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Meet Kiah Twisselman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiah Twisselman.

Kiah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Growing up, I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t overweight, I’ve battled obesity most of my life. I was raised in rural California an hour from the nearest grocery store, gas station, or high school on my family’s now seventh generation cattle ranch. We were surrounded by wide open spaces, beautiful wildlife, and the most incredible home-cooked meals. Food was comfort for me. I ate when I was sad, angry, excited, happy, bored, you name it. My weight made doing normal things on the ranch difficult for me, whether that was lifting hay bales or feeding cattle, being able to mount a horse or keep up with my brothers and cousins.

I yo-yo dieted off and on through high school and college. I wanted to be fit and beautiful like my friends. I wanted to be able to keep up with them, play sports, go hiking, go to the lake or beach and wear a bathing suit without being ashamed or embarrassed. I would mask my insecurities about my weight with humor, always striving to be the kindest, funniest person in the room to compensate for how disgusting I felt. After so many failed attempts, I would eventually get to a point where I accepted that I was a victim to the poor genetic hand I was dealt and that just maybe there was nothing I could do about it.

Things started to change for me after a flight from Kentucky to Arizona for a work conference. I had just bought that book everyone on my social media was raving about, Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Wash Your Face. On that one plane ride, squished into an airplane seat that was much too small for my body, I devoured her book from start to finish. It was the words I needed at the time I was ready to receive them. It was a wake-up call for me that if I wanted to change anything about my life – my health, my career, my relationships – then it was 100% up to me to do it. Instead of playing victim to my circumstances – my job, my income, my genetics – I knew it was time that I take massive ownership of my choices and massive ownership of my life. In that moment I felt free, uncaged from believing that change was out of my control.

I started following Rachel on social media and saw her “Last 90 Day Challenge” pop up in my feed. The premise behind the challenge was that instead of throwing away the last quarter of the year to the holidays and putting off your dreams until January 1, what if instead you ended the year your absolute strongest? She had what she called her “5 to Thrive,” five simple daily habits that she challenged you to do each day for the last 90 days of the year.
1. Get up an hour earlier than you normally do and use that time for yourself.
2. Workout for at least 30 minutes.
3. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
4. Give up one food category you know you shouldn’t be eating.
5. Write down ten things you’re grateful for every single day.

At the age of 25 on October 1, 2018 I decided I could start there. I could keep that one promise to myself to do five simple habits for 90 days just to see what would happen. By the end of December, I had lost 25 pounds, and for the first time in my life I didn’t feel like on January 1st, I was making a bunch of empty promises I knew I wouldn’t stick with. I regained confidence in myself, started trusting that if I said I was going to do something that I would actually stick with it. I started speaking better to myself, fueling my health journey with self-love and a desire to become the best version of me instead of self-hate and a desperation to want to change who I was. In one year, I lost 103 pounds and more than 125 pounds to date. I am now a full-time life coach and weight loss coach, using my own battle with obesity to help empower women all across the country to learn how to love themselves to health and happiness too.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have been countless challenges and obstacles along my health journey. None of us are entitled to a transformation without showing up and doing the work, and none of us are entitled to having it easy along the way. There were many moments that I felt like quitting and giving up. Maybe it was when I hit a plateau and the scale wasn’t moving in the direction that I wanted to go, or maybe it was in the moments when I just didn’t feel like showing up. I learned along the way how to rethink my relationship with failure. I used to think failure was a stopping point, that it was proof I wasn’t cut out for it, using all my mistakes as evidence for why I wasn’t strong enough to reach my goal. I’ve learned to embrace and welcome failure, not as a signal of defeat but as a sign of progress. Each failure I’ve faced has been a valuable learning opportunity. Instead of seeing them as opportunities to judge or shame myself, I’ve learned to see them as valuable and necessary teachers along the way. If you are failing you are making progress, as long as you continue failing forward. No matter what journey you are on or what dream you are chasing, failure is guaranteed. It is standing back up after failing that is a choice and a choice too often people don’t choose to make for themselves.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
After embarking on my health journey and losing over 125 pounds, I discovered my passion for helping others navigating the same struggles I was able to overcome. In August 2019, I officially launched Coach Kiah, my life coaching business focused on helping women through their weight loss journeys. What I came to realize from my own journey and working with women all across is country is that most of us know HOW to lose weight. We typically know how to make healthy food choices and how to move our bodies, the problem is that we keep giving up on ourselves and self-sabotaging along the way. Unlike traditional diet programs, my weight loss coaching really focuses on the mindset aspect of weight loss. I teach my clients the mental tools to help them rebuild their relationships with themselves from the inside out to create a healthy life they love. Through my coaching program and the digital course, I will be launching later this summer, I teach women how to live life intentionally to lovingly lose the weight for good.

Over the last year, I have been featured in People Magazine, Good Morning America, Daily Mail, Access Hollywood, Women’s Health and more to share my story. I used to feel like a victim to my battle with weight, but looking back now I can say that my battle with obesity was maybe the greatest blessing of my life. Now having been able to get to the other side of that struggle, I have the incredible honor or helping so many other women because of it and it has been hands down the most rewarding part of my journey.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I think luck is all about perception and the way we choose to look at things. There are so many things in my life I feel extremely lucky for – an incredible childhood, a supportive family, opportunities to get an education and travel. There are also things in my life I used to feel extremely unlucky for, primarily being my genetics and my weight problem that I battled with for 25 years. Looking back now, I’m able to say with confidence that my battle with obesity was perhaps the greatest blessing in my life. Because I was able to overcome that obstacle, I have been able to build a career that allows me to empower other women across the globe walking through that same journey. For that, I pinch myself every day and feel so dang lucky for the way my struggles created the person that I am today.

Changing my perception from feeling like life was happening TO me, as though I was a victim to the world and my circumstances, to the mindset that life is happening FOR me instead, taking ownership of my choices, has completely changed the game for me. While I feel so lucky each and every day, I also know the work that it took to get me to this place. I made a decision to reach for more, to be willing to try and fail, and more important than anything, I chose to keep going even when it got hard. There is nothing special about me and no amount of luck that means that I can do this and other people can’t. I want my journey to be an example of what is possible when we start believing in ourselves to instill a glimmer of hope into other women striving to be their best selves too.

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Image Credit:

Brent Burchett

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