Working Healthy

Healthy Tech: Suzy Yaqrah

After a rude awakening when shopping for clothes, Susan Yaqrah immediately took action to lose weight and feel better. In spite of health set backs, this determined nail tech has stayed the course, lost weight, and feels great.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.
I am a nail, lash, and makeup artist. I started my career about seven years ago when I wanted to make people feel good and go to a job where I felt like I was hanging out being social instead of working in front of a computer. I have a wonderful husband who is supportive and helpful. I currently work at Blissful Beauty in Woodbury, Minn.

What are your health challenges and goals?
When I started my weight loss, I was 315 pounds and a size 22W. I was looking for a pair of black pants for a new job at a salon. I remember being in the department store and realizing I couldn’t fit in “regular” sized clothing and had to go to the plus size. I was mortified, especially because I was with friends. I joined a gym that week and started my journey. After losing 75 pounds, I became a group fitness instructor in order to inspire and make women feel beautiful both inside and out. During this time, I developed thyroid disease and issues with my adrenals. I changed my diet to eliminate sugar and processed foods, and with the help of my doctors, added medication that I will take for the rest of my life.

What was/is your plan of action?
My regimen is always to schedule; being in the beauty business, we can become exhausted and find excuses. I follow an 80/20 diet plan (eat nutritious foods 80% of the time and allow yourself to indulge a little the other 20% of the time) that is low-carb, no sugar, and no processed foods. My workout plan has no cardio because my adrenals are fatigued and I can’t stress them anymore. I lift weights and box. I love boxing and it makes me feel strong and empowered. I do this two to three days per week and my strength training is done in splits (working different body parts) four days a week.

How has/does your job as a nail tech affect your plan?
Unplanned clients and sometimes having back pain from sitting for so long working on clients can throw a glitch into my workout plan. I always try to schedule my workout on my salon calendar to make sure I get it done. I do it super early in the morning so there are no excuses.

What has been the most difficult aspect of your new healthy lifestyle?
Staying motivated can be hard. When I work out hard and eat healthy but get on the scale only to be disappointed, I want to throw in the towel. I used to deprive myself, then eat sweets, then get upset. Now, if I want and crave something, I have an alternative. It has helped me so much.

How long have you been working your “plan” and what further goals do you have?
I have been working on my weight loss for four years. I lost 12 pounds but became sick with thyroid disease and gained 60 pounds back. Now, I am working on my goal to lose the last 40 pounds. My goal is to be a healthy weight that I am happy with and to do a fitness show somewhere fun.

What’s your advice for other nail techs who need encouragement to embark on a healthy lifestyle?
Never give up, and throw away the bad food that clients give you!

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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