There are not many health books that pique my interest. Mostly, they seem to all talk about the same thing. Take this pill and lose thirty pounds with little effort. Do these particular exercises for a sexier body. Each book picks a flavor of the month of something to avoid because studies show it causes heart disease, or some such thing like that. “Every Body Matters” by Gary Thomas gives us a new perspective on obesity and getting healthy. It’s no longer about your clothes fitting.
“For me, a diet—something unusual or temporary—held little interest. Most people come to realize that diets can be enormously successful in the short term, but over the course of a couple of years, they almost always fail; for the most part, people gain back the weight they lose. You see this particularly when celebrities—even celebrity Christians—succeed in losing weight, write a book about their breakthrough, and then, two or three years later, look just like their pre-diet selves. Besides, most dieting books ask, “What does my body need?” While it is an entirely appropriate question, an even better one is: “What eating habits are healthiest for my soul?” (Pg. 52-53)
Thomas talks throughout the book of getting fit, not to look good, be healthy, or to fit into that little black dress, but to get healthy and fit to serve God. If we’re obese, how can we effectively serve God? And what does our weight say about our witness? Our obesity causes other problems that directly impact our motivation, finances, and our future. Thomas describes the purpose of working out on the back of his book, “The goal in this pursuit is not sculpting thinner or more athletic-looking bodies. The goal is to cultivate stronger, well-nourished bodies that are primed to become, in the words of the apostle Paul, ‘instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.’ By looking at your body as an instrument rather than an ornament, you’ll find new and compelling motivation to embrace the kind of active lifestyle that fortifies your soul.”
This book changed my mind about my weight loss. I wanted to fit into a bikini for the first time and look good. I didn’t want to ever become so big that I lose motivation to even live a healthy life or be able to love others in an active way. I am thrilled by what I learned in it. Now I have a different perspective about losing weight and my lifestyle change in eating habits. I rated this book five stars. For anyone looking to lose weight, return those diet pills, ask for a refund from Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, and let’s get back to common-sense eating and regular work outs. There is no magic formula for permanent weight loss except hard work and good habits.
*Zondervan gave me a free copy of this book to review. Currently, there is a blog tour happening. Review links are posting at http://zondervan.typepad.com/zondervan/2011/11/every-body-matters-blog-tour-review-gary-thomas-book.html
…And I am almost in a size 10 now!