Is This for Me?
Not sure if this whole Healthy Deviance thing is something you can get behind? Here are some perspectives to help you decide …
Are you a health-motivated person? Have you been trying to drop excess weight, improve your energy, be more active, get more sleep, beat anxiety or depression, manage a chronic illness, or kick some not-good-for-you habits that are dragging you down?
That’s great. But before you embark on any health-motivated diet, exercise, or self-help program, it helps to first understand the challenging, real-world context in which that effort is taking place.
It helps to instill the practices, perspectives, and skills that give you the best possible advantage in dealing with our crazy-culture dynamics, and that empower you to operate successfully within them.
That, in essence, is the strategy behind The Healthy Deviant solution. Many of its tactics (including the Nonconformist Competencies and Renegade Rituals you’ll have a chance to practice during the 14-Day Healthy Deviant Adventure program) amount to ju-jitsu moves — the use of artful, subtle, low-effort shifts that achieve big leverage, and some surprisingly big results.
The book’s larger promise lies in making the whole process of getting healthier more fun, easeful and rewarding than whatever you’ve been doing (or dreading doing) for ages. The Healthy Deviant doesn’t force you into any particular diet or workout, but it will help you approach your eating and movement in more effective and rewarding ways, and to enjoy the whole process of health transformation in ways you previously have not.
If you’ve been struggling to accomplish your healthy goals, feeling overwhelmed by the demands of that effort, and wishing there was a better, smarter way to go about taking care of yourself, this book is for you.
Facing Down Funky Odds
One of the biggest challenges health-seekers face is being constantly bombarded by confusing and counterproductive advice, including a lot of “official” nutrition guidelines and “authoritative” health resources.
Beating today’s discouraging health statistics (and the oppressive systems that produced them) starts with understanding one basic, disturbing fact:
If you aren’t breaking the rules, you’re probably breaking yourself.
Over the past 50 years or so, breaking ourselves is exactly what most of us have been doing. We’ve either been following our culture’s paths of least resistance (processed foods, sedentary screen time, reliance on symptom-suppressing drugs), or we’ve been getting dragged along by its punishing health-improvement prescriptions (unachievable perfect-body ideals, fussy diets, overwhelming exercise routines). Or, worse, we’ve been staggering around, exhausted and inflamed, doing all of the above.
In the process, we have been inadvertently playing into the hands of the very systems that are breaking us down.
Clearly, we have to stop doing that.
But rescinding our complicity with what I call our “Unhealthy Default Reality” is easier said than done. Moving away from our society’s pre-programmed defaults requires busting out of well-worn ruts, swimming against powerful tides. All of which requires energy, attention, and resilience that most busy, exhausted, chronically overwhelmed people simply do not have to spare.
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.
If you’re willing to experiment with doing some things differently, and going about your health-improvement efforts more creatively, you’ll probably get a lot out of The Healthy Deviant.
The Science of Self-Preservation
If you like science, if you are keen on knowing more about how your own body and mind work (and why), you will probably enjoy The Healthy Deviant.
The book is based on one simple, science-supported thesis:
Faced with a serious, high-stress challenge, an aware, energized, and resilient person stands a much better chance of coping than a distracted, depleted, fragile one.
Research experiments into a phenomenon known as “ego-depletion” have repeatedly demonstrated that under conditions that require us to exert a great deal of self-control or endure a significant level of stress, humans experience a rapid depletion of attention, cognitive capacity, and what we think of as our “willpower.”
Translation: No matter how healthy your intentions, confronted with a long enough stream of pressures, frustrations and temptations, eventually you’re going to cave and take the path of least resistance. And every time that happens, you’re probably going to feel like a failure, a weakling, a disappointment to yourself. You may be inclined to stop trying, at least take a break until you get your mojo back.
Does this cycle look familiar?
It is a phenomenon that virtually all of us have experienced firsthand. And no wonder: For most of us, “conditions that require us to exert a great deal of self-control or endure a significant level of stress” pretty much describes the bulk of our everyday lives. Those conditions wear us down, and too often, they make us give up.
But you don’t have to settle for that. We don’t have to settle for that. Because there is a radically different way of showing up for our daily challenges, and rising above them — individually, and together. That’s what Healthy Deviance is all about: the art of being healthy in an unhealthy world.
To give you a better sense of the contrast between the “normal” experience of the Unhealthy Default Reality and the Healthy Deviant alternative, here’s a peek at two illustrations from The Healthy Deviant.
What Do You Think?
Does any of this make sense? Does the virtuous cycle of Healthy Deviance appeal to you? Are you ready to go deeper? If not, no worries. Healthy Deviance may not be your jam right now, and that’s okay! But if any of this resonates with you, terrific! Welcome to the Healthy Deviant club. Pre-order The Healthy Deviant today, and start deviating your way!