The late Elisabeth Elliot used to rejoice whenever a Q and A session gave her the opportunity to address the topic of weight loss. “Thank you for asking this question, for it seems that no one has the right to address the subject of weight,” she would say. “If you have never been overweight, then you don’t understand. If you are overweight, you’ve got no room to talk.”
Crystal Dwyer Hansen, author of Skinny Life, falls into category one, and I fall into category two.
Therefore . . .
(Are you still reading?)
. . . Skinny Life is an unexpected read for me since at no time in my life have I EVER been skinny — and I even kind of object to the term.
However, the subtitle saves the day because who doesn’t want The Secret to Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Fitness?
In three practical and wise segments, Crystal delves into the mind-set of a healthy lifestyle, then moves on to identity issues and, in part three she sets forth the “triangle of success”: 1. Mind; 2. Eat; 3. Move.
In Crystal’s experience as a personal life coach, weight control is not achieved by obsessively checking the scale, but instead is a matter of self-respect. She likens a decision to eat only good quality food to a decision to wear only clothing that is flattering and of good quality.
Skinny Life is aimed at ending quick-fix diets and puts the spotlight on the issue of forever. For the Christian, this notion is not hanging from the thinly frayed threads of self-esteem or me-ism, but rather, is tied securely into a right understanding of the body as a gift from God.
Physical, emotional, and spiritual fitness come down to all the great healthy-living practices that I already know . . . but don’t make time for: adequate water intake, regular movement, intentional food choices, keeping a quiet heart in the midst of life’s chaos. This is a commitment, and it involves deeply rooted thought patterns and habits, so instead, most of us resort to the calorie-counting, scale-gazing, guilt-driven, shame-based cycles of diet, fail, relapse, gain, cry, diet, fail, relapse, gain, cry . . . (ad infinitum).
Crystal starts from the ground up, building a Skinny Life Tool Box for her readers so that positive and self-accepting behaviors will be in place to counteract negative, self-judging beliefs. The rubber meets the road with the triple threat of Mind, Eat, Move. It’s encouraging to me that with my son’s chin-up bar in the furnace room and my huge vegetable garden and row upon row of shiny canning jars full of delicious produce, I am already doing SOMETHING right!
Those who read Amish fiction and long for the Plain Life will be fascinated by the statistic that only 4% of the Amish population is obese — compared with 31% of adults in the United States. Physical activity and healthy eating habits can become a practical part of every day life with the right mind set.
With two excellent appendices to help us with our healthy food choices, Skinny Life is a reference book to slide in between the cookbooks in your kitchen where it will be handy reminder that our relationship to our bodies (as with all that we have) is a matter of stewardship. Under God’s control, our physical, emotional, and spiritual fitness will result in our being seen as “instruments of righteousness,” and He will be glorified in us!
This book was provided by Worthy Publishing in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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