Meet a Health Hero: Jeffrey Brous

Read more about Horsham Athletic Club’s Jeffrey Brous, a semi-finalist in our 2013 Health Hero Challenge!

>> You can vote for Jeffrey on our Facebook page September 24-30. Mark your calendar!

Name: Jeffrey Brous

Occupation: Personal Trainer at Horsham Athletic Club

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
I have two primary sources of motivation: first there is myself. I like to be my primary motivator so when I mess up or slip-up, I am the only one I can hold accountable. The second source of motivation is chef/professor Adam Sacks at Johnson & Wales University. While it’s been years since we’ve connected, his lessons continue to motivate me. In fact, the cornerstone of what he shared is the foundation of what I teach today: FLY- First Love Yourself.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
The biggest “turning point” or “a-ha” moment, as I have told to many students, was when I came out of the closet. The emotional pressure and strain was absolutely the worst. Instead of finding healthful solutions to manage the stress, I turned to eating. And I ate until I was over 400 pounds. I came out of the closet my first year of college, and it was in those moments that I finally understood that I have control over what I do. Ever since them, I have taken control and been in control. This doesn’t mean that I have been perfect the entire time; no one person is perfect. It’s not about how you fall. It’s about how you choose to get up and move forward that counts.

What “policy” would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
Instating a single policy may or may not help make the Greater Philadelphia area healthier. However, one thing that sticks out is making personal trainers more accessible and affordable to everyone. Working with community centers, playgrounds and parks, local municipalities can help subsidize physical fitness to all folks in their communities. The funds raised (<$5/person per class) from the weekly class would help remunerate trainers, but also to help fund continued growth to the program and allow folks to have access to structured activity and motivators to help them stay focused and on track.

What’s the most important part of your health or fitness regimen?
There is not one single thing I do that is more important than the other. It would be akin to asking a parent which of their children is their favorite, rather than looking at the family as a whole. This is how I approach my fitness regimen. It includes cardiovascular training, strength training, lifestyle activity, structured activity, unstructured activity, yoga, meditation, daily stretching, good eating and (some) bad eating, too. But of those things, I am most particular my eating. 85/15 is what I practice and what I teach: 85 percent of the time I try to make the best food choices possible, while the other 15 percent I enjoy whatever I want. This way I never feel deprived.

What is your number one piece of health related advice?
First love yourself, or I say be FLY. I have personally found that when we love ourselves in each moment, we work those moments harder. From a yogic frame of mind this would translate as “being present.” We all have faults, flaws and things we want to make better or change, and that is healthy. Instead of judging ourselves on what we can’t do, spend that energy loving yourself and what you can do—and do it.

  • Marvette

    Jeffrey, You are truly an inspiration! You have so much passion and drive in what you do. You are by all definitions a true “health hero”.

  • Jo Murphy

    Amazing person, and truly an inspiration. I met Jeff when I went to a zumba class at an area fitness club. He inspired, motivated and made you feel so welcome and important to his zumba class your first time there. He also smiled alot and made it fun. One of the best instructors and also a wonderful, truly sincere person. I am glad to know him!

  • Connie Mager

    Jeffrey is a truly amazing person. I met him at a Zumba event and fell in love with how happy he was with himself. I was new to the program and he took the time to talk to me and help get started. I am so very thankful that he took that time and has made me a better person and instructor. He really is a hero to so many of his students and to those of us that have the pleasure of knowing him. This is truly a very much deserved honor. I love you Jeffrey.

  • Rose Brous

    I am so proud of you and everything you have accomplished. You are an inspiration and I love you!

  • Tricia

    Motivating. Inspiring. Dedicated. Knowledgeable. Just a few words that come to mind when I think of Jeffrey. I have tried to lose weight many times in my 40 years. I know the journey I started in April is a life change because for the first time I have someone who genuinely cares to show me the way. He understands the journey and he gives you the confidence needed to keep going even on a Ava’s day. Jeffrey taught me to “FLY” First Love Yourself. He is a one of a kind… Horsham Athletic Club is lucky to have him! I am not just lucky, but very thankful! No matter who wins this contest, JB you are my #healthhero

  • Amy

    If you aren’t sure who to vote for, I can tell you with 100% certainty that you need to vote for Jeffrey. He has helped me stay motivated, accountable and focused not to mention kicks my butt to work hard everyday! If it wasn’t for Jeffrey’s unbelievable knowledge and motivation I would NOT have dropped 79 pounds. I owe it all to him for making me realize that I could do it!! Please take a second of your time and vote for this truly amazing man. FLY! First.Love.Yourself

  • Fran Twaron

    Jeffrey is so much more than a personal trainer, Zumba instructor, or yogi. He truly cares about his clients and students. Even “off the clock” you can ask him anything health related and get an intelligent , well thought out answer. He’s a friend. He believes in you. So much so, you believe too. Want to lose weight, get fit, challenge yourself? He’s with you every step of the way. Giving advice, cheering you on and pushing you further than you think you can go. He’s already my Health Hero.

  • Leslie

    Cast your vote for this amazing person, fitness instructor and dancer!! He has changed the lives of so many individuals it is remarkable. I am not in this to lose weight, as many others are, but came to class to actually dance again after so many years. Zumba is great fun and Jeffrey makes the classes even better through his upbeat personality, humor and great routines. I look forward to coming to class and smiling with the rest of the participants!! He is a wonderful instructor, knowledgeable in the areas of nutrition and fitness and proud to call him a friend!

  • Denise

    When I walked into his Zumba class many years ago, I did not realize how hooked I would become. He is a fabulous instructor who truly engages all his students and cares about them as well. Now he has me doing his fitness classes. He has personally dedicated himself to taking more training classes, achieving more certifications and spending endless hours helping everyone. I am so fortunate to have taken this path with him. He certainly keeps me motivated to keep coming back and exploring more ways to be the healthiest, fit person that I could ever become… Thank you, Jeffrey. You deserve and worked so hard to become the #1 health hero…

  • Michelle Rodos

    Jeffrey Brous is not only a fitness inspiration he is an incredible person and supportive trainer. Jeffrey has helped train me for a half marathon. Gave me the courage and support to try new things and is a genuinely amazing human being.

  • Brian VanScyoc

    Jeffery Brous is one of the most caring and giving kind of people I have ever met. We met thru doing a Zumbathon Event that he helped support. His passion for good health is helping others with weight issues is amazing!!!! I am so glad we are friends.

  • Janice Santiago

    Jefferey Brous!!!! You are one of the BESTEST, people I know and a true inspiration for getting fit and being healthy. A true example to the community at large and a HERO in my book! Congratulations!

  • Yris Vera

    Jeffrey Brous is a health hero because everyday he shows his passion for helping people as a personal trainer, Zumba instructor and encouraging others to pursuit the road of a healthy life and make it the way of living.

  • http://zumba.com Jennifer Palacio

    Jeffrey is a health hero because he has had an incredible journey with his own weight loss but more importantly continues to inspire others and pay it forward everyday to those in need….He is my hero, my inspiration and I am so proud to know him in this life. He is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and a beautiful example of what a fitness instructor should be.