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After Losing 80 Pounds, Wendy Won the Boston Marathon, Set the Course Record and Turned 50 All in One Day!

"I am still pinching myself that I am the current handcycle champion and course record holder for the Boston Marathon. To be in the company of so many amazing female athletes is surreal. As for the race itself, everything just clicked. My training block was the best I have ever had, thanks to my coach Rick Babington, dietitian Catherine Kruppa, MS, RD, CSSD, LD and sports chiropractor Dr. Earl Hendrikz. These 3 kept me in tip top condition this year. It was a team effort."

Wendy Larsen.jpg

What motivated you to seek dietitian counseling?

"I contacted Catherine Kruppa, sports dietitian, in January with some big goals. I wanted to finish in the top 3 of a world major marathon. I knew I needed to lose weight to be in the best condition to accomplish my goal. I signed up for the Advice for Eating year long program as I knew I wanted to make long term changes in my diet."


What nutritional changes did you make? 

"I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a group of genetic disorders that affect your connective tissues — primarily your skin, ligaments and tendons, and blood vessel walls. Along with EDS I have dysautonomia, which is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. This really affects my digestion which can make eating and tolerating food very difficult and even more difficult around exercise. Catherine helped me find foods that work for my GI system, increased my nutrient intake and we developed a plan that promoted weight loss. I had already lost 20 pounds by increasing my exercise, now it was time to put the nutrition in action."


Did you find it difficult? 

"I enjoy the foods that I eat which helped the weight come off easily. Catherine and I had to work to find the right foods pre exercise and post exercise as well as the timing of my pre exercise breakfast. Many times this required 2 am wake up calls for me to eat and digest my breakfast before driving 2 hours or more to do hill training for the Boston Marathon."


"My other challenge was due to Covid we drove to Boston for the marathon. For most people, this would require frequent eating out. My body does not tolerate most restaurant food and I did not want to rock the boat before the race. So, I bought a hot plate and loaded up the car with all of my imperishable food staples and headed to Boston. My husband and I went to the grocery store and cooked in our room. IT WORKED! I had no GI issues on race day and I was finally able to take in enough calories before the race to fuel me all the way to the finish line!"

What do you like most about your new eating regime? 

"I feel SO much better 80 pounds lighter and consuming the foods that work for my body. Symptoms that I dealt with daily are gone! I have more energy than I have had in decades, my sleep schedule is better, and my athletic performance has improved by leaps and bounds. What I truly want everyone to understand though, is I am eating larger quantities of food than I was previously and eating things I enjoy. Catherine helped me realize that you do not have to starve yourself or deprive yourself to lose weight. Her expertise has helped me more than I could ever have imagined and I know it is something I can continue for years to come."

- Wendy Larsen


I Lost Weight by Eating Carbs!

"I tried losing my pregnancy weight for 7 months and did not lose a pound. I even saw a dietitian and nothing! I decided to seek help from Catherine Kruppa, MS, RD, CSSD, LD who was recommended to me by some of my friends. I learned that while I ate pretty healthy, I was not eating the right combinations of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. I was scared to eat carbs! I was also overeating my calories later in the day.


Catherine convinced me to start incorporating carbohydrates into each of my meals so I was not overeating at night. These carbs also helped to fuel my workouts. I also started eating more fruits, which I thought had too much sugar to lose weight. However, the fiber in fruit kept me full.


No! I was eating exactly what I wanted but did not know I could lose weight eating this way. However, keeping track of my calories and training myself not to eat after dinner, when I was not hungry, was a bit challenging for me.


I feel like I am eating more while still losing weight. I can not thank Catherine enough for helping me lose weight the right way by eating foods I love and being able to lose weight while being full. Everyone knows how much I love my sandwiches with fruit for lunch now! Yes, you can lose weight eating carbohydrates!"

- Lacey Wallerstein


If Only I Had Known How Great I Would Feel, I Would Have Done This Many Years Ago!


"At an annual checkup my bloodwork showed that I was prediabetic. My doctor told me to cut down on starches and sugar. However,  I wanted more information and a plan. I wanted to know specifically what I could and could not eat.  I had worked with Catherine Kruppa, MS, RD, CSSD, LD before so I reached out to her for help.


I followed the plan that Catherine and I designed. The best part was that she worked with me to find things that I actually like to eat. I was afraid that I was going to have to eat foods that were bland and blah. My plan replaced sugar and starches with vegetables, protein, and fruits. It is delicious and I can not imagine ever going back to what I was eating!


I really did not find it difficult. I posted my eating plan in my kitchen which made it easy to glance at and then prepare a meal. I think the biggest challenge was avoiding candy and chip aisles at the grocery store, but that only lasted a couple of weeks and then I was not even tempted.


How truly great I feel! The mental clarity that I have without sugar in my system is incredible. Physically I have three times the stamina that I had before. I was able to reverse the prediabetic diagnosis, as my bloodwork just came back as normal. I also lost 24 lbs. and exercise is not a chore. If only I had known how great I would feel, I would have done this many years ago! Thank you, Catherine!"

- Faith Cleary

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