Be All You Can Be
by Edward Vaughn
PageTurner Press and Media

"As she usually did when faced with a dilemma, Faith put on her sneakers and headed out for a meditative run."

Faith Thomas, a child born with many deficits, becomes angry, disobedient, and even criminal in her feelings and actions until she is first saved by circumstance and then her own determination. Growing up in a wretched trailer park environment, she is suddenly orphaned and placed in an institution. Already very overweight by school age, she is mocked by her peers. Counselors befriend her, but she rejects them, steals money, and runs away. Taken in by a man who rapes her and uses her money for his own illicit purposes, she is lucky to meet with a kindly lady, then a helpful couple, while hitchhiking. For the first time, she learns about Jesus and begins to fight her food addiction and act in a more open, loving manner. The couple assists and then adopts her, and her life changes radically. Finally, she finds love with a figure from her past who has experienced his own remarkable conversion.

Vaughn, a former military man and now a counselor, has adopted a well-known military slogan for the title of this success saga. In telling Faith’s life history, he is conscientiously bringing the reader’s attention to the pervasive American plague of obesity, suggesting ways to fight and conquer it. His writing is clear with considerable, realistic dialogue. He often cites running as a way not only of physically losing weight but also of diverting the mind from urges to eat, while offering a source of meditation and inner problem-solving. Vaughn’s book ends with excerpts from a book written by his heroine called Run for Your Life, in which she offers psychological and philosophical cues to overcoming one’s problems. Vaughn’s clear intention is to reach out to those afflicted by obesity and its related emotional turmoil, presenting them with practical strategies for improvement.

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