Hey hey diva friends!
Kylene here, otherwise known as TheTinyFitDiva.
I am a wife, a mom, a personal trainer, an online coach, a foodie, a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and most recently, a certified Autoimmune Protocol coach!! (Talk about certification addiction - I love to learn!)
I’m lucky enough to have married the man of my dreams a few years ago and when I did, I became an instamom as well.
My husband is a huge health advocate and got me started heading in the right direction when we started dating. No joke, I have Facebook conversations from when we started talking about how much I hated running and how I would never do it. Patrick had me running high intensity intervals on the treadmill within about a month and my first 5k within about 3 months of knowing each other.
Not to mention the chewy green smoothies he tried to get me to like!
I, myself, have also been through every fad diet you can imagine.
I have struggled with body image, self-confidence, inadequacy issues ever since I was a little girl. In my teens, this translated into skipping meals, sneaking out of the house to “exercise” by running around the block, and other crazy schemes to achieve the body that I desired so much. I wanted to be thin, pretty, and popular (ummmm, hi, who doesn’t??), but like so many other women with these desires, the issue was my approach…
Enter college. Helllloooo weight fluctuations. They don’t call it a “freshman fifteen” for nothing. I had zero nutritional understanding or concept of what truly fueling my body meant. So you could find me finishing a box of Teddy Grahams or eating straight from the half gallon of ice cream. Then, when life got tough, (boys, cramming for an exam, etc.) boom. I would lose 10 pounds in a week from the stress.
My weight was a painful roller coaster.
I was up, I was down. It never stayed stable because my habits were not. When I moved back home, living with my health conscious family helped me get back to a pretty healthy weight naturally.
Skip to adulthood and one day my Mom (who always knows best) informed me that she was going to try being gluten-free after reading an eye-opening book called “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis. I remember thinking, she must be nuts! I’m a bread (and Oreo) a-holic! Much to my dismay, I started reading the book and a few chapters in, I remember telling my then boyfriend, the guy I call husband now, that we needed to give this a shot. The improvements we saw were dramatic.
- • I started waking up with energy
- • My Mom lost her afternoon brain fog and a few pounds
- • My sister lost 30lb and began her journey of balancing her hormones (and subsequently has had 2 babies!)
- • We ALL found it easier to maintain a healthy weight
- • My husband lost his afternoon sleepiness
- • I got rid of my rosacea
The list continues…
So began my journey into nutrition and subsequent years of research into how to reach your optimum health, eat nourishing foods, and not feel deprived in any way. At first, we just substituted all our bad habits, (did I mention Oreos?) with the processed, gluten-free substitutes. For us, and many others, that was step one.
I then began to hear about this Paleo diet -another fad? - so, of course, I did my research. This is when my life and our diets were turned upside down. My mentality started to shift. I started to see food as fuel and nourishment, and information for my cells as well as disease prevention.
I learned how to make desserts and meals using whole foods – not processed ingredients. If I want a brownie, I now know how to make it from scratch, with only a few minutes of “work”, by only using quality ingredients.
Eating this way has not only brought me better health, but freedom. I never feel deprived. I never go back to those days in high school that I used to go hungry. I know that as long as I use the right ingredients, I can satisfy whatever I am hankering for, the correct way. In a way that will fuel and nourish my body, my brain, my energy, and my muscles.
In 2015 my bad habits caught up to me.
The thing is, even when you start making all the right choices, treating your body poorly over time can build up and cause breakdowns in your system that don’t show up for weeks, months, and often, YEARS….When I look back I’m surprised I didn’t “crash” sooner!
I can check off all the things that contribute to gut health problems, mood disorders, and chronic disease:
- use of birth control
- use of antibiotics
- chronic dieting
- Stress (relationships, marriage, divorce, remarriage, moving….)
- Bad food choices (suda, sugar, inflammatory oils, processed foods…)
- Chronic use of NSAIDS (headaches, sinus problems)
So even after I started eating well and saw awesome results, eventually the stress caught up to me and in 2015 I had what I call my total breakdown. 2 weeks of insomnia, anxiety, crying every day, scared of everything, intrusive thoughts….WORST 2 WEEKS of my LIFE. I didn’t know WHAT was happening to me. My poor husband had to come home from work a few times to literally babysit me and I thought I was 2 steps from being committed to a psych ward…..I was TERRIFIED.
This started my REAL journey.
My Dr. wanted to put my on anti-depressants. I knew enough to know that was NOT the problem and I declined. Ultimately I got out of the miserable pit of despair and began functioning as a human again ( thank God for designing our bodies to heal and use what little we give them!!!)
Meanwhile, I decided to look into hormones and discovered that mind were post menopausal levels- DUH! of COURSE I had anxiety and couldn’t function….hormones are KEY!!!! Interested in learning more, and knowing that more women were struggling with similar concerns, I dove in….
Eventually I discovered the FDN program which taught me to look not only for symptoms but for the UNDERLYING CAUSES.
This is when I became passionate about gut health. Not to oversimplify the awesome complexity that is our body but….the gut is sort of the control center!
I came to find out that I couldn’t just “boost” my hormones and I couldn’t just eat right either….in FACT, I could live the most healthy lifestyle ever but if I didn’t address the root causes of my concerns I would never fully heal.
Over time I made many adjustment and invested in some functional lab testing. Finally, I discovered the invaders. 3 parasites some crazy bacteria and yeast and subsequently….crazy damage in my gut. THANK GOODNESS I was already taking such good care of myself or who knows what would have happened! I was ready to take them on!
Throughout this journey I became a certified personal trainer, an FDNP, and a certified Autoimmune Protocol coach so that I can work with anyone who comes to me to determine the ROOT cause of their concerns….
My personal approach is to REMOVE the stressors, REPAIR the damage and RESTORE your health.
I work through functional lab testing to determine where there are healing opportunities in your body and where there might be some stressors we need to target and remove ( like a parasite or food sensitivity!) then I provide you with a personalize protocol that covers your nutrition, lifestyle factors and supplemental based on your test results.