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Breaking the Biting Habit - August 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My last update on the health of my nails and nail/hand care routine was last January. That's because I have nothing new to report. Although my nails broke a lot during the moving process (you can see all of those pics where my nails are super nubby for a while on my Instagram), it's not because I bit them. To be able to say, that despite the huge amounts of stress, anxiety and depressive feelings, I never bit my nails off, is a huge accomplishment.

A few weeks ago when I was chatting with my twin, she sent me a picture of her latest manicure. I commented on how long her nails were. She thanked me and then expressed her frustration at getting them to grow. She started on her journey to break her own decades long nail biting habit a few months after I did, inspired by my sucess. The idea then came to mind, that it might serve as inspiration to see and read about other nail bloggers/IGers who where also nail biters and have overcome it. So I've decided to revamp this series into a monthly interview segment, where we'll find out how others have broken their nail biting habits, and hopefully learn some new tricks and tips.

To get things started I wanted to share my twin's progress. Here is one of her first IG mani posts, last winter.

And here is one her latest:

She has several health issues, so progress is slow but I think she's done great so far.

Now on to today's featured Blogger/IGer, Jenn from @color.obsessed (she has a blog but it's in the process of being re-vamped, once it's ready, I'll update the info).

1. Tell me a little about yourself, and about your blog/ig
My name is Jennifer, my blog is Color Obsessed and my InstaGram is @color.obsessed.  I’ve been in the nail polish/make up / nail care world for about a year now.  I am more active on my Instagram than my blog, but I do wish to get more into my blogging!  I’m a 31 year old stay at home Mom of 2 boys, they sure keep me busy!

2. When did you start biting your nails and for how long?
I’ve always been a nail biter!  I think my parents said I started as a thumb sucker when I was an infant/toddler and once I got older I went from thumb sucking to nail biting.  So I’ve probably been biting my nails for like 28 years!

3. Is there a specific reason why you bit them?  (Anxiety, boredom, etc).
When I was younger, probably out of habit and comfort when I was growing out of my thumb sucking stage.. But as I got older I noticed I would do it if I got upset or anxious.

4. How long did it take you to stop biting once you started to make an effort to stop?
It took me a good few months of keeping nail polish on my nails, and chewing gum almost constantly to keep me from biting my nails… A year later, though, when I get upset or anxious about something I catch those fingers going towards my mouth.  It’s such a terrible habit but one that is really hard to break, especially with how long I was doing it for.

5. What strategies did you attempt previously without success, if any?
Oh man, I think we tried everything in the book!  My grandmother would bribe me with buying me stuff if I stopped.  Didn’t work.  Lemon juice, too bad I love lemons, haha. Chili sauce.  Nope. I used to paint my nails a lot in high school (well.. I thought it was a lot back then), once a week, but after a few days I would scrape the polish off the tips and just start biting. I also had my nails done a lot towards the end of high school and when I went to college, acrylics… The whole works!  But…  I would just chew those off.  It was terrible!

6. What strategy finally worked?
Eventually the nail polish strategy worked, about a year ago, I joined a group of nail polish hobbyists and I was in total awe over their long beautiful REAL nails and realized that at 30 years old, I shouldn’t be doing this anymore.  I kept a pack of gum on me at all times, and I just learned to keep my hands and my mouth busy.  Keeping my nails painted, growing them, and not biting them sparked a whole new side of me, caring how I looked.  Not only have I stopped biting my nails, but I started better skin care and hair care routines, I’ve lost 20 pounds, and I care about how I look when I go out in public.  It is just so crazy, what one little thing can do for your self esteem!

7. How long has it been since you successfully stopped biting?
It has been about a year and a week since I made the decision to stop, it took me about 2 months to almost completely stop.  So it has been around 10 months.  The transformation has been completely crazy!!!

8. Any last advice or tips you might want to share?
It is a lot of hard work to quit something, no matter what it is.  Bad habits that you have had for a long time are very hard to break.  Be persistent.  Set small goals to not overwhelm yourself.  Keep things on you, like photos on your cell phone, that will remind you of your goals so that if you ever feel like giving up you have inspiration to keep going!  Of course, my large stash of nail polish always keeps me going too!

Jenn doesn't have any pics of when she was still biting her nails but here's on her first IG posts:

And here's one her latest:

A photo posted by Jenn (@color.obsessed) on

That was a long post! Many thanks to my twin for inspiring me and to Jenn for being my first interviewee.

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3 comments on "Breaking the Biting Habit - August 2015"
  1. Congrats to you all for kicking the habit! As a former nail biter myself, it's awesome seeing others journeys!

  2. Former biter here too! I love seeing others break the habit!

  3. Congrats for kicking the habit! Your nails look amazing. I can't wait to see more awesome stories like these!


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