When it came down to it, Amy Keyes, 32, of East Patchogue, was just really tired of the effort and time it took to minimize her size. “I had to wear complicated . . . restrictive undergarments. It was a whole production just to get ready for work. Not to mention how uncomfortable it was. And going to a wedding or a fancy event? Forget it.” she says.
Keyes chose Jenny Craig to lose weight. She had tried Weight Watchers but says it wasn’t restrictive enough for her. “I needed something where there were no excuses. Weight Watchers says you are in control. But that’s how I got into this mess.” Keyes liked the simplicity of Jenny Craig, saying “you show up, buy their food, eat their food and lose weight.” She lost 7 pounds the first week but didn’t get really serious until after having a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a temporary blood clot that resembles a stroke but usually with no lasting effects. It was her second in two years, and her doctor said a stroke would be next. She got serious. Keyes upped her time with a personal trainer and started running. And she says that has made all the difference “Running gives you ways to challenge yourself. You can always go faster or for a longer period of time or in bad weather.”
Down 110 pounds, Keyes has discovered the pleasure of clothes shopping, saying: “It used to be a nightmare. Getting dressed had been a lifelong annoyance.”
Jenny Craig is considered a jump-start program, and since Keyes reached her goal weight she now eats conventional foods, though she wants to lose another 15 pounds. She has coffee in the morning and either yogurt or fruit when she gets to work. She’ll pick up a tuna or grilled chicken sandwich for lunch. Grilled chicken and vegetables make up her usual dinner fare. She periodically snacks on granola and finds that chewing gum helps suppress her appetite.
Keyes is training for the Oct. 30 Suffolk County Marathon and runs four to six miles three to four times a week and up to 20 miles on Saturdays. After the marathon, she’ll reduce her routine by about 25 percent.
“You have to be ready to commit. It’s 100 percent mental. If you’re still saying you have no time or you’re too tired, those are excuses. I don’t care if you have four kids or no kids, make the time. Don’t let anything get in the way.”