HER MAINTANANCE SUCCESS STORY When the technology changed for then-30-year-old Patty Brexel, the pounds started piling on. Brexel, a graphic artist for a community newspaper, used to run from light table to camera room to newsroom and back again. "When we switched to the Macintosh system, I didn't have to move all day. I was just sitting there."
She turned to a weight-loss program called Think Thin Inc., which was started in 1965 by Long Islander Murray J. Siegel. She has used the techniques she learned with Think Thin to lose the weight and keep it off. In maintenance, Brexel still attends the weekly Glen Cove meeting, receiving support, recipes, nutritional information and cooking techniques that help her stay on goal.
Brexel, who says her weight goes up about 10 pounds in the winter, goes back on Think Thin to become bathing-suit ready by her June birthday.
"I don't call it a diet," Brexel says. "I call it a program because you learn to cook without all the fats and sugar."
She says she cut the "garbage" out of her diet. "I'd go out and have pizza for lunch and then have a couple of beers on the weekend," Brexel says.
Brexel, married with two adult children, says she likes Think Thin because she's cooking with her own food and can tailor meals for the whole family.
DIET After a lifetime of carbs, fats and sugar, she now restricts herself to two slices of bread a day and tries to cook with little or no fat. She makes sure to eat some protein in the morning. This includes scrambled eggs made in the microwave to avoid using butter or oil. She also has coffee with powdered milk. Lunch is a half sandwich with a salad. Dinner often is soup and a salad.
EXERCISE She rides her bike and takes daily walks with Bandit, her Boston terrier. "I'm an outdoor person and like to fit exercise in during the day," says Brexel, who cites the yard and housework as great ways to sneak in exercise.
ADVICE "If you want it bad enough, you can do it," says Brexel, who adds that Think Thin taught her how to "think before you choose. Slow down and ask yourself if you really need it."
Occupation: Nassau County crossing guard and graphic artist
145 Weight before 1993
130 Weight after February 2014