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Make Shift Happen: Change How You Look by Changing How You Think Paperback – April 10, 2012
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About the Author
Dean Dwyer is a former teacher, who quit his job to accept a more ambitious mission: Could he actually make MAKE SHIFT HAPPEN in his own life? It has taken almost 13 years, with a lot of bumps and bruises along the way, but he now knows the answer to that question. He spends the bulk of his time teaching others how do just that. www.MakeShiftHappen.org
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Top customer reviews
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I had adopted many of Dwyer's recommendations before this - kicking junk food out of my life (for the most part) two years ago this month. I switched from distance running and logging 40-50 miles a week, to two or three days a week of sprinting, and stopping to do pullups anywhere I saw a horizontal bar high enough above my head. I've had my benders with garbage food, and I've taken a bunch of different approaches to fitness, including a "too much, too fast" entry into weight training with limited knowledge, and generally thrashing about.
Dwyer's book helped me re-focus and revisit the good base I had when I started this stuff two years ago. I had read Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint, and was having a good time working out instead of enduring the misery and dread of running. His chapter on "Be Your Own 911" helped me rethink and revisit my fitness goals, and he put it in practical terms. Could I save a kid in the event of an emergency by throwing the kid over my shoulder and running/sprinting a distance, up some stairs, over some obstacles? How would I feel if I couldn't do it, simply because I had failed to take Dwyer's advice, and spend maybe two hours a week - 20 minutes a day - doing some high "return on investment" work with weights and sprints?).
Dwyer is eminently practical. He spares us the cheerleading and feel-good speeches. He puts things in actionable terms - for example, use an online food diary like MyFoodDiary, along with some critical thinking in interpreting the results, to get an accurate gauge on your nutritional intakes, including calories, and find out what you're really eating, how much you're really eating, and what you might be missing out on. Eat real foods - animals, eggs, fish, fruits and vegetables. Make an eating plan for the week, keep it simple, and - since you'll have it all planned out: Monday breakfast, Monday lunch, Monday dinner - you'll stick with it.
Anyway, if this doesn't inspire you to set some health and fitness goals, or make your current ambiguous goals ("get in shape") into more specific goals (be able to carry a 30 lbs sandbag over my shoulder at a full sprint for 100 yards in 17 seconds or less. Set weekly workout goals - hard work in a super-brief period of time - and stick with them.
Great book. Well worth the time and money.
Nothing written is ever overbearing but every single chapter is light and inviting while being brutally honest. This is not a "let me baby you and show you exactly what to do" book; this is a "this is how I lost the weight by testing theories on myself and I can teach you to do the same" book. It's a close look into the issues Dwyer experienced throughout years of eating a normal "American" diet of processed and fast foods, vegetarian, vegan and finally paleo. The tips he gives are spot-on for helping start your own journey or move out of a plateau you may have reached. This is not a normal self-help book as the writing is too casual for that.
I loved how Dwyer made a point to be intimate about his struggles and how he handled the situations he came across and I can't tell you enough how wonderful his personal ideas of how to handle a weight-loss journey were. I hate to even say things like "diet" and "weight-loss journey" in this post because he explains in full detail this is a lifestyle for him now and I feel those words are tainted.
To give you a small overview of some of the tips: Dwyer made a list of 12 ways he would know (without a scale) he had reached his wellness goals. These included being able to run for X amount of time or being able to do X amount of push-ups nonstop. He also explains the trial-and-error way he found the perfect diet that fit him and how, by logging your food intake, you can figure out what food is your setback rather than trying to exercise more or reduce caloric intake.
These ideas are so common sense I had a few "duh" moments throughout my reading. There are so many experts out there telling you what your ideal weight should be, how many calories you should be eating per day and there are so many different diets: low-carb, low-calorie, low-fat. Because of this my common sense went out the window and thankfully Dwyer was there to retrieve it. I agree with Dwyer now: I'll make my own goals, aside from the scale, and once I obtain those (including doing 20 push-ups without stopping, smaller clothing sizes and being my own savior in an emergency) I'll know I'm at my personal health goal.
If you've been struggling with your weight for years or have put on pounds lately and need to take them off or maybe you eat "healthy" but your cholesterol is high and you have diabetes, you should read this book. Everyone should read this book! The insight will amaze you and it's such an inviting read. I'll say it once more: BUY THIS BOOK.
I've certainly made progress from the chubby kid I was growing up and through 18 years of learning and doing (starting being interested in fitness when I was 17 I'm 34 now)I've gotten myself into decent shape and a healthy weight range. I've never been able to get to my ideal body and that's frustrating when you're the one out of your friends who seems to be working towards it all the time.
By the end of the first chapter of "Making Shift Happen" (or maybe even before), I knew that Dean had really laid it out for me and that every tool that I needed was right in front of me. He also offers great worksheets and exercises to help map out your goals and get to the bottom of your issues. He doesn't just give you info, he gives you ways to put it into action and find YOUR way, not the way of some so-called "expert" who will never be YOU.
I can say, in all honesty (brutal or not), that Dean Dwyer is going to help me get to where I've always wanted to go as long as I don't get in the way!
I've read more books on how to get in shape than anyone I know (well, maybe except Dean) and this one has stood out. I cannot recc it enough!