Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco.
No stranger to trouble myself, I am learning to care for the unhappy.
–Virgil, Aeneid, Book 1
WHO IS MISS SKINNY GENES?
My name is Kaila Prins, and I am a health coach, a former vegan and a recovering anorexic/EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified), and a twenty-something trying to make peace with her inner thirteen year old girl.
I first discovered ED* in 2001, peering over my shoulder as I stared at myself in the mirror. On the day I hit puberty, I also put on my first big-girl bikini and awaited the arrival of my best friends and my very first “boyfriend” at a Very Important Party my parents were throwing for Independence Day.
The girl in the mirror had been restricting soy and processed foods for health reasons and exercising for the first time in her life, and she no longer looked like the slightly chubby, grain-fed Standard American Child she once was. The girl in the mirror was skinny. I realized that whatever I was doing was working…and so I resolved to do more.
Thus, I began a 13 year dance with ED that would have me two-stepping through depression and anxiety, ducking in and out of yo-yo diets, coupling with compulsive eating, exhausting myself with exercise addiction, and ultimately relapsing into unintended anorexia twice more–with huge repercussions on my health (both mental and physical).
In a desperate attempt to finally “get healthy” (read: also be skinny again), I became a vegan in 2011. For 9 months, I spiraled back into anxiety/depression/restriction/compulsion, as well as suffered from the worst acne of my life and ultimately stopped menstruating.
Frustrated, exhausted, and sick, I finally threw up my hands and realized that something had to give.
WHY ANCESTRAL HEALTH?
Call it Ancestral Health, a Traditional Diet, or Paleo, but whatever it is, it saved my life and set me on the path to recovery–mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual.
I started reading Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat and tentatively added animal protein back into my diet. I began to listen to Paleo/Real Food/Functional Medicine/LCHF/Primal/Traditional Diet podcasts, read every book I could get my hands on, and eventually started this blog.
My health journey has NOT been linear. I’m not going to be a “success story” on Mark’s Daily Apple any time soon (and I’ve been at this for more than two years). However, the things I have learned about my health, about diet, nutrition, and fitness, and about the steps we can take to prevent ED from from stealing the best years of our lives with disordered eating and exercise have been invaluable.
Do you need to put a bone through your nose and hunt a mastodon to regain your fertility, stop hormonal acne, and overcome anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder? No–but you can take steps to nourish yourself with the foods of our great-grandmothers while working to reduce stress, inflammation, and disease (mental and physical) in your life.
WHY IN MY SKINNY GENES & FINDING OUR HUNGER?
I started this blog to chronicle my success story. In a way, I am, but not as I’d intended. I figured that Paleo would be the answer and I could prove it to you with my newfound six pack.
Instead, I found a community of incredible women (and men!) who were looking for similar answers. A community of people who were tired of being sold snake oil, who over the restriction/compulsion/anxiety cycle, who were literally exhausted all the way down to the hormonal and genetic level.
This blog is a conglomeration of the things I’ve learned over the past several years, including:
- How nutrition affects everything from acne to depression, and can even play a role in forming or facilitating eating disorders
- How mindset and marketing are intricately tied in our diet-obsessed nation
- How epigenetics play a huge role in healing–and how we can take back our health through functional medicine and proper nutrition
After publicly coming clean about ED and exercise addiction, a good friend of mine reached out to me to talk about the issues of disordered eating and exercise and how they affect us even without clinically diagnosed disorders. The conversations were so deep, insightful, revealing, and cathartic that we lamented that we couldn’t record them…
Or so we thought!
Ito Aghayere and I first began recording the Finding Our Hunger podcast in March of 2012, and we’ve now met with guests from around the nutrition, health, and fitness world to UNpack the issues we all seem to share around our bodies, our health, and our identities. From Paleo experts to holistic vegetarian coaches, from New York City actresses to California chiropractors, we discuss the detours, the landmarks, and the UNcomfortable first steps we take as we each set out to heal ourselves.
In Finding Our Hunger, we discuss disordered eating, exercise addiction, travel, career, identity, body image, fitness, and more to find out what we’re all hUNgry for!
WHY HEALTH COACHING?
And this brings us to the future of In My Skinny Genes. I’ve learned–from all of your comments, emails, tweets, and conversations–that I’m not the only one who sometimes sees ED as he peers voyeuristically over our shoulders in the mirror.
And I’ve learned that the best way to put on blinders is to stop peering inward but to seek community, friendship, and support from others.
I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. I can’t prescribe medication (or ask you to stop taking a prescription). I can’t tell you how to eat. What I write should not be mistaken for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. What I can do, however, is support you in the choices that you make–to help you develop new habits, talk through life changes, and figure out the next steps on your journey to healing and happiness. Think of me as the scissors that help you remove the scratchy tag on the inside of the T-shirt that is life.
I joined the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and became a health coach because I want to give others the support that I wish I had received at the beginning of my journey. If you’re interested in working with me, you can contact me through the form below.
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And, as always, stay hungry,
(Tweet at me anytime–I count characters & not calories!)