As I was preparing for my trip to New York to be on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet I really had to search within myself for what exactly was my motivation for going on the show. I want to share with you all an email that I received this morning from a former Kimkins member, Tina AKA Lil_Red. Tina has been emailing me since I left Kimkins in an effort to determine and discover for herself where her own journey would take her. I want you to hear this in Tina's words as she describes what she has discovered about herself and this program that all of us were so convinced was our golden ticket to permanent weight loss:
My name is Tina Coates aka Lil_Red. I wanted to write this out for everyone to see. I am not doing this to win brownie points with anyone, I am doing it for the purpose to let the past, present and future Kimkins users know that this is not a healthy nor safe diet. I joined Kimkins in June of 2007 withe same intent as everyone else; to lose weight as promised , fast and safe. I have since then started to have issues with my health. The first issue I had was about the end of July. I started to have really itchy burning skin. All over my body not just in one area. I first noticed it on my face. When I would scratch or rub it would burn and hurt like heck. I chalked it off to what others kept telling me "oh it's probably an allergy Lil_Red " , "what have you ate different?" I cut out things I thought it might be. That meant eggs, aspartame, splenda and I even avoided any contact with the sun, thinking it might be a sun allergy. Nothing worked. Continuing on to lose the unwanted lbs I started to experience hair loss. At first it was a couple of hairs here and a couple there. I thought nothing of it because I had thick hair. I use to joke around saying to my hair dresser "well, at least I will never go bald!" Now that just isn't funny anymore as I have little hair left. And yet, I continued on still to shed the lbs. I started to have chest pains , thinking it was around the gallbladder area I would go and have it looked at. I went in for the blood test and it is not my gallbladder. I am still uncertain what it is. I still get the pains and shortness of breath. I am hoping you will read my story and know this is for real. This is not a joke. And I am in no way saying this to get publicity nor am I saying this cause I had anything to do with Heidi aka "Kimmers". I am saying this to warn you peple this is dangerous. You can lose the weight in a healthy way. Thanks for reading my story."
Tina - you are not alone.
While on the show I was challenged by the new PR director of Kimkins, Jeannie AKA Tippy Toes, in my statement about how I hear every day of people being hospitalized, hurt, and sick through utilizing the Kimkins program. Jeannie, in answer to your request, I do hear you. I present for you though Tina, who is just one of many stories I have been witness to now since leaving Kimkins. Look around your forums. When I left, people were posting daily about issues that they were having looking for answers. Their bodies are screaming in malnutrition and they are simply encouraged to speak to their doctors. I understand that answer, and gave it myself even. But the issue does not lie there. The issue lies in the original problem, with the nutrient deficient program that they are following.
Kimkins as a diet is not stable. Yes, the "minimum" calorie count has been upped to 800. But I'm here to tell you, I put together, while I was still working for Kimkins, a Boot Camp Menu in an effort to "prove" that it could be done with a higher calorie count. Utilizing the specified protein limits and vegetable limits given for that option, I was only able to come up with a menu that totalled just over 700 calories. I have proof via screen shots of Heidi stating that the boot camp option usually averaged around 500 calories a day and that's the way it is. I'm sorry, but 2 cups of lettuce for lunch and dinner and 1/2 a cup of cooked veggies a day is NOT enough to provide the essential vitamins that our bodies need.
While the plans on the inside may be changing, what is published has not. What about all those who have joined, printed the lists, and taken them at face value. They put it on their refrigerator and read "no more than 20 carbs," and they take that as is, never coming on the forums to ask questions or for clarification. Kimmer (Heidi) herself adamantly insisted to myself, Becky, Deni, and other moderators that when you take her plans and tweak them, they are no longer Kimkins. You have now simply published a modified Atkins program which will leave you open for even further legal complications.
Yes, people are getting sick, and I have proof. Not from extremes, but from doing exactly what they have been told and understand. There is no amount of public relations spinning that can be done to give the peace of mind back to Tina that her health has not been harmed. It cannot give another member's gall-bladder back. It cannot undo the fear of another who spent days in the hospital due to an electrolyte crash. These are not bogus stories made up by someone who had a vendetta against Heidi or the program. These are real people who are suffering.
My question is... how many more? Jeannie, this is in no way meant to question your credibility or motivation. I had the same motivation and received the same emails as you speaking of encouragement and motivation. You can still motivate people in weight loss without endangering. We can still motivate without aiding a criminal fraud.
Will it take someone with a heart condition dying of a potassium deficiency? How many more must suffer?