Saturday, November 24, 2007

Practical Problems

Thanksgiving is scary. For anyone who has struggled with their weight, whether just a few pounds up and down… or the drastic weight loss winners… it’s scary. We know what happens at this time of the year. Inhibitions are mysteriously released and we lose control over the stuffing, potatoes and apple pie. (For my European readers bear with me, I do have a point.)

I have attempted to be as open as I can be regarding my status in maintenance since losing weight so drastically and quickly. But, one thing that I have never touched on is how very difficult learning how to eat properly again after a program such as Kimkins has been. I am not surprised at all at the statistics we see about those who have lost weight dramatically in a short period of time in their inability to keep the weight off. I will be the first one to tell you that it has been one of the hardest things that I have ever attempted and continue to struggle with.

The first area begins in the mind. I have mentioned before that I believed that Kimkins promoted eating disorders. Possibly even a new brand of eating disorder. My family will readily tell you how worried they were about me last Thanksgiving when all I would put on my plate was about 4oz of turkey. I stood my ground against them in my assurance from my mentor that as long as I had fat on my body that I would continue to burn that fat off my body at lightning speed. They saw what I failed to see. They saw already that I was developing a grossly skewed relationship with food and eating principles.

Because this mindset that was so fervently instilled in me, I literally became scared of food. When I hit my goal I knew that if I reverted to previous eating habits I would put the weight back on faster than it had come off. Therefore, I was faced with a new problem. How do I transition to a “normal” lifestyle after depriving myself of so many calories for so long?

Although it was promised, there was no maintenance plan for Kimkins. And, all that I received from Kimmer was the encouragement to simply add a little fruit and a yogurt and that would be enough to maintain me. I tried very hard to understand this, and after debating and working with Kimmer for a month or so… I asked her if I could work on a maintenance program that would be possible to transition off of that program and learn how to eat “normally” again. She agreed and I got to work.

The main source of my research was a book that I’ve been discussing throughout my blog titled “The Thin Commandments” by Dr Stephen Gullo. At the time of my transition I began reading this practical guide. Through utilizing Dr Gullo’s principles I began to see a glimmer of how to come about the correct way to view weight loss and maintaining it. I was able to address some of the psychological reasons behind why we gain weight back, and why I had such a difficult time previously losing the weight.
It was this book in particular that led me to some of the re-introducing principles that I incorporated into writing a maintenance program for Kimmer/Heidi. I worked a long time on developing a what I felt was workable, using myself as the “user” to determine if what I had put together would work. Little did I know that because of the mindset I had, and because of my body’s lack of nutrition, it would be extremely difficult for me to incorporate these principles.

What should have been simple math and only adding in a few additional calories ended up as a long and painful process. I could not add one additional food without a fear that it would be the one thing that would send me over the top in the battle to keep the weight off. My relationship with food is still rocky at best. While I have been able to maintain for almost 9 months, it is only by the grace of God that I have learned what I need to or can eat. I thank the Lord that I learned about Dr Gullo and his book. Without that, I would probably either still be lost in the proper way to incorporate healthy foods into my daily lifestyle and how to avoid those that I will have an issue with.

As far as the maintenance program that I wrote for the Kimkins program… it has since been removed. I pray that each person coming out of that program will really take their time and research the best way to re-incorporate a healthy lifestyle. It’s not easy. It is a daily battle and thought process that must take place.

As to my own eating disordered thought patterns, I am weekly working with my therapist now to remedy this. I have been diagnosed with Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified with binge bulimic tendencies. This is a hard realization to come to. I never thought I would have such an issue, and prior to my weight-loss this was not a problem for me. Yes, I overate, but I was never scared to eat. I never had the fear that if I started I would not be able to stop. It will be an uphill process… but I am determined to see it through. Keeping the weight off is necessary for my emotional and psychological stability, and I WILL prevail.

As Dr Seagal from the Mike and Juliette show stated (paraphrased), this program (Kimkins) is nutritionally bankrupt. No self-respecting physician would be associated with it. I would add, any program that does not offer a do-able, sound maintenance program sabotages the possibility of sustainable weight management.

EDIT 11/26/2007: I just wanted to clarify. My above statement in regard to my diagnosed eating disorder with bulimic tendencies; I do not mean that I have "purged." There are many aspects to bulimia and purging is just one of those aspects. Although I will admit that the thoughts have been there for that type of behavior, by God's grace I have not succumbed. The bulimia tendencies in this instance are towards binging.


twobig said...

hang in there. You are doing really well overcoming your own eating issues,and the emotional stress of doing the right.

Statistically only 1 out of 10 who start a weight loss program of any kind make it to goal weight and of those who do only 1 out of 5 will still be at goal weight a yr later so your struggle with regaining isn't just a kimkins issue. Granted it was made harder by no maintnenace plan in place for you to use but you are doing the right thing working with a professional.

BTW ControlledCarb who has a PhD in nutrition labeled Kimkins nutrtionally bankrupt months ago on LCFs in the making it a healthy WOE if possible topic

iportion said...

Maintanance is never easy even with a healthy program but even doubly so for crash diets.
A diet that only has three cups of veggies and no milk/soy milk would stress most people out to binge it all back.
I think for some weight loss with meetings can be helpful to some so that someone might want to try TOPS for meetings or weight watchers core. Core is healthy slow carb diet with no induction it could be combined with a south beach style plan.

Sue said...

Christin if you eat low-carb it should be easier to maintain your weight. How many carbs are you eating daily?
I wish you all the best.

Lorren said...

Baby steps, Christin, baby steps! So glad you aren't trapped in that web anymore, friend!

Deni said...

This post was much needed. Thankyou for coming out and being totally honest about what a struggle it has been for you to keep the weight off.
You are such a beautiful girl, both inside and out.. and it is NOT a success of Kimkins that you are who you are today.. it is a success of God's and your own hard work.
Thankyou again for your honesty... we will get through all of this together. :) (((hugs)))

Carolyn said...


Thanks for such a wonderful post. I'm sure this has helped many people realize that eating disorders can
happen to anyone.

I have the Thin Commandments and I will start reading this again. You have been a blessing to many people
in more ways than you know.

Your honesty and transparency has helped many people and will continue to help people escape from
the "starvation" mentality that Kimkins can induce.

God's blessings to you,


oceans said...

I think it is wonderful that you have maintained for such a long time. When I lost all my weight doing a modified Atkins, I could not maintain. I even tried to follow that Atkins for life book with no success. This time my loss stopped just shy of goal. I have been trying to maintain at this point, but it is very, very difficult....

Nora said...

Hi christin,
I wanted to apologize to you, because on another forum I questioned the harm you have suffered from kimkins. I was not aware you had developed binge eating/bulimia patterns and were diagnosed with EDNOS. Please accept my apology. When I first read your story you seemed to imply you had no problems maintaining your healthy weight. Had I known about the binge eating and bulimia I wouldn't have said waht I said.

I too have lost weight at a very young age (I went from 280 to 104 pounds at my lowest - like you I also developed disordered eating problems, although mine was more like mild anorexia; I've only purged a handful of times and these occurred well after the majority of my problems were healed).

Today my weight is around the 116 range (I had gained to 120, which is a pretty healthy weight for me at 5'5+, but I lost more weight when I had an operation to remove excess skin called a lower body lift). I feel as if I have no eating disorder and my maintenance is very smooth considering.

I'm a few years ahead of you on this maintenance journey thing, so maybe I can offer you a bit of advice - for maintenance, for controlling your ED.
Never forget the key is low carb. The same conditions that promote obesity, also promote EDs especially binge eating and bulimia. The fear of food, is very much related to a fear of that loss of control over ourselves, the inner chaos, associated with eating.

A lot of nutritionists and experts are going to suggest whole grains, "balanced" meals (whatever that means?). The science is very, very far behind.

For me to both overcome my eating disorder (the crazy thinking, obsessive thoughts, inability to eat normal amounts, restricting food often to where I felt lethargic and half dead, being underweight, fear of weight gain to the point where I figured I might as well die if so much as gain an ounce)...
...AND to maintain a healthy weight...

I had to low carb to do it.

TO maintain I eat 50-60 carbs on average.

You know what else? If I eat more calories, I DON"T GAIN. Only if I eat carbs do I start gaining.

I feel in control of my body... not because I'm starving it, because I'm feeding it. I'm feeding it the right things, and I don't feel inner chaos and lack of control anymore.

I went through what you are going through... trying to eat "balanced meals" with "moderate carbs" and I really thought this was the right thing to do. It took me a long time to accept and embrace the need to eat very low carb to address all of my weight and eating needs. I had to eat very low carb, and STOP restricting calories, remove ANY value attachment to calorie numbers. It wasn't easy, and doing it is not hte same as DOING it (for many, many months I would feel total dispair over what I've ate that day etc). But, the more you do it, the more your brain starts to adjust.

So if I can make any suggestion to you, you might find it easier to maintain both your weight and overcome your eating disorder, if you allow yourself to eat everything liberally but keep carbohydrate very low. The carbohydrate is the main reason we gain weight, it is also the reason we feel fear and out of control over ourselves, because of the metabolic changes that occur with diets high in carbohydrate.

Christin said...

I am choked up as I read these responses. Thank you all so much for your support and understanding. I want to appologize again for misleading in my prior blog that I was not struggling with ED behaviors. I know that with the support of my wonderful online family and friends I will be able to work through all this.

Cintia EUA said...

Hey girl, you are the REAL deal! I believe because you are sharing yoru experience with the whole world you are planting seeds that will bring you a harvest of blessings in your life. Hang in there, God is on YOUR side! I also have an interest in the things that go on in our minds when we go from overweight to thin. I believe you are in the right path. This process of healing will bring lots of victory to you, you'll see. Continue to be determined. You have my prayers and support!

Becky said...

Christin, I am so glad you decided to go public with these issues, and so proud of you for how you are walking through this.

I am really relieved you finally told the whole truth about your calorie intake on Kimkins to your doctor, and that he took it seriously enough to do the right tests and send you to the right kind of nutritional counselor.

I am hearing so many sad reports of similar situations arising from Kimkins. It is a real shame.

You can overcome this, I know!

regandy said...

I really appreciate your friendship and your support. Thanks for everything that you are doing. For me, you are the thread that is helping me hold on to hope. You are a sweetheart.