Working Healthy

Healthy Tech: Anne VanSpronsen

After experiencing fertility issues, Anne VanSpronsen was diagnosed with PCOS and told she must lose weight if she hoped to start a family one day. Read on to discover how this determined nail tech has reclaimed her hope and her health.

VanSpronsen before and current
<p>VanSpronsen before and current</p>


Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.
I graduated from cosmetology school in 2010. For the last four years I have turned my focus to just nails and have found my true passion. I work as a nail tech at Eve Salonspa in Portage, Mich.

What are your health challenges?
I have been overweight the majority of my life but never really felt the consequences until a few years ago. My husband and I had been trying to start a family for about a year before I went into the doctor and was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS and was told my weight was definitely a factor. We became pregnant with twins in January 2013 with the help of minor fertility drugs, and then lost them in March 2013. The following year, instead of using the loss to fuel me in a better direction, I ate to soothe my sadness  and got to my highest weight: 275 pounds. It was then my husband, very lovingly, told me that if a family was what I wanted, then I needed to start a healthier lifestyle, and so I did.

What was/is your plan of action?
I had tried many diets in the past and failed, so I decided to just start with the basics. I cut out fast food and sodas and starting tracking my food daily with the MyFitnessPal app. I didn’t beat myself up if I went over my calories for the day; I just started trying to make better decisions. The app helped me realize how bad I was eating even when I thought I was being good. About six months into my journey I joined Planet Fitness and started walking on the treadmill. In a little over a year I lost more than 60 pounds.

How has/does your job as a nail tech affect your plan?
Because we nail techs sit down all day to do our job, it became really important to me to make sure I was walking enough. I invested in a Fitbit to track how many steps I was taking and really tried to hit my 10,000 steps a day. Before I had the Fitbit I never would have guessed that my average day walking was less than 2,500 steps.

How long have you been working your “plan” and what has been your result so far? What further health and fitness goals do you have and how do you intend to reach them?
I am not going to lie — the last eight months have been a big challenge for me. I have not been able to work out for the last eight months because of a back injury and nerve damage and it really got me down. for a while. It’s amazing how quickly the weight can come back on. My biggest encouragement has been my husband. He is constantly cheering me on and encouraging me any way he can. He is always down to help plan meals with me or work out together. He has been my rock through all of it. As of today, June 27, 2016, I have lost a total of 32 pounds. I have a long way to go and don’t necessarily have a goal weight. I just want to be healthy and happy and be able to do things like hike, ride a bike, play with my niece and nephews, or go for a long walk with my husband and dogs.

What’s your advice for other nail techs who need encouragement for a healthy lifestyle?
My advice is to take this journey one day at a time. Take one meal at a time. Take one good decision at a time. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up and gain a little bit of weight back. Get back on track and keep pushing forward. Don’t let one bad meal ruin your day. Don’t let one bad day ruin your week. This is a lifelong journey and you can do it!

Are you a healthy nail tech? Every month, NAILS will feature one nail tech in a monthly column devoted to shining the spotlight on your health and fitness success! If you would like to share your success story (overcoming health issues, weight loss — any health-related triumph) with NAILS readers, email [email protected] to find out more about how YOU can be featured as a NAILS Healthy Tech.

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