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.