Strong and Healthy Temple - interview with Debbie McKiver

Debbie McKiver is a Writer, Award-Winning Author, Speaker and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She has a passion for helping others live their best lives NOW. She's a 1996 graduate of the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business and a 2016 graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's a member of the International Association for Health Coaches and a AFPA Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. She is the founder and owner of “Strong and Healthy Temple” – a Holistic Health & Wellness Health Coaching practice that focuses on women and men with body image issues, parents of children with self-esteem issues, as well as conducting Corporate Wellness workshops.

What was your personal experience/story that inspired you to write about gratitude?

Gratitude is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I believe in being grateful for everything that you have, everything that you’ve experienced, everything that you’ve been blessed with and most of all for being alive.

I had not planned on “Grateful Grace” being my 2nd book. I had actually planned on writing children’s books at a later date, but as I sat meditating one day I was inspired with the idea and the character.

The character herself was inspired by my little nephew who always seemed to be so grateful for everything that I or anyone did for him, and just to be in my company in general. He was always so happy about the little things like dancing to the Mickey Mouse Playhouse song.

How do you craft the key characters in your book "Grateful Grace: Having an Attitude of Gratitude"?

All the characters in the book were inspired by situations where I had either personally found myself neglecting to be thankful, or where I had experienced others complaining and not being cognoscente of the things around them that they could be grateful for instead. I’ve learned by experience to see or find the “good” or the “lesson” in even the worst situations.

Why do you think that body image is an important issue to be addressed?

In our society, we have been unknowingly conditioned to believe that in order to be beautiful we have to look a certain way (whatever the “fad” is at that time), be a specific size, or be of a certain race or complexion. Often times women especially will measure their beauty by an airbrushed picture of a “super-model” in a magazine. It’s important to know that beauty comes from the inside out. When you’re beautiful on the inside it radiates on the outside. People can see and feel it. Beauty is not something artificial.

What are your qualifications and expertise and how do you help people with self-esteem issues?

As a certified health and fitness professional, and as a person who has had their own body image concerns I help men and women address the internal factors that lead to the external issues such as inferiority complex, self-criticism, binge-eating, fad or yo-yo dieting, exercise obsession, losing and regaining weight, etc.

What other books have you written? Which one is more challenging?

My first book was “Surviving A Toxic Career” which highlights my 20-year experience in Corporate America, particularly the last 9. I strive to encourage the reader to improve your attitude in your current position while taking small, yet practical steps to fulfilling your own dreams.

I’ve also written “Germs.” It’s a fun yet educational way to make children aware of the dangers of germs and how to remain in a germ-free zone.

“Surviving A Toxic Career” was the most challenging. My main concern was that I was still working for the company that I was writing about at the time that the book was published. Secondly, for people that knew me and had an idea of the amount of money I made and who were envious of the fact that I was a remote employee, it was somewhat embarrassing to admit how much I hated my career let alone write and publish a book about it. I’m obviously grateful for the experience, not only because I feel that it strengthened me but because it gave me the courage to get my first book out there. I had always imagined that my first book would pertain to health and fitness but I am a firm believer in divine timing.

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