One of the most popular New Year resolutions for people to make is to lose weight and to live a healthier life. For many, it is not an easy task.
Being overweight or obese is a concern for many people and possibly be the cause other major health issues.
After her own journey with weight and making a lifestyle change, a local woman has set a goal to help others achieve the same success.
Jekera Holmes of New Bern is an ISSA certified trainer and owner of Tigers Eye Wellness in New Bern. She started the business after her own journey of losing weight in order to have a healthier lifestyle.
“I have struggled with my weight all my life,” Holmes said. “At my heaviest I was 280 pounds.”
Holmes said after seeing many of her friends and classmates lose their lives, she knew she had to do something to get her weight under control.
“I wanted to live,” Holmes said. “It was at that point I knew I had to not only lose the weight, but make a total lifestyle change. I had tried diets before to try to lose weight for an event or other reasons, but this time I was doing it for my life.”
Once she made the decision, she was able to lose more than 150 pounds in about 18 months. She currently weighs 121 pounds.
“A person has to be mentally ready to make the change,” Holmes said. “It has to be in their mind and heart.”
Holmes said she wanted to lose the weight naturally. Her daily regimen consisted of exercising sometimes up to 3 times a day, healthier eating habits including meal preps and staying away from “white foods” such as sugars and carbohydrates and increasing her intake of vitamins, energy supplements and proteins.
Holmes said she started Tigers Eye Wellness in an effort to help others. She would hold classes at local gyms, parks and at her home. Eventually she purchased a large utility shed which she renovated and placed behind her home and currently serves as a full workout space which includes equipment such as elliptical machines, stationary bikes, stair steppers and weights.
“With holidays and other life events the number of clients can be sporadic,” Holmes said. “I wanted something where I would be able to control the expenses, but would also provide more flexibility and be more personable for my clients.”
She currently has approximately 25 clients that she works with on a regular basis.
Tenille Johnson of Aurora said she has worked with Holmes for nearly a year and typically goes 3 times a week.
“I work in emergency services and people’s lives depends on me being in shape,” Johnson said. “My endurance, strength and flexibility have really improved. I can tell a huge difference.”
Johnson said a few people at work had recommended Holmes as a personal trainer and initially she did not plan on attending Tigers Eye Wellness long-term.
“I cannot say enough good things about her,” Johnson said. “It’s hard work and alot of sacrifice, but worth it. Jekera meets people where they are and customizes their plan based on the individual. We all feel comfortable and treat each other like family.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 1 in 5 children and more than 1 in 3 adults struggle with obesity. Additionally nearly 1 in 4 young adults are too heavy to serve in the military and only 1 in 4 adults meet physical activity guidelines.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is used as an indicator of obesity and and being underweight. BMI screens for weight categories that may lead to health problems although it does not diagnose the body fatness or health of an individual.
BMI is calculated by figuring a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can indicate high body fatness. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obesity range. The CDC offers a tool to calculate a person’s BMI which can be accessed by visiting cdc.gov.
For example, a person who is 5’9 and weighs 203 pounds or more would be considered obese. Adults with obesity have higher risk for developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer as well as other health issues related to being overweight.
Holmes hopes to help others reach a healthy BMI as well as teach her clients a healthier lifestyle overall.
Tigers Eye Wellness offers individual and group sessions, meal prep plans and ideas, meal replacements such as smoothies and other natural products. She also caters to those who may have physical limitations such as pain in their back or legs.