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

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