About Me

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 EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified), a certified personal trainer, 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 almost 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 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.

Make sure  to sign up to receive the latest email updates on Trigger Happy Thursdays by entering your email here: Sign me up!

And, as always, stay hungry,

Kaila Prins,

@MissSkinnyGenes

(Tweet at me anytime–I count characters & not calories!)

*Eating Disorder

19 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Is there anyway I could get your e-mail address or that you could shoot me an e-mail? I think we come from almost identical backgrounds, and I was actually just toying with the idea of going Vegan until I stumbled across the Whole 30 and then your blog. I’d really like to talk to you about your experiences with both. I’ve been fighting with ED recovery and finding a balanced way of eating for years.

  2. LOVE…LOVE…LOVE reading your story (you wrote on the plane)
    Your story could be mine…. Except I am still obsess with food and afraid of loosing control and wanting to count calories..:-(
    As a matter of facte I am a flight attendant, on sick leave because of my ED….:-(
    I live my life hiding from friends and family because of my ED.
    I do primal / paleo fairly strict but keep falling off (like 2 big chocolat bars yesterday :-((

    Thank you for sharing and letting me beleive “there is hope”.
    All the best to you.
    Chantal

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Chantal! I know how hard it can be to live a life that’s full of light when you’re stuck in the darkness that is ED. Just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel–you may have to struggle for it, but there are people out there who are rooting for you. If you ever need a friend or someone to talk to you, you can always contact me. Stay strong & stay hungry. You got this, my friend.

  3. beautifully written my friend, always speak from the heart, you / we are healing naturally, findng out connection with the world, and helping to heal the world in the process, stay strong, stay positive, stay paleo….

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  5. Hey, Miss Skinny Genes ;) My name is Ines Subashka and I am a strength and conditioning coach from Bulgaria, and the owner of http://www.inspiredfitstrong.com and https://www.facebook.com/InesSubashkaInspiredFitStrong. I read your post about why you are not vegan( http://inmyskinnygenes.com/2013/09/02/why-im-not-a-vegan-part-3-but-i-supplement/) and I was wondering if you’d like to give an interview for my blog. I’d like the topic to be about your experience with being a vegan, how you felt, some changes you noticed and what made you change your decision. Something like a comparison between both lifestyles.

    Ines

  6. I love reading your blog and reading your perspective on ED. I am stuck in the throes of BED, and I struggle with the cycle of restrict/binge/restrict/binge. I have pcos and hypothyroid. What I really want to know is how you went Paleo without feeling like you were restricting again? I find that when I remove entire food groups, I feel like I’m back to restricting. So, how do you do it? How do you get in the right headspace for it? PS – I have 30 lbs to lose. :(

    • To be honest, Shannon, when I first started my Paleo journey, I was still in the restricting mindset. I was concerned about calorie intake, I only ate egg whites and white tuna, that sort of thing…But things changed when I a) stopped eating things that could be measured in a calorie counter and b) started eating fat.

      The cool thing about the way I eat now is that it’s NOT at all restrictive. I eat…a lot. And I eat things that I enjoy. I was very addicted to bread/grains and sugar before I changed my lifestyle, and I ended up feeling so much better without them in my life that there was never a question of needing to go back to eating them. It’s about replacing, not restricting–I eat spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti and lots and lots of veggies (cooked in delicious fats) if I want a good side dish.

      Now, that said, if you’re approaching a change in your diet from a mindset of needing to lose weight, then there’s a good chance that this is going to help feed your ED and not your body. What I’d suggest before you even start thinking about changing what’s on your plate, is that you reach out for help from a professional who can help you work through the issues surrounding your desire to restrict or binge–who you can have on hand to reach out to as you make a journey toward reclaiming your life from ED.

      That’s why I’m becoming a health coach–because part of my struggle in learning how to fill my emotional holes (the ones I’ve tried to fill with food) was that I didn’t have the support I needed. I’m so glad you reached out–and that you’re considering making a change in how you approach your mindset about food. I wish you so much luck–and please feel free to reach out to me! I’m here :)

  7. Thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate your kind words. I have been to a couple different therapists, and I haven’t had any luck working with them. Either they aren’t well-versed in treating ED or they are just wacky themselves – lol. Do you have any suggestions for finding someone to work with?

    I think you’re going to make a great coach. Obviously I don’t know you, but I get a nonjudgmental and laid back vibe from your blog which is essential for making that connection with others.

    • It’s definitely rough…I had to go through a TON of different psychologists/psychiatrists before I found anyone. Partially, that was my own fault, because I just wasn’t ready to fully commit to getting better (I wanted to feel better, but I wasn’t ready to do the work).

      I’m not sure where you live, but it might be a good idea to look for something like the Eating Disorders Resource Center here in Silicon Valley (edrcsv.org), which could potentially help you narrow your search in a better, more targeted way. (This way you wouldn’t have to guess if the therapist is going to be able to support you…although I still can’t promise they won’t be wacky…in my experience, most of them are!)

      Let me know if there’s any way I can help get you in touch with the right people–feel free to send an email through the “contact” button, and I’ll do whatever I can to help :)

  8. Do you have or know of an online support group? I’m suffering through a cycle of restricting and overeating and I have lost myself in the process. So much depends on my physical body, I put so much pressure on myself and I’m constantly comparing my body to others and I keep coming up short and it makes me hate myself. I’m suffering in silence. Food is my best friend and my worst enemy. I don’t know what to do.

    • Hi Heather,

      I am so, so sorry to hear that you are suffering. I know how you feel, and it’s a not-so-wonderful place to be. I’m actually working on putting together an online group (way to read my mind!) because I think this is something we definitely need. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to check out my podcast, Finding Our Hunger, for a weekly dose of positivity–and please feel free to email me through the “contact” page. I’m opening my health coaching practice in 2014, but I’m always here if you need to reach out!

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