Body & Soul, by Bethany Hamilton
Zondervan, $19.99, ISBN-13: 978-0310731054
Nonfiction devotional, ages 8 and up, though all ages would benefit
Slush Pile: A publishing industry term referring to the "pile" of manuscript submissions an editor has on his or her desk (and inbox) at any given time, typically unsolicited and unagented.
Since I was one of the editors blessed to work on this project, I have an intimate knowledge of its contents. And I am testifying today that this book helped me lose 50 pounds and become healthier--physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I've said before, there have been times in my editing life when I am working on a book and realize, This is going to powerfully affect lives. Body & Soul, by Bethany Hamilton, is one of those books. Bethany's inspirational story only serves as a backdrop, in that she shares how she had to overcome obstacles to remain an award-winning surfer, such as regaining her balance with only one arm. In Body & Soul, Bethany addresses issues girls face with self-esteem and perceptions of girls portrayed in the media. Bethany stresses for girls (and everyone) to view themselves as God does. From there, she offers healthy lifestyle tips, with exercises specially developed by her personal trainer for teens, plus recipes, nutrition information, and so much more. Bethany offers a way to healthy living, which includes spiritual health as well as physical.
As I edited the book, I closely examined my own life. I'd already reduced processed foods, but I doubled my efforts to "eat clean." I made myself eat breakfast, though I had never been a breakfast person (besides coffee--and yes, I know all the literature). As for exercising, I already did at least 30 minutes daily, so I didn't really increase my time. However, I added more strength training and calisthenics. I also changed my mindset about exercise. My 30 minutes a day didn't always have to be an all-out, full-force workout. Extreme exercising does not always allow the body to relax, which is important for reducing stress. I walk, bike, clean, garden, ski, sled, skate, and play with the kids. I mix it up and have fun!
Finally and most importantly, I examined where I was in my relationship with God. And I made changes. Hard changes. Change is scary, but it's inevitable. Knowing who I am, as a child of God, gives me strength and helps me remember: With God for me, whom shall be against? With God for me, whom shall I fear?
About the Author
Bethany Hamilton is a source of inspiration to millions. In 2003, while surfing, she lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark. With resilience and tenacity, Bethany returned to the water a month later, and within two years won her first national title. Her unbelievably positive attitude fascinated the world, resulting in an autobiography that was later adapted into the film Soul Surfer. Her courage and talent led to her induction into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame in 2017. Bethany and her husband, Adam Dirks, are also involved in charities such as Friends of Bethany, a foundation she and her family created to support amputees and youth. In addition, Bethany authored Body and Soul to encourage others toward confidence and fitness. Her new documentary Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable brings her passions together, showcasing her world-class surfing and love for life as well as her message of female empowerment and never giving up.
From School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Hamilton, a professional surfer who lost her arm after a shark attack but who returned to the sport to win a National title only a month later, is back with a new book about how to be fit, fun, and fabulous by eating healthy, exercising, and finding your inner self. Right from the start, Hamilton makes her religious background clear, but even though one whole chapter is devoted to faith, the overall focus is on inspiring her audience, not on preaching religious views (she even states, "No matter how much I want others to make improvements to their lifestyles, I can't push them to make a change"). Tween and teen girls will enjoy the writing, which makes readers feel as though they're having a one-on-one conversation with the author. Each chapter has tips and tricks on how to stay on task, as well as a Q&A session with Hamilton. The chapters on exercise and healthy eating are supported by a certified athletic trainer and a nutritionist and are easy to follow, and the step-by-step pictures of each workout make them accessible. The recipe and healthy eating chapters emphasize Hamilton's own food pyramid and her concept of a "clean green" diet, and the advice she gives will apply to most readers. This title will inspire girls to gain self-confidence and make better choices in their own lives.—Joanne Albano, Commack Public Library, NY
Body & Soul, by Bethany Hamilton
Nonfiction, ages 8 and up
Healthy living, Physical, emotional,
and spiritual wellness
Read more about Body & Soul
with an excerpt from the book in the Spring 2015 issue of BYou Magazine.