Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.
I’ve been a nail care/skin care specialist for about eight years and a business owner for a year and a half. The name of my business is Diamonds & Pearls Beauty Renewal Spa Studio, in Gainesville, Fla. Being a healthy tech has been my number-one goal, as it relates to my career. I feel if I’m going to succeed in this industry, paying attention to my whole appearance, not just nails, will speak for my business. First impressions speak volumes to your clients.

What are your health challenges and goals?
It all started a couple of years ago when I was at my biggest weight: 230 pounds. I was a yo-yo dieter from the tender age of 14, so it seemed nothing would work for me and I always gave up. One day I started experiencing bad headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and swelling of my feet. So I paid a visit to my doctor. My blood pressure and cholesterol were high, I was borderline type 2 diabetic, and the rest of my lab results were looking poor.  My doctor suggested either putting me on medicine to lower my blood pressure, or for me to lose weight. I opted to lose weight because I was fed up with my unhealthy eating habits and being obese, and I also wanted to have children one day.

What was your action plan?
I immediately cut out sodas, fried foods, and sweets. It was hard at first but I managed with discipline and the help of my husband, who has been my accountability partner. I also started walking and working out in my garage four times a week. I started consuming more vegetables, fish and chicken, and more water. I also joined a gym near my home so I would have no excuse about it being too far to drive. I stayed consistent with my new eating habits until it became a lifestyle.  Being healthy and losing weight takes determination. When I looked at it from that point of view instead of it being just another diet, things became easier and I started losing weight over time. The headaches, dizziness, feet swelling, and tiredness stopped. I went back about six months later and had lab work done; everything came back perfect. I have 25 more pounds to lose to reach my goal weight. So far, I’ve gone from 230 pounds to 175 pounds.

How has/does your job as a nail tech affect your plan?
Being a business owner, you sometimes eat whatever is around because you’re busy and you don’t always take a lunch break. I started having protein shakes for breakfast, packing my lunch and taking a lunch break, and keeping healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits, and veggies on hand. This has prevented me from not eating at all, which causes hypoglycemia.

What has been the greatest challenge of your new healthy lifestyle?
My greatest challenge with my new healthy lifestyle was cravings for sweets and at times coming to a plateau in my weight loss. At times you must remind yourself that it’s about being a healthy you and not just about losing weight. I have had plenty of setbacks, but it’s not the setbacks that keep you down; it’s not getting back up that causes you to stall.

What’s your advice for other nail techs?
My best advice is to just start from where you are and begin to make small changes; small changes over time will bring big life transformations. Consistency is key when starting your healthy journey. Invest in your health so that you can be the best nail tech for your clients. Remember everything about you tells a story to others. Be encouraged to take control of your health and career.

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 to find out more about how YOU can be featured as a NAILS Healthy Tech.

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