The Healthy Deviant

A Rule Breaker's Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World
by Pilar Gerasimo | 360 pages

I’ve been eagerly awaiting for my dear friend Pilar Gerasimo to write a book that captures her wisdom on how to Optimize our lives and give the world all we’ve got. And... The wait is over! Pilar is one of the wisest people I know. Among many other things, she created Experience Life magazine (which currently reaches over 3 million people per year) and is the co-host of the Living Experiment podcast with Dallas Hartwig (co-founder of Whole30). The lead quote for this book perfectly captures the thesis of the book. It’s from Jiddu Krishnamurti. He tells us: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Yep. That’s about right. In a society in which the VAST majority of us are sick and tired and anxious and depressed and, well, blah... IT IS NO MEASURE OF HEALTH TO BE WELL ADJUSTED TO THAT SICK SOCIETY. (Right?) Enter: The Healthy Deviant. This “Rule Breaker’s Guide" is packed with Big Ideas on how we can "Be Healthy in an Unhealthy World.”


Currently, we live in a culture that produces more unhealthy, unhappy people than healthy, happy ones.

In fact, right now, the unhealthy-to-healthy ratio is arguably running about a hundred to one. … If you are currently a healthy and happy person in today’s United States of America (or in any one of a growing number of countries now following our lead), you represent a tiny and shrinking minority. You are, statistically speaking, an endangered species. …

In my mind these facts raise a rather captivating question: What kind of society makes being healthy and happy so difficult that only a single-digit percentage of its population can hope to pull it off?

The answer is self-evident: A sick society. And within a sick society—one where chronic illness, obesity, drug dependence, anxiety, and depression are rapidly becoming the prevailing norms—what does it mean to be one of the few who buck those unhealthy odds? It means that you have to be prepared to successfully resist your society’s standard way of doing business. You have to oppose its rules and defy its conventions. You have to make all kinds of inconvenient and unpopular choices. You have to become a sort of renegade freak—or at least be willing to think and act like one some of the time.

The great news is that this does not require superhuman willpower, single-digit body-fat percentages, buns of steel, or an endless parade of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. What it does require: A willingness to toss some official-looking rule books out the window, to suspend some self-torpedoing beliefs and assumptions, and to begin doing some things … differently.

That starts with understanding one basic, disturbing fact: If you aren’t breaking the rules, you’re probably breaking yourself.

~ Pilar Gerasimo from The Healthy Deviant

Welcome to the first Note of 2020.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting for my dear friend Pilar Gerasimo to write a book that captures her wisdom on how to Optimize our lives and give the world all we’ve got. And… The wait is over! :)

As we’ve discussed, Pilar is one of the wisest people I know. Among many other things, she created Experience Life magazine (which currently reaches over 3 million people per year) and is the co-host of the Living Experiment podcast with Dallas Hartwig (co-founder of Whole30).

The lead quote for this book perfectly captures the thesis of the book *and* it happens to be THE wisdom gem I most frequently repeated in our inaugural Optimize Coach class.

It’s from Jiddu Krishnamurti. He tells us: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

Yep. That’s about right. In a society in which the VAST majority of us are sick and tired and anxious and depressed and, well, blah… IT IS NO MEASURE OF HEALTH TO BE WELL ADJUSTED TO THAT SICK SOCIETY. (Right?)

Enter: The Healthy Deviant.

This “Rule Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World” is, of course, packed with Big Ideas. (Get a copy here.) And, of course, I’m excited to share some of my favorites we can apply to our lives TODAY, so let’s jump straight in!

Unlock the full Optimize Experience

Get instant access to a ton of wisdom. Optimize every facet of your life. Actualize your potential.

Start free trial

About the author

Authors

Pilar Gerasimo

Healthy deviant. Journalist. Podcaster. Chief Creative Officer, Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Founding editor, Experience Life Magazine.