Occupation Custodian at Nassau BOCES
Before 215, March 2020
After 145, March 2021
Nanette Brown says her life changed in March 2020 when the rest of Long Island was going into shutdown. She was 47, overweight and had been dieting occasionally since age 15. Brown was lying on her couch with her smartphone. She weighed 215 pounds and knew she had to start moving. She Googled an activity she had always liked — step aerobics. Up came Xtreme Hip-Hop with Phil. Life hasn’t been the same for Brown since, she says.
The You Tube-based program is aerobic exercise routines, led by Philip Weeden, using a step platform while listening to music and following his steps. Brown ordered his DVDs and was soon using them three to four times a day. "I started waking at 5 a.m. to exercise. I couldn’t sleep I was so eager to learn another move or a call-out, as he refers to it. I fell in love with it so much I fixed up my basement, became an instructor with a Facebook page and started giving classes.
Looking back, Brown says she saw a difference within two weeks when her clothes started fitting differently. "It builds your cardio [capacity] and you start to breathe better. No more huffing and puffing walking upstairs …. This didn’t change my life, it saved my life," says Brown.
Brown says she loved developing a waist and "losing" her stomach. "Everybody has a waistline, it just becomes more defined as you work out. One of my favorite sayings is "Respect the curve."
"This is a whole new way to get healthy. When you wake up in the morning. the first person you have to impress is yourself," says Brown. She has lost 70 pounds.
Brown says she doesn’t follow a formal diet. Instead, she started changing her thoughts which changed eating habits. "I became more aware of what I was eating. You have to burn the calories you put in, so you become aware of what you’re eating. When I started feeding myself good thoughts, my inner body started feeling good.''
Brown does hip-hop dancing every day for one hour.
"Just start moving. You can start by sitting and tapping your feet for three minutes to music. Just keep moving. If you like McDonald’s, start by drinking water with it. The downside to Xtreme Hip Hop is the need for a new wardrobe."