Honey Beth Wiggs, a flute-playing, motorcycle-riding health coach, found out life is like a rollercoaster: ups and downs and a lot of twists
Q: You and your husband are personal weight-loss and health coaches but for many years, you danced along your career path to a different tune, so to speak – correct?
A: Yes, music has always been a big part of my life. When I was in high school, in Bowie, Maryland, there was a huge focus, for me, on music and band. I played the flute, and I also played the sax in jazz band, in addition to singing in a gospel choir. After I graduated high school, I did not go to college initially. A few years later, I was at the beach, in North Carolina, and I met my husband (Dale Wiggs), who was from Wendell. We got married in 1993 and I went back to school, in the continuing education program at Meredith and I majored in flute performance. I always thought I had a career in music but when I began teaching children, I soon realized it was not something I loved. Everyone had always told me that I would be great at teaching but I wasn’t. In fact, I learned that teaching music was not something I liked at all. For many years, I worked as an administrative assistant at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh.
Q: But you didn’t totally give up on music?
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A: I have played flute with the Annie Moses Band, and we have performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. In 2012, we played at Carnegie Hall.
Q: You have an unusual first name – where did your parents get “honey” from?
A: I was named after the last name of my great grandmother from Czechoslovakia – Hunchech.
Q: How did you get to be a health coach?
A: Well, when I realized I would not be teaching music, I really struggled with that. I had always thought that teaching music was something I was led to do so I was confused when it did not work out. I am a person of faith and I prayed about this and finally a voice told me that I am a teacher but not a teacher of music. I was not meant to teach kids but I was meant to teach their parents – teach them how to live healthier lives.
Q: And this was a lesson you had to learn yourself as well?
A: I spent a good part of my life as overweight but I wasn’t just overweight, I suffered from morbid obesity. I weighed 320. I was kicked off a rollercoaster one time because the bar wouldn’t close. I was so embarrassed. I was able to find a program (Take Shape For Life) that not only allowed me to eat healthy, but it makes you mindful of what you are doing. It’s a fact that 85 percent of the people who start a diet gain their weight back. With this, they maintain a healthy lifestyle. Over the past six years, I helped 6,000 people, either directly or indirectly, start living better.
Q: And how much weight did you lose?
A: I now weigh 150 pounds. The one thing that is really great with this program is the relationships. It is important to talk to people, to see what they want and coming to understand their needs. A couple of years ago, my husband joined me and we do this together. It has allowed us to travel. In 2013, we spent the entire year in Austin, Texas. We had gone there for a visit in 2012 and when we returned, I told my husband that I just felt like I needed to be there, to help others. I homeschool our two children so we just packed up and spent the year in Texas.
Q: Aren’t you planning an event for eastern Wake?
A: On September 4, I am having a “Discover Your Optimal Health Day” and I am encouraging and hoping I have at least 1,000 people show up and we walk a mile. I am not quite sure yet of where and the time but I know it will be in Zebulon.
Q: What other hobbies keep your interest?
A: People who know me see me as an introvert. I like to get a cup of coffee and curl up with a good book. I am just one of those people who need quiet time to rejuvenate but then I realize I also need to have time to be of service and value to others. I like to travel. And my husband and I also ride motorcycles. I have a pink and black jacket and helmet. And remember the story I told you about the rollercoaster? Well, now, I have a Busch Park Platinum Pass, that allows me entrance to any of the Busch and Sea World parks and now I can ride all the rollercoasters I want.
Correspondent Dena Coward