Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Lori Ryan and I retired from a 33-year career in automobile law compliance in 2011. I was retired for one year when I decided I needed to do something with my time. I had gone to beauty school back in the early ‘70s, but we didn’t learn how to do nails back then. So at age 55, I went back to school to become a nail tech and have now been a tech for five years.
What are your health challenges?
I began gaining weight after menopause and put on 50 pounds. I also keep a very busy schedule, and I was choosing to eat what was convenient — mostly unhealthy on-the-go food. This combination made it easy to gain another 40 pounds.
What was your plan of action?
I didn’t have many health issues, but it was getting harder to do everyday activities with my extra weight. One day last May, I decided I didn’t want to be 60 years old and obese. I started with Nutri-System. It was a good starter and I became more aware of what I was eating. I stopped eating carbs and sweets and drinking alcohol and sodas. It was surprisingly easy to lose the weight, in part due to my supportive husband of 35 years, a great staff at the salon, and the best fan club I could ask for, also known as my clients.
How does your job as a nail tech affect your plan?
Owning a full-service salon and nail business takes a lot of my time. I work six days a week, 12 hour days at the salon, which leaves little time for exercise. Still, I have managed to lose 90 pounds and I am very proud to have accomplished my goal. I have not fallen back into old eating habits. I intend to incorporate more exercise into my day, and I try to work in the salon a little less to allow more time for self-care. It is certainly easier and more fun to try new things (like paddle boarding) now that I am not carrying that extra weight!
What advice do you have for other techs?
Never skip a snack or meal, but make sure you are opting for nutritious food. I eat six times a day, which includes three meals and three snacks. I keep protein shakes and bars on-hand for those super busy days. Drink lots of water!