**This post may contain affiliate links**
About the Book:
Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton shares her expertise on wellness including spiritual and physical health.
A professional surfer who has overcome incredible challenges, Bethany Hamilton shares her expertise as an athlete and a Christian, showing girls ages 11-14 how spiritual health is just as important as physical health. Whether they surf or not, Bethany helps young girls develop a healthy lifestyle, understand their changing bodies, gain confidence, and establish a pattern of healthy living. Body and Soul includes workouts specially developed for young girls by Bethany’s personal trainer, recipes and information on healthy eating, and advice on deepening your spiritual health, for a total body wellness book perfect for growing girls.
Weight and body image has always been something I’ve struggled with – even when I was in the Navy and weighed less then that I ever have, it was still a struggle to stay at the minimum weight requirements – enter being a mom – each of my daughter’s also struggle with their weight. Due to that fact I requested Bethany Hamilton’s book, Body & Soul to review so that maybe it would spur my girls and I on to getting in shape and getting fit. Thankfully this book isn’t hyper on losing weight or looking good on the outside, Bethany stresses multiple times through the book that it isn’t what you look like on the outside it’s about how you feel on the inside (face it if you eat sugar you feel bad, if you eat ‘whole’ you feel better) by eating good foods and exercising. If you feel good on the inside then that exudes from the inside out and people will see it and find you someone they want to be around – the energy one gets when they’re exercising and eating right is amazing and you feeling better makes others what to talk and get to know you.
I’ve heard some people say this book is too focused on weight or looks, and I can say that is the farthest thing from the truth, what I read was Bethany telling girls they don’t have to be skinny, they don’t have to be the drop-dead gorgeous model type to be in shape and to be attractive, because God made us all in ways that bring Him glory. Even a slightly overweight person who eats veggies and exercises can still have healthy numbers while an ultra skinny person who is feasting on chips and soda may be the unhealthiest person on the earth! That said I love that throughout Bethany has included multiple Scripture verses and also makes sure to reiterate that God is the Creator and He has formed us in the way He wants and that is the most important thing. Also are Bethany’s Soul Secrets which are tips from Bethany and her experience, Kirby Says which are words of advice or encouragement from Bethany’s trainer, sections with tips for busy time snacks and more, and also interactive features to journal in thoughts and feelings.
At the end there are several work out regimens that are given in full detail with pictures to help you do them correctly – because if you’re not doing them right you can get injured! A lot of the exercises look like great fun and I’ll even be trying some of them too and my favorite section is the recipes. Tasty and wholesome (although I’ll omit the eggs and honey and use Stevia) and quick to whip up even my 12 year old daughter could make these on her own. As our days get busier with each daughter taking two dance classes a week and then hopefully making the junior dance company I can see the green smoothies becoming something we’ll be making use of on the days we are on the go and need a meal on the run. Would I give this to my 12 year old? Yes – it’s not focused on just body image but about the whole self – spiritual, mental and physical – when one is out of whack the rest are quick to follow. This book is geared to girls ages 11 to 14 and I think, as long as your girl knows her worth isn’t wrapped up in how she looks, then this book will be great in getting her to focus on how she feels inside and where she is at spiritually. I don’t think I’d give this to a young girl or even an older girl who has major body image issues as they may twist the message in the book so ensure the girl you give this too is positive in how she looks at herself so she gets what she is supposed to out of it.
(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws