Hey there, my name is...
Where I'm From:
What I Do:
I'm a Life & Confidence Coach helping my clients get 💯 results.
What I Love:
Enabling my clients to create awareness so they can reclaim their confidence, feel good in their skin, and live a life they're obsessed with while overcoming obstacles and scaling to new heights.
If this sounds like you, keep reading 😊 ⤵️
A Bit About Me
My name is Tara Hissen and I am a certified nutritionist, health & life coach and top macro-nutrient expert to ambitious and high-achieving women.
I know what it’s like to feel like you need to kill yourself in the gym daily and not get results. That used to be me. But then I discovered that there is so much more out there than trendy diets and broken promises. I’ve learned a proven method to help women, like you, overcome mindset blocks, build confidence and transform your life. And I can help you get there too.
My superpower is helping women like you achieve mental, physical, and lifestyle breakthroughs across four key areas:
💜 Relationships & Communication
Are you ready to take these areas of your life to the next level? Let's connect and work together!
A Q & A with Coach Tara
Q: Did you struggle with other unhealthy eating patterns as a result of unhealthy body image beliefs? If yes, what & how did they manifest themselves? How did they impact your life?
A: Yes, I struggled with other unhealthy eating patterns as a result of unhealthy body image beliefs. I remember when I was in college I played rugby for division 1. Because I'd been dieting for so long I recollect that I actually went to the doctor and asked him to prescribe me diet pills. The diet pills didn't do me any good because it kind of led to a little bit of anorexia - more bulimia than anorexia to the point where I would throw up. There were moments where I would find myself eating bags of chips in one sitting and then I would feel guilty about it and I would throw up. This became such a trend for me where I was taking diet pills and purging at the same time. I recall one time I actually ended up passing out! I was literally my smallest. When I looked in the mirror, I still thought I was big and I thought I needed to lose more weight so it was such a downward spiral.
I think what ended up happening was, because I used to party a lot in college I would drink alcohol instead of eat so I would binge drink to party and I would lessen the amount that I would eat and I started losing weight as well. I also recall down the line when I wanted to get shredded this was back in 2018 I wouldn’t necessarily say that I restricted foods but I restricted my calories to put myself into a calorie deficit so that I could lose weight.
I did a program for 12 weeks and I lost a lot of weight! I was down to a 128 lb and looking at myself in the mirror that was not good enough... I still saw a big girl... I still didn't appreciate my body... I still didn't understand my self worth and did not value myself much.
I don't even remember how I got myself out of it.
The impact on my life was that I always thought of my self worth as a number on the scale... or how I looked in the mirror... or that I had thick thighs. I felt like no one wanted to be my boyfriend because of my body.I felt uncomfortable in the clothes that I wore, in the things that I tried doing, and I would always compare myself to other girls.
It really affected me mentally and I would have to say it wasn't until the tail end of 2019 where I really began to work on myself and heal from inside and recognize that my body is magnificent and can do so much. I should be grateful for and I am grateful for and I love my body. Even though it's not where I wanted to be I know that this is where I am now. This is the journey that I've taken and I accept it and accept me for who I am. At the end of the day, my self-worth is not going to be determined by the shape or size or weight that I am.
Dieting all those years really affected my self-esteem. From the age of 7, I thought that I am not worthy unless I'm a specific size or weight and that became my story, that became my belief for the majority of my life up until I was 32. That's a really long time from 7 to 32 and it honestly took a lot of inner work, it took a lot of confronting my family, confronting friends, letting go of old beliefs, and accepting that that was the past that I went through. Now, I know that no matter what size, shape or weight I am, my body is badass! It could do things that a lot of people can't do... like I can pick up heavyweights and my body is my temple. That's how I treat my body - my temple. No one else is going to tell me what I should or shouldn't eat, what I should or shouldn’t look like. I grew up with telling me I should look this way, I should not eat that.
That is no longer my story. My story is I do me, I do what I want to do.
Q: What was the main starting trigger that caused you to engage in unhealthy eating patterns?
A: I started dieting when I was seven. My parents were yo-yo dieters and so I learned those habits and patterns from them. It just kind of trickled down and that became my lifestyle that became what I knew. Every time I looked at myself in the mirror I saw a chubby kid and you know I would always feel upset about it.
Growing up in a middle eastern culture that's just very critical on the way you look and it really did affect me. That was the main starting trigger that caused me to engage in my unhealthy eating patterns because I was always trying to do something. I didn't know better and I didn't have the education, my parents didn't have the education, I lacked the nutrition education, I lacked the science behind the nutrition that you actually should be eating Whole Foods and you can eat junk food just everything in moderation.
Because I was taught diet restriction at such an early age I thought that that was the answer to losing weight so cut everything out and you lose weight but that's not how it works or the fact that you're eating 1200 calories and not really knowing and understanding how to fuel your body properly. I think a lot of it is lack of nutrition knowledge and lack of self-awareness of your own body and what your body can do for you.
Q: What daily triggers caused these unhealthy eating patterns?
A: I must admit that I wasn’t always this patient or a calm person, I was actually a very angry person and I had a big temper. So when things didn’t go my way my temper with set off and that would trigger my emotions and I would have to say that I was an emotional eater and that became my habit.
When you diet restrict, your survival instinct kicks in. And when you’re told that you can’t eat XYZ then that is exactly what’s gonna happen you’re not gonna eat that and then it becomes a habit that when you set off your trigger, you begin to feel those emotions; anger, boredom, unhappiness etc...
In addition, I was also the only child, and often times I was picked on. I was bullied as a child and my binge eating more or less happened as a child. I remember as a child I would sneak into the kitchen and there was Nutella in the cabinet and I would grab spoonfuls of Nutella and eat it when everyone in the household would be sleeping. I definitely learned these habits from my parents.
That said, it was my choice to put an end to these habits that were formed and it's up to me to take ownership and change myself for the better.
Q: How did society’s view of beauty impact your view of yourself?
A: I always thought I had to be skinny, tall, blonde, blue eyes, and growing up that was something that I always wanted to be.
I wished I was taller.
I wished I was skinny, had blonde hair and colourd eyes.
I feel like I got gypped (genetically speaking), looking at it now, in hindsight I love the color of my eyes because they’re very unique they’re not just brown they’re actually hazel depending on the mood I’m in, and the coloured rim of my eyes. I've learned how to love myself and appreciate how god and my parents created me.
I would have to say that society makes it that short females or bigger women aren’t what women should look like and I think the beauty impacted me because I never thought I was beautiful, I never thought I was good enough, I never thought I was pretty and the truth is told, we have that control to allow it to affect us or not affect us and for some people, it just affects them greatly (like myself) and you believe that they’re not beautiful or pretty.
When you believe that you’re beautiful and pretty then you have a totally different insight on a lot of things in life and how you start to view yourself in the public eye.
Beautiful comes in all different shapes, sizes, and looks.
Q: What do you love about your body now that you are healthy?
A: I absolutely love how capable my body is of doing whatever I ask it to do. I love that I understand when my body needs a break. It gives me signs. I love that my body and I and my mind are so in tune that I understand when something is wrong and what’s going on, it’s about being self-aware and I've built that relationship with my body to basically allow m to get to know if something is going on or something isn’t right.
I love my body, not for the shape or size, it is but for being able to do things that I want it to do. That’s the most important thing to me. That my body is able to do things for me.
The fact is, that I’ve built a healthy relationship with my body and myself and that has allowed me to truly understand when my body needs to rest and when I can push it and when to stop pushing it. that’s what I love about my body now that I’m healthy.
Q: What are your career milestones?
A: I graduated from college when I was 21 years old and I started working in corporate America whilst I was a Junior in college for a paint store. Not where I thought I would have ended up.
To be honest I was always embarrassed to be working for a paint store. I started off as an assistant store manager and worked my way up to operations store manager. This allowed me to buy my first home at 23. That was one of my biggest milestones.
At the age of 25, I lost my job and was unemployed for a year or so, where I was collecting unemployment and doing odd jobs here and there. I attempted insurance and life insurance sales and that was not my jam.
I recall throughout my career there was always someone that wanted me out because I was a fast learner and was a threat to their job. So I got let go quite a bit. At this time in my life, I was lacking self-esteem and didn't know my worth.
After a year of searching for work, during this time, I had stumbled upon a gym in Sacramento and the owner at the time took me under her wing and that’s when my journey in health and fitness began. I knew I had a bigger purpose in life and creating an impact in people's lives is what I was meant to do.
I was still lost and had a mortgage that I needed to pay so I picked up, sold everything, and moved to Dubai.
I had a sales gig lined up for myself in Dubai for a nutrition and food company. I found that working for this company was not my cup of tea, I busted my butt over achieved my numbers and my boss underappreciated my strengths.
At some point I was unemployed for a couple of months and my friend took me in. I worked at random gigs and found myself with another job in sales once again, this time it was for Technogym, and they wanted to place me in a city outside of Al Ain and that too was not my cup of time.
Alas, I landed a marketing operations job with Microsoft Gulf and that was probably one of the best jobs I ever had. I was surrounded by driven individuals and I was blessed to have had this opportunity. The one thing about Microsoft is that I wore way too many hats, thus my work was never quite acknowledged and some of my projects were rejected later to be taken and used by others.
That was corporate for you.
I knew my purpose in life was larger than corporate America. became too stressful and it directly impacted my health. I left Microsoft to work for Thomson Reuters (which became Clarivate Analytics) and that lasted a year. I was blessed at Clarivate Analytics because I manifested an abundance of money and was able to leave and start my own business.
I am so grateful for it.
Q: Who inspired you the most along your recovery journey?
A: This is hard to answer because during my journey I was always left to my own devices. I didn’t have the direction I needed from the mentors I had, they served their purpose however they were too masculine energy for me at the time. I would have to say that I was most inspired by one of my coaches that introduced me to power rituals. It helped me change and improve myself and personally grow into the woman that I am.