07-11-2016, 05:54 PM #1
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Wiltz: ‘Life has totally changed’
Inspiring story! The only person that can stop you from moving forward is you!
July 8, 2016
When a surgeon’s scalpel was about to enter her brain six years ago, Jessica Wright Wiltz was forced to reflect on life. Wiltz’s marriage of 26 years was ending in divorce.
Her surgery had already been delayed because of an E.coli infection. Doctors told Wiltz that at the very least, her brain tumor operation would leave parts of her face paralyzed.
“I remember going under thinking, ‘I have all this in me that I didn’t do yet’,” said Wiltz, who turns 47 on Monday. “I didn’t even think about the cancer part. It was that part about being paralyzed in the face.
“I woke up from that and eight weeks later, the physician said, ‘This is miraculous. I can’t explain it.’
“By the grace of God go I, full-blown Christian, love my Lord. Life has totally changed.”
Wiltz, now cancer free, has come roaring back to compete in the NPC Louisiana Bodybuilding, Figure and Bikini Championships Saturday at the Heymann Performing Arts Center. Muscle and fitness enthusiasts from throughout the state will compete in men’s and women’s divisions.
Bodybuilder Jessica Wright-Wiltz helps her boot camp clients throw tires as part of their training at her gym in Lafayette July 7, 2016.
Wiltz will battle with the bikini contestants, women who have trained for a lean, highly toned look, as opposed to the hulking muscles of bodybuilders. Harley and Brittany, Wiltz’s son and daughter who convinced her to enter last May, will also compete.
Saturday’s contest continues Wiltz’s remarkable 20-year journey as a personal trainer and certified nutritionist. Her victories over cancer and other challenges convinced Wiltz to leave a longtime job as a teacher’s assistant to open her own gym — in her backyard.
Using old car tires and other donated items, Wiltz started a home boot camp for overweight women. Insurance concerns moved the camp to a building on Ridge Road, which quickly grew too small as her clientele expanded.
Wiltz found an office/garage on Cameron Street. It became the home of her now three-year-old business, Your Body by Wright.
Wiltz still uses old tires and other unconventional equipment to serve her 80 clients. With her strong Christian faith, Wiltz peppers their workouts with Facebook videos in which she preaches about the pitfalls of Satan, social media, gossip and more.
“I work with women that have huge self-esteem issues,” said Wiltz. “A lot of them are 100, 200 pounds overweight. There’s no place to facilitate them. They’re embarrassed to go to the gyms because they don’t feel they fit — no more than a sinner feels like they fit in church.
“They have health issues. But I bring them here. They’re queens. They need to be treated as such. It’s their safe haven.”
Bodybuilder Jessica Wright-Wiltz with her boot camp clients at her gym in Lafayette July 7, 2016
Wiltz plans to move into a bigger facility on Ridge Road by August. The challenges are great as many clients can’t afford to pay their monthly training fees.
Top of Form
But Wiltz said she refuses to let money halt her purpose of transforming lives.
“Business owners that I know said, 'Jessica, you’re going to fail. Your heart will cause you to fail. You have a great heart, great ideas. But because of it, you’re going to fail.’
“I’m going on year three. I haven’t failed yet. I barely make it some months, with two rents, two utilities, two everything. But by the grace of God go I. He sustains me. There’s nothing else to explain it.”