I have a history with devotionals, one you might be able to relate to. I start off the year with one, intending to spend the few minutes of time it takes to read through each day’s message and then a few more minutes contemplating it. Though well intentioned, pretty soon I’ve fallen behind and eventually I’ve abandoned it altogether. Books that claim they will help me become healthier and/or lose weight follow a similar pattern.
Then along comes this book, effectively combining the two… a devotional intended to help me become healthier in body and in spirit, but with only one entry for each week. Now, I haven’t read the entire book yet (I don’t trust myself to always re-read closely, so I’m saving some for future weeks), but what I have gives me hope that I can stay with it and that it will, at the very least, challenge me to rethink some of my attitudes and help me focus on positive steps I can take for my health.
The book is divided up into four sections, Warm-up, Cardio, Strength Training and Stretching. This is followed by a selection of recipes. Each of the 52 entries has a distinct topic, reflected in their chapter titles such as “Change Your Mindset,” “Find Time For Fitness,” “You Are Wonderfully Made,” and “Hang On To Your Hope.”
Each chapter begins with a bible verse related to the topic. The meat of the chapter is the author’s exploration of the topic which comes across as a message of encouragement, followed by a Power Prayer, a text box titled “Work Your Words” and a Healthy Hint.
I have found that it is assumed the reader has children, but I also found that (unlike many books with this assumption) those portions of the book are easily adapted to fit my life situation. In Chapter 3, Set a Good Example, while the fitness ideas are probably not practical for me, I can apply the message of encouraging physical activity and being active with children to my interactions with my young niece and nephew. The Power Prayer and Work Your Words are also easily applied to being an Aunt rather than a mother or grandmother.
While not all of the topics will be new and interesting to every reader, and there are perhaps a few too many exclamation points (the introduction alone has 11 in 2.5 pages!), the writing is friendly, personal and encouraging. I’m personally looking forward to continuing to use this as a tool throughout the year, keeping my focus on becoming healthier (rather than just losing weight) and being reminded of the traps that abound in our society such as unrealistic expectations and misplaced priorities (there is a chapter for each of these).
This is a well thought out book, full of encouragement and organized in a very usable way. I’ll be adding a reminder to my calendar to follow up on this review towards the end of the year. Will I make it through all 52 entries in the 52 weeks of 2016? No. I’ll probably double up or skip around to read or re-read some chapters when they feel like they will be most effective. Whatever the order or speed, I am looking forward to incorporating it into my efforts to become more focused and healthier in the year to come.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Worthy Publishing <http://worthypublishing.com>, through the First Look blog tour program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”