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Beautiful Freedom (ebook)

Beautiful Freedom ebook

How the Bible Shapes Your View of Appearance, Food, and Fitness

from 7 reviews

Explore God’s priorities for the way you live, eat and exercise.

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Description

Every day we are exposed to messages about health, food, exercise and looking good. It's hard not to get swept along with it all; in fact, it’s easy to end up caring too much about these things and even to feel trapped trying to live up to the ideals that we see in the media. 

Author Stacy Reaoch points you to the Bible to find freedom! The Bible tells us that our physical selves do matter. But it also invites us to think about our bodies in a God-centred way—helping us to reset and find a balanced approach that is grounded in our faith.

Beautiful Freedom is an invitation to love the body God gave you and to explore his priorities for the ways in which you live, eat and exercise. 

This book will help you find freedom from damaging narratives about weight, fitness, appearance and ageing. Even better, it will turn your gaze towards Jesus and help you love him more and more.

Reflection questions at the end of each chapter are useful both for personal reflection and group study.



Product details

Contents

  • Introduction

    1. A Beautiful Life

    2. Whose Kingdom Are You Seeking?

    3. Apathy, Obsession, and a Healthy Balance

    4. Buns of Steel: A Biblical View on Exercise

    5. You Are What You Eat? A Biblical View on Food Restrictions

    6. The Chocolate Calf: A Biblical View on Overindulgence

    7. A Crown of Glory: A Biblical View on Beauty and Aging

    Afterword

    Appendix: The Red Flags of Disordered Eating

    Acknowledgments

Specification

Contributors Stacy Reaoch
ISBN 9781784989743
Format eBook
First published May 2024
Language English
Publisher The Good Book Company
Endorsements

Courtney Reissig

Author of Teach Me to Feel and Glory in the Ordinary

To be a modern woman is to struggle with how we look. We’re confronted with images of beauty, ideas about what to eat, and our own internal struggles with our bodies. In Beautiful Freedom, Stacy Reaoch diagnoses and gives the solution to our ever-compounding struggles with body image. If you think you’re immune to this, Stacy shows how it impacts everyone. But even more helpfully, she points to the path towards freedom—where we see everything we have as a gift from God to be stewarded for his glory.

David Mathis

Executive Editor at desiringGod.org and author of Habits of Grace

Many today are turning new attention to our bodies and the very practical issues of exercise, aging, and what we eat and how much—but few provide deeply Christian counsel. Stacy Reaoch knows the perils of our pendulum swings between apathy and obsession, but even more, she wants to help readers to find not just ‘balance’ but deep and enduring joy in Jesus, with genuine love for others. She sees these important issues in light of our ultimate reality, which enables her to meet our pressing need for wisdom, rather than scratch the itch for quick and easy answers.


Erin Davis

Revive Our Hearts; author of Fasting and Feasting and Beyond Bath Time

Young or old, thick or thin, mostly satisfied or perpetually frustrated by what you see when you look in the mirror: whoever you are, you need an embodied theology, a grid for thinking about your body and beauty that is more than skin-deep. In her thought-provoking book, Beautiful Freedom, Stacy Reaoch will help you see yourself through the lens of God’s unchanging word. In seeing his heart rightly, you’ll finally be able to see yourself and your body choices with hope and freedom. You’ll want to share this book with every woman you know.


Customer reviews


22 May 2024

“Biblical, Nuanced, and Helpful”

(Review written for 'Beautiful Freedom')

In this book, Stacy Reaoch explores tough topics about body image, food, and exercise through a biblical lens. In the first part of the book, Reaoch gives examples of common struggles that women have, and she writes about how a biblical perspective on beauty and our true purpose can flip the script. In the second part of the book, she explores biblical approaches to exercise, food restrictions, overindulgence, spiritual practices of fasting, and aging. There is also an appendix that includes more information about eating disorders, along with recommended next steps for getting help.

This book covers multiple topics in a helpful, holistic way. I appreciate how the author shares examples from her own life and women she knows, representing a variety of different viewpoints and struggles. This book doesn't make harsh or oversimplified judgments, and acknowledges some of the varying motivations and reasons behind people's different approaches to food and exercise. Reaoch encourages people to pursue the eating and exercise habits that are right for their body and circumstances, as long as they are submitting all of this to God and not looking to their health habits to provide them with their identity, their meaning in life, or a form of salvation. Even though some readers will disagree with the author on various things, she is deliberately nuanced and makes space for people's different health needs and personal convictions.

"Beautiful Freedom" is a great primer and conversation-starter about an important topic, and because the author includes reflection and discussion questions at the end of each chapter, this will be great for people to read individually, in study groups, or in partnership with a friend or mentor. I would recommend this to people who recognize a need for growth in this area, or who want to better understand and support loved ones in their struggles.

Note: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


13 May 2024

“Helps Women Find Biblical Balance”

(Review written for 'Beautiful Freedom')

Beautiful Freedom is the latest book by author and pastor’s wife, Stacy Reaoch. This book helps women gain a biblical understanding of what it looks like to walk in freedom in the areas of appearance, fitness, and food. As one who’s wrestled with wanting to honor God in all of these areas, I found Beautiful Freedom incredibly helpful. Reading the book was so timely for me because as I began it, I endured the worst stomach virus I’ve ever experienced. While I aim to exercise thirty minutes a day, five days a week, the book was a helpful reminder that there are times when rest needs to be the priority.

Even with exercising consistently, a battle has been birthed in my heart between wanting to lose weight to alter my appearance to what the world deems desirable and wanting to steward my health as an act of worship. I’ve had to remind myself that when it comes to my health, success looks like faithfulness, not results. I felt like Stacy’s words were helping me by reminding me that the ultimate aim of all I do related to appearance, fitness, and food ought to be an act of worship.

Beautiful Freedom is a great resource for women wanting to cultivate a balance between what’s external and what’s eternal. It is full of reminders of the gospel and often points readers back to who they are in Christ. The book is short coming in at just 129 making it perfect to read individually or as a group. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion that are also helpful to consider individually or in a group setting. If you are a Christian woman who’s struggled with finding a biblical way to relate to appearance, food, and fitness, I highly recommend reading Beautiful Freedom.


12 May 2024

“A Helpful Primer on an Often Ignored Subject”

(Review written for 'Beautiful Freedom')

Some subjects are written about constantly in Christian publicising, but appearance, food and fitness are definitely not those subjects! Even as a man (when this book feels primarily aimed at women), I found this book very helpful to think about why we should care about our fitness and what we eat, without making those things our idols! Chapters 4-7 are particularly helpful in setting out biblical views for each of the subjects (including overeating and ageing) and how we can apply those to our lives. Definitely recommend!


9 May 2024

“Reminders of God's Good Gifts”

(Review written for 'Beautiful Freedom')

If you're looking for a Gospel-centered approach to body image, this book is a great starting place. It's a short book, so there's nothing in-depth. However, that doesn't mean that it skimps on theological reasoning for how we should approach aging, exercise, & food. I especially appreciated how the author kept reminding the reader of God's good gifts & having a proper view of these topics as such is so important. In the appendix & notes, you can find other resources for deeper study or for analyzing if you need to seek professional help to manage disordered thinking. Overall, a great resource to have on hand when looking for direction in those ever-present body image questions.


2 May 2024

“Valuable Resource”

(Review written for 'Beautiful Freedom')

"Beautiful Freedom" offers a refreshing perspective on health and body image by centering it around biblical teachings. Stacy Reaoch guides readers to break free from the pressures of societal standards and embrace a balanced approach rooted in faith. With insightful reflections and practical advice, this book is a valuable resource for anyone seeking liberation from harmful narratives about appearance and wellness.

I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.


27 Apr 2024

“What freeing truths from the Bible!”

(Review written for 'Beautiful Freedom')

Stacy's Beautiful Freedom is an easy and refreshing read. She offers biblical truths and encouragement for those who might feel worried or concerned about their bodies, food and exercise routines (which is probably a lot of us!). She takes us back to God's word for insight in these areas, and how it is actually freeing as we understand it with an eternal perspective. I also appreciate the questions after each chapter to discuss or reflect.

As I age each day, I am reminded and challenged to enjoy food and exercise in a God-honouring and outward-looking way. I am encouraged to give thanks for and be clothed with confidence a body that had come with a great cost rather than resting my eyes on wrinkle-free skin and a tight tummy. This is a book I would share with any older and younger sisters - I'm also keeping this copy for my own daughters!

Thank you to The Good Book Company for a gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.


20 Apr 2024

“wonderful reminder”

(Review written for 'Beautiful Freedom')

We, unfortunately, live in a world where women (and men) are shown a specific way their bodies, minds, and emotions should look, think and feel towards themselves. This most often does not align with the way God designed us and what He desires for us.

Stacy takes us through scripture to explore and remind us of God's design and plan for our bodies.

The book is structured with two parts and a total of seven chapters:

- Part One: Finding Freedom

- Part Two: Beautiful Balance

The first part focuses on who God is, how He created us, and His purpose for creating us. The second part focuses on the lies we hear and believe regarding fitness, food, and beauty. More specifically, Stacy uses scripture to give us a biblical view on each of these issues. She reminds us that God is the creator and maker and these things are good and for our benefit. But we often twist their purpose into actions and thoughts that are not God honoring.

I appreciated Stacy's focus on Scripture to guide us through a biblical view of these concepts. God has given us the Bible as the first resource for combatting worldly lies.

I don't believe reading this book will be the end all, be all for those who are struggling through worldly thoughts on beauty. But it's a great starting point, a great reminder, and a great conviction to mold our hearts and our minds to God's perspective.

This book was a quick and easy read overall but a wonderful reminder for us to fight for truth.

I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

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Beautiful Freedom (ebook) | Stacy Reaoch |
£6.99