ForeWord Reviews

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Body by Storm

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

When twenty-three-year-old dancer and athlete Hunter Storm was seriously injured in a car accident, she had no idea how long it would take her to navigate back to health. Through significant weight gain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and countless physical therapy sessions, she learned about physical and emotional recovery. She now turns those difficulties into advice in Body by Storm, a guidebook to fitness and wellness geared toward those who have struggled to get in shape with other programs and diets.

After a description of her own experience with the accident and its aftermath, Storm begins to lay out a step-by-step plan for better health, including thoughts on assembling a “success team,” determining body composition, creating workable schedules for exercise, and other strategies.

In addition to some common wisdom about eating more vegetables and getting enough sleep, Storm also emphasizes the importance of creating a positive mental image of oneself, based on ultimate goals, and of staying focused in order to keep the momentum going. In a later chapter, she delves extensively into hygiene, clothing choices, and skin care.

Storm is adept at being both a cheerleader and a tough coach, alternating her tone in an effort to spur action. Her passion for creating change is infectious, and her straightforward delivery helps make the information easy to grasp.

Although Storm emphasizes that her advice comes solely from her own personal observations—and that she has no training in nutrition, medicine, physiology, or exercise science—her insights can sometimes feel unsubstantial, even with that caveat. If she had integrated even a few references to well-respected research to back up her suggestions, the guide would have much more authority.

For example, although she cites the USDA Food Pyramid as a basis for what foods to eat, she suggests that readers avoid garlic, cumin, and onions simply because they tend to cause body odor in some people. However, there has been ample research about the health benefits of these three foods in particular, and it would have made for a nice balance if Storm had either presented a deeper case for why to avoid them or acknowledged more clearly that she skips them for a reason that may not apply to most readers. To her credit, Storm does advise often that it is best to check with health-care providers about any of the information she presents.

In general, the guide is enthusiastic and manages to wrangle a good deal of fitness insight into one place. For those who have had difficulty sticking to exercise regimes or melting away those last ten pounds, Body by Storm could be the reasonable push needed to get back on track.

Elizabeth Millard