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Surfer Bethany Hamilton attributes success, happiness to God

Published: Saturday, May 17 2014 9:50 p.m. MDT

Surfer Bethany Hamilton Dirks, who lost her left arm in a shark attack while surfing in Hawaii, speaks as President Barack Obama listens at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014.

Charles Dharapak, Associated Press

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'Soul Surfer' Bethany Hamilton's Christian beliefs play a significant role in her new book "Body and Soul: A Girl's Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life," according to a recent interview with Fox News.

Hamilton said she let Jesus into her heart at age 5, so when a 14-foot tiger shark took her arm in 2003, it wasn't hard to put her faith in God.

“I remember after I lost my arm, I just had this sense of peace that God was in control and that's kind of weird for a 13-year-old to be like, ‘Hey, God, you're in control,’ like I just lost my arm,” Hamilton told Fox.

Hamilton's new book promotes a healthy lifestyle for women while reminding them that spiritual health is just as important as physical health.

“I think God calls us to take care of our bodies and to love and respect our bodies, and I think that can be done through the way that we eat and the way that we move but also in the way we think towards ourselves and how we think towards God,” Hamilton explained.

Hamilton spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in February, where she recited two biblical passages about overcoming adversity, according to The Christian Post.

"Because of where Jesus brought me, I have no regrets of the adversities God has allowed me to go through," Hamilton said at the breakfast. "As you look at me, you could think, 'Wow, have pity on her, she lost her arm to a shark.' But I look it as something beautiful. God has taken something awful and turned it into something incredibly amazing."

The Christian Post reported that Hamilton also starred in an "I Am Second" video, a religious campaign that provides testimonials of public figures and their relationship with God.

"I wake up every day and (try to) honor God in everything that I do, and I may fall short sometimes, but all I want to do is love him," Hamilton said in the video.

Hamilton married a Christian youth minister in Hawaii last August.

"Today was the most beautiful, wonderful best day of my life! God is more than good. Excited to live life with my husband Adam Dirks!" Hamilton posted on her Twitter account.

Megan Marsden Christensen is an intern with the Deseret News writing for the Faith & Family section. She recently graduated from BYU-Idaho with a bachelor's degree in communication.

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