By Travis Sloat
Brian Kizzia knows most New Year’s Resolutions have a short lifespan because he has a front row seat to the life cycle of most resolutions.
Kizzia, a National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association certified personal trainer, has called Fort Gibson home for most of his life.
Kizzia said he battled with obesity and depression for years, until one day he walked in to a gym and stepped on a scale in front of his friends.
“I weighed 345 pounds,” he said. “My friend talked me into starting mixed-martial arts training and in nine months I had dropped 100 pounds. I just fell in love with the team aspect of it all. I had played football in high school, so I was familiar with that.”
After dropping the weight and beginning a fighting schedule, Kizzia decided he would be able to help others the way his friends helped him.
He got his NESTA certification and then spent a few years in Tulsa as a personal trainer. Then the siren song of “home” started ringing in his ears.
“I tried like crazy to get out of here,” said Kizzia. “I even succeeded for a few years. For some reason I came back. It started as a trip to visit my family, and I wound up staying. Fort Gibson will always be home. I’ve known some of my clients for years, and they’ve seen me at my best and my worst.”
Kizzia offers a full range of personal training methods and he tailors each workout to the individual. He also changes things up with mild, mixed-martial arts training to keep things “interesting” for his clients.
Tracey Smith said she hates the time she spends with Kizzia, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“He’s hard on me, but he pushes me,” Smith said. “The one word I always want to hear from him is ‘good.’ He’s also a great Christian man. My goal is to get back into a size eight and be healthier, and he’s helping me achieve that. I’ve already lost several inches and my clothes fit so much better.”
Kizzia said he tells all his clients the same thing he was told when he first started his weight loss journey.
“You have to push past the quit,” he said. “I would have quit the first week, but my buddy wouldn’t let me. I want to be that buddy to people. However, I won’t just throw someone into something they can’t handle either. I want to build people up.”
He also said he approves of New Year’s Resolutions, but sticking to them is the biggest part of the battle.
“I might get 10 new clients in January, and they’re all gone by March,” Kizzia said. “Getting healthier almost can’t be a resolution, it has to be a decision for a lifestyle change. You have to want to eat right and make better decisions.”
Smith said planning meals better is one of her goals heading into the New Year.
“I have a bad family health history,” she said. “I don’t want to wind up that way. I also have three kids, and I think it’s very important to show them a healthy lifestyle is possible. He gives me the want to come back and keep going and make that possible.”
Kizzia smiled, nodded his head in assent, and turned up the speed on Smith’s treadmill.
“Good,” he said.