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Rising Stars: Meet Josh Pierce

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josh Pierce.

Hi Josh, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I never really thought I had a “story”. I remember telling my friends and other coaches “…but I don’t have a story to tell. My life isn’t anything spectacular, and nobody wants to hear about it.” When I started to craft my “story” in what I do today as a coach, I always said “My journey started after college, eight years ago, when I was at my lowest point physically and mentally.” I’ve come to realize that’s not true either. My story began long before that. I was the oldest of 3 siblings growing up in a small town Wisconsin family. Both of my parents struggled with their weight and eating habits, and my dad has been a Type 1 Diabetic since he was 12, so all of my life. I grew up watching him manage his health (blood sugars) with foods like Mountain Dew and Little Debbies. We were a busy family with all of us in sports, always on the go, so I grew to learn that convenience foods, like fast food and hamburger helper were family staples when life got crazy. All through high school, this was what I grew to see “nourishing my body” as, and I didn’t know anything different. At 16 years old, I was packing my cooler for my first job with 8 Mountain Dews and Little Debbies because this is what I thought men did–the man I looked up to did. I struggled with body image in high school, to the point where I was called names like “FBP” (for Fat Boy Pierce”, Bubble Butt, and “Cankles” in high school. and while I seemed to “fit in” at face value, I never truly felt like I fit in with my friends and that I was always the outcast. As a result, I wanted nothing more than to blend in life–never to stand out. I was 2nd in my high school class by GPA, and I didn’t want people to know I was smart, as I feared it would draw attention to me.

Fast forward to college, I continued to struggle with body image, and my food struggles really began to manifest in my life. When I would become stressed, I would turn to the eating habits that I saw modeled in the home as a child (fast food, convenience foods, etc.). I started to realize this wasn’t “normal” and that maybe my upbringing taught me something other people my age weren’t taught. Managing my body image and mental struggles with alcohol and convenience foods, I pushed my way through college. When I was 22 and my brother was 20 (we both went to college together and grew up as the best of friends, with a lot of mutual friends), he committed suicide, which shocked us all. He appeared to be the happiest guy in the world, with hundreds of friends and always smiling, but little did we know, he was struggling. I took this really hard as his older brother and best friend, wondering what was so bad he couldn’t talk to me about. I blamed myself for nearly nine years, knowing I had a lot of “baggage”, but not wanting to get the help I needed because “That’s not what men do.” I was a college guy at the time, so seeking help sounded crazy to me. Years later, I was working as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer with a security clearance, and yet again, I delayed getting help for fear of what it would do to my career. Graduating college and moving across the country to start a new life and career, I was at my lowest of lows, mentally and physically, and I knew that with no friends here in Orlando, it was time to turn over a new leaf, as I was really struggling to make the transition from a boy to a man.

The next five years were spent diligently learning and taking in everything I could about health and nutrition, reading blogs and forums instead of watching Netflix and going out to the bars. I became the guy my friends, family, and coworkers would come to for nutrition advice, and I always wondered “Why me? I don’t know this stuff.” I later realized they didn’t want an expert, but rather, someone who they could relate to–someone who gave them hope–a normal person making it work in a busy life. This is when I realized my gift to connect with and help others. For 18 months, I put off starting a coaching business for fear I didn’t have what it takes, but I ultimately got my nutrition certification and began coaching clients. I didn’t know who I wanted to help, but just that I wanted to help everyone I could because I knew how bad the struggle was. I felt like I had finally cracked the code after years of struggle, and now that I was holding the key, I couldn’t stand to watch everyone around me struggling with the same things I used to beat myself up for not knowing. My passion for coaching grew, and my fulfillment in law enforcement was waning. In September 2019, I decided to take the leap and pursue my coaching career full time, leaving the “comfortable”, stable LEO career to go after my dream, making a living changing others’ lives through nutrition, lifestyle, and development. So much of my mission is driven by my brother’s suicide, as I often wonder what would have been different if he just had one more person in his corner–maybe he would have felt safe sharing what was going on, and maybe he’d still be with us today.

My mission is to be that person for someone else, to help them believe in themselves when all else may feel lost. Over the last few years, my niche and my message has evolved through nutrition and helping women lose weight to now helping empower women to show up each day as their truest, most authentic selves, helping them create their identity, find clarity in what the life of their dreams looks like, break the belief systems that are holding them back in life, and take aligned action to build the life of their dreams–their most fulfilled life. I’m living this life myself today, as I never thought owning a business and having a lifestyle like this was for “people like me”, and now, my role is to empower women to stop holding back and to go after the life they were meant to life, just as I have. I’m not on a #MillionPersonMission to help one million women create their true identity and step into the life they were meant to live, where they no longer feel stuck and unfulfilled, that their bodies hold them back in life, to feeling like they can show up as their 100% authentic selves, unapologetically, and write their own rules in life, whether with their health and nutrition, their careers, their personal relationships, or their definition of success.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The road has not been smooth to get to where I am today. Through the mental and physical struggles in high school and college, struggling to find my identity as a young man, and then losing my brother to suicide ten years ago. I’ve learned each of those battles have contributed to my story, which I now use to help hundreds and thousands of women to find their true power and unleash it. One of the greatest challenges I’ve had to overcome was in 2019. Nine months into my coaching career, things really started to look up for me, as I had just hired my first coach, and I started to “get it”. As I mentioned, my father is a Type 1 Diabetic, and as a result, he suffered from kidney failure, which required him to undergo a kidney transplant. I was tested to be the donor and ended up being a match, so we went through with the transplant, my kidney to him, in February 2019. I thought I would use the 4-6 weeks after surgery in recovery to really build my business and make a massive impact, but things didn’t go as planned. Losing 20 lbs of muscle in recovery (not being able to strength train), I really began to struggle with my identity. I no longer recognized the person I saw in the mirror, and everything I had worked hard for the last eight years of my health journey–the sweat, tears, and sleepless nights, appeared to be gone in the blink of any eye.

The next few months for me were a mental battle, and I almost gave up on my dream of coaching. In fact, had I not already invested in coaching for a full year (six months in at the time), I would have given up coaching and gone back to the unfulfilling life I had recently left behind. Through my own coaching investments, I was able to pull through the lowest of lows and bounce back, to now owning a successful and thriving multiple 6 figure business, helping others see and believe that their identity is inside of them–that it’s nothing they can see in the mirror or on the scale, and that they can ultimately do whatever it is they want in life. Early in 2020, I decided to take the leap and finally get help with my own mental health, seeking out a therapist to help me sort through my past, my beliefs, and my purpose. Through this and working with multiple coaches at all times, I’ve realized the value of always having someone in my corner to help bring out the best in me so that I can use the gift I was given and do what it is in life I was meant to do. Every single day as an entrepreneur is a battle, the ups and downs of emotion, the imposter syndrome (not feeling I’m meant to be where I am today), and having broken free from the beliefs that my upbringing programmed me to believe to be true, which ultimately led me to “play it small” in life. I’ve now realized that if I play small, I will win “small”, but if I aim high, I can literally be whoever I want to be in life, and my experience and battles through this of my own is what helps me connect with and transform so many other women in a similar way.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
While it started out as a “Nutrition Coach”, I’ve evolved into a true life and development coach, creating change beneath the surface, at the identity level. I’ve learned that if we focus on nutrition and weight loss, we will get nutrition and weight loss (and only nutrition and weight loss), but if we look beneath the surface and work to change you at the identity level, helping you become the person you are truly meant to become–the person you want to become, that we cast a much bigger net, and inside that net, we get the nutrition and weight loss, but we also get so much more. You now know your identity and worth, so you have the confidence and power to leave your career that’s unfulfilling or your relationship that’s disempowering. I specialize in helping middle-aged women (typically ages 35-55) to create a more fulfilling life for themselves, where their bodies and fears no longer hold them back. I help them gain clarity in who this person is they want to become and what that life looks like for them, and then we build a clear roadmap to get them there in a way that allows them to write their own rules, so their approach fits inside their dream lifestyle, rather than having to build their lifestyle around a rigid and restrictive approach to life (e.g. nutrition). What sets me apart from others is my ability to connect with people at any level, meeting them where they are at, helping them shed the guilt and shame of their shortcomings and past failures, and empower them to not let their past define their future. My entire coaching approach is one of grace and kindness, as modeling that to the women I work with is a surfefire way for them to see that is the key to their success, rather than being so hard on themselves and boxing themselves into a plan or lifestyle they don’t enjoy.

I’m most proud of how profound my clients’ transformations are. Where they were once impressive weight loss transformations, eventually evolving into helping women find and create absolute food freedom, to now helping women transform their entire lives (conquering fat loss, uncovering their true power, and taking control of their lives from every angle). When the standard transformation on my team is “I started this to lose weight, and I’ve become a better mother, better wife, better friend, etc…While I still want to lose weight, if I never lost another pound, I would be totally okay with it because all of these other things are way way way way better,” I have a lot to be proud of. I am changing the world, one person at a time, helping people stop holding back in life and start living the life they were meant to live. I’m well-known in the online coaching space for the strong community I’ve built to empower people to live their best lives with a non-BS approach where you can truly write your own rules. I have a massive Facebook community, Fit To Be Fierce With Josh Pierce, as well as a growing team of clients who are learning how to unleash their power. I also have a podcast, Fit To Be Fierce, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all other major podcast platforms, where I share my ideas and strategies to help you understand how simple living in your power can be, so you too can create and live the life of your dreams.

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Image Credits

Photo taken by Lauren Schoepfer of Orlando

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