Monday, November 19, 2007

Misplaced Motivation

"There is no sadder grief than that which lies at the bottom of a life that has been wrecked through deception"

~Lemuel K. Washburn

"An honorable man or woman is one who is truthful; free from deceit; above cheating, lying, stealing, or any form of deception. An honorable man or woman is one who learns early that one cannot do wrong and feel right. A man's character is judged on how he keeps his word and his agreements."

~Ezra Taft Benson

I feel the time is right for me to address the questions and concerns that have risen in regards to my motivation and purpose in my stance against the Kimkins diet and exposing Heidi Diaz. It is no secret that for the last year I was a avid supporter of the Kimkins diet. After all, I lost 100lbs. I was assured with absolute confidence that being overweight was far greater a risk than any I would subject myself to by utilizing this diet. So with much gusto and enthusiasm I embraced the teachings of "Kimmer" and touted them as she had instructed me.

I excitedly traveled to Los Angeles for the Woman's World photo shoot and believed with all my heart that I was helping motivate others to lose that dreaded fat through my actions. After all... Heidi had done it... she not only lost it but maintained it for 5 years! I was sure there was hope for me to finally win the battle of the bulge. I wrote my "How I Did It" thread again with enthusiasm and inspiration. All done with the encouragement and flattery that I was a "star." I was Heidi's cover girl and her pupil.

My participation in Kimkins was enthusiastic to say the least. So much so that the side effects/symptoms of malnutrition and starvation that I was experiencing I was grasping at every straw that I could to justify and explain what was happening to me. I went to my doctor to get a physical in July after being off of the program for 4 months. My blood work and other things all showed up ok and when I told my doctor about my weight loss... I simply explained it as "Lean proteins and veggies." He was fine with that, with only a passing comment about a high protein diet being ok for those who are "younger and more resilient." When my blood work came in ok I clung to that as validation that I was ok... however... my hair loss had still not slowed down and my menstrual cycle was still very irregular.

As the PR representative I began to do research with the rising "grumblings" against Kimkins and Kimmer, I felt it was my responsibility to "debunk" what I was told were misconceptions and misinformation's regarding the program. As I researched and began to delve into the issues arising in following a very low calorie diet such as Kimkins, I realized that I was not alone in my symptoms. I grew increasingly worried as I learned that the symptoms I was having were very much in line with those who suffered from eating disorders such as Anorexia.

Not long there after was when Becky left/was fired from the program. I had begun to see the person behind the mask. Although I had desperately wanted to believe Kimmer, and to question now was to go back on everything I had trusted in and based my life on for the last year, I knew that if I was to represent the company with integrity and present it (the Kimkins company) as an ethical and upstanding growing corporation, I must clear the air of the murk that was beginning to set in.

The last couple of weeks in August were agonizing for me emotionally as I gathered my thoughts and evidence for the questions that I had for Kimmer/Heidi. I knew based on Becky's experience that my asking would only have one result, and yet I still believed in the potential goodness of Heidi and I wanted desperately to believe that what I knew would happen wouldn't. However, my own experience was becoming a frightening reality and the questions within the boards of people becoming very ill and growing medical problems were too loud to ignore and the questions must be asked.

On September 3, 2007 while on vacation with my family and with many tears and great heaviness I submitted my questions to Heidi Diaz, knowing what the result would be for my "defiance" and inquiries. I have written about my questions previously but again listed for your review, I requested verification and documentation on the following points:

1) The safety of her claims regarding laxative use.

2) The claim that the program was technically "doctor approved" because it was based off of programs written by doctors, and a statement that a doctor's approval for the program was long overdue. I also requested a copy of the email that she had claimed to have sent to a bariatric specialist

3)Documentation that the program (being low cal) was safe "no mater if your 14 or 84."

4) The issue that had arisen regarding teens utilizing the website and her encouragement to continue on the plan when she had clearly stated that teens were not allowed.

5) Questions followed up with examples clearing the air regarding her identity as Heidi Diaz.

Here is the response that I received from Heidi about 30 minutes after I asked those questions:

"I understand that you're a person of integrity and it seems you've had a
nice life (meaning you might be a bit protected or naive -- which is nice!)...

...You will discontinue as Director of Media & PR. I have someone in
mind who can step in...."

In a following email:

"...I don't see that there's a future for you with Kimkins unless you can
come up with something that wouldn't jeopardize your integrity..."

So am I a disgruntled employee? No. Since I left Kimkins I have had almost daily contact with people who have been hurt. Physically, emotionally, and psychologically from this woman and this twisted eating plan, and I am deeply saddened.

Shortly after returning from my "vacation" I decided that it was necessary for me to return to my doctor and come clean with what I had actually done. If you have followed my blog you know what the results of that meeting were. With tears and grief I shared my story with him and his concern was genuine.

My side effects, however scary, have been minimal compared to the stories that are coming to me. My heart breaks for these people, and they are crying out for a voice. If I was spared greater damage to be their voice, then so be it and I am prepared to do that for them.

My last point is this... you may look at me and say "Well look at her... she lost weight, she looks great... so what if she lost hair, periods, whatever... she's healthy now and has maintained it."

I cannot stress to you how difficult maintenance coming off of this program has been. I will be further blogging about my maintenance strategy at a later date, but the price has been high, and the road so much harder than weight loss ever was. Attempting to repair the damage that I had done to my body has been and continues to be a struggle.

I am not backing down. Yes, I promoted Kimkins. Yes, I believed at one time that it was a lifesaver for me. Knowing what I do now... would I do it again? I honestly don't know. Like so many overweight people today I was desperate. However, my motivation was Kimmer. Her claim to have lost the weight and kept if off... I would want to ask those using the program now though... what is the motivation... where is the proof that you will be safe after you lose the weight and how will you keep it off? A weight loss journey is not just the beginning... it has a middle and an end; it is a complete change in your way of life and thinking. What kind of life will a cycle of restrictive yo-yo eating be though?

I hope that I have been able to clear up some questions that have been circulating around. Please know that my motivation, although misplaced for a time period, has never been anything other than helping others make better lives for themselves.

For such a time as this.... I am prepared.


twobig said...

Thank you for your courage to stand up and take the hits to your intelligence and integrity as you have been doing.

lil_red said...

You are a brave woman Christin, I thank you from the bottom of my heart all you have done and helped me thru. If not for you I would still be involved in the sick,evil plan of Heidis. But thankfully I am banned..i don't need the drag down of that situation. And for the others still there "get help" Christin will help and she is wonderful :)

iportion said...

I do not think you were trying to fool anyone
You seem like a kind soul to me
Most dieters want to hear magic
including me and I know a lot about healthy eating.

Lori Soard said...

Hi, Christin,

Hang in there. People like Heidi go into attack mode when pushed to the wall with their lies. The easiest attack right now is in questioning your motivation. Just keep being yourself and being truthful and know that there are many praying for you. Even if one person reads your blog or sees you on a program and doesn't join Kimkins, you have made a difference in that one life. Although, I suspect you are reaching many many more :)


kellidt said...

This is the first time I have responded to any blog. I never communicated on the Kimkins site, but I read it faithfully everyday during my initial months on the plan. I started the plan June 12 the height of new members just after your magazine article. I guess I was lucky because I didn't have alot of the symptoms the rest of you did. I did notice my hair getting thinner but I actually didn't lose loads of hair. I lost 50 pound in 3 months and was ecstatic. But with loss that fast there comes a price. My skin will never be the same and your mind doesn't have a chance to catch up with the rapid weight loss so yes I can relate to the anorexic mind thoughts. I am also having a very hard time with maintenance. It was a breeze to lose the weight and I thought if I could just get it off I could figure out the rest as I went along. Not so, let in a little and the flood gates come pouring in. I really wanted to tell you that this isn't your fault, everyone has a choice and this is a big weight to be putting on your shoulders. I do think that this diet could work but not to the extremes that were used. You shouldn't be afraid to eat an apple or vegetables but carbs aren't a good thing for a lot of people and instant isn't always good. But this isn't your fault. Please stop beating yourself up. You are human just like all of us and it called to you also. I also read some of the extreme emails and thought wow they are taking this to the extremes but it wasn't your fault. I feel the need to keep telling you this. This whole Heidi thing is a bit weird but please move on and continue to help at the other sites. You have gift.

BamaGal said...

Christin---you are taking quite a few personal hits right now. Some people will just do that. But you are doing the right thing. I admire your courage and integrity to try to right a wrong.Your faith will keep you strong through this long journey.

Dana said...

I don't think Heidi knows the first thing about integrity--I think you've got one heck of a lot of it! I'm also sickened and saddened by people's attitudes of judging you as "healthy" just because you are a certain weight. There are 200+ lb. women who run triathlons and there are h/w proportionate women who can't walk half a mile. Health is about so much more than weight. Maybe someday society will figure that out.