I’ve been asked countless times, “Mike, I’m eating well, I just can’t seem to lose the weight… what am I doing wrong?”

I’m usually quick to ask “What’s eating well look like to you?” As part of my coaching, I like to believe the best in everyone, but honestly, seeing is believing so I generally follow that question up with “Can you show me what each meal has been exactly in the past three days?”

Most often, that person cannot.

More often they say something to the effect of

“Well, it’s just really tough when the boys want to go out for wings and beer after the game… when my wife wants to do pizza and wine night on Friday and the kids are always on the go for band recital, soccer practice and other extra curricular events… I just don’t wanna be that guy, you know?”

I do. However, own it. You get to make that choice to get wings and beer, enjoy the pizza or choose to eat fast food from the drive thru en route to the kids practice… only you get that choice. And to piggyback on this, it’s not only to do with nutrition. If you find yourself in any less than ideal situation, maybe you just lost your job, maybe you’re considering starting your own business, maybe you want to pursue a passion – whatever it is, if you don’t have the social support, the likelihood of you achieving that dream significantly decreases.

It’s amazing how much we are influenced by the social circles that we are in. I found a very interesting article that explain the power of social support very clearly, from my friends and fellow coaches at Precision Nutrition. Take a read if you think you might know someone that’s got the right intentions but the wrong friends. Might be time to cut the line…. [Read the full article here]

Ciao, babes!

Xo

M

 

Featured Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

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There no secret. Alliterations aside, my friends are few, fucking and fantastic.

When you have a crew that’s got your back, a crew that invites you inside their world, inside their dreams… you just feel safe.

I owe a lot to my friends. “A lot” in the sense of the man I’ve become. Without the love, support and patience, especially the patience – I would be lost in the woods.

And oftentimes I feel that I still am.

But you know what, it’s a helluva lot more fun to get lost together.

Thanks for reading,

It’s been a blast. A whirlwind. A lot has changed in a few short days. And up in Edmonton, no less. It is funny how the smallest things make the biggest difference. The conversations, the laughs, the late nights-into-early-mornings and the way that we just approach other human beings. More than the health initiative, more than the number ones and the number twos we’ve sat and had beers with. None of that matters with out a solid grasp of conversation.

Australia. Vancouver. These once seemed like dreams. Thank you so much BreakOut West. You broke down walls within the industry and have set a path to a new way of doing things. Incredible.

We are building a community and building a support system within that community. It’s amazing what the power of unity can do.

Big shout out to everyone that’s made my life a lot more purposeful in these past few days. Some special thanks to my new Aussie friends, Fran, Geoff, Winterbourne, Letters To Lions, Kylie and the rest of Team Aus. New friendships in  Chu, Jeremy G, Amanda, Ron, Brandon, Owen and reestablished connections with Chris W and Chris B. Great hoodie, man.

The amazing love from The Matinee – Matt and the dudes, thank you for everything. It’s amazing what the power of community will do. This extends to everyone on the list, you’ve always got a place to stay in Calgary. The music community is a close network of the hardest working, most inspiring human beings on this planet and together we will change the landscape. I’m excited to see what’s next.

Let’s take the scenic route. Pay attention and enjoy the ride.

-Ciao

The snow falls so peacefully. So close,

And lays a solid crunch under his boots.

That soft reminder of the few years past,

Of how easy it is to become naive of the power of closeness.

The snow doesn’t fall in perfect time, it goes unchallenged by most passers by

It knows no opposition, everyone loves its cold, persuasive, often self-loving charm

Nor does it lay with poise,

It’s natural beauty deceives even the shrewdest of negotiators

But as he crunches along, alone with his two best friends, himself and his pup

He’s got one thing for sure on this icey snake, this trickster of the winter

As he is not falling

The snow may be magnificent, powerful, alluring even…

And it can be…

But it’s falling. And when it falls. It makes contact with reality and is subject to two fates –

To lay as background to children,

Or to be trampled under foot as he and his dog continue on down the road.
📸

What the eff is up with New Years?

Too often I find that people can’t wait until the New Year to make changes. Be it, lifestyle – you know? Diet and exercise… “I’m going to work out!”… -cough, cough-

Or maybe they’re going to start a new ambition such as learning a new language or reading more or simply just devoting more of their time to friends. Whatever it is, I struggle to understand why the heck they need to wait for an arbitrary day in the calendar year to make the switch.

I am here to make one thing very, very clear.

Why wait to do what you can today, tomorrow?

People simply can’t wait for tomorrow, the new moon, next week, Friday…etc etc… and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I’m certainly not saying I’m removed from it. I was that too, guilty as charged. However, over the course of some deep soul searching this season, reflective of my past two or three years, some friendships gained and strengthened, others completely written off, a thriving career in sport ripped away from me, forcing me into a ton of debt and sub-par living situations my health and my dog and a broken marriage and life that was completely flipped on its head – all these things due to events and circumstances out of my control. What have I learned? Well, even though things happen in life that may be completely out of your control, you’re in complete control of how you react to those situations. That mindset has been a game changer for me.

What’s this got to do with New Years? Well, if you’re still stuck on the “resolution” bus pay close attention. I have news – if you’re waiting for the new year, simply another day, an external force to help change your outcome, you’re being trolled along in the human condition.

Don’t fear failure… it’s only experience.

Set your own expectations each and every day. Build upon positive daily habits. Identify areas of weakness for you, address them, recognize them, but don’t focus energy on shit you’re no good at.Try hard at everything you do and don’t worry about missing the mark. Mistakes happen. Treat each one of them as a lesson, an area to learn and grow from. I believe that if you’re not making mistakes you’re not trying hard enough. Don’t fear being wrong. It’s okay. Basically nothing in life except driving into oncoming traffic is irreversible. And, whether you admit it or not, 9 times out of 10 you have a choice. Even when you think you don’t… you do. As my pops told me when I started playing some serious stick-puck, “don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. That’s something I live by.

Be active, eat well and keep your head straight. Without all three in top performance you are not at your true maximum capability. And even then… you probably aren’t. That’s okay, because lifestyle is about progress. It’s not all about perfection.

While my holidays have been a rather difficult time, managing the past and doing my absolute best to quell the depression and maintain some sense of inner peace, I have got one thing to be incredibly thankful for: my health. Without an able body I wouldn’t had the ability to help my friends move. Without proper fuel in the machine I wouldn’t be able to get up with energy to think of ways to afford life and drive forward though all the adversity, and without time to myself each morning and evening I wouldn’t have had the strength in my mind to persist. It’s amazing to have a few close friends and family stick by my side, many people don’t know what it’s like to battle mental illness and hell, often times we don’t even know we are waging that war ourselves! I’m happy to say I’ve conquered it, but little bits this time of year seep back in like when a shitty ex-girlfriend’s CD she lent you 4 years ago pops up on shuffle just when you were over it… that’s basically where I’m at right now.

-spoiler alert, cryptic spoiler alert…-

Sure, I might have to sacrifice a little in order to help grow an empire behind the scenes, but I figure that’s a small price to pay short-term in the long-term game of life. There’s always a choice and I’m choosing to do things the right way in order to be able to come back to my goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Takeaway – keep your health as your priority. At the end of the day, it’s the only thing you’re taking with you when you leave this place so make sure it’s a finely tuned machine. Sure, I have a ton of cool things that are happening in the upcoming few months, but they wouldn’t have been there had I told myself “Tomorrow”. I was proactive. I encourage you to be proactive too and toss the resolution mantra aside in favour of just building on what you’ve got and progressing daily. One step at a time. So, hi 2017 – you’re nothing special. You’re another day. I’m still going to work just as hard each and every day, and you’re not the reason I’m going to be successful. I am.

On that note. I want to take my puppy, Darwin for a walk. We stayed in ate pizza and a beer and watched the Flames for New Years. Today we walk and hang out. He’s my bud. Do what you love and love what you do. Puppies are great examples…

Make today your absolute best! Become a better human, TODAY!

K, sweet, good chat.

SCHWARTZ

Have you ever come across someone that just doesn’t get it? Someone who feels as if they lose an argument or fail to prove a point they run the risk of looking powerless in front of their peers? Have you ever had a disagreement with someone so insecure that they stormed off from the room because they simply couldn’t hear someone tell them to consider another view, another perspective or someone else’s feelings but their own?

I have. It was one of the most emotionally draining last 6 weeks of my life. Why am I ranting about this now? Well, I hope to give you some foresight when you consider who you’re hanging out with. I have come to the conclusion this at one-time friend of mine just didn’t respect herself. And while we don’t need to discuss the details, half because it’s not-relevant, half because it’s really depressing to think that they’re people out there that think this kind of behaviour is okay… just know that ignorant, malicious and absolutely tactless actions do not sit well with me. No, no – I have a moral compass that’s on track and I do not associate with those that aren’t on the same path as me. Not from an elitist standpoint or anything, just because I don’t want that kind of negative energy around me, my dog and my flow… you know?

So I’ve created a quick checklist that now in hindsight, I will use when considering if this human being is worthy of my time, energy and general care. Yes, I am encouraging you to be picky with who you are around. Why? So you don’t get used, abused and thrown to the wolves. I’m going to give you a two-steps ahead approach to identifying a human being that doesn’t respect themselves…

  1. Can They Live? – When considering  human beings you want to be around make sure you can have a sober conversation with them. And that you can get along with them when they’re sober. Do this before you put yourself into situations such as I did. Like living with them. Or you’ll find that when they’re not high or drunk, their socially awkward tendencies show full-bore. It’s not pretty. And it’ll make you depressed.
  2. Watch How They Interact With Others – Early on when you’re getting to know a particular human being you may want to hang out with more often, pay attention to how they react to people in need, eccentric/socially awkward people, persons with handicaps or hell even visible minorities. You won’t even have to have a conversation about it which will make things really easy on you. Would you hang out with a human being that publicly makes fun and tries to draw more attention to someone that”doesn’t fit in” with the trendy clothes or is a little hard up for money? Do you stand up or down to bullies? Because that’s all this insecure piece of work is…
  3. Listen To How They Describe Things (Especially Their Accomplishments) – Do they say “we”, “our” and “us” or does it sound a little more like “I”, “me” and “everyone else”. The human being that repeatedly uses the latter is kind of like a rabid, cornered wild dog. You may upset this dog with words and phrases such as “cooperation”, “teamwork” and “division of labour” (or just “labour” in most cases). The human being that takes credit where credit isn’t due or doesn’t give credit where credit is due is the same person that just doesn’t get it. Doesn’t understand the all for one, one for all approach that has proven t’s worth time and time again in any relationship. Please remove yourself from association with these types of human beings. They will never have your back.
  4. Do They Love Themselves? – Well now you’re going to be all like “Mike, WTF?” I mean it, you want a human being that genuinely loves themselves. Why? Well, until they love themselves they’ll struggle to love another person. So unless you plan on being trampled and used for years on years (like I did in a few other relationships that are now fortunately cut forever…) I’d suggest you identify things like their lifestyle patterns (like nutrition, exercise, meditation/self-work), they’re stance on volunteering, faith and charity, and if whether or not they are a Blue Jays fan. These things are all roots (Okay, maybe not the Jays…) that are engrained into how they’ll carry out actions down the road. If you don’t line up in the root of the problem, you’ll continually have disagreements on silly things. Well, they’re not silly – but they’re symptoms of the deeper issue. (ex. Human being doesn’t recycle old boxes, used cans or bottles or donate unwanted, used clothes… would rather just throw it out and be done with the hassle. Human being doesn’t just hate the environment and have no sympathy for the less fortunate, no no… this human being is just plain ungrateful. Likely because this person has rarely had to earn anything if their life. It’s worth noting that this person is also probably NOT a Jay’s fan.)

I think these are 4 pretty solid determining factors of whether or not you should carry on with a relationship of any sort with the human being in subject. I truly believe that a person that fails this type of general assessment really just doesn’t respect themselves. And I’ll be the first to say that if that person doesn’t respect themselves, they’ll likely care less about all other the other people around them. Especially when those people no longer serve them any good…. If  you care to add some insight, please do! I’m interested to hear what others think about finding people around them and choosing the right people to surround themselves with.

Remember, you don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star. Stay sweet, kids.

Coach

Now that it’s official, I can disclose my events of a typical day in the life of my new found (and very exciting!) lifestyle. Basically, for a synopsis, it’s sleep, eat, train, eat again, nap, eat and train again. Repeat. I can’t even describe how much I love it so far.

Here’s today

10am Wake-Up (Not typical, don’t ask about my weekend….)

10:30-11 Breakfast #1

11-12:30 Hang out and relax with Ryan over a tasty Americano, Arrested Development and a bit of a pre-lift breakfast #2/lunch #1

12:30-3 Weights (Day 1 Week 3 Leg Hypertrophy Program), 30′ spin flush and a nice relaxing steam

3:30-5 Laundry, lunch #2, meal prep for tonight and tomorrow (long grain brown rice, mixed veggies and hot chill bbq chicken!)

5:30/6 ish- 7ish Naptime

7-9 Big ride

9-9:30 Din-din

10ish, 10′ Icebath & Bed

It’s early on, I’m sure I’ll tire over the course of the season but it’s an incredible feeling knowing that I am doing this. Finally.

I can’t thank my support team enough. My mom, dad, bro and sis top the list, but then there’s my coaches, Jeff and Shannon and all my friends and extended family that are in my corner. It’s going to be a tough few years for sure, but it’s a lot easier when you’ve got a team like this behind you. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more good news shortly. (just a tease.. I know..)

Thank you.

To close, please, if you can share this link around www.makeachamp.com/dasschwartz it gives me a shot at collecting more funding to be one step closer to it all.