Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.

I became a nail technician in 1996, and about a year later I opened The D’Vine Touch Nail Salon in Bradenton, Fla. This November, we’ll be celebrating 20 years of business.

Tell us about your health challenges and goals.

I have always been on the slim side, but was never necessarily considered “fit.”  I didn’t eat healthily and my only exercise was occasionally walking or riding my bike. I wanted to do something other than go to an ordinary gym, which had bored me in the past so I’d find excuses to avoid going. One day I was watching a boot camp class at the fitness center where my salon is located, and I thought “Now that looks like a great group workout!” There were a mixture of men and women of all different ages, which I liked. I wanted to feel better and stronger, and I wanted be able to run my first 5K – something that had been on my bucket list for a long time. Most importantly, I wanted to keep up with my two young grandsons.

What was your plan of action?

I joined a fitness boot camp and it has changed my life.  Not only am I doing high-intensity training, yoga, and running, but I’m on a nutrition plan that has given me renewed energy. As far as my nutrition, I eat three healthy meals per day that consist of protein and vegetables, and snacks in between. I now meal prep for the week and have my meals and snacks ready the night before, so I can ‘grab and go” in the morning. As my trainer, David, says “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.”  That is now one of my mantras.

What modifications or changes have you had to make in your job to accommodate your new lifestyle? 

In the past, I used my schedule as an excuse for not eating well, but I realized that it’s just as easy to eat a banana or drink a protein shake as it is to eat a cookie. Just because I may have to eat quickly, it doesn’t mean I have to eat poorly.

What has been your greatest challenge or most difficult aspect of your new healthy lifestyle?

Sugar has been a difficult challenge for me. I have been a sweets-eater all my life.  It was amazing to me how much energy I gained by lowering my sugar intake.  Although there will be physical and nutritional setbacks now and then, it won’t be the end of the world.

What’s your advice for other nail techs?

Write down your goals and keep them where you can see them every day. Have a workout buddy so you can hold each other accountable. Commit to a workout schedule and stick with it. It’s also important to prep your meals. However, I have realized being fit isn’t just about physical strength or a number on a scale.  The fitness center I belong to also offers many different programs that cover emotional and mental well-being.  When paired with the physical workouts, your overall health is affected in such a positive way. I couldn’t be more proud of my results so far, and I look forward to achieving my next set of goals.

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, or any health-related triumph) with NAILS readers, email to find out more about how YOU can be featured as a NAILS Healthy Tech.

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