Friday, July 19, 2013

Are you stuck?? Surprisingly Unstuck Book Review and Giveaway!

There are a lot of books out there about what to eat, how to eat, what exercises to do etc... Sometimes it is a bit overwhelming..   but Surprisingly Unstuck is a refreshing book that is really focused on how our brains work, and why it can be so tough to make lifestyle changes.

Maria is the founder of, an ACE certified personal trainer. And if that wasn't enough, she is also a Stanford Engineering graduate, and an MBA.  But what I like is her website description of a "healthy habits engineer"!

I just finished Maria's book, and reviews are always difficult for me as I have a tendency to ramble, and I don't want to relay everything from the book!   I can summarize it however. For me, what I took away from this book was some new information on how my brain works, and why in the past it was so difficult to make healthy changes that would last more than a few weeks.  And most importantly, the book relays how we often have a common attitude of  "I must be lazy or not working hard enough"..  or "I have no willpower and should be able to make myself change"..   All of those things that focus around the fact that changing your lifestyle, fitness, and diet has to be hard work.  Maria relays great tips, strategies, and information around switching things around so that making these changes is easy, appealing, and will last.  Some of these ideas were new to me (and I hope to incorporate them in my journey), and others I learned on my own over the years it took to get where I am today.

Now, just like anything else, this book (just like miracle pills), is not going to just make it happen.. you have to be ready and willing to make a change.  But, I think most of us always are, we just struggle with how to do it effectively. The changing point for me was finally understanding that it takes a lot of small changes, and that it has to be viewed as a permanent lifestyle change (for the better), and not a short term fix to get to a goal.  Maria's book does a great job of supporting that mind set and providing tools to get there.

But don't just take my word for it, check out the video below from Maria and that explains more about her philosophy:

So... are you interested in learning more?  The book is currently available for Kindle on Amazon by clicking here.   Also, Maria expects to have a bound version available in the next few months.  However, if you just want to get more of an idea of what the book and Fitness Reloaded is all about, you can get the first 5 chapters of the book as part of the "Healthy Habits Course", which is free by subscribing to the newsletter (which is great).  Just go to and enter your email!

Also available is Exercise Bliss,  a 10-week comprehensive course that helps people make exercise a daily ritual. It directly applies the teachings of Surprisingly...Unstuck. You can sign-up for that program here:

And of course, you know me well enough that I also have one electronic copy available to giveaway!  Don't have a Kindle? No worries! You can download a free App to your PC to read it.... you can get that by clicking here. 

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below.  The contest will run through 10PM MST, Thursday July 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks, good luck... have a great weekend and happy trails!



  1. great review, Jeff! Like everything else, mental plays an important part. I will check out her vids! Lorraine.

  2. Thanks Jeff. This looks very interesting especially since I'm in such a running rut lately. If only my brain does what my body wants to do :)

    1. Hi Stan,

      You can indeed rewire your brain and we are lucky that science has discovered the *trick* to make that happen. Good luck!

  3. I actually tweeted twice Jeff. You accidentally put a 'd' at the end of your Twitter handle on the giveaway, so I corrected it on my second tweet.

    The biggest lifestyle changes that I have made have been my eating habits and exercise. I used to hate running, but now I can't imagine going very long without running. I have also cleaned up my eating quite a bit as I am watching the types of foods, calorie content of foods, and other things.

  4. I love the idea of rewiring your brain and focusing on the mental aspect of working out. Years ago I saw a quote by coach Bob Knight that said something like "mental is to physical as 4 is to 1" and it's always stuck with me.

    Your mind really can drive your body to do great things - I really believe that.

    Thanks for posting this and getting these thoughts swirling! Great start to the day!

    1. Yes, it all comes from what your mind sets you out to do. Hope you had an amazing day!

  5. Thanks for sharing the information. I'm great at making a plan, not so great at sticking to the plan. I hope she can help.


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