Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.
I have been a nail technician for almost three years and it has been an amazing experience.  My world has taken an amazing spin since ABS Chicago last March.  I applied to become a CND Education Ambassador and was one of seven in the U.S. invited to CND’s International Boot Camp in Amsterdam. It was a life-changing experience. On June 19, 2016, I graduated and received my CND Education Ambassador certificate, as well as winning the award for “Best Academics” and brand personality for “Polished.” I am very thankful to the entire CND team for allowing me to take my career to the next level.  

What are your health challenges?
In January of this year, I went in for a full physical that was very overdue. Based on my family history, my physician recommended a Boston Heart Diagnostics test. Shortly after, I received my results while on vacation in Las Vegas and learned that I am pre-diabetic. My parents both have Type 2 diabetes, as well as their brothers and sisters, so it runs deep in my family. Exercise and monitoring my food intake was my only prescription, so luckily enough, we caught it in time and no medication was necessary. If readers take one thing away from my story, it’s how important it is to have your yearly physicals. If I hadn’t done so, I would not have been aware of my condition and would not have had the opportunity to avoid medication for the rest of my life. Even with a strong family history of diabetes, I never thought it would affect me. I did not have any symptoms besides my weight.  

What was/is your plan of action?
My goal was to stay away from my love of sugar and increase my activity level in order to bring my glucose numbers down at my next three-month medical checkup.The #NAILS10kaDay Challenge was a definite kick starter. Thanks NAILS Magazine! I took advantage of my vacation in Las Vegas and walked a ton! Posting it on social media and getting a “like” from NAILS was a big motivator.  
Also, my brother-in-law had a fantastic idea on how to help each other get healthier. My husband comes from a large family and it is very hard to stay on a healthy track when home-cooked Mexican meals are tempting you daily. So, some of the family decided to have a “Biggest Loser” challenge. We had 16 contestants for a six-week challenge on losing the highest percentage of weight.  It was a fun way to keep accountable, have a team of people making better food choices, and have someone at your side who understands what you are going through when you have a not-so-good day. The tremendous family support has been amazing!  To date, I have lost 10 pounds. Most important, I have controlled my glucose levels and my physician has since changed my three-month visits to yearly exams! Sometimes we think it takes major change to receive major results, but it’s the small steps that get you in the game and take you to home plate.

What has been your greatest challenge or most difficult aspect of your new healthy lifestyle?
The hardest part of being on the go is making sure I plan accordingly and bring the right lunch, snacks, and plenty of water to keep me going throughout the day. My go-tos are 100-calorie snacks, fruit, and a protein shake for meal replacement. Reading nutrition labels and becoming aware of sugar content has been crucial.  

What are your best fitness tips and advice for other nail techs who need encouragement to embark on a healthy lifestyle?
At the least, make sure to always have a protein shake at hand if you need something between clients. This will give you the nutrients you need and can buy you time until your next meal.  Also, find motivation. NAILS Magazine was my kickoff, and then the excitement of buying my FitBit helped keep me going.

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.

You Might Also Like: Healthy tech: Tammy Dennis


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.