyway, that’s “healthy.”

    ❤ ❤

  2. Jenna June 3, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Great post Shelley! I feel like I am happy and healthy when I feel great in my own body!
    Jenna xo

  3. Molly June 3, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    you are gorgeous girly!
    I totally agree with you about the healthy and too healthy debate. I think some blogs out there are striving too hard, and limiting themseleves too much to a certain kind of food. Some days I even question if they have disordred eating only because they are SO set on healthy that they are almost scared to eat something that isnt.
    I understand that its important, obviously- but I am at my healthiest when I am out to eat with my friends, when I dont care what I order, and I laugh! Being active and happy is what makes me healthy…everything else comes second.

    You are amazing Shelley! Keep it up! Hope you’re having an amazing summer 🙂


  4. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine June 3, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Such a good post, and I know it’s something all of us “health” bloggers struggle with often. I think that it’s different for each person- what may seem obsessive to one person may be completely healthy to another, because it’s all about how much you let it infiltrate other daily activities. For me, “healthy” living means focusing on whatever I’m doing at the present moment, and enjoying it to the fullest. At mealtimes, that means enjoying lots of healthy but delicious foods, during workouts it means pushing myself but listening to my body, and during other activities, it means not worrying about what I’m going to eat next or whether I’ll have time to work out. A “healthy” diet and exercise becomes unhealthy when it messes with your head, as a lot of us know!!

    About the alcohol, vegetarianism and artificial sweeteners- to each their own. You know what makes you feel best. Drinking and eating meat and sugar-free stuff isn’t bad for you at all as long as you’re not knocking back shots every night, eating steak at every meal and chugging Diet Coke by the gallon. For me, healthy living is about MODERATION, and just as there’s nothing healthy about eating an entire package of Oreos, there’s nothing healthy about being afraid of sugar and running a marathon every week, either!!

    Awesome post girl!!xoxo

  5. Marina June 3, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    I am trying to find that balance you are talking a but. It takes some time to get there, but hopefully, I will 🙂
    That horse is beautiful!

  6. The Fit Collegiate June 3, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Ahhh, great topic. I don’t really advertise this on my blog, but as a freshman in high school, I struggled with disordered eating habits. I wasn’t ever completely anorexic, but I had a really unhealthy relationship with food and would barely eat throughout the day so I could “save up” for the hefty homecooked dinners my mom fed served. My idea of “breakfast” was a packet of Quaker instant oatmeal with water (160 cals), a light yogurt and an apple for “lunch” (180 cals at most), and a diet soda as a “snack.” On top of that, I was a serious tennis player and would compete for 2-3 hours after school. I would eat a decent amount for dinner, but it still wasn’t nearly enough calories to make up for the huge deficit I had incurred. On the weekends, I would allow myself to “cheat” and would embark on binges. Once I got into cooking and started reading food blogs, I developed a much healthier attitude toward food. Now, I see food as nourishment and want to consume REAL food, not just Fresca and nasty “Lite ‘N Fit” yogurts. I also exercise for the mental/spiritual benefits, not as a way to burn calories. This is my idea of healthy living, and I’m happy to say I feel like I’ve attained it! 🙂

  7. Kerry June 3, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    I loved this post shelley, i always blow my friends out of socialising in the mornings because to me mornings are my exercise time and if i don’t get it, i feel guilty. I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery! 🙂 your eats look great! xxx

  8. Ilana June 3, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Reading this post, you seem like a different person. You feel different. I love it. It’s amazing.
    Girlie, I definitely feel you on trying to figure out what true health is. I think the right word to describe it is “balance.” I mean, sure, you can eat entirely clean and never indulge and work out all the time, things that are considered “healthy” lifestyle activities, but without a balance, there isn’t a healthy mentality. I definitely struggled with this at the beginning of my recovery! I really wanted to be 100% vegan because I thought it was totally key to my health but the other day I thought, screw it, I want ice cream, and I ate it, and it tasted great, and I honestly didn’t think of it as a big deal, and I still don’t (I’m only noting it because it was divergent from my usual behavior). I don’t need to justify this to anyone else! I do things to make myself HAPPY, and stressing out over whether I should eat ____ or workout or whether I should have more than one drink when I’m out with friends DOESN’T make me happy. Now when I feel these thoughts bubbling to the surface, I ask myself, “Ilana, what are you really afraid of?” and when I hear myself answer, “Cellulite” or “getting flabby,” I can easily answer, “Is that logical at all?”
    Balance, balance, balance. There is no right or wrong answer, there is only what feels right for YOU.

  9. Bri June 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    How cute do you look with the horse! Adorable! Good swag you got from TJ’s. How I wish we had TJ’s in Canada. I totally agree that you are healthiest when you aren’t stressing about everything going into your body. Your body knows how to take care of itself. You just have to live and your body will find balance.

  10. adrienmelaine June 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Shelley, don’t worry about being perfect. Just worry about being happy, you’ll find your own version of perfection there.

    You inspire me.

  11. Amanda June 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Just wanted to say I love the new layout 🙂

  12. solskinn88 June 3, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Great post Shelley.
    After starting to read blogs I often find myself feeling a bit guilty for my own eating habits. Caused by the tendency to compare myself to other, I always end up feeling like my diet is not as “clean” as others. There are plenty of not-organic foods, full-fat products, not as much veggies and fruits.
    But then I have to remind myself of that this diet actually works for me, my body feels good and alive by eating the way I do.
    I have spent three years obsessing over calories, and the healthiest food. This project to keep my body as clean and healthy as possible robbed me of my social life, and nearly killed me.
    Today I consider a healthy lifestyle a life lived in balance. A life where your main goal is not to score perfect at the “health scale” each single day, but rather a life where you are in harmony with your own needs and desires. Where you feel happy. That is much more important than being “perfect”.
    So much more I want to say, but my ability to express myself in English is letting me down at the moment ;p

  13. countrypunkin June 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    I’m a newbie blogger–going to be a senior in college, so dieting/trying to be in shape all the time has been my focus the last 4 years. After a rough semester, I have decided to make a change and to start nourishing my body, and loving myself for who I am. I went through a depression after an injury from a drunk-related accident, and I realized that I cannot live this way anymore. Binge drinking made me such a different person, and people knew me as a different person than I truly am. Besides the drinking, I felt like I had to “correct” myself all the time and wouldn’t eat very much the following days, or I just didn’t really care what I ate. (More mindless eating). I’m home now for the summer so I can concentrate more on me and bringing out the best in myself. I’ve been reading your blog a bit, and it is inspiring me to really open up to myself, and I am finding that I have been alot happier too.


  14. Naomi (onefitfoodie) June 3, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    OMG I cannot believe you have an alladins near you! there was one wehre I went to college in Ithaca NY and I miss it so so so much it was by far my FAV restaurant in ithaca, the salads were ginormous and delicious!

    arnold palmer now comes in 0 calories?? wow gotta check that out!! 🙂

    love the pics of you and the horsies!

    I think that everyone has a different definition of healthy living and being ‘healthy’ for me, its exercising, being active, and making healthy food choices BUT never completely turning something down if I really want it…life is about balance and to me, this is healthy 🙂

  15. Tori June 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    You’re not alone in your thoughts. I agree that it’s gone to far when it interfers with your life and happiness. I have seen “healthy living” blogs that do a good job of balancing their healthy choices in a way that lets them not completley freak out if a situation isn’t perfectly healthy. Like if they’re in a place that doesn’t serve “health food”. Or if they want to eat a piece of freakin cake at a party. They aren’t obsessed is what I mean. It doesn’t rule their life or control their actions.

    ❤ Tori

  16. flowyogilates June 3, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I like the changes!
    I think that behaving too healthy is when it ist making you unhappy or when you have the constant feeling of abandonment… when being healthy gets the only priority in your life and when it dissociates someone from familiy and friends….

  17. tatiannalives June 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Shelley, I am so glad you wrote this post! I share the same thoughts as you… although I still eat ‘too healthy’ in my opinion. Why do I think that? Because I know I would love to eat more ‘unhealthy’ things but I still won’t let myself have them.

    I don’t want the concept of healthy living to control my life, because if it does, I’m not living very healthfully 😛

    ❤ Tat

  18. mayapamela June 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    I can so relateto this! I feel like I have so much knowledge going on in my head sometimes. It’s good, I think, as it’s good to be informed, but sometimes I just want to bash my brain against a wall and live for a while without all this information!

    It’s good to ask yourself these things, and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts!

  19. Amanda @ . seek . June 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    I think that one of the most frustrating thing about recovering from an ED is trying to figure out what normal is after being abnormal for so long; I know that’s where I’m currently at, and it drives me crazy sometimes. I think that most women struggle with some kind of negative thoughts surrounding diet/exercise/body image, but it goes too far when those thoughts become priority and start consuming our lives.

    I think that health goes far beyond physical health. We have a body, sure, but we have a mind/soul as well, and that part needs to be in a good state just as our bodies do. Worrying, stressing, questioning too much… that doesn’t do us any good in the long run. I remember when I was 100% devote to eating a pure diet; I didn’t feel all that great. I was eating all the right stuff, but I was absolutely miserable and lifeless. Sometimes I think that making sure our minds are healthy is even more important than making sure our bodies are healthy… so eat the cookies/sugar/alcohol/meat and don’t question it. If it makes you happy, then what else matters?

  20. Little Notes June 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Its a tough one but I think healthy living is finding that balance, just being able to eat what you feel like and when you feel like it, the same applying to exercise.
    Its hard to do when you have had an ed and some people seem to manage it so easily. I know I struggle alot with thoughts over food and exercise and as you said all woman do but I think the difference is for those of us with eds the thoughts are amplified and exaggerated which causes us to stress and worry over them.
    A very lovely and though provoking post, 🙂

  21. aletheiazoe June 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    I think that “healthy living” is actually a really, really personal thing. It’s a common misconception — and this is easily attributed to newspaper and magazine and webpage sections entitled “healthy living”, just for the ease of it — that healthy living is this ONE standard that EVERYONE ought to live by. It’s not. There is no one perfect diet, no perfect lifestyle — only one that is optimal for each person.

    Healthy living includes so much more than eating or exercising — it includes the way that you feel after doing those things, or in making the decision NOT to do certain things. For example, running is generally considered a good activity. Running a half-marathon might be considered an incredible feat for someone who has always struggled with weight loss or confidence or exercise. For me though, abstaining from running is the healthiest thing I can do for my body AND for my mind (Because the two are actually intricately related!), considering my past history and tendencies. In the same way, although being into “superfoods” might be empowering to some people, I know that for example Sophia, who is another ED-recoverer, has chosen to shun that kind of talk because it’s not right for her. Do you see what I mean? Healthy living is not some standard that we should worry about achieving–it should be a way of life that WE KNOW we are already living, when we are at peace physically, mentally, and spiritually. 🙂

  22. xthefinalcountdownx June 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    I saw you went to Trader Jo’s.. they are opening up one in my town FINALLY I’ve never even seen one but I’ve heard they are amazing :). I think there is a line between being healthy and being too healthy. Some people go all out and they drive themselves crazy if they eat something that has lets say fake sugar in it or something.

  23. cardiopizza June 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    Great post!

    I’m glad to hear you are doing well 🙂

    I’ve walked a fine line of being to obsessive with food and it’s not a fun place to be. My life these days is much more relaxed and I really do eat whatever I want and crave.

    My exercise routine is just doing whatever I feel like that day and not feeling obligated to workout every day if I don’t feel like it – sometimes a simple walk is all I want or some days I don’t want to move off my couch! Each day is different.

  24. debbie June 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    you were in BBYO? Haha I used to be allll about USY.

    ughh, there’s nothing that frustrates me more than when I think I’m having an ED moment and someone goes, “it’s normal for a woman to feel fat, relax.” WELL IT SHOULDN’T BE. I guess when this “feeling fat” interferes with your every day life is when you realize you actually have a problem.

  25. Kelly June 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    I think everything (YES EVERYTHING) is dangerous in extremes. Religion is a great thing but taken to extremes is dangerous. Exercise is a great thing but taken to extremes in dangerous. Alcohol is fine but in extremes in dangerous. And the list goes on and on and on. The same is true for healthy living.

  26. Jenny June 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    I think “healthy living” is a really ambigious term, as it varies from person to person.. but just as you said I think there is a definite line between being healthy and being OBSESSIVE. For awhile I thought I was doing my body a favor by the countless hours spent at the gym or eating a low cal/low fat diet. To me, I think being healthy is forging a close relationship with your body and responding to its wants and needs. 🙂

    Love you, Shelley!

  27. fi June 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Heya, that wrap looks good! as does the yoatgurt yums! i know, the question of healthy is so tough. I sometimes think id like to be healthy, and i eat loads of healthy food, but then i crave chocolate and i find it hard to eat it, or else i find myself fixated on eating healthily and then i know i have a problem!
    so, i think the best idea is to do balance, conscioulsy, have treats AND healthy, whichever ur preference is, be able to have a bit of both.
    Hope u have a great day too.xxxxxxx

  28. Julia June 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    Loving the new lay-out!

    I think healthy is about balance. I know for me healthy also means cake, chips, ice cream and fries. Besides bread and salad, if you know what I mean (and I know you do!)

    Exercise is nice, but shouldn’t be too important. Again, it’s my believe, but life is so much better now I’m living it with these beliefs again:)

    xxx Julia (Taste of Living)

  29. Katie June 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    SHELLEY!!!!!!!!!!!! My long lost love!!! When did you come back??!!! I missed you to pieces!!!

    Yay for you doing so great, you look beautiful and amazing as always and LOVE horses!! So cool!!!

    I saw those cupcake fruity pebbles, are they good?!! I need to try them, they have cinnabon cereal out that is amazing, my son loves it and I steal some from him!!!

    I missed you and your glowing, beautiful, sweet, and amazing self! So glad you are back girl!!!

    Have a great night! xoxo

  30. Danielle June 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    First off, I love the new look of your site!

    I agree, there IS a way to go too far with trying to be healthy (that it becomes UNhealthy). I think if food/exercise gets in the way of relationships and other things that make you happy, then it’s a problem. Because to me, health is about living a quality life mind + body…so that means enjoying it 🙂

  31. therabbitrunner June 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    so that turkey & goat cheese wrap sounds epic 🙂 must try asap considering I have never had goat cheese!

    ahh love the not so healthy cereal because to be honest, I have been loving poptarts lately! its not healthy, but who cares – i still get my fruits and veggies in!

    I couldn’t agree more with you about defining healthy. Food + exercise shouldn’t come before friends and family because thats NOT a healthy mindset. Everything in moderation and you’ll be aokay!

  32. Katey June 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Honestly to me- healthy living shouldn’t be what you look like, but how you treat yourself and your body. Having fun, being safe, eating right, working out to HELP your body, not just for calorie’s sake! Healthy living is also about doing everything in moderation, having fun and drinking is FINE, just as long as you’re not binge drinking.. there’s a difference!

    I am so overwhelmed with my knowledge of calories and stuff, I just can’t stop it. I wish my life was like it was three years ago sometimes, I didn’t know the difference between mono and poly unsaturated fats, calories and grams.. I am A LOT better than I used to be.. but its still there… you know? its just hard like you said with being healthy or being TOO healthy.

  33. caitlyn June 3, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    Hey Girll!

    Love the fun new banner!

    Healthy living is just that… It’s healthy, but more importantly it’s LIVING. My brother takes “healthy living” too far, I think. When his need to eat healthy starts interfering with where he is able to eat, and what he is able to do… it becomes a problem. You need to know where the need to be healthy starts effecting the need to be living your life.

    I think I eat very healthy… but not all my friends want to go to an organic restaurant and try all the weird foods I’m into… But I’m not going to pass up an opportunity to spend time with them just because the pizza joint uses white flour. And I’m certainly not going to go with them and spend the whole time checking ingredients and calorie counting. You gotta let go of the “health” sometimes and “live”! 🙂

    That’s my novel answer!

  34. Lauren June 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    To be completely honest with you, I think 90% of this country falls into some kind of “disordered” relationship with food and I fear that there will never be a cure. I think that it goes to the point of being a problem when your food thoughts outweigh your normal thoughts or when they start to alter your choices and/or actions.

    You will always think those things of “should I eat less carbs, or not drink as much alcohol, or be eating less sweets.” But one day, you will just reach the point when those thoughts only pass your mind for a moment and you move past them and live your life because of what your heart is telling you. Not your mind. 🙂

  35. rebecca lustig June 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    i LOVE the chicken less strips– JUST purchased them the other day actually.. let me know how you enjoy them 🙂

    i can totally relate to your confused feelings. I often struggle to identify ‘normal’ from ‘ED’ thoughts and feelings…

    is it ok to have chocolate ice cream every single day bc I’m craving it? How much exercise is ‘legitimate’?

    all things i’m sure youll learn with each experience.

    keep up the great work, thinking of you
    xo bec

  36. Katherine: What About Summer? June 3, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post and all the ideas. being healthy is balance and perspective along with proper eating and exercising habits. There is mental, physical and emotional health: you need them all. I love seeing that cereal alongside organic yogurt. It is all good! Cheers to living a good life of health, happiness and the necessity of both

  37. Larissa H June 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    love those kashi bars!

  38. Michelle (Snacks and Field) June 3, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    I lovee your new banner it’s so cute! And I love this post; a few things:
    1. It’s awesome that you guys have race horses!
    2. Cupcake pebbles sound so incredibly fun and amazing!
    3. Having a TJ’s that close would kill my wallet- but you are oh so lucky 🙂

    And I often question the definition of “healthy” as well… I think as long as you are HAPPY eating meat, and drinking sometimes- then it’s healthy… I do both as well, and I question it too. But I LIKE chicken- so I eat it. And though I don’t drink too often, when I do, my friends and I have an amazing time, and it’s worth it- so I think it’s healthy.

    In regards to your confusion about ED- thoughts and “womanly” thoughts- I think you have come so far from picking working out over friends, etc. that you shouldn’t worry about it too much, I often question if the amount I think about food/working out is disordered, but I’ve improved and I’m happy I’ve been able to recognize when I start thinking too much and knock myself out of it lol- There’s certainly a fine line between being concerned about your health and unhealthily being concerned about your appearance- We all just need to find that balance!

    Sorry for the super long comment! Love the post, girlieee:)

  39. Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries June 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Beautiful horses! That’s so cool your dad owns racehorses. I think you bring up a great point about health what it is exactly. I definitely agree that it involves not being stressed about food/exercise and just being able to enjoy both those things. 🙂

  40. lo June 3, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    healthy living (to me) is being happy living your life, eating the foods you crave, working out for fun and not “just because” and allowing yourself to love and be loved. If you feel u are falling back into any unhealthy thoughts, just grab a loved one (family, friend, boyfriend) and just remind yourself they LOVE YOU for YOU….it looks like you are living! that makes me smile so much while reading this post! that and the cupcake pebbles 🙂


  41. kbwood June 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    i freaking love this shell!! being healthy is not having an earthly idols in my opinion, not putting your trust and hope and desires ALL in something on this earth, because that will only leave ou disappointed, empty, and ALWAYS wanting more!! I know exactly what you mean with being confused!!! you now are just weeding out things and figuring things out-its a process, so dont get discouraged! its never going to be perfect, but that is totally okay bc this earth is temporary anyway! LOVE YOU

  42. Laura June 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    It’s ironic that you post this now, because my summer course just started and it’s called Health and Wellness for life. The first chapter defined what health and wellness were, and where health focused mainly on the medical aspect, wellness deals with more of the emotional side which plays a HUGE roll in a person’s overall wellbeing.

    In my book health is defined as:
    1) being free from symptoms of disease and pain as much as possible
    2) being active, able to do what you want and what you must at the appropriate time
    3) being in good spirits and feeling emotionally healthy most of the time

    ❤ ❤

  43. Run Sarah June 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    Great post – I think there is a line between being healthy and being overly restrictive, I think it is so hard to find a balance sometimes. Love your yogurt bowls and the photo of you and the horses = gorg!

  44. danica June 3, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    hey shelley!
    I totally know how you feel! it feels like I know too much and there’s no way to go back and un-learn all this stuff you know? but I think you’re right, you’ll know when you’re doing well and truly healthy when you can go out and live life and not think about food/being healthy. it should just come naturally and easily eventually.
    ps. those horses are sooo pretty! I’m very jealous haha

  45. izzy June 3, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    Oh, I feel the same exact way about all the knowledge I’ve accumilated over the years with my ED. But it’s the same as anything else – any object or concept or theory can be used for GOOD and EVIL. It’s natural to want to be HEALTHY, but using the healthy living rules we all lived to a tee by ended up causing more harm than good. Now we need to learn to look at these rules with a set of new, healthy eyes : )

    Ok, I’ve GOT to try goat cheese – honestly NEVER had it in my life! I hope it’s melty like mozzarella!

    Also, I love seeing that you have a balance of foods you make yourself and foods you eat out. That’s still something I really struggle with sometimes, and it’s so inspiring to see you do it, and NOT only order the quintessential “safe” side garden salad ; ) Loves!


  46. imaginenamaste June 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    I definitely think that there is a fine line between healthy and disordered. My goal is to become a health-conscious, non disordered eater.

    That cereal is too funny! I hope you have a good weekend!

  47. highonhealthy June 4, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I think that healthy living means you get daily exercise (walking, running, sports, playing around, WHATEVER), eating healthy foods that are good for you but also splurging on whatever you consider a treat (at least one treat daily.. ;)), doing things that keep your life exciting, and spending time with those you love. Being healthy isn’t just about eating certain foods, there’s so many other aspects.

  48. BunnieF June 4, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    This is also something I’ve been trying to figure out lately.

    At this stage “healthy” to me is eating what I feel like, when I feel like it and in the amount that satisfies me. It’s about what my body wants and needs, and not what my mind dictates that I’m to eat.

    Mindfulness meditation has helped me with the initial struggle of identifying hunger. A part of this all actually allowing myself to desire things that my ED rejects outright.

    It’s probably not possible to go back to “normal” as it was before ED, but we can still live life and be happy and content – and that involves being mentally healthy after the hurdle of physical health. 🙂

    Love the blog by the way, your positivity really encourages me and it’s great to see someone so determined to fight. Keep going, never stop!

  49. Gracie @ Girl Meets Health June 4, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    Since I started blogging, my concept of “what is healthy” has changed quite drastically. I used to believe that health was based solely on nutrition and fitness, but now I see that they’re just part of the equation. Now, I see *quality of life* as the most important aspect of health. So we’re definitely on the same page with that one!

    My faith, relationships, and emotional well-being are now my top priorities, and the physical aspects just seem to follow naturally!

  50. Mitri June 4, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    Great post, Shelley!! I have been thinking about this a lot, too… about how to tell what I do is an effort to be truly healthy and what is a more obsessive effort to “confine” and “control” what food goes into my mouth.

    I wrote a magazine article about the “boundaries” of healthy living for a class last semester and interviewed the top person of the UNC eating disorder unit… She said that healthy eating goes too far when it interferes with our daily lives. She said, Sure, you can choose to buy organic or shop at the farmer’s market if it makes you happy as an activity you genuinely enjoy partaking in within your community. But if it prevents you from eating out with your family, or sharing a dessert with your friend, or causes daily intrusive thoughts with rules that guide your behavior, then you are not really healthy. You are still disordered but in a somewhat culturally acceptable way, as our culture emphasizes so much the “need” for beauty, anti-aging, healthy life etc.

  51. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth) June 4, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    thank you so much for all of your input so far- i am honestly really really loving reading all of these!!

  52. Jennifer @ shesafitchick June 4, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    Great post! First of all that wrap looks DELISH! And those horses are so beautiful! I agree with this 100% “Healthy living is not simply how you eat and how you exercise. It is about how you feel- how happy you are, how many friends you have, how often you laugh.” You really put it a great way. I think diet & exercise are up there, but the reason they are so important is because we want to improve the quality of our life, and sometimes I think we lose focus on that!

  53. Alex June 4, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    this was a wonderful post!

    Cupcake pebbles???I have got to find that!

    randomly came across your blog and I absolutely love it!

  54. Cassie June 4, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Oh, girl, such a good topic. I’ve felt the same way so many times (and still do often). It’s so confusing to try to figure out whether a thought/behavior is ED-related, or just a “girl thing.” Also, I’m like you in that sometimes I feel like I know TOO MUCH about fitness & nutrition…too much for my own good.

    Gosh, where is the line drawn between healthy and too healthy? I don’t know. I don’t have a good answer or wise words, but wanted to let you know I feel ya on this.

    Love you, girly! 🙂

  55. Leah @ Why Deprive? June 4, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    I love this post!
    For me, healthy living is doing what makes me feel the best. I think thats different for everyone. Theres the obvious exercise and healthy eating, but I think its all about how you balance it. I dont force myself to workout if I dont want to. I do it because I like it, and it makes me feel like a rockstar. Same with the eating. I eat foods that make me feel good, and if I want to inhale a box of Smarties in 30 seconds, well then Im going to do it. 🙂

  56. Can You Stay for Dinner June 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    “Sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed by all the knowledge I have obtained about healthy eating/exercising. I want to be perfect in every way, but I know that that is absolutely impossible.”— sooo true. I feel the same way sometimes. It’s easy to get caught up in the healthful web. I want to have more of an ease of mind about it all too. For food to be delicious and to make me feel good, but not be the end all be all of my life. I want friends, family, hobbies, and life in general to be at the forefront. Your questions prove that you’re working on balance and are finding it slowly but surely. Your progress is astounding! Keep on working through it, love. You’re wonderful!

  57. dmcgirl37 June 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    For me, healthy living gone to far means I cannot accept what other make for me because I dont consider it healthy. I think not giving into your cravings because they are not ‘healthy’ is going to far as well.

    I think about this often too much. I am just like you, happiest when im not thinking about food and health all the time.

    I dont think there is a ‘perfect’ way of eating. I think everyone puts way too much thought into food. There are plenty of people who eat extraordinarily unhealthy diets and live to over 100 years old!

    I think the key to ‘health’ is happiness. If your happy you will make good choices and fed your body properly. You will not eat for emotional reason. It will be o.k for you to eat out of enjoyment and not feel guilty. I think when your happy food doesnt really matter, it’s just something that fuels your body and you enjoy. So you eat what you like and thats the end of the story.

    PS. im so glad your doing so well 🙂

    Dana xx


  58. Kate June 5, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    love the new blog header! and those pics of your horses are so pretty. horses are really cool animals.

    yeah, it is hard when you know all that info and really really easy to get caught in it. balance! we each need to figure out what is healthy for us.

    lovely weekend to you!

  59. Meg June 5, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    I love what you said here Shelley!
    Especially the part of:
    It is about how you feel- how happy you are, how many friends you have, how often you laugh.

    I think healthy living goes to far when you can’t enjoy so called “indulgences”, or you have to plan your day around the gym. I think it goes to far if that is all that is on your mind and you aren’t thinking about anything else.

    Its so true what you said, who cares if you’re the healthiest person with regards to food and exercise, if you’re not happy, then whats the point?

    I’m so happy you are doing so well, you are SUCH an inspiration and you are looking so beautiful! Keep up the great work Shelley.

  60. Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) June 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Love the new header!

    Healthy Living

    To me, healthy living is about having balance in all aspects of life.


    I think I have a good relationship with food because I like to eat healthy balanced meals, but I also don’t worry about having sweets and junk food. If I go overboard with the sweets and junk food, I’ll start cutting back a little bit, but I don’t ever eliminate them from my diet, as I don’t think that is a part of healthy living. I am not going to deprive myself of foods that I enjoy if they are not the healthiest things to eat – I’ll just try and have them in moderation, that’s all.

    In terms of my actual diet, I do what works best for me. Some people choose to eliminate certain food groups from their diet – I do not. I eat meat, fish, cheese, and drink milk. This is what works for me. I feel like while people may start out following a certain diet for health reasons or ethical reasons, many diets are very extreme and so strict that I think in some cases it can lead to a fear of foods and maybe even lead to disordered eating or eating disorders. And so for me, while I do read about different diets, I’m never just going to switch to a different diet because it seems to be the new in thing.

    So, for example, the raw food diet seems to be relatively new to a lot of people, including me. For some people, this is what works for them. But since this is not the way I usually eat, it seems really restrictive to me. And while I love learning about it and don’t mind trying a raw food dish, I wouldn’t suddenly convert to a raw food diet. Maybe I would incorporate a few raw food meals into my diet every once in a while if a recipe caught my eye, but that’s it.


    I feel the best when I do a moderate amount of exercise. When I exercise, it just makes me feel good!

    In terms of actual exercise, I just do what works for me. I don’t mind trying other forms of exercise, but if I don’t like it, I won’t continue doing it. And I’m not going to follow someone else’s exercise regime just because. Instead, I’m going to do what works best for me based on things like my activity level, not someone else’s!

    Also, I think it is important to keep your goals in mind when exercising – sometimes I think it can start off just wanting to shed a few pounds for health reasons, and then it quickly becomes something someone is obsessive about and feels like they have to do in order to lose more weight or maintain their weight. And then it seems to be more about the actual number on the scale, not actual health itself.


    Yes, you are right – happiness is a very important part of life. Being able to laugh is so important! Life is too short not to be able to laugh and be happy! I count my blessings every day and I also remember to laugh every day!

    Great post! Enjoy the weekend!

    • Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth) June 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

      this comment was incredible- thank you for sharing your opinion! i loved reading thiss

  61. eatmovelove June 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    I really don’t have anything else to add…and I don’t want to since it’s a very touchy topic for me and “sets me off”…;)…but just wanted to say that I like your new banner – and you are sooo beautiful – modelesque 🙂

  62. Katharina June 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    Well girl! I’m glad to be reading your blog again 😀 I kind of took a break.. okay so it wasn’t that long but it feels like forever! Anywho, your eats look yummy and I’ve never heard of cupcake pebbles. Did they really taste like a cupcake? 😀 I want to go horseback riding again!! I was thinking about that the other day. I just have to find a stable 🙂

    You brought up some really interesting points and I think these are some things that everyone should think about. Sometimes it seems that people get so caught up in a healthy lifestyle that they forget that mental health is also included. To me healthy living is finding a balance for your body, mind, and soul.



  63. shesarunner June 6, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    I think its perfectly okay that you drink alcohol and have artificial sweeteners sometimes, and that you are not vegetarian/vegan. You can definitely be healthy without eliminating meat…different things work for different people.

    To me, happiness is a huge part of health. If you aren’t happy, health won’t mean anything…and you won’t be 100% healthy because I really believe that our minds have an influence on our bodies. For example, the more stressed I am, the worse my stomach pain is. When I’m sad, I get headaches. I could go on and on.

    To be truly healthy, I think it is best to let go of all of the stuff you think you “should” be (ie: must exercise X amount of times and eat this or that, or else I’m not healthy enough) and just be intuitive…eat what makes you feel good. Eat what gives you energy, what makes you forget about the food and allows you to live your life. When I picture a healthy person, I picture someone who lives, laughs, glows…not someone sitting in a corner with a frown adding up their daily calories.

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