Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Fitness

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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Published by

Michele Morin

I am a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. I have been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 27 years, and our four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, two teens still remain at home, and along with an incorrigible St. Bernard, we laugh, make messes, clean them up, and then start all over again. I love hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop me in my tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. I lament biblical illiteracy and advocate for the prudent use of "little minutes." I blog at Living Our Days because "the way I live my days will be, after all, the way I live my life." You can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

14 thoughts on “Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Fitness”

  1. Thanks for this Michele. I’m here to say that gardening does help–it’s moving! I also walk, do planks (the easy ones on the knees) and added lifting weights. I feel better about myself when I eat right. This sounds like a great book. Keep up the book reading!

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  2. Michele, I thought I’d come over and visit you after you a left a comment on my guest post at Barbie’s blog today. You have a wonderful spot here, and it just so happens that this is a topic right up my ally.

    God set me free from a several year battle with an eating disorder, and I have a lot of passion today to help other women through the struggles with body image. I’m certainly no expert, but much of what I share is from my own personal experience and what God has shown me along the way about honoring Him by living healthy in mind, body, and soul. He continues to teach me so much!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book — it sounds like an interesting read.

    Blessings,
    Hannah

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  3. I am quite intrigued by this book! It definitely sounds like something I’d be interested in reading!

    I am very tall, 5′ 10″, but since menopause my weight is more than what my small body frame feels comfortable and healthy at.

    In the last few months, with the stresses of life, I have come to realize that I am now an emotional eater, and I never used to be!

    It looks like this book might address this very thing, but what I like most is that the main focus of dealing with weight and body image issues is finding our worth in the Lord.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Karen, I believe you may be right, because the author addresses health/weight/fitness/and being comfortable in your own skin as a total life issue rather than just a quick fix to get to a certain number on the scale. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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  4. Michele, another great review! You definitely made me want to read the book. I need my own Skinny Life Tool Box!

    Thanks for sharing at The Loft today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you kindly for stopping By The Lamp Light and leaving encouraging words for me.
    Elisabeth Elliot was a jewel!
    My daddy raised a big garden, as do my in-laws and, in my opinion, there is no better food than fresh garden vegetables! And second place goes to the canning jars! A garden is such a labor of love.
    Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

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