The Healthy Deviant: A Rule Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World – Pilar Gerasimo

Want to be healthy in an unhealthy world? Get ready to start breaking some rules.

This convention-busting book explains how, equipping you with the counterintuitive skills you need to transform your body and your life for the better.

Here, award-winning health journalist Pilar Gerasimo points out that in an unhealthy society like ours, becoming and staying a healthy person requires choices, habits, and attitudes so unconventional, they amount to a form of positive social deviance.

After all, what kind of society makes being healthy so difficult that only a single-digit percentage of the population can pull it off? The answer: a sick society. And within a sick society–one where illness, anxiety, and depression are the prevailing norms –what does it mean to be one of the few people to beat those unhealthy odds? It means bucking a lot of your society’s norms and rejecting a lot of its conventional health prescriptions.

It also means acknowledging a disturbing truth: If you aren’t breaking the rules, you’re probably breaking yourself.

That’s the simple, provocative philosophy behind The Healthy Deviant, one seasoned health seeker’s quest to reframe healthy choices as a positive form of social rebellion.

Combining insights from sociology, psychology, evolutionary biology, functional medicine, and the school of hard knocks, this category-defying book rejects the idea that diet and exercise alone can save us–or are even the best places to start.

Instead, Gerasimo’s 14-day Healthy-Deviant Adventure Program presents a series of powerful perspective shifts and simple daily practices — plus illustrations, infographics, worksheets, reminders, and progress tracking tools — that put you firmly back in charge of your own wellbeing.

Integrating two decades of journalistic research with keen cultural observation, Gerasimo explains how we can reclaim our health, happiness, and autonomy — by refusing to play games that are rigged against us, and by breaking away from the systems that have been breaking us down.

Part manifesto, part whispered wake-up call, The Healthy Deviant is a modern-day survival guide for being a healthy person in an unhealthy world. Starting now.

“In a world where following the norms makes us sick, sad, and exhausted, the principle of Healthy Deviance is a powerful, beautiful game-changer—one that can help us radically transform our lives and our world.”

DALLAS HARTWIGNew York Times best-selling author of The Whole30

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