This is a question that can be asked to 100 people and you will probably get 100 different responses. I suspect the definition of “healthy” is unique to each individual. It took me a while but I have come to the realization that living a healthy lifestyle goes far beyond making smart food choices and consistently working out. If you are eating healthy, working out, but miserable in the process, then there is probably something missing. I woke up this morning and put my boots on for the first time since April which signaled that summer is officially over. I reflected back on my summer and have to admit that I spent way too many nights staying in on the couch and not nearly enough nights out with my friends. I figured it was a lot easier for me to just stay in than go out and get asked why I am not drinking or be questioned about my food choices. I avoided restaurants, bars, cookouts, you name it. All because I felt that I could not be in control of my diet. Crazy right? Looking back, I recognize that I did not need to completely avoid these situations. In fact, if I can’t reach my fitness goals without isolating myself from the people who matter to me the most, and things I enjoy, then am I really living a “healthy” lifestyle? For me, the key to living a healthy lifestyle is simply balance. Perhaps “simply” is not the right word as this is something I am still working towards. The mental aspect is just as important as the physical. Eating healthy and working out makes me a happy person. What also makes me a happy person is sharing laughs and making memories with my friends and family. There are only 24 hours in a day and I want to make sure I am not wasting them washing tupperware containers and watching reruns of the Kardashians. Now, I love cooking my own food and typically enjoy a home cooked meal over anything but it is nice to finally realize that I can enjoy going out to lunch or dinner every once in a while and still stay on track with my diet goals. For some reason it took me a really long time to figure this out. Moral of the story; a healthy body plus a healthy mind equals a happy me! Now time for me to go plan my next Boloco trip for that New England Harvest salad that I got for lunch the other day with my co-worker.