A book about breaking the rules that are breaking us.

Want to be healthy in an unhealthy world?
Stop complying with the crazy that passes for "normal."



The Healthy Deviant launches on Jan. 7, 2020!

Part manifesto, part whispered wake-up call, The Healthy Deviant is a modern-day survival guide for health-seekers of all sorts. And you can order this game-changing book NOW from your favorite local bookseller or online retailer.



Welcome to the Way of the Healthy Deviant


The word “deviant” might sound naughty, even dangerous, but its dictionary definition is pretty straightforward:

Deviant: n. One that differs from a norm, especially a person whose behavior and attitudes differ from accepted social standards.

American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Ed. 

So what is a Healthy Deviant?

Healthy Deviant: n. One who willingly defies unhealthy norms and conventions in order to achieve a high level of vitality, resilience, and autonomy.

Pilar Gerasimo, 1st Ed. 

Pilar Gerasimo, award-winning health journalist and author of  The Healthy Deviant: A Rule Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World

Pilar Gerasimo, award-winning health journalist and author of The Healthy Deviant: A Rule Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World

Break the Rules, or Break Yourself

My name is Pilar Gerasimo, and I wrote this book because after close to twenty years as a health journalist and active health-seeker, I became convinced that the conventional ways we’ve been encouraged to approach health-improvement in this culture just aren’t working for most people. In many cases, they are working against us.

The way I see it, our compliance (both with our society’s unhealthy norms, and a lot of its punishing self-improvement prescriptions) is killing us. So in The Healthy Deviant, I describe what I see as a better, more effective, more rewarding way forward. I call it Healthy Deviance.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

What Is Healthy Deviance?

Healthy Deviance is the renegade act of being energized, radiant, and resilient in a society where, sadly, most people are either stuck in a downward spiral or just getting by.

Becoming a Healthy Deviant requires outwitting the so-called "normal" status-quo and evading the vitality-sapping grip of what I call our Unhealthy Default Reality. That’s the combination of automatic choices and dominant social norms that make unhealthy choices vastly easier to make than healthy ones. But it’s also the counterproductive, crazy-making influence of the conventional weight-loss industry and bloated sick-care system that our unhealthy culture has spawned.

Unhealthy Default Reality Escape.png

Outsmarting the Unhealthy Default Reality is (like most things) easier said than done, but it is also wildly worth doing. Because going along with what currently passes for "normal" in our society is a one-way ticket to degraded health and wellbeing.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted
to a profoundly sick society.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti

Escape the Status Quo

The numbers tell a stark story: We currently 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. Check it out … 

  • 50 percent of U.S. adults have been diagnosed with at least one chronic illness 

  • At least two thirds are overweight or obese 

  • An estimated 70 percent take pharmaceutical drugs

  • 80 percent aren’t thriving mentally and emotionally 

  • More than 97 percent aren’t managing even four basic health habits (eating a reasonably healthy diet, getting moderate amounts of exercise, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy body composition) considered essential to longterm wellbeing 

  • Even fewer, arguably less than 1 percent, are regularly practicing those four habits and also practicing other equally important habits (including getting enough sleep, managing stress, and maintaining strong social connections) considered to be equally or even more critical to longterm wellbeing.

Bottom line: 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, in effect, a social deviant.

All forms of social deviance — even the healthy, positive kind — carry unspoken costs and risks. And that’s one big, wildly under-appreciated reason that, despite their best efforts, the vast majority of people who chase health and happiness in our culture don’t ever attain them. 

Yet somehow, against all odds, a few healthy oddballs manage to pull it off.  Some of them even make it look easy. 

The question is: How? 

The Healthy Deviant strives to answer that question in a practical way, revealing the unlikely means by which a small number of bright-spot outliers are managing to pull off the seemingly impossible — and how you can, too. 

Want to start reading the 10-page intro to The Healthy Deviant now — for free?

Enter your email here, and you’ll promptly get a link to the free preview. Yay!

Wondering if you are a Healthy Deviant? Take this quiz and find out.

Want to connect with other Healthy Deviants? Join this private Facebook Group.

Know a Healthy Deviant who would like this book? Please share this site via your social channels.


The Healthy Deviant Manifesto

Choosing to be a healthy person in an unhealthy world takes guts, persistence, and a willingness to do things … differently. Here are the top three imperatives for living life on your own Healthy Deviant terms.


Disrupt The Unhealthy Default Reality

Dare to make disruptive healthy choices daily — even (or especially) in the face of resistance. Ask for what you want. Stand up for your health-preserving rights and preferences. Keep your wits about you, and refuse to let your healthy autonomy be rolled over by the dominant-culture machine. Remember: Health is your natural state and your first human freedom. Steward it on your own terms. 


Call Out The Crazy

Point to our society’s unhealthy madness so others can start seeing it, too. Speak up for the healthy truths you hold to be self-evident. Laugh in the face of ridiculous nonsense, even when its official, “authoritative” nonsense. When you see body-shaming, bad advice, or unrealistic “aspirational” imagery you think is daft, say so. Wave your fist. Roll your eyes. Let off steam. Then get back to your own Healthy Deviant business.


Make It A Party

Welcome, support, and seek common ground with health-seekers of all stripes. Connect with and celebrate other Healthy Deviants. Seek out and form healthy community. See healthy living as an opportunity for growth, discovery, and self-expression — not a grim battle or competition. Enjoy the process, and embrace it as a hero’s (or sheroe’s) journey. Make healthy living a fun, open-hearted, non-judgey gathering everybody wants to join.


Are you a Healthy Deviant?