Customer Reviews: Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life: A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life
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on May 10, 2008

This book contains the same message that you find in most of the better self-help genre. `Take responsibility for your life, your problems and your situation; then you can move on.' In short, it IS your fault, accept it, deal with it, move on.

This book is very well written, and makes for an easy, enjoyable read. Larry has a knack for illustrating his points. He very convincingly knocks out the "you become what you think about" theory.

However, Larry has written this book with all the tact, grace and compassion of a Drill Instructor. So if you are looking for a cuddly-feely "it's not your fault" book...keep looking...this ain't for you. If you want honest, constructive guidance for getting your life back, buy this book.

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on January 22, 2006
The honest, no "kick-butt"-pulled approach to discussing health in the 8th chapter of this book should be read by those struggling to start a healthy lifestyle.

First, a few stats, then what works and what doesn't work about the advice in this book.

The Stats: A report last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that less than half of the U.S. population engages in the minimum recommended level of physical activity of 30 minutes of moderate exercise most or all days of the week. Plus, 15.6% are inactive, reporting 10 minutes or less of activity each day.

So, the practice now determined to be the most important in keeping good health is actually practiced by less than 1/2 of the U.S. population. We live in a box, drive a box, work in a box and claim we don't have time to escape from our box and move around to preserve good health.

Just one of many articles published (New England Journal August 1999) showed that walking one hour only three days per week did more to prevent heart disase than any blood pressure or diabetic or cholesterol drug on the market. Yet, there's still much misinformation out about how to walk, why walk, and for those reasons and more many don't walk.

So, first the most effective advice in this chapter (and then a couple of places where I'd recommend something different):

***"Willpower is totally overated....Here is what works for me: lack of opportunity." Most people make it very easy to find junk food or alcohol with at most a few steps and a reach to a low shelf. But, they'll make exercise a 10 step process that involves travelling to a gym or meeting 3 people in a walking group that varies in it's meeting according to weather, emotional state, and whether we're on vacation this week. Environment is key and making the bad unavailable and the good easy to find is one of the crucial success factors I see in healhty people.

***"Turn off the T.V., get off your fatt butt and do something." Less than 1/2 of people will exercise, and most who don't use lack of time as the reason; yet, most Americans watch more than an hour of T.V. each day (the time in which it would take to walk 3 miles at a very comfortable 20min/mile pace and maintain a 30 to 40 pound weight loss without a change in diet by one calorie). Either watch your first hour of T.V. every day on a treadmill, or give your T.V. to the Goodwill. I haven't been able to watch T.V. in my home since I left home at age 18 (I'm 46 years old now), not because I don't like T.V., not because it's trash (much T.V. can be inspirational and educational), but because if it's there, I'll watch it and I won't go outside and walk or read a book or talk to my children.

***"Now Let's Get Really Ugly about Your that Twinkie really more important to you than your kids?...Fat people die quicker." Most people without realizing it will use their children/family as a reason to not care for themselves. They say they don't have time to exercise because they're too busy taking care of children or working. They eat poorly because they're stressed about something to do with family.

The healthy think in exactly the opposite way...I must not eat this because I want to be here to care for children and grand children and give advice to great grand children. Instead of, "I must skip my walk because I must feed or transport children," the mantra becomes, "this must wait, son, or we must do this a different way because if I don't go for a walk then I can't be as healthy and energetic as I need to be to be a good father." Health practices become a way to take care of the goose (you) who's laying the golden egg (care of your family).

**"Find a skinny doctor who doesn't smoke." Most people have trouble giving advice they don't understand or don't follow. You won't get all you need in the way of life-style advice from an overweight physician. I think the same applies to the clergy and to motivational speakers. Winget admits he must exercise or else he loses credibility with his audience. I must exercise even with a busy schedule, even with 3 sons who live with me most of the time (& I'm a singe Dad), or else why should anyone listen to me?

You'll find motivation and effective instruction stuffed into only a few words in the 8th chapter of this book.

I'd disagree with a couple of small points only.

1. "You do not have glandular problems."

If you're over 30 years old, you could indeed have a "glandular problem." After 30 years on the planet, many people do start to have a drop in testosterone, thyroid, and growth hormone. Get up-to-date advice (check out some of the other books I've reviewed and my website).

2. "Healthy exercise mainly consists of aerobic exercise - anything that increases your heart rate for a period of 20 minutes at least three times a week."

The heart-rate trap keeps many people from exercising. I never check heart rate when I'm exercising...forget heart rate. Even pro-atheletes have an off season. Expecting an intense workout everytime you exercise leads to dreading the event and stopping. Give yourself permission to walk or jog any speed that feels comfortable for that day (but always go the distance) and you'll accomplish all you need to do. You only burn about 5% more calories jogging a mile than you do walking a mile (it just takes about twice as long to walk it). By giving yourself permission to go any speed, you're more likely to go and the speed will be exactly what you needed for that day.

Read chapter 8 of this book. Sometimes, a "Kick-butt approach" can improve the health of the rest of the body.

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on September 10, 2007
Larry Winget is terrific. He's in-your-face and irreverant (which, to me, comes across as funny). If you're a self-improvement junkie, however, you'll recognize literally everything in this book as originally coming from another source -- everyone from Buddah to Wayne Dyer to Julius Fast. Larry Winget is Tony Robbins with a different physical image and approach, although both are enthusiastic, funny, entertaining, and full of information.

As a self-improvement junkie for over forty years, I don't agree with everything Winget says. He's sure he's right and I'm sure he's wrong. My biggest argument concerns the idea that we create every medical issue we have. I've heard this one many times before . . . all from self-improvement gurus who have never really been sick a day in their lives. Yes, I agree that people can create ulcers and migranes and even cancer, but I'd like to ask Mr. Winget and the rest of the "experts" how my husband manifested his bayonet wound from Vietnam, how I created the extra heart nerve bundle I was born with, or how Michael J. Fox (great attitude, careful with his health) caused Parkinson's Disease. Or how the always-upbeat, active, and cautious Luciano Pavarotti created pancreatic cancer. Unlike Winget, I believe some things do Just Happen. It's hard for me to believe my daughter's seat belt magically released during an auto accident, leaving her with a concussion, because she had a bad attitude.

Aside from a few personal problems such as the health issue, this book will get you motivated. But once you're motivated, you need to be able to use that motivation or you'll just be enthusiastic for awhile and then fall back into your old routine. Even Winget declares that you have to know what you want and have a plan before getting all fired up.

For those who have run up against this problem in the past, I suggest the audiobook "Before You Hire A Life Coach . . . Heal Your Problems With Pyramid Problem Solving." Pyramid Problem Solving will (finally!) lead you to what you honestly want, bottom line. It does not stop with what you think you want, what you wanted ten years ago, what someone else has convinced you that you want, or what you think you should want. It gets right to the bottom, THEN you can use motivational material and finally find success.

I wish everyone who reads this book (or any other self-help material) all the success in the world. It's taken me a long time (and a lot of energy and money) to finally get to my own honest "This Is What I Want," and I'm in my fifties.
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on October 4, 2007
I like Winget's approach -- we all need a kick in the butt once in awhile, but his information is questionable in too many areas.

On Health: Winget insists all physical problems are our own fault. I agree with the theory, but it shouldn't be presented as a blanket statement. My wife was born with a defective heart and has to live with the problem. How did she "create" that?

On Stress: Winget tells us that stress happens when we know the right thing to do and choose to do the wrong thing. Excuse me, but how does that apply to being caught behind a traffic accident on the way to work, a loss of faith, the death of a loved one . . . what are the "right" choices to make when you come home to find you've been robbed?

On Relationships: Winget, on his second marriage and an admitted adulterer (with an adultress as a wife) claims he always likes his wife but doesn't always love her. I don't know what planet he's living on. I've been with my wife for thirty years and, although we don't always like each other, we've never doubted our love for each other.

Those are just a few of the problems I have with this otherwise entertaining book. It's a good read, and makes you take a look at yourself, but please don't embrace it as your new bible. The information is too simplistic and general.
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on October 11, 2006
Sure, this guy is pretty rude and in-your-face, but I can't say that he isn't honest. The part in the book where he talks about relationships is well worth the price of this book. To give you an idea of what he talks about when it comes to relationships, it's basically this: You don't need anybody, and if you do, the relationship is doomed. He talks about how people need their own space and their own friends, not to be too clingy or needy, and how independence attracts others. That chapter is the best advice on relationships I've ever read, and I've read quite a few.
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on February 3, 2005
Winget takes a completely different approach to getting people to improve their lives from most other self help books. Many of his suggestions run completely counter that of other self help gurus and many of them are intended to be rude wake-up calls.

If you are open-minded, I don't think that Winget's ideas will seem as offensive as he makes them out to be, but I do think they will get you thinking about the way you approach things in your own life and how you might like to change your approach.

This book is highly recommended for anyone who is ready to make an effort on their own part to make positive changes in their lives.
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on September 18, 2006
I bought this book in an airport, and by the time I got to my destination, I had read it, underlined it, and highlighted the heck out of it. It smacks you around, shakes you up and hangs you out, and it's been the greatest turn-around book I've read in many years. His deal with stress "Stress comes from knowing what's right and doing what's wrong"- or " Do not loan anyone your books"- wish I'd heard that years ago, I'd have a bigger library- are incredibly simple, but since we've all gotten to the point where simple is difficult, it really hits home.

Consider this the dry version of a cold bucket of water in the face!
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on June 19, 2006
In fact, don't believe mine. I have read too many Amazon reviews that have kept me from buying books, only to end up reading the book later and regretting not buying it the first time I saw it.

Negative reviews of this one kept me away from it. But I just bought it and couldn't put it down. This is one of the best books I have ever read.

Does that mean I agree with everything Larry writes? No. In fact, I probably only agree with 50%. But what a great attitude! Finally, someone who points the finger squarely in my face and tells me, "Your lack of success is your own damn fault!" It's exactly the message I've been needing for years.

Larry, thank you. And dear Prospective Buyer, if you don't like the harsh truth delivered "in-your face", then go read some sugarcoated pablum like Wayne Dyer or Norman Vincent Peale. Larry's stuff is real world, practical, and reality-based. And he's right--no amount of "motivation" will ever help you. You either do or you don't do. Your choice.
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on April 13, 2006
Larry, Thanks! One time my pastor told our congregation that he did not like it when people say they are self made. He simply pointed out how lots of people influence our life and we often are made by several. pastors, friends, teachers,trainers etc. About 2 years ago I was walking through a Barnes and Noble and saw this wild book cover, It said Shut up and Get a Lfe. Curious I picked it up scanned through it. After having read alot of self help books and attended countless seminars.(I used to be a car salesman and have been sent to many)The first thing I noticed was how you write and speak. So I bought it. I had spent the last 10 years selling cars, hating the weather in Tulsa. I was not happy with either. The chapter in which you talked about moving. Stop whinning, if you hate where you live, work, move do something now! Take control! For many years I wanted to move into the finance industry and move to Colorado, something I wanted all my life. Larry I spent a lttle over a year thinking over these statements in your book, during that year I worked for a retail furniture company based in Denver with them dangling a carrot to move me where I wanted. Still letting someone else control my destiny. Maybe Colorado, maybe Iowa. The words you wrote in your book screaming in the back of my mind. So in November of 2005 I said enough. Put my house on the market. It sold in one week.....closed 3 weeks later. I then took control told my employer move me where I want or goodbye. So we parted friends, It was easy seeing It was not the kind of work I wanted for myself. Larry we moved to Colorado Springs in Jan of 2006, every moring I walk my dog and stare at Pikes Peak in amazement, and I am now a Credit Manager for one of the oldest financial companies in America specializing in realestate, auto loans and unsecured credit lines, I work normal hours now. I found this job after I moved out here.You helped me get motivatied and to quit waiting for the Lone Ranger. We love our lives here. Thanks for writing you book. People who

meet me, I am 37, are just amazed that we just up and moved. I often reference your book to them. It is truly sad for someone to always just wish and dream and to never take action.

Tim Anthis
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on May 5, 2006
Larry Winget is an unbelievably honest writer! He cuts through the BS and says things exactly how they are - and it is so true!!! I could not put this book down- not only did it help me put my life and stupid mistakes I have made into perspective, but it also made me laugh and feel much better about taking on the obsticles of life. Larry basically reinforces the fact that life goes on- so if you made a mistake, realize it, learn from it, and move on! If you find yourself hating whatever situation you are in, whether it is a relationship, a job, feeling unsuccessful and downright discouraged - I strongly recommend this book!!! He provides countless ways through which a person can overcome the struggles and strifes of everyday life - and these methods really work! Contrary to the same lines used over and over by motivational speakers that sound good in theory but really do not work, Larry forces you to realize that you have to WANT CHANGE and YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! No one else can do it for you! Complaining and lamenting will get you no where and you will just irritate everyone else. This book covers every facet of life and I am so incredibly thankful that Larry took the time to write it. It also includes ways to eliminate the negative things/people out of your life, and how to live a truly wonderful life, being happy, doing what you love, and most importantly being good to others - and not wasting your time on the BS!!!!! A+++++++++++++ Read this book!!!
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