When Your Healthy Pursuit Has Become Unhealthy

Have you ever wondered if your quest for a healthier life is actually messing with your well-being? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a complex terrain, especially when social media influencers, celebs, and, yes, even fitness pros like me, have such a powerful impact on shaping how you define health. Let me take you through my personal journey to help shed light on this. Stick around, because I promise, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be healthy.


My Twisted Path Toward Defining Healthy Living

When I was deeply entrenched in the fitness industry, my understanding of health got distorted. Seriously, the word “health” can mean so many different things to so many different people. In a world that often prizes aesthetics over actual well-being, I too fell into the trap. I was striving for an appearance that was heralded as the epitome of health but was ironically damaging my mental wellness and overall happiness.

Warning Signs Your Pursuit of Fitness Has Become Unfavorable

See, the world of fitness can be incredibly misleading. During the pinnacle of my career, I was teaching up to 14 classes a week, and that didn’t even count as my workout routine! On top of teaching, I’d do 1-2 hours of personal training. This was all in pursuit of that “perfect” body. It wasn’t just physical exhaustion; I was mentally spent and flirting dangerously with nutrient deficiencies.

Chalene Johnson unhealthy quote - too far

Dark Secrets: Fitness Professionals and Unhealthy Practices

Years down the line, it’s now coming to light how many fitness pros were actually jeopardizing their health. From extreme calorie cutting to ramping up cardio like crazy just before shoots or program launches, the unhealthy practices were rampant. Not to mention those brave souls who have opened up about their private struggles with eating disorders, all exacerbated by an industry that often blurs the line between health and appearance.

Recognizing When Your Healthy Lifestyle Consumes You

The moment you realize your health routine has spiraled out of control is when it becomes an obsession. Ever felt extreme guilt or stress when you can’t stick to your fitness or diet plan? That, my friends, is a huge red flag. Health should enrich your life, not make you anxious about attending a party or going on a vacation.

Chalene Johnson unhealthy quote - mental health

Orthorexia: The Health Obsession Often Overlooked

This leads us to a term you may not have heard of: orthorexia nervosa. It’s an eating disorder that manifests as a compulsive obsession to eat in a rigid, “clean” manner. This goes beyond the ‘health-conscious’ label and delves into the territory of harmful addiction. Practices like cutting out entire food groups, excessive macro counting, or over-exercising are symptoms, not virtues.

Red Flags Your Quest for Health Has Turned Risky

So how do you know if you’re on the wrong track? These are tell-tale signs that your approach to health is off-balance:

  • Feeling overwhelming guilt when you deviate from your diet? Check. 
  • Constantly preoccupied with your regimen? Check.
  • Experiencing physical symptoms like hormonal imbalances, fatigue, or depression? Big check. 

Chalene Johnson unhealthy quote - valuable pounds

From Extreme to Balanced: My Evolution in Health Perspectives

Nowadays, I work out for myself, not to fit into some industry-defined mold. Balance and self-care are my new mantras, and they should be yours too. Sipping a glass of Dry Farm Wines—low-alcohol wines that allow for moderation—has become my go-to for relaxation. After all, life’s for living, not for constant calorie counting and guilt-tripping.

Reaching Out to Loved Ones: Guiding Them Back to a Balanced Lifestyle

If someone you care about is navigating these shaky waters, approach them with love and suggest speaking to a professional. Because in the end, health is about balance, and it’s a journey best taken with support and understanding from those around you.


I hope this deep dive has helped clarify the complex landscape of health and well-being. For more on this topic, you can listen to episode #812 of The Chalene Show. And check out Episode #794 – How to Get Your Fitness Mojo Back.

Want to hear more from me? 

Remember, it’s not just about looking good; it’s about truly feeling good, inside and out. Here’s to a balanced life!

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