The African American community is riddled with health issues. According to The Department of Health and Human Services Office, “African American adults are 80 percent more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician.” This type of staggering statistic needs to be attacked head on. Rolling out caught up with certified health coach practitioner Kenya “Coach Kenya” Catlin to discuss her work and how we can all be physically and mentally healthy.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a certified health coach practitioner specializing in weight loss, and chronic illness such as diabetes. I’ve been in practice since 2007. I was born and raised in Chicago. I’ve lived in Texas for some time. Upon my return to Chicago, I have witnessed a health crisis. My focus is to get people to see the connection between nutrition and community. My latest project is a book called What’s Food Got To Do With It?” The premier book signing date is July 25 at my studio on the Southside of Chicago. Anyone who cares about their personal health and the health of their loved ones is invited and encouraged to attend. The cost is FREE to attend; however, I hope that [all] will invest in [their] health by purchasing a book or two. It is extremely important that we start a serious conversation about nutrition, self–care and community.
What do you love about what you do?
I help people and grow in my own personal health journey at the same time. Can’t beat it.
What inspires you to get better everyday?
I know my life’s purpose. When you know why you’re here it makes it easier to navigate the course. It does make the work easier but it does make the course clearer.
Why is our mental wellness so important?
Both mental and physical wellness are equally important. The mind and body are separate entities, although connected. For example: in my mind I’d like to run the lakefront at a certain pace and distance; however, my body may have some limitations. One of the keys to having a balanced life is to get the two to work in harmony.
What would you say is the best thing about doing what you do?
Being a spokesperson for wellness and letting people know the rudimentary steps they can take to avoid illnesses. Also pointing out the connection between nutrition and community is huge!
Who/what would you say has been the biggest influence in your career?
Returning Chicago! [I have] a fresh pair of eyes on a city I love; [it’s] one of the greatest American cities. Seeing how a large majority of everyday people have not made the connection regarding how nutrition and self-care on a basic level are connected to health, community, spirituality, finances and our future [inspires me].
What do you think leads an individual to success?
There are several factors that lead to success. Education, environment and exposure are integral parts of the mix…
What would you say are some of the best ways to relieve stress?
First, know that there is good and bad stress. If possible, remove the stress. If removing the stress is not an option, look at managing it. Also, stress-proof your mind and body in advance. Prayer and meditation, eating well and often, physical movement and taking healthily breaks are all good practices.
What is the meaning of life?
Do what glorifies God, helps others, and makes you happy.
What words of wisdom would like to leave with our readers?
Invest in yourself – You’re worth it.
To learn more about Coach Kenya, visit her website at http://www.mybodydivine.com
Eddy Lamarre aka Precise is a hip-hop artist-writer-actor from Chicago. The Chicago Reader recognized “Ladies Love Mixtapes” his latest release as one of the best projects of 2014. Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes at: https://precise.bandcamp.com/album/ladies-love-mixtapes-the-ep