Running

I Lost 50 Pounds Following This Philly Marathon Training Program

Tracy Krentzman stopped focusing on weight loss and instead decided to try to move more. She ended up losing 50 pounds, completing two marathons, and falling in love with running.


Photographs courtesy Tracy Krentzman

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Who: Tracy Krentzman, 36, a development professional in higher education from Plymouth Meeting

Why I wanted to change: “After slowly putting on 50-plus pounds over a seven-year period and struggling to stick to any sort of workout routine or diet, I finally made the New Years’ resolution in January 2014 to simply move more. A few months prior, a doctor told me my BMI classified as obese and that scared me. However, I always became frustrated when the scale didn’t move. So instead of focusing on my weight, I just focused on moving every day.”

How I changed my exercise plan: “When I first started out, I focused on moving at least 30 minutes every day of the week. This didn’t necessarily mean a true workout — it could be cleaning or walking my dog, but I felt it was important to move every day. Within about four weeks, I was consistently working out three to four days per week for 45 to 60 minutes each time. I also began trying out all sorts of exercises. I tried yoga, spin, barre, and many more. What has stuck with me is running and boot camp. Currently, I work out five to six days a week. I typically run three to four days per week and I incorporate one to two cross-training workouts (strength, spin, or yoga).”

“I never thought I would say this, but I would much rather go for a run (or walk) with a friend than go out for a drink.”

How I changed my diet: “My work provides five free nutrition consultations, so I started there. I focused on cutting out processed foods, fried foods, and alcohol. I also worked on eating more vegetables and protein. Admittedly, part of the reason I run is so I can enjoy the foods and drinks I love. Moderation is key.”

How long it took: “It took me about ten months to lose 45 pounds. After keeping that off for a year, I got pregnant and had my first child in October 2016. I was fortunate to be able to run throughout most of my pregnancy, but the scale jumped up to almost 180 about six weeks after having my daughter. Fortunately, I set up personal training with Kasey Manwaring at GoalsFit and signed up for her You Should Be Running Broad Street and marathon training programs. Fast forward to November 2017, and I was back down below 150 and ran my first marathon!”

What all changed: “I am definitely stronger and faster. In fact, my fastest timed mile came after having my daughter! I believe running specifically makes me happier and more relaxed. I also have made some of my best friends through working out. I often say that running is my therapy, but it is also my happy hour. I never thought I would say this, but I would much rather go for a run (or walk) with a friend than go out for a drink.”

What I’m most proud of: “I am so proud of myself for sticking with it and not giving up. It took some time to get used to waking up early and regularly taking the time to work out, but now it feels weird on days I don’t.”

What’s next: “I am not focusing on losing weight right now. Instead, my focus is really on making sure I am setting good examples for my daughter in terms of positive self-talk, staying active, and eating well. Yes, she is under two, but these lessons start young!

What I want everyone to know: “Try all types of exercise to find what makes you happy. If you do not enjoy the workout, you won’t keep going back. I don’t see running as exercise, I truly see it as my therapy or happy hour. Go find your happy!”

Want to share your Transformation Story?Email ccunningham@phillymag.com

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