Get Your Mind Right

The real power of exercise

Check out this transformation by my friend Shirley. She’s an amazing artist who changed more than her body, when she took up fitness. This is what Living Great is really about!

I know everybody wants to lose weight, and look great, I get it, I do, and you can! But if that’s all you’re thinking about, you’re only seeing half of it. I promise you, life is better healthy and fit. Blow pass good, and find great!

Here’s Shirley:

“I came to Luke without an understanding of how to connect my mind to my body.  When I was younger, I was never an athlete.  In fact, most likely, I was a bit of an intellectual snob until at the least the end of college.

I studied fine art and art history.  My work was mostly studies in self-identity, ownership, and responsibility—all of which made me hyper-sensitive to the vehicles of social inequality.  The general society’s glorification and objectification of sex and the female body especially disgusted me and contributed to a vast disconnect between my mind and my body.  My values coupled with years of painting and writing without a regard to posture slowly contorted my body.  Every year, it became harder not to notice the weight gain, the twisted hips, and the shrunken shoulders.  What made it worse was the overall emotional and physical discomfort of an aging crumpled frame from long standing shifts spent in retail (the only paying job after the economy tanked that would hire an artist).

I secretly longed for the body I had in my teens and early 20’s that required little maintenance.  I was lucky enough to have a naturally slender physique.  I missed having the energy to balance making art, making a […]

By |February 19th, 2015|Get Your Mind Right, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Find YOUR True Body Image

Too fat, too short, too small, too tall, too thin, too many freckles, just too UGLY! Finding your flaws is easy. I’ve got a big nose and grow the facial hair of a 13-year-old leprechaun. It’s straggly and orange, yuck!

Skinny guys are always mad that no matter how much iron they pump, they don’t end up as muscular as The Rock. If you’re built like The Rock, your tree trunk legs mean skinny jeans are out!

Tall chicks have their own complaints. Fitting into photos with short friends means impersonating the hunchback of Notre Damn.  If you’re the short friend, it means staring at your tall friends boobs all night!

Some stuff you can change, other stuff you can’t. Oh well.

Everybody has an idea of what they wish and want their body to look like. I call this your “Desired Body Image” (DBI).

I wish I was 6 ft 3, 220 pounds and ran a 4.3 forty yard dash so I could play safety for the Chicago Bears. I would be an amazing safety if I was that big, strong, and fast! The Bears totally need a good safety this year too.

I’m not, I won’t, I can’t, no matter how much I try.

Oh well, life goes on, I’ll be me.

Then, there is your “True Body Image” (TBI).

Your TBI is the look that your body naturally gravitates towards, when you do EVERYTHING right. What’s awesome, is that your TBI is maintainable! It’s built from the sturdy foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

It’s not the house of cards that starvation diets and extreme exercise builds.

There are three main body types. Ectomorph (Skinny), Mesomorph (Muscular), and Endomorph (Thick). There’s extremes of both Ectomorphs and Endomorphs, and a HUGE amount of in between!

Looking like the The […]

By |June 17th, 2014|Get Your Mind Right|0 Comments

5 Awesome Quotes to Help You Live GREAT!

Here are five quotes to get your get your mind right so you can Live Great!

1. “Man is not affected by events, but how he perceives them” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If stepping on the scale reveals a number you’re unhappy with, you have a choice, how will you choose to respond?

Will you give up? “Ahh forget it, I’m meant to be overweight.” Or, will it motivate you?

Will you dig deep and create the necessary changes to find success? Will you improve your workouts, kick your nutrition up a notch, attempt to reduce Cortisol inducing stress.

It’s your decision, you choose!

You’ll be surprised at the amount of control you have over your outlook, when you put that saying into action.

When life throws you curveballs, will you strike out, or adjust and knock it out of the park?

2. There’s nothing you can’t do, only things you haven’t done. – Unknown. LGF original? Maybe.

How many times you have you said, “I wish I could” about something.

“I wish I was stronger, I wish I was leaner, I wish I could dance. I’ve always wanted to be able to do a backflip” Maybe you can, have you tried?

Maybe you tried but failed. Try again, try differently.

A different plan or approach, a better fitness program, a better coach, a more realistic and maintainable “diet.” Get in it for the long haul.

What have you always wanted to accomplish? Get to it, you probably can!

3. “Everybody has a plan until they get hit.” – Mike Tyson

Your workout schedule, the amount of weight you will lose each week, your “diet,” and the exact number of calories you’ll eat, it won’t be perfect. Perfection is a pointless pursuit.

What will you do when life gets busy, messy and […]

By |May 6th, 2014|Get Your Mind Right|0 Comments

What Reaching Your Goals REALLY Looks Like

If you’re struggling to reach your goals, don’t worry you’re not alone.

For most people, losing weight and getting fit isn’t easy. Most people’s journey is filled ups and downs, lots of slips and falls.

It’s your health market and ups and downs will be part of it! Fortunately, you’re in charge of the market! 

Each day presents opportunities to make positive change. What will I eat today? Will I work out? Will I let that rude person impact my attitude? With each positive change, we trend upward, one step closer towards our goals.

Not all our choices are good though.

Some days we choose to skip workouts or eat unhealthy food. In the health market, those bad decisions create small dips down. Each dip down leads us further away from our goals.

Sometimes we stop working out all together and healthy food becomes non existent. Our mindset shifts to one of defeat. The health market crashes!

But, with all the dips, and maybe a few crashes, if you keep pushing, in the long haul you trend upward!

That’s likely what your health and fitness journey will look like. Ups, followed by downs. Successes intertwined with defeats. Weight losses followed by weight gains. Good choices mixed with bad ones.

It’s an ugly, messy, and painful ride. But it’s worth it!

In the end, we just need to make more good choices than bad ones.

Dips will always be part of the journey. Busy schedules, hyper palatable food options, and the bombardment of endless temptation opens the door for a few dips. Perfection is a worthless pursuit, just avoid the crashes.

As you move closer towards your goals, the small dips, cheat meals, skipped workouts, and obstacles become smaller and smaller!

A bad meal today, will look very differently than a […]

By |March 26th, 2014|Get Your Mind Right|0 Comments

I watched a women peel a face off

I was eating grilled eggplant, smothered in spicy tomato sauce. I looked up, and a woman was pealing the face off the decapitated head of a murder victim.

I have no idea why, but for some reason this persons face needed to be removed from the their skull. If you haven’t seen it, Bones is a really graphic TV show…

The body of the victim was lying next to the head, on a shiny, cold looking table. It had already been dissected by the staff, or mutilated by the murderer, I’m not sure which.

The noises on the show are great. The human body seems really squishy, sticky, and squirmy.

Pealing a face off a skull is no exception. As the skin comes back, squishy noises emerge from your speakers. Amazingly, you can peel the entire face off a persons skull in one piece.  It doesn’t look easy though, there’s a lot of stickiness holding it together.

It’s a lot like opening a strawberry jelly sandwich and watching the jelly stretch apart from both pieces of bread. Instead of bread, it’s skin and bone filled with stickiness.

Sitting there eating, it donned on me that my eggplant covered in tomato sauce looked an awful lot like something removed from the murder victim, and placed in one of the nearby dishes.

How am I eating this? Why is watching this not bothering me? It used too…

My eggplant was delicious!

Bones used to make me a bit squeamish. How can they put such graphic images on TV anyway?

You can’t see a boob on TV because that’s rated R, but a brutally murdered body turned inside out is PG13. Strange, but I digress…

The reason I continued eating my serial killer eggplant was simple, I had gotten COMFORTABLE with the images on […]

By |February 21st, 2014|Featured Content, Get Your Mind Right|0 Comments

I hated hearing this

I remember feeling like I was going to puke. Some people did puke. I never did, thank god. I do remember wanting to quit though. Why was I doing this?

It was a hot and humid summer day in Illinois. I was at football practice, and we were running forty second drills.

A forty second drill is when you run across the width of a football field four times. The entire team had to do it in under forty seconds or we ran it again.

Our coach’s favorite tagline was “one excuse is as good as another.” I absolutely hated when he said it.

But it was true, it didn’t matter if you were sore from yesterdays practice, or tired from today’s. You still had to finish, your excuse to why you couldn’t, didn’t matter.

Here at Live Great Fitness I’m always talking about the importance of a good reason to exercise. It’s your WHY. Your why is the anchor holding you in place when the winds of doubt and defeat blow.

Times will get tough. You’ll want to quit. You’ll question why you’re even trying.

Motivational droughts happen. When they do, we welcome EXCUSES like rain clouds. They let us off the hook, relieving us of responsibility.

It’s the circumstances… “I would, but I don’t have time,” It wasn’t my choice, so it’s not my failure.

It was the lack of money. Healthy food is too expensive. I wish I could…

Working out alone is hard. I’m too old to exercise. Exercise is boring. I’m too fat to go to the gym. I’m too out of shape. My back hurts. Gyms are intimidating. I hate sweating. I don’t want to be sore.

You can come up with a million EXCUSES for why you can’t. It doesn’t matter though, “one […]

By |January 28th, 2014|Featured Content, Get Your Mind Right, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Reaching the other side

Are you doing what REALLY matters or just pretending to? If you haven’t lost the weight, built the physique you want, asked your crush out, or reached any other goal, you might just be pretending. It’s okay, I pretend too.

I plan, contemplate, research, and read. I pretend to take steps, little ripples disguised as success.

But little ripples won’t make it across an ocean of change.

Buying a fitness program, purchasing a gym membership, and emailing a personal trainer are all ripples. Printing healthy recipes and buying fruits and vegetables at the farmers market, are ripples too.

Ripples push us towards our goals, but they will never actually get us there.

Don’t be fooled, lots of ripples don’t create waves. Ripples die out, leaving you stranded far from the shore, in the middle of a lake named “this doesn’t work,” or the ocean  “fuck it, I give up.”

If you wanna make it across and reach that goal, you gotta make some waves.

True, you MIGHT need a few ripples before you make a wave. But, it doesn’t change the fact that at some point, you gotta make a wave!

Making waves is easy, it’s doing the stuff that REALLY matters!

A stack of healthy recipes and fridge full of fresh produce is useless until you use those recipes, and cook those meals.

Each meal you make is a wave . That’s the action the gives you the real result.

The best fitness program in the world is worthless until you walk into the gym and pick up a dumbbell. That gym membership and personal training package won’t do a thing until you show for that first appointment.

Completing your first workout is a wave. Showing up for your second is another.

A new haircut, nice shirt, and the worlds […]

By |January 17th, 2014|Featured Content, Get Your Mind Right|1 Comment

Read this before you crash

Have you crashed in the middle of nowhere wondering where you are, and how you get so lost in the first place?

Or, are you cruising smoothly down the road of success?!

Week two of the new year is just wrapping up, so how’s your resolutions coming along?

Let me help you before you crash!

Imagine leaving New York City heading to visit yours truly in San Diego without a map. Do you think you’d get there. You might. Just head west, right?

Likely, you’ll end up lost, frustrated, and pissed off in the middle of a cornfield in Nebraska!


A resolution like “lose weight” or “eat better” is a good as pointing the car west and hoping you end up in San Diego. Yeah you picked a nice destination (weight loss), but you don’t have a map to get you there.

Here’s a few common resolutions.

Lose weight
Eat Better
Run a marathon
Drink less alcohol
Save more money
Write a book
Get a 6 pack
Travel more

Look familiar?

Those resolutions are RESULTS. They’re the end destination.

Picking a destination is great, but knowing how to get there is what really matters.
Turn your Result goals into Process goals
Process goals will lead you to the result you want. Your process is your map!

Here’s how you change your Result goals into Process goals.

1. Lose weight – Get specific. Lose 30 pounds. 1.5 pounds per week. Find a fitness program and plan  your weekly workout schedule. Create a meal plan, and schedule time to cook those meals.

Not sure how to exercise? Check out the Live Great Fitness Quick Fit Guide  (shameless self plug!)

2. Eat better – What does that even mean? Create a list of the unhealthy foods you most commonly eat down to the least. Pick one or two days each week where you remove an […]

By |January 10th, 2014|Get Your Mind Right, Uncategorized|0 Comments

This Was The Year

2013 was going to be different!

I don’t normally make New Years Resolutions, because mine never stick. So naturally, I kicked it up a notch and made three. Because if one resolution doesn’t normally last, surely three will!

My 2013 New Years resolutions were to create LiveGreatFitness, learn to speak Spanish, and play the drums.

As 2013 comes to an end I’ve only completed one. LiveGreatFitness!

I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be bilingual, and rocking out drums would be awesome. So why can’t I? I downloaded a Spanish language program called Duolingo. I used it daily for two weeks. Then I fizzled out like a dying flame.

Maybe I needed more time. I don’t know…

I studied Spanish for four years in high school, yet can’t utter a word. Every Friday I greeted the class with a sentence in Spanish. I hated that day. I would sit nervously awaiting my turn.

I was always grateful I didn’t say something like “I had sex with the teacher last night.”

I very well could have, I never knew what I was saying.  I always relied on a girl or the one Mexican kid in class to write mine. I was at their mercy!

Every Friday I was a fraud.

It wasn’t a time issue, four years was long enough.

I didn’t even try playing the drums. To expensive? I don’t know, maybe. On my quest to become Ringo Star I never even got to the point of pricing drums.

The kid at the farmers market uses a bucket and drumsticks. He does well. Each Saturday, dollar bills fill his cup. Some days his cup fills so high the breeze steals his dollars.

It wasn’t money, I can afford a bucket.

Not time, money, energy, or the lack of some other resource was stopping […]

By |December 30th, 2013|Get Your Mind Right, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Masters of the Universe

I spent more time in the plane on the ground, than in the sky.

It’s a short 20 minute flight from San Diego to L.A.

Each time I fly, the fascination grows. I understand lift and aerodynamics, but as the plane takes off I always sit in awe that flying works. Thousands of pounds of metal and plastic teleport me across the sky.

How is this possible? Is this real?

I feel like a magician.

A few more teleportations later and I’m back in Illinois visiting my family. A distance that would take days to drive, weeks to ride on a bike, and months to walk on foot.

As I fly, other planes rip through the sky, teleporting other magicians.

I was on a red-eye, so I even saw the moon. How many people in human history have stared at that moon and wondered what it would be like to go to there? Can you walk on it?

Today we know. Some 293,000 miles through space, we’ve taken people there!

Soon we’ll walk on mars. Eventually, on other worlds we’ve yet to discover. Someday kids will find movies like Star Trek boring. “Who hasn’t explored the universe.”

Descending below the clouds in Chicago an endless grid of lights appear. They look like they could go on forever, never stopping. Maybe they do. Maybe the entire world is connected by our lights. Like one giant strand of Christmas lights.

Getting lower cars appear on freeways. Think how much concrete we’ve used. How many roads we’ve paved.

I have no idea how you make concrete. Someone does though. They figured out how to keep it wet long enough to pour millions of miles of it. We’ve put concrete on the entire earth, connecting everyone, to everyone else.

When space gets tight, […]

By |December 20th, 2013|Get Your Mind Right, Uncategorized|2 Comments