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Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.

My name is Samantha Silvius and I am an esthetician based out of Ontario, Canada. I focus mainly on gel manicures, pedicures, and waxing. I also dabble in makeup artistry, but my passion is nail art. Recently, I joined OPI as a brand educator.

What are your health challenges?

Like most estheticians and nail technicians, I work eight to 10 hours a day, five days a week. It is difficult to reach even the simplest of step or activity goals when you sit all day. I had gained almost 50 pounds in five years. I was not eating well nor exercising, and I also found that I was developing extreme back, shoulder, and neck pain from hunching over while doing services. 

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Tell me about your fitness plan and the results.

When I was asked to stand in my best friend’s wedding, I thought it was the perfect time to make a change. My fitness plan was to take it one step at a time. I knew my diet needed the most focus, so I started using an app on my phone to track what I was eating and made sure I was drinking lots of water. My next step was to start exercising. At first, I’d go after work, but I soon realized I had more energy if I went before. I now wake up at 5:15 a.m. I sleep better at night, and my body pains have lessened dramatically. I use an activity tracker to stay motivated and accountable to my goals.

What further goals do you have? How does your job as a nail tech affect your plan?

I hope to continue pushing for overall health. I plan to completely quit smoking and focus on mindfulness, so I am mentally healthy as well. Most people in the beauty industry say we spend more time taking care of others than ourselves. I need to remind myself that my physical, internal, and mental health is important; I’m no good to my clients if I can’t take care of myself.

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What has been the most difficult aspect of a healthy lifestyle?

It can hard to balance working full-time as a self-employed esthetician as well as a part-time, traveling brand educator, in addition to being a daughter, sister, friend, and girlfriend. I do my best to set aside time throughout the week to exercise and to meal prep. A healthy lifestyle requires dedication and we must make the time. I schedule everything in my phone calendar, and it really helps to make sure that there is always time. 

What’s your advice for other nail techs who want to embark on a healthy lifestyle?

Everyone’s lives are so diverse; no one single nutrition plan or exercise regime is going to fit every person’s lifestyle. My advice to anyone wanting to embark on a health journey of their own is to find what works for them. Make sure you schedule time for your best friend — you!