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Inspiring Story about How to Make the Impossible Possible

A personal story of weight loss, finding self love, and running a marathon.

In this story we meet Kiah Twisselman, who you may recognize from her appearances in People Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, or on Good Morning America. Kiah believed that her goals were impossible, but with some very simple steps, she was able to overcome obstacles and make her wishes come to life.

This goal to make the impossible possible is that mindset that Kiah wishes to share with her story. She wants to teach people the mental tools she has used to create a life of joy from the inside out.

Now that Kiah has lost over 125 pounds she has a new goal in site, completing her first marathon. Kiah shares her story and invites you to follow her as she trains for the 30th annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon on February 14, 2021.

 

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Frustrated and Ready for Change  

My name is Kiah and I’m a cattle rancher turned entrepreneur and life coach. I was raised on my family’s cattle ranch in rural California. I battled with my weight all through my childhood up to my mid-twenties. My mindset told me there was no way I could have a healthy lifestyle. I played the victim to my obesity for years, blaming my genetics for why I couldn’t lose the weight. My career was my excuse for why I didn’t invest in the gym. There wasn’t enough time and money.

In 2018, I was on a flight for work. For the first time in my life, I had to request a seatbelt extender. It felt like a new low for me. Coincidentally, just before the flight, I purchased “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. That book contained the words I needed to read at the exact time I needed to read them. Hollis’ book was my wake-up call. If I wanted to change anything about my life – my career, my health, my lifestyle – then I needed to take ownership of my life. I needed to start making better choices for myself.

I shifted my motivation for my weight loss. I went from a place of self-hate and desperation to a place of choosing to be one percent better each day because I LOVED myself enough to show up and do the hard work. Click To Tweet

5 Simple Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Later that year, October 1, 2018, I started my health journey (again) with five simple habits as part of Hollis’ Last 90 Days Challenge. 

  1. Wake up one hour earlier for yourself
  2. Give up one food that doesn’t bless your body
  3. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water
  4. Write down 10 things you’re grateful for
  5. Move your body for at least 30 minutes a day

After 90 days I lost 25 pounds. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I was making empty promises to myself every New Year. More importantly than the habits, I had really started to work on my mindset.

In one year, without any fad diets or a gym membership, I lost 103 pounds. What had seemed impossible was possible. To date, I have lost more than 125 pounds. 

 

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If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. I’m so proud of us for finishing our FIRST 5k race! We didn’t come in first, not even close, but you know what? We lapped everyone sitting on their couch and we FINISHED! I’m so thankful for these beautiful, encouraging people in my life. When the tide rises, all the ships rise together. When we are strong for ourselves, we lift up the ones around us. Don’t be afraid to get in the race. It will be hard, but it will be so worth it. Courage over comfort, always. And yes, you better believe this health journey is #FueledByBeef! 💪🏼🥩 ••• #slo5k #raceslo #5k #beefit #sanluisobispo #beef #fueledbybeef #eatbeef #beefitswhatsfordinner #courageovercomfort #madeformore #phitnphat

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The Next Step: Run a Marathon

Earlier this year I had the incredible honor of being featured in People Magazine, Good Morning America, Access Hollywood, and Women’s Health for my weight loss transformation. Now I’m a full-time life coach and weight loss coach. My mission is to empower others around the world to love themselves through health and happiness, too.

I want to teach people the mental tools I learned that helped me create a life of joy from the inside out. Click To Tweet

My journey is far from over. I continuously challenge my own beliefs about what is possible. Running used to be my least favorite activity of all time. Yet here I am training for the 30th annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, my very first marathon! Amazing things can happen when we start believing in ourselves. I look forward to seeing you on-course and at the finish line in February 2021!

Kiah’s bright personality and real love for life shine through in everything she does. We know that she will absolutely crush her goal of becoming a marathon finisher. Be sure to her journey and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Remember, you too can make the impossible possible, just believe in yourself. Looking for a supportive community? Join our Facebook Group and follow our blog for our latest advice and more inspirational stories. 

 

7 Tips to Help You Run Your Best

These 7 tips will help you run your best and get the most out of training

Run your best when you follow these 7 tips! There are some things that are out of our control, like the weather. But when you execute the things you can control, you truly run your best. These tips are as easy as relaxing while you run and as technical as checking your cadence. Keep these tips in mind when you’re training for the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon.

Runner runs relaxed during the Austin Half Marathon, one of our tips to run your best!

Stay relaxed and keep your body loose during your run.

Relax

Sounds simple, but we can unknowingly put a strain on our body in an effort to produce mileage or a certain pace. Really focus on relaxing your body. Unclench your fists and loosen your shoulders and jaw. You can even begin your run or workout at a slightly slower than normal pace to really dial in your breathing. Slowly increasing your heart rate at the beginning will help with relaxation.

Take time off

Listen to your body, whether you suspect an injury or just don’t feel good. The last thing you want is to have something minor become a major issue. If you have to take more than a day or two off, visit a specialist and get checked out. Ascension Seton’s Dr. Martha Pyron specializes in sports performance. If there’s something wrong she’ll diagnose it and help you build a plan to get back to running. 

Get more sleep

Feeling a little sluggish since you’ve increased your mileage? Add one extra minute of sleep per night for every mile you run that week. If you run 30 miles per week, add 30 minutes of sleep. Your body repairs itself when you sleep. Make sure you give your body enough time to do what it needs when you begin asking more of it.

Runners hydrate with nuun at the Austin Marathon expo. Proper hydration is one of our tips to run your best.

People try different nuun hydration flavors at the 2019 Austin Marathon expo.

Hydrate

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s extremely vital. At a minimum, you should drink 30-50 ounces every day. The more active the are, the more you should increase that amount. Make sure you have a good balance of water and an electrolyte-infused fluid, like nuun hydration.

Lift weights

Don’t run every day, mix it up. Cross-training is important to prevent overuse injuries. You work your muscles differently and build strength when you lift weights. When lifting weights, focus on a lighter weight with more reps. If you can’t make it to the gym, build your own workout that includes push ups, sit ups, squats, and lunges. Not a fan of lifting weights? Cross-train with these five non-running activities.

Check your cadence

The average runner’s cadence should be 150 steps per minute. You don’t have to count this in your head! Every runner is different, especially if you’re just starting out of have been running all your life. Under Armour makes knowing your cadence seamless. Their bluetooth connected shoes, like the UA HOVR Velociti 2, sends the information from your run directly to their MapMyFitness app. The app even provides personalized coaching tips! Tracking your cadence, mileage, pace, and other running-related data will help you see improvement.

Focus on your stride

This coincides with the first tip to relax. Your stride improves when you relax. Don’t overstride or run on your tippy toes. You want your stride to be smooth and comfortable. This better optimizes the energy your body uses and helps avoid injury.

You will ask more of your body as you increase your mileage. It’s important that you take care of your body. Incorporate these tips so that you can run your best. Do you have a tip that helps you run your best? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Self-Imposed Challenge Accepted

If he can do that, so can I; self-imposed challenge accepted

Michael ran the 2017 Cap10K after he accepted his self-imposed challenge.

Michael ran the 2017 Cap10K after he accepted his self-imposed challenge.

Michael Coffey was a cyclist. He self-admittedly didn’t consider himself a runner, even though he ran to cross-train. His story of how he became a runner is next on our My Running Story series. Coffey started out like most runners, talking with someone else about running. He believed in himself and next thing you know… self-imposed challenge accepted. Read how Coffey went from a 10K to the start line of the 2018 Austin Marathon

Not really a “runner”

My name is Michael. I never really considered myself a “runner.” I would run some when I was big into cycling, but never ran road races of any kind. This all changed in April 2017. Someone mentioned they were running the Cap10K. I thought, if he can run a 10K, I can run a 10K. BOOM!! Self-imposed challenge accepted. 

I trained for two weeks. Everyone said I would finish around 1:30-1:40. My goal was to just finish injury-free. Race day came and I was nervous. I finished my first 10K in 1:07:30 at 51 years old. I was hooked. The race day environment was exciting and special. 

Self-imposed challenge accepted

Shortly after that race, our son suggested I try a marathon. Sure, why not, I said. Self-imposed challenge accepted. While researching marathons, I found the Austin Marathon in February 2018. I immediately registered. I started training in July 2017, a 32-week beginner training plan. Training went well. In February 2018, I completed my first marathon in 5:26:09 at 52 years old. 

Since that self-imposed challenge in April 2017, I’ve completed multiple 5K & 10K races, one half marathon, three marathons, and the Trivium Hill Country 50K. I have logged about 1,700 training and race miles. I’m now in training for my first 50-mile run in November (Wild Hare) and am again registered for the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Self-imposed challenge accepted. I LOVE TO RUN?

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Submissions will be accepted through August 16, 2020. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson and Kirsten Pasha.