A Few Quick Questions With…Shellie Bowdoin

While I didn’t love Find Your Weigh as much as one might have hoped, I’m still very pleased to have the author, Shellie Bowdoin, participate in a quick Q&A about the book, so you can get a perspective on the book straight from the source.

You talk a little about this in the book, but tell us a little bit about the path to deciding to write this – what was it that made you decide it was time to write this book?
                     When I first started my own weight journey that eventually resulted in the book, Find Your Weigh, I was learning so much about myself and about food and I wanted to share it with others. That’s when I started my blog, The FABulous Journey. After a year of blogging, I realized that I had written so much that it was time to put it all together in one place. I wanted others to experience the same kind of freedom that I found after years of struggling with food.
What led you to combine general health/wellness material with Biblical material? Is there a danger of losing an audience? Do you think a reader can profit from the book while skipping the Biblical material?
                     When I first started blogging about the food/mind connection with food, I wrote from the general wellness perspective. And, for that time in my life, I felt satisfied with dispensing knowledge. However, as a Christian, I began to feel that I was neglecting an essential aspect of my journey. Eventually, I decided that I could no longer speak about one and ignore the other, because frankly I see this as a problem that a lot of Christians experience with our weight. We go to God with everything in our lives, except our weight.

I definitely believe non-Christian readers can gain considerable value from the book. The practical concepts of the book are well-researched and applicable to all. Essentially, our weight is the result of our behavior with food, which is informed by our beliefs; no matter what those beliefs may be.

What’s your background in both aspects (theology/wellness) that made you the person to write this book?
                     I have served as foreign missionary for the past 25 years and I have a masters degree in ministry, so I have the biblical background to present the spiritual concepts in the book. I am also a normal woman who has struggled with a food fixation for years, which makes my message real and relatable.
What you leave out is almost as important as what you put into a book, what kinds of things did you end up not putting in the book? How hard was the decision to not cover certain things?
                     This is actually the second edition of Find Your Weigh. In the first version, I talked a lot more about the fitness aspect. While I still feel it’s important, I didn’t want to alienate readers or make them think, “I can’t do that.” Because if truth be told, we’ve all been in that place where we try to convince ourselves that we just don’t have that special something that others do or that we’re flawed with food. Are we all different? Yes. That’s why people have to figure out what makes them tick with food and then develop habits that are tailored and suited for their lives and realities. I believe EVERYONE can do that.
What’s the one (or two) book/movie/show in the last 5 years that made you say, “I wish I’d written that.”?
                     I absolutely loved, “The Help.” I grew up in the South and I got it all. It takes awesome talent to shine a light on injustice and make people feel the pain of it.
What was the biggest surprise about the writing itself? Either, “I can’t believe X is so easy!” or “If I had known Y was going to be so hard, I’d have skipped this and watched more TV”.
                     “Wow, has this whole process been considerably harder than I could have imagined! I bit it off in pieces. First, I wrote the first edition of the book; then I wrote the 9-session Bible Study with a pilot group; then I rewrote the whole book; then came the video scripts for the study and finally the narration of the audiobook. But, all of that paled in comparison to the task of marketing and preparing the project for release. It’s one thing to put your heart and soul into something; it’s entirely another to entrust it to others. It has been an emotional journey for me and I have learned a lot along the way.
Thanks for your time—and thanks for Find Your Weigh, I enjoyed it, and hope you have plenty of success with it.

Find Your Weigh by Shellie Bowdoin: A No-Nonsense, but not overly-demanding, approach to Eating right/Weight loss

Find Your Weigh

Find Your Weigh: Renew Your Mind & Walk In Freedom

by Shellie Bowdoin

eARC, 239 pg.

Read: December 21-23, 2019

Grab a copy from your local indie bookstore!

It’s that time when people are hitting the gym, starting diets, and doing all the sorts of things you do at the beginning of the year to “improve” themselves (seriously, having a hard time getting a parking spot at the gym). So it’s also the time for books on exercise, eating well, wellness in general to come out, enter Find Your Weigh. Bowdoin combines sage advice about eating/food/etc. with spiritual guidance.

When it comes to the Food aspects of the book, this is really good. Bowdain doesn’t try to impress with a lot of statistics, research articles and so on. Instead, she talks about her own experiences and then applies what she learned from them to provide examples for the book. Which isn’t to say that she didn’t do her homework, it’s there, but she doesn’t shove it in the reader’s face.

She covers things like honest expectations, mental blocks, habit formation, and the way to approach it all wisely. She does it in a friendly outgoing voice. She’s full of encouragement. She’s got plenty of tips and tricks to help you think about your weight and the effective ways to deal with it. There’s just so much here that is commendable that it’s hard to get into it all without making anyone getting the book on their own moot.

I’ll admit, if I’d known Bowdoin was going to try to bring the Bible into this, I’d have passed on the book. I have little patience for “Christian” diet books. It’s not that I don’t think the Bible is silent on health/diet/etc., but you’re not going to get much more than a pamphlet out of it, unless you’re going to trace themes about feasting, celebration, prayer, fasting, contentment, and so on then apply them via good and necessary consequence.

But, Bowdoin did bring the Bible up, so I feel compelled to address it. If she used the Scriptures correctly once, I didn’t notice it. And I’m not talking about holding/teaching a disputed idea from an unclear text. I’m talking about wholescale violence to the text and context she cites from. For example, Romans 7 is not about “learned helplessness” or the struggle against impulses to eat less-than-healthy food, it’s about the mortifying of sinful flesh; the discipline in Hebrews 12 is not self-discipline, but correction from our Heavenly Father; and so on.

If you ignore the Biblical citations/applications (and it’s easy to do, I wish I had), this is a really good book. It’s full of the voice of experience, compassion, and common sense. Written in a way that will likely draw you in, and help you to see how you can eat/act healthier. At the very least, it’s worth a glance (and probably more). This isn’t a once-sized-fits-all approach, but a toolbox that will have a lot of what you need to deal with the problem at hand.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for this post and my honest opinion.

3 Stars

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