Monday, September 10, 2007

Questions and confusion

This post has taken me a while to come to. I feel though in order to confirm and support the things that my friends and I have all been witness to, I must. I have received many many questions from friends and those who are seeking wondering if I feel that they should continue with the Kimkins program or if they are safe in pursuing that lifestyle. I want to re-iterate, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. I have only shared from my own experience and research. This entire situation has begun me thinking, however, that perhaps a certification in nutrition would be prudent for me to obtain so that I can continue on this journey with a bit more knowledge and expertise. With that said though, I want to share with all of you my questions and concerns regarding the Kimkins program simply based on my own experience and research thus far. I know there are and will be more, as I feel this is just the tip of the iceberg.


1)The Kimkins stand regarding laxatives is: “One full dose the first day, and then a reduced 25%-50% dose every day afterwards to maintain regularity.” All studies that I have found indicate that while continued dosing of a mild laxative is not necessarily addicting to some, it can be very detrimental to others causing the large intestine to become dependent on the herbs or laxative in order to contract and function properly. I asked to be pointed to the research and medical documentation that demonstrated otherwise. This would be separate from those who have been prescribed laxatives by their doctors for other reasons, but for the general public.

***On the laxative note. This is predominately necessary in the Kimmer Experiment portion of the program (Stillman’s). However, Dr Stillman’s notes say to increase vitamin C as a first option and Milk of Magnesia as a second, but not on a regular basis. See note on water below***

2)After researching the Atkins 72 and Stillman’s Quick Weight Loss Method plans, which are openly sited as being the basis for Kimkins, I saw a few staunch differences which I wanted to clarify. The claim is, that this program is safe because it was based on both of those plans written by doctors. However, it also contains Kimmer’s “tweaks.”

a.Fat is cut because of the calories. I wondered though about the dairy. All the foods listed within the program do contain many of the vitamin and mineral’s our bodies needs. However, the majority of Kimkins members are not eating enough of any of these things to obtain the amount of minerals especially that they need. I was concerned that the things that have been cut because of the fear of fat could be detrimental in the long run. Like I described in a previous post, Dr Atkins said “be shockingly un-afraid of fat” which I can see not being good on one hand… but it would be just as much of an opposite extreme to “be shockingly AFRAID of fat.”

b.Both programs push fluid intake. Stillman’s says 8 glasses of water a day and Atkin’s says as much water as thirst requires. Kimmer does not like to drink water, I don’t prefer it either, but I did try to get at least 40-60oz of water plus whatever calorie free beverage I chose during my journey and even now. The reason that Stillman required water on his program because he knew the strain that a high protein diet would have on the kidneys and therefore demanded the water to keep them flushed. Dr Atkins 72 plan encouraged the use of liquids but it was not required due to the higher veggie content, but even at that higher carb veggies (such as pumpkin and fruit like rhubarb) and good fats (avocado) were added to his program in the second week. The benefits of increased clear fluid intake are shown over and over, including assistance with regularity, so why is it not encouraged more?

c. I did see in one area where the Stillman’s program also gave this disclaimer: “This is a severe form of ketogenic diet. It is not easily sustainable for the long term. It may be useful in breaking plateaus and in those too impatient to allow their bodies to take the fat off gradually at its own pace.” But it does not say (at least where I could find it) that it can be done indefinitely w/o some risks.

d. My concern regarding both is this. Kimkins is a modified version of both of these diets combined, removing some things and adding others. The reasoning behind why Kimkins is so safe is because it was essentially “created” by 2 doctors so it is still “doctor approved.” BUT, Just as Kimmer says don’t modify Kimkins otherwise it’s not the same program. The same go for these two programs as well. So in essence, by modifying Atkins 72 and Stillman’s to be Kimkins you really no longer have a “Doctor approved” program because you have removed the things that they viewed as essential for their diet.

e. Kimmer claimed to me to have written a bariatric clinic to obtain a Doctor’s approval and review of the program. I requested a copy of the letters she had written.

3)I did lose on this program and seemingly have “thrived” in my results, aside from the side effects I experienced which I have already addressed. I am concerned that this is not as much of a “cookie cutter” program as Kimmer and others would like to believe. I am young, moderately good health before I began, and quite resilient. My body can hopefully take things ok with “minimal” side effects (not discounting however, that my calories were too low and I would much rather people follow their dietary program safely and not enter the danger zone that I did). However, my structure and nutritional needs are very different than someone who is 60, 70, or 13. I am in the prime of my life, and so eating this restricted, while maybe not the healthiest thing for our bodies, I reasoned that it’s better than obesity. I do have many concerns now though. Especially the older and younger members have some very different needs and promising that “you will lose no matter what” may be true to an extent, I cannot any longer condone recommending to anyone to cut out some things that they specifically may need for their bodies. At that point, it’s NOT just a matter of calories and math… you do have to take into consideration the vital nutrients and how much of each thing on this program they would have to consume to get those nutrients.

4)It was a well known fact that Kimmer had been accused of soliciting to teens. At first, I did not believe this accusation, and when Jimmy asked her about this directly she stated that she would never recommend this program for teens. I have always stated that too, as has my friend Deni. When we had our initial “Controversy” email session that was disclosed by Becky between Kimmer and moderators, it was brought up that a 13 year old had been in the chat room. Kimmer stated, “A 13 year old in chat? No way! Not OK ever. Please all/any of you let me know so I can talk to the account holder and tell them "nicely" about no kids and probably refund/cancel.” I needed to know then, why when one member out openly displaying her age as 14, and Deni and I were both trying to push her to talk to her mom and doctor, and reconsider what she was eating, did Kimmer come in and not only encourage her that her low cals were ok, but did not back us up in the need to talk to her doctor and mother? I did not understand why it suddenly was not important “whether you are 14 or 84” to have different diets. Nutritional needs at both those ages are very different, and it’s not just a matter of extra fat calories hanging on. Why was this teen not encouraged as well that this was not the place for her and “nicely” asked to leave?

5)I now had several questions regarding confusion surrounding Kimmer’s identity. Kimmer has told me things about herself at various times that are confusing and conflicting.

a.She speaks quite often about her sister and her use of Kimkins. She also told me that the picture in the red dress is in fact her. However, she also told me that not even her sister knows that she is Kimmer. How can this be? Would’t she see her picture on the site and put two and two together?

b. When I have called various times to speak with Kimmer, I have spoken with several other members of her household. One claimed to be her sister and another Brandon, and also one other unknown male. Each time, I have asked for “Heidi” and they have given the phone to her or told me she was not available. Months ago, Kimmer told me in one of our discussions “If you call me Heidi I might not know who you’re talking to,” insinuating that she is NOT Heidi. But, in that same conversation she also told me that calling her “Heidi” would keep her grounded and help remind her of where she came from. She reminisced to me also about when she was class mom for her boys and they called her “Ms Heidi.” However, she is now claiming that is not her name. I have a problem with this.

c. Kimmer speaks freely about Brandon and her involvement with him. However, the only reference ever throughout any business dealings and in records is for “Brandon Diaz.” If she is not Heidi Diaz, did he legally change his last name to coordinate with the name that she is operating under?

d. According to public records, “Heidi Diaz” birthday is in May. On that date, “her birthday,” this year, we made a fairly big “to do” about it being her birthday within the forum in which she accepted congratulations and spoke of how much she enjoyed celebrating her birthday. Was this not accurate? Did we have a “ghost” birthday celebration?

e. Kimmer has repeatedly allowed me to continue call and represent her as “Heidi.” I unknowingly participated in a deception that I am not comfortable with. And once again, I feel I owe my readers and friends an apology for this as well.

f. MULTIPLE times Kimmer informed me that she is the only one who handles the money. She doesn’t trust anyone else to do it. This is confusing to me if she is not Heidi, as the instructions for sending a check/money order state to make them out to “Heidi Diaz / Kimkins.”

6)I was concerned lastly regarding the future of Kimkins if Kimmer continued to conceal her identity. Kimmer has stated over and over that she is a very private person and does not want any recognition. However, I also know that as this program continues to grow, the question of “Who Is Kimmer” will not only exponentially get louder, but it will become more and more difficult for her to remain a hidden person without people writing the program off as a farce and a joke at best and an internet scam and criminal fraud at worst. If there is to be credibility behind the program then people need to know the credibility behind the founder. I believe that it is time for Kimmer to come out of hiding.

These are just some of my questions and concerns regarding the Kimkins program and its founder, Kimmer. After asking these questions as it pertained to my job as the Public Relations director for the Kimkins program, instead of forthrightly answering my questions, Kimmer’s immediate response (within 30 minutes) was to terminate my position as the PR director and offer a smaller position as head moderator which I refused. I explained to her that if I would not be allowed to ask questions for my job, and operate with integrity and a clear conscience, then I would not be able to participate within Kimkins as it was and asked to be removed as a moderator. Within the next few minutes I was banned from Kimkins.com.

I hope that by posting this that the facts may be taken for what they are, and I wish very much that Kimmer would simply come forward and answer me honestly. It hurt me terribly to have to do what I did. I cannot begin to express how much the support and encouragement that I received this last week has meant to me. I want to end with a passage from the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 4 vs 5.

Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.


I feel now that the Lord is bringing much to light that I had been blind to previously. I only pray that throughout this entire situation God will allow only the truth to prevail and that all other "things" fall to the wayside.

17 comments:

Becky said...

I'm proud of you for speaking up!

lil_red said...

Christin ,
Thank You so much for the honesty you put in that blog. I now know without a shadow of any doubt what I need to and am going to do from here on out. As you know when we spoke this morning i was lost ,confussed and getting a little on the depressed side. Thank You for clearing this up and helping me yet again. Love ya ,your the best. God Bless you !

Deni said...

(((hugs)))
You've done the right thing here in being honest about everything. I know it isn't easy speaking up, and it's not easy bringing so many lies out publically... but we both know that the time for truth is now.
No more pretending and no more letting her lies go unnoticed!

KimPossible said...

I too am proud of you! May you be a beacon of truth!

follmercarolyn said...

Christin,

It really appears that Kimmer is very unstable emotionally and is delusional at best. It's best not to be involved with crazy people.

Scripture tells us not to be "unequally yoked" and this is the reason why. I'm glad you unhitched yourself and got to a much safer place.

I know God has great things for you
in your life. Keep researching and reading and studying diet and nutrition and you will be able to help lots of people some day.

A great book that is coming out in
September is Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories. There have been some good reviews on this.

:) Carolyn

Stephanie said...

Christin, my heart goes out to you as it does to Deni, Becky and anyone else who has been involved with Heidi/Kimmer.

You deserve a lot of credit for candidly sharing the truth as you know it to be. I hope and pray you won't have any ill effects from the diet in the future. Ironically, you 3 ladies are probably helping more people in a much larger way NOW that you've come out of Kimkins, than you did inside. Blessings!

chickycola said...

Christin,
There are so many things I want to express to you; I just don't know where to begin.

1) I like to tell you I admire your courage. You recognized something was not right and you tried to confront it and when pushed back you stood your ground. This had to be so very hard for you especially after feeling so devoted and loyal because of the support you had losing the weight and representing the plan in WW.
2) It's one thing to confront someone when they have wronged you or you believe they are doing something wrong, but it takes another kind of courage to bring to public light the wrong doings of others. I know that writing this blog is taking a lot from you and thank you for being so honest, thank you for having the courage. I'm sure that you are helping many people recognized they should listen to their bodies and choose a healthy path. People might start recognizing when others are giving them unsound medical advice.
3) Finally, you are my inspiration. I had lost 85 lbs on Atkins in 2004 and felt great, I got pregnant with my son and put all the weight back on (+10!). I was terribly depressed about it and couldn't get motivated to do the diet again. Seeing you in that WW mag got me back on track. I decided to do a detox, and after that I joined the kimkins site ready to go. I have lost 41lbs since July 2007. I look forward to following your blog (along with Becky and Deni's) as I continue with my low carb journey. (with Dr approval all the way!)
You have my utmost respect!
Janice

CC said...

Christin,

Thank you for getting the truth out for all to know.

Have you considered asking Kimmer to take the Woman's World bit off of her site? I worry that this reels in a lot of people who still do not know of the dangers that lurk.

Thanks again for your honesty. When I was on the site I always enjoyed posts by you, Becky, Deni, and so many others who are now mysteriously finding that they can no longer gain access.

My best to all of you!

Cutie said...

*hugs*

oceans said...

Thank you, Christin. It is wonderful to hear the truth. I hope that many others will find your blog, and will be helped to see the light.

Alex said...

Christin,
Thank you for posting so many details and personal observations about your interactions with Heidi Diaz. Your blog will help others not to be deceived by her. Sorry it happened to you... but it looks like you have a great group of friends supporting you here!

iportion said...

No the diet she created is not doctor approved by a long shot. I modified ww to work for me but that doesn't mean I have WW approval on my diet.
Thanks for speaking up.

KimPossible said...

Christin, I have a question that is pure curiousity and this doesn't have to be a comment but I am sure many wonder this as well...what reason does Kimmer (whoever) have to keep your likeness up on the main page of the site? I assume you had to sign a release? I just find it extremely irritating that she is using your image and story (and Deni's for that matter) while banning you both from the site...gets my goat (as does many many things about this). Thank you for your continued presence in this--you are an inspiration to many and IMO live up to it!

Livin' La Vida Hotassssss said...

Thank you so much for posting this Christin.

And thank you for showing integrity and passion. Always.

:-)

getting better said...

Christin,

It takes a lot of courage and humbling to admit everything you did in this blog. Praise God for that! :) I can't say thank you enough for your honesty and for your time to answer my questions.

Christin said...

I want to thank you all so much for this incredible outpouring of support and compassion. KimPossible and CC (Boo right? ;) ) - I wanted to answer your questions regarding our likenesses on the KK site. Yes, we did sign releases for her to use our pics. This was another thing as PR director that I was pushing for legitimacy purposes. I don't know how many people she actually got them from, but I know that Deni and I both signed them. She does have the legal right to continue to use at least our pics.

Deni said...

Well, actually.. Heidi Diaz has the rights to my pics. ;)