Soul Surfer Helping Girls Balance 'Body and Soul'
NEW YORK -- From magazines to the big screen, young girls are bombarded with images about the perfect body in today's society. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is hoping her new book will help young girls focus on what is more important: maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Hamilton inspired millions with her story of faith and determination after losing her arm in a 2003 shark attack. In her new book, Body and Soul: A Girl's Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life, she shares some of her core experiences with mind, body and spirit.
"My heart behind 'Body and Soul' was really to encourage teenage girls, and now that I think about it, girls my age and women of all ages to make healthier choices in their daily life," Hamilton told CBN News. "You kind of look at the health of our country and there are girls that have eating disorders. They think they have to look like this girl or that girl. I wanted to shed light in that area."
Diet and Exercise
As a pro athlete, Hamilton's advice for developing a healthy lifestyle begins with an organic diet. In her book, she talks about how to portion your food like a pro and the importance of natural foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
"Just stay away from processed foods, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, which is often in fast food and candy," she said.
The book includes a seven-day meal plan and favorite recipes, including the smoothie she blends up every morning.
"I love the blender and I love being able to make my own green shake in the morning," Hamilton said. "I'll start with spinach in it or mango and banana, and I'll do almond milk. Almond milk is my go to. I don't do much dairy."
In addition to diet, Hamilton said another key is staying active. Her book includes workouts developed especially for young girls.
Ranging from lunges to what she called "the duck walk," most of the exercises can be done anywhere, and she said they're also fun to do with friends.
Getting off the iPhones
Hamilton also writes about other fun ways to work up a sweat, stressing the importance for your mental well-being.
"Not every girl that picks up this book will be like, 'Hey, I wanna be the best surfer in the world,' but just find your passion in your daily life and find things that work for them," Hamilton shared.
"I don't think we're called to sit on our iPhones or computer all day long. We should be out and about and stay active," she said.
Hamilton believes getting away from the electronics is key to growth, and helps to nourish the spirit and relationships God brings into your life.
Throughout the book she lists Bible verses for young girls to remember as they develop and grow.
"Definitely digging into God's word is essential. It's where we are educated and starting the day in His truths. I think it's important to find time throughout the day to dig into God's word and know His truths," Hamilton said.
God Isn't Going Anywhere
Hamilton recently married her best friend Adam Dirks, who is originally from Kansas.
They live in Kauai, Hawaii, and travel together for business, whether for speaking engagements or surfing competitions.
She recently won the Surf-N-Sea Pipeline Women's Pro, a major event in the realm of women's surfing. She beat her competitors by a wide margin with two scores of 7.25 and 7.75 out of 10.
Hamilton also regularly puts her spiritual focus on display in her daily life. She recently spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C.
"It was cool to be able to share Christ with leaders of all over the world with many different backgrounds. You look at the media and can be discouraged to think God isn't in America anymore with the way they spin things. But I don't think that's true at all. He is still here and isn't going anywhere," she said.
As Hamilton continues to spread her message of faith, she hopes young girls will use Body and Soul to help focus on living a balanced lifestyle.