Mario Tomic – My Story

Mario Tomic
So who is Mario Tomic? How did this guy get to where he is?

I'm a fitness coach, entrepreneur, public speaker, and world traveler.

I've spent the last 7 years of my life studying and teaching the cutting edge science-based principles of exercise, nutrition, behavior change psychology, and personal development.

Aside from an M.Sc. Degree in Computing, I'm a certified physique coach.

How I got to where I am now?

How does an average guy with mediocre genetics, born in a poor country just before the start of the Yugoslavian war, with barely any social skills and with barely any English skills (My native language is Croatian) end up traveling the world helping entrepreneurs get into amazing shape?

Since I get this question a lot, on this page, I decided to share a part of my life journey to inspire you to take action and change your life.

Enjoy reading!

Skinny Fat, Beer Belly Gamer Gets Into Incredible Shape

Mario World Of Warcraft

A few years ago, if you told me that one day I would be walking around at 8% body fat…

And that I would be coaching hundreds of guys from all around the world to get lean and strong, I probably would have laughed in your face.

And if you told me that I'd be doing YouTube videos, sharing my thoughts with millions of people I would probably think you're crazy.

You see, during college, I wasn't exactly the best example of a healthy person.

Imagine this.

A skinny fat World of Warcraft guy with long hair, swollen face, pale skin and at any moment looking like he's about to pass out.

My diet consisted of salty potato chips, chocolate, and sandwiches.

I rarely had water. It was either soda or juice.

The only physical activity I had was going from the computer to the cafeteria, the vending machine outside of the dorm room or to the nearby bakery which was 2 minutes walking away.

The heaviest I had to lift was a sandwich and a large soda bottle.

The Day I Quit World of Warcraft

After a few years of hardcore gaming, I decided to “get a life” and quit.

It wasn't the first time I had thought about quitting.

But it was the first time I actually uninstalled the game and canceled my subscription.

A few friends also decided to stop, and we made a pact that we'll do it together.

Looking back, it was more luck than anything.

I remember that first day after quitting WoW.

I didn't know what to do with myself.

I felt very lethargic, borderline depressed, and all I could think of is play the game.

In the next following days, half of my dreams were about the game.

As much as I wanted to reinstall the game, I wasn't going to let my friends down.

It was no longer just about the game. It was about integrity.

And that desire for congruence was is what gave me the initial accountability.

Strangely, even though I had no idea about psychology, cognitive biases, or cognitive dissonance I always had a strong desire to maintain integrity.

It's probably related to the way I was raised. My mother was the one that instilled the values of being a man of your word.

And to this day I still live by that value.

For the first few weeks after quitting, “The pull” to get back into playing was getting crazy.

I'm not sure how real addiction feels, but I was having regular dreams winning new items and talking in-game with my clan planning a raid.

It took almost 2 months before I felt “normal.”

I kept myself busy with other types of entertainment, studying, and socializing (for the first time in my life.)

Imagine a 22-year gamer old with zero social skills going out to clubs and bars.

My social anxiety was through the roof.

All of my existing friends were in a similar boat.

And not long after we replaced gaming with going out and drinking.

The “extra” free time we had was now invested into partying and drinking.

Wasted Mario :)

Our nutrition was a combination of beer, cheap wine, and fast food.

It was a very self-destructive behavior.

And it lasted for a few months.

Luckily we had to sober up for exams otherwise who knows what would have happened.

Now, you might think that being a party animal gets you into the best social circles…

And that you meet a lot of new friends, get tons of girls, etc… but that far from the truth.

As an introvert, after years of gaming, the social anxiety was so intense that even under the influence of alcohol I would still be too afraid to approach a girl or talk to a stranger.

At the time, fitness and health weren't even on the radar, but luckily things soon changed.

The First Step Toward a Better Future

After I had graduated college, with a masters degree in computing, I moved back to the village to live with my parents while searching for a job.

 

I had no savings and no income.

There was A LOT of pressure to find a job fast.

Unfortunately, this is the exact time of a huge financial crisis. (Croatia is generally not the best place for employment)

Long story short, it took a whole year before getting my first job, it was very depressing.

And this period thought me a big lesson.

It was the first time I realized how the world works, and that no one owes you anything.

I slowly lost hope in the system which my parents and everyone around me told me to trust.

Something isn't right, and I knew it.

I did things the way they were supposed to be done:

  • Be a straight A student in high school.
  • Get scholarship for the university
  • Graduate with a Master's Degree in Computing

And that was supposed to guarantee a great job… but it didn't.

I was absolutely broke and still relying on my parents.

It felt horrible.

I would think back to all the college partying that almost led my parents to bankruptcy.

They were sacrificing everything to finance me, and now I can't even get a job to take care of myself or them or anyone.

For the first time in my life, I felt emotional leverage. Something had to change.

It was time to take things into my own hands.

Looking back, this was the tipping point

I was complaining to one of my friends who moved to Australian, and he recommended me to read a book.

The book he gave me was book Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins.

Knowing him, and the fact that I didn't think of him as someone who would even read a book I was intrigued.

Short after, I started reading Awaken the Giant Within.

Every sentence made sense. My mind was blown.

The book came at the right time in my life, and it was the catalyst I needed to change.

There was no more waiting, no more excuses. It was time to take action.

If I look at it now, it took half a decade to compound enough leverage to change my life.

My 3 Big Goals At The Time:

  1. Get your health and fitness in order. That's the foundation
  2. Get any job, learn new skills, and take control of the situation
  3. Find a mentor or a coach who's been where you want to go

Following step number 1, I signed up for a gym in the city 10 minutes car drive away.

Having no prior experience in fitness, I asked one of my friends who was training for some time to recommend me a program.

He made me a simple workout and a diet plan and told me about am online Croatian bodybuilding forum.

The exercise and the nutrition program were absolute bro-science.

I needed to start. I needed something.

It wasn't about doing things perfectly. It was about taking action in a positive direction and building momentum.

For the first 3-4 months, I've followed, and implement every single word of what he said.

To give you a bit of an idea of what the situation was back then…

When I started training, I couldn't bench more than ten reps with the empty bar (45 lbs / 20 kg).

Body Tranformation From Fat to Six Pack Ripped Fitness Model

Transformation after seven months of training and dieting

I started seeing results very fast, And in those first 7 months, I hadn't missed a single workout or a single meal.

The program was sub-optimal. However, I did get some basics right:

1 – I focused on getting stronger, training about 1 hour 5 times a week with one cardio session on day 6.

2 – The diet was relatively healthy with lots of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.

3 – I slept 8 hours.

4 – For liquids, I only had water and green tea

What Changed In My Mind?

I started with a firm decision. I didn't wait for things to be perfect and I went all-in.

It was actually a very similar mindset I had when I was playing videos game.

The key to success was practice and consistency, same as in Unreal Tournament, DotA or World of Warcraft.

But instead of leveling up a virtual character, I focused on leveling up myself.

And it all paid off, big time.

Life lesson: Start before you feel ready.

The fact that you're not ready for it is what will make you grow as a person.

You can always make changes as you go along.

Social Support is Critical

In the first few months of training, I slowly started to get to know the most successful guys in the small town gym.

It's easy to see who are the most successful guys in a gym.

Hint: The ones who show up consistently and give it their best.

It was funny to see how many guys just showed up a few weeks in January and a few weeks before summer.

The most developed guys, those who had great results, were consistent regardless of the time of the year, the holidays, vacations and all other events.

Training and a health life was a priority.

That's one of the main lessons I've learned from being in this gym.

I was just a newbie who was eager to learn and soak up all the bro-tips.

Some of these guys were training over ten years at that point. Their advice such as focusing on strength and a healthy diet was invaluable.

Another place I learned a lot was that Croatian bodybuilding forum that my friends recommended me.

I ended up soaking up a lot of great knowledge from members who had a lot of experience.

It felt like I became a part of a new world.

Now, looking at all the scientific research, it's crystal clear that having mentors, coaches, and a support group is the fastest way to reach your goal.

My First Job & Discovering Self-Development

After a whole year, I finally landed a job.

This was the first step to my independence.

All this time I was eating whatever I could get my hands on, trying to get in as much protein as I could.

My parents were making a lot of sacrifices to provide for the entire family.

And I'm forever grateful for having such amazing people to take care of me.

In a practical sense, I couldn't demand that my entire family goes on my diet, so it was sometimes tough to get the right nutrition.

Now, I had my first job I could finally finance my nutrition.

The first job was a regular 9 – 5 position as a network computer administrator.

It had a 2-hour commute.

And it was paid well enough for me to continue training, healthy nutrition, and to start getting my life sorted out.

At work, every minute of free time I would spend reading and learning.

I read everything from Tony Robbins and discovered Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, and other personal development gurus.

Also, I started reading more about financial independence.

Books such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The E-Myth Revisited, The Millionaire Fastlane, and The 4-Hour Workweek inspired me to learn more.

I started visualizing every day how I would travel around the world, run my own business which would help people, and so I would not have to worry about finances.

A goal started to form.

Having that vision kept me motivated through hard times.

Salaries didn't come monthly, the project I was working on was consistently delayed, and I had no idea what would happen.

All of this inspired me to look more and more into starting my own business and learning new skills.

Today, 45+ countries later, the vision I had become a reality.

My company helps hundreds of entrepreneurs and successful professionals each year to help them master their own health and fitness.

I receive dozens of emails every week with success stories from the community.

YouTube videos were seen more than 10 million times from all over the world.

I kept going, taking action, challenging myself, learning, and it happened faster than I thought was possible.

My First Flight At The Age of 25

Leap Of Faith

Little over two years since I came back home from college and two years of working 9-5 it was time for a leap of faith.

During those two years of working 9-5, I've spent most of the second year on learning skills that would eventually allow me to work remotely.

I invested all the free time I had during work hours and outside of work into freelance writing and marketing focused on social media.

The goal was to master these skills so I could consult companies and provide services while being location independant.

Also, after the first year, the 9-5 job felt like a dead end.

Days were just passing by, and I was not progressing.

The emotional leverage started to build up again, and after the second year, I decided to quit that job.

Every person I knew told me I was crazy.

The job was with a government agency and “no one quits a government job in Croatia” as I've been told.

If you land a job like that, the consensus among the majority (including my family and friends) is to stick with it for the rest of your life until you retire.

My family was shocked when I decided to quit. They couldn't believe it.

After a whole year of unemployment, and being broke, relying only on my father's small salary…

I decided to leave a job at the time where jobs were in massive scarcity.

As an introvert, I wasn't in the habit of sharing my thoughts with anyone.

My family and friends had no idea what I was visualizing and dreaming about… I kept all those big goals to myself.

It came as a big shocking surprise to everyone when I announced that I've quit my job and that there was no coming back.

The next 6 months of my life were incredibly hard.

I started working as a freelancer on Fiverr.com, and as a Social Media intern for 2 different companies.

My goal was to get as much experience as I possibly can and work toward getting a job with one of the 2 companies.

I worked 14-16 hours every single day, passing out during breaks and sometimes falling asleep on the toilet due to exhaustion.

It was the first time in my life that I was under this my stress. I had put myself in a position where there was no coming back.

They call this “burning the boats.”

My primary sources of income were Fiverr gigs for which I was getting paid less than 4$ per gig. One of those took at least an hour. So I was paid efficiently $3.5 per hour.

At the time my English wasn't very well developed so I thought the fastest way to learn would be to sell services where I would write content for English website.

The gig to write 750-word articles for 4$  each (after fees).

Some people would order 10 of those articles at once.

The goal was 750 words, and on topics, I had to research hours and hours until I could write an article about it.

The other gig was website development. In some cases, I would build an entire website for 10$. Crazy when you think about it.

As insane as this sounds, my English improved VERY fast.

Within months I mastered a whole new vocabulary.

These freelancing gigs and the social media interns had me working 14-16 hours per day.

The only thing I did other than this was training and trying to get as much sleep as I can (usually 3-4 hours).

One of those internships was with an industry leading dating coaching company for which I ended up working online full-time.

When I landed that full-time online remote job, I could finally quit everything else.

My finances were now doubled compared to what I used to earn before.

And despite working more hours, I could finally work remotely!

That was the time I decided to start living the dream.

I bought my first ever airplane ticket at the age of 25.

And after spending the Christmas of 2012 with my family, I sat on an airplane for the first time in my life to fly to Netherlands.

Life was not the same after that.

How Did Fitness and Health Improve My Life?

A lot of principles that make you successful in the gym are the things that will make you successful in other areas of life.

Discipline, consistency, practice, pushing your limits, progress, and trusting the process bring success.

One big thing you learn from training and eating healthy is that change is possible.

You CAN improve yourself.

It's proof that if dedicate yourself to a goal, you will achieve it.

I've applied the same principles to learning social skills, to became more confident, outgoing, passionate, and purposeful.

All of these are skills.

No man is cut from a different cloth. We all have the potential to cultivate these skills.

Getting fit and healthy had a massive ripple effect in my life.

I hadn't had any long breaks from training in 7 years.

The incredible focus, discipline, and energy is something that fuels me every single day.

Health and fitness are the foundation.

Once you have a healthy body and a focused mind on your side, nothing can stop you!

 

Thank you for reading my story.

I hope this inspired you or at least got you thinking about ways you can improve your own life.

If you made it until this point, all I ask is that you share this article with anyone you think would be inspired by it.

Have a great day!

Mario Tomic

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