Sunday, December 7, 2008

Prayer Chain for AmyB



My friends. My heart is heavy right now. My dear friend AmyB is in need. She is a fellow blogger and activist. She is one of the bravest women I have the honor and privilege of calling friend. Right now, she and her son Phillip are undergoing some major health issues. Please take a moment to visit her blog: Our Daily Blessing - Life, and giver her a word of encouragement. She needs prayer and support.

Amy, you know that I am here for you. I am passing this prayer chain along, raising my voice in agreement to the Lord with so many others... I pray for peace and comfort for your family. I pray for wisdom and skill for the doctors who are treating both you and Phillip. I pray for comfort and strength for Jim, and the rest of your precious family. I am with you my friend. And I love you.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Important Lawsuit Information

This request was penned by my good friend Prudentia.. Please take a few moments to review this and feel free to contact either myself, Prudentia, or the Kimkins Case email if you would like more information about how you can help.

John is working diligently on the Certification Brief for the class action lawsuit against Heidi Diaz and Kimkins. The following is the information we are pulling together for him as he is finalizing the brief. If you can provide any of this information, please forward it either to PrudentiaBlog@aol.com, or to KimkinsCase@gmail.com. If you are concerned about becoming involved, please contact me and I will be able to discuss this further with you.


1. We are compiling a list of people who saw the person known as Kimmer, including the avatar of herself, on the Low Carb Friends board during the actual period of time she was there – during 2002 through mid 2006. You can simply send an email stating that you saw her and your name will be added to that list.

2. We are looking for more persons who dealt with Heidi while she was impersonating a consumer simply promoting the diet. For example, people who became involved in her free clothing give away. Particularly people who dealt with her as Vanessa2Lucky@yahoo.com.

3. We are looking for advertisements clearly stating that she was offering a life-time membership. These can be from between the dates of February 2006 and October 2007.

4. Heidi stated in advertisements that her diet is good for persons with Type II Diabetes. We are looking for people who read that advertisement and joined Kimkins based upon that claim.

5. We are compiling a list of those who have been banned from the Kimkins site. Please include whether or not you are “super banned” or if you can still access the front page but not the boards and membership only areas.


Again, please forward these items to PrudentiaBlog@aol.com or KimkinsCase@gmail.com so that we can compile the replies and sort out duplicates. Thank you very much for your assistance in these matters.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The SLAPP heard round the world...



I’m typically a very mild mannered person. I hate confrontation. In my personal life, I usually take too much on myself before I meet someone else head-on. That being said, in my online turned real life, I have recently been “called out.” My blogging life as of late has been an attempt to focus on sharing from my own life how I feel a healthful weight loss lifestyle should be incorporated. Part of that information sharing has been a warning and caution about succumbing to weight loss scams such as the “Kimkins” diet.

As most of my readers know, I lost my weight by (and developed an eating disorder from) utilizing the Kimkins program. I have spent the last year in an attempt to recover from that experience. This year has also seen a multitude of other changes and involvements. These changes include a class-action lawsuit against the perpetrator of the Kimkins scam, as well as my own enrollment back in college to obtain a degree in nutrition so that I can share a VALID way of eating with those around me who are struggling. The lawsuit I believe is going very well… well… that is, until Heidi Diaz decided that it would be in her best interest to try to squelch me and my fellow outspoken advocates by filing a SLAPP lawsuit against us. For more information on exactly what a SLAPP lawsuit is, please visit my good friend, Prudentia, as she eloquently explains here: Understanding SLAPP.

The purpose of this counter-suit is clear, to intimidate us into silence. Well… as far as I can see, the opposite has happened. Instead of a muffler, we have been given a megaphone. All I can say at this point is thank you. Thank you Prudentia for explaining so fluently and your undying support; thank you “ducks” for your amazing efforts in spreading the word to help others; thank you to my fellow counter-suit defendants, you all are an inspiration to me; THANK YOU John Teidt for your tireless work and outstanding bravado, and yes… thank you Heidi, for showing me just why I cannot be silenced. I have done nothing but tell the truth about my experience with the Kimkins program. Such is my first amendment right. And now, my fellow defendants, ducks, and readers I have a message:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Reflections

OK So I know to most people, I'm still a baby. But, my 30th birthday is now looming on me; it will take place at the end of this month. I've been working on my emotional response and preparing myself for this milestone all year. Something happened today, however, that made me realize that age.... is just a number. And, it really doesn't matter cause in the broad scheme of things, I have friends from age 14 to grandmothers (no ages given out of respect;) LOL).

So today, I received an AARP card. Now... I know that you are not supposed to receive these things till you are approaching your 50's. So the mere fluke that I got it as I approach 30 was simply hilarious to me.

It did get me thinking though. Here I am.. 30 years old (and yes... I keep saying it to bring the reality of it to myself), and I am amazed at how much I've learned over my short lifetime... especially the last 2 years. I am approaching my 2 year anniversary of going low carb (Oct 2) and I am AMAZED at how my life has changed. I am thinner... yes. I am, for the first time in my life, what one would consider "normal." But how did I get here? I was scammed. I threatened my own life by low carb starvation. But out of the ashes of such tragedy... comes an incredible beauty.

I have re-entered college. Something I NEVER in a million years would have thought probable or even possible. I am studying NUTRITION of all things!

I have met some of the most incredible people in the world. I have "met" the most incredulous liar, and the kindest saints. So many opposites... it would make even the sanest person's head spin. But... in spite of everything, I am grateful. I am grateful that I have learned an awareness of myself. I am grateful that I have discovered a new purpose in life. I would not wish being deceived and scammed like I have been on my worst enemy. NO-one deserves that. So, I am now an activist. I can embrace my role as wife, mother, helper, and encourager with joy and hope for a brighter lifetime of good health, and showing others that they have that potential too.

Was it a fluke that I got an AARP card this morning... maybe. But just maybe... it was more than that. Thanks AARP...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Past, Present and Future

I will resume blogging about the Mediterranean Diet very soon, however it has been brought to my attention that there are those who are members of the dangerous Kimkins diet program who are STILL unaware of the scam, and even if they are aware of a "scandal," still think it's none of their business and see no point or reason to joining the Kimkins lawsuit. If you are one who is just becoming aware of these issues, I'd like to speak to you for a moment.

Let's go back about a year and a half ago. You’ve reached the point that so many of us who have dealt with weight issues have come too. You’re tired, and in a word, desperate. You hear of a program that gives the glorious promise that it, in and of itself, is even BETTER than Gastric Bypass surgery. Maybe that is something that you’ve considered in the past, and are at the point of seriously trying. But you want to give a weight loss regime one last try. It looked easy enough... price was less than what you've spent before, and the stories sounded too good to be true! So you joined Kimkins.

You try it for a week, maybe even a month and while it works, you decide that just like all the other programs you’ve tried.. you just can’t stick to it. So you quit and go on with your life. You don't think about it again, till you reach yet another point of desperation... and so you go back. Something has changed. The forums are dead. All the familiar faces that you spoke to and maybe even looked up to for inspiration are gone. There is a reason, so you begin looking around on the internet for answers.

You discover that this program is different. Unlike other legitimate weight loss programs, this particular program was not only begun as a blatant scam, those who have followed it for any extended period of time have become sick.

These are not people who were prone to eating disorders. These are normal individuals who have developed serious psychological issues thinking that they just were not strong enough to follow a diet program.

Those who did follow it, EXACTLY AS WRITTEN, have severely damaged their metabolisms, suffered thyroid damage, gall bladder damage, intestinal issues, severe hair loss, electrolyte and potassium deficiencies, major muscle loss (including heart damage) all of which have seen many in emergency rooms, facing surgeries and extended and lengthy recovery times. These issues are not exaggerations. They are life threatening realities.

The owner of Kimkins dot com not only admitted under oath that she lied about her own weight loss, but she has shown no concern or care towards those who have been damaged by the diet that she published and voraciously broadcast around the world.

Heidi K Diaz, founder of Kimkins, not only scammed you and me out of our money, but has risked thousands of people’s lives with her carelessness.

In October of 2007 a lawsuit was launched because of Heidi’s refusal to refund unsatisfied customers their money. This lawsuit has become even more than a quest to “get money back.” Heidi has since proven that not only did she intentionally perpetrate this particular scam, but she fully intends to continue dishonestly swindle unknowing and unsuspecting consumers unless she is brought to justice.

Many people have used the rationalization that “I have spent hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars on other weight loss remedies, and this is just one more, so I have no reason to get involved in a “petty” lawsuit just to get my $59.99 back.” Maybe that is where you are.Consider this, over the course of the last year, Heidi Diaz has deceitfully obtained almost 2 Million dollars. In the month that the Woman’s World magazine article came out, Heidi accumulated 1.3 million. All these funds were obtained on the basis of a fraud. While one payment of $59.99 might seem minuscule to some, in accumulation, they were an incredible sum. So far in the lawsuit there have been multiple depositions, not only of Heidi, but those who have aided her in her deception. Heidi has had 3 depositions, both her sons have been deposed, as has an aid for her lawyer.

The lawsuit is not certified yet, so it is NOT too late for you to participate!

Please go to The Kimkins Lawsuit Webpage for information on how to join the lawsuit. For step by step instructions you can see the “How To Join a Lawsuit” instructional video on YouTube, as well as multiple other reports regarding developments over the last year within this case.If you are still not convinced that you should step in and help by joining the lawsuit, then think of this: Suppose it was your sister, or mother who had been damaged such as many of the testimonies on Kimkins Survivors. What if one of them suffered a painful and extended stay in the hospital due to malnutrition and possibly even heart failure due to their body being so deprived of nutrients it began to shut down? Even if you have not experienced any of these things, there are those who have. Please take 5 minutes to review the information on joining the lawsuit so that together we can stop Heidi Diaz from continuing to hurt people in this manner.



Our desire is that Heidi Diaz would realize the err of her ways and shut down Kimkins dot com. This however, is unlikely to happen. Our hope and course of action now will be to demonstrate to the judicial system the danger that she poses as a con-artist to the general public. We will civilly remove her funds through this Class Action Lawsuit, and criminally, prove that she committed a dangerous consumer fraud to whatever entities may be pursuing this case. The more participants within the lawsuit, the greater our chances of both of these objectives happening.

Heidi has fully demonstrated that she will continue to find new ways to con unless we are successful. She has refused to be honest in ALL of her depositions, has destroyed evidence, hidden her income, and manipulated the justice system through delay tactics that will only continue to drain money away from those who deserve to get their money back. Please think about those who have been hurt. You will not be required to testify or face Heidi. You will only be lending a voice to many.


This post was originally put together for MissMerize AKA Avenue girl who is putting together an informational video to share with those who are still not aware of the atrocity that is Kimkins.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

For Grammy

I was only 6 years old, but I remember visiting my grandmother in the hospital during her first stint with the deadly disease of breast cancer. I was too little to know anything other than my Grammy was sick. She was only 53 years old. After a double mastectomy and months of chemotherapy, things seemed to be looking up. The cancer went into remission and we believed that she had beaten the disease.



In 1999, our family was to receive another blow when we received word that my mother, then only 42, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. My brothers, sisters and I gathered around my parents and wept as my father shaved my mother’s head as she began dealing with the effects of the chemotherapy. She too underwent a double mastectomy and we began the healing process. Breast cancer awareness and prevention became forefront in our lives.

In 2001 my grandmother’s cancer returned my sister ran in the Komen Foundation Race for the Cure. This began an annual event for my family attending as she ran. Every year, I sat on the sidelines and watched with pride; however, I was always too overweight to participate. Grammy’s cancer has never gone fully into remission. Since then, she has battled the disease culminating with this year growths have spread to her spine and recurred again in the scar tissue from her mastectomy in this her 6th occurrence.


It was a sudden realization that fat FEEDS cancer and seeing my sister cross that finish line in the fall of 2006 that began my weight loss journey. And so, after losing the weight, last year, in honor of Grammy, for the first time, my brothers, sisters and I (with the exception of 1 brother who was out of state) and my wonderful mother, ran TOGETHER in the Race For The Cure.




My weight loss journey began with a desire to lose to help make my body healthier to attempt to stave off this dangerous disease. I am the oldest of 6 children. I have 2 sisters. Statistically speaking, research shows that one of us girls will contract this disease. The odds for women who have a maternal history of breast cancer in their families are 2:1, or one out of three. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to us to not only find a cure, but to do all we can to learn how to prevent cancer.

I have discovered through my research that even in my weight loss journey, I was not eating preventatively. Losing fat is not enough, and unfortunately, the malnutrition that I suffered utilizing the Kimkins program did not help either. A healthy cancer prevention diet is actually not surprisingly a fairly popular Low Carb/Low Glycemic Index diet. The Mediterranean Diet is one of the highest recommended diets for breast cancer prevention. This diet is very low carb friendly too, emphasizing healthy Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, fresh low GI antioxidant filled fruits and veggies, and healthy proteins.
Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting various healthy low carb aspects of this dietary approach as I learn about them and their benefit towards thwarting the deadly disease of breast cancer.

Grammy currently is not well. While it hurts me immensely to see her in such pain, it also gives me new resolve to do whatever is in my power to educate others in a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that will not only assist them in achieving their weight loss goals, but also provides the nutrients and health benefits that can help extend their lives in other areas as well.

Grammy… I love you.


WE WILL FIND A CURE.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Turkish Delight

I have never thought about or realized the draw that finding a weight loss method that “works” has. Of course anyone would follow a plan that was guaranteed to work. They’d be crazy not to. But… what if that plan was unknowingly dangerous, or even life threatening? What if following that plan led to an addiction? What if following the plan brought on a whole new set of problems?

This is my reality. In the aftermath of my accident and all that has occurred since that time… and after a year of maintaining my weight loss with Kimkins, my reality is harsh (for me). I know that maintaining after losing a great deal of weight is not easy by any means. However, after following a Very Low Calorie program like Kimkins, having a “normal” maintenance life is exponentially more difficult.

After Kimkins, I made it my goal to learn how to eat and be healthy. I enrolled in school and have begun my newest journey towards obtaining a degree in Nutrition and Kinesiology. But, even in all I’m learning, why does Kimkins still have an allure to me? Simple… it worked to get the weight off. It was a fix. There was an uncanny high that came from feeling that sense of control and seeing the scale drop every day. Even within the forums of Kimkins there was a glossy magnetism about it. It was a happy place where everything was encouraging and everyone was your friend. But, that addicting appeal was seductive, it was a Turkish Delight. In the sweet comfort lay something far more sinister than the appearance it put off.

Within the confines of my little weight loss world, and my adherence to the Kimkins plan, something grew. I developed a full blown eating disorder. Coming out of that program, I was even more shocked to learn that I was not the only one either. Had this “solution” to my weight problems actually given me a whole new predicament to deal with?

I’ve kept most of my weight off for over a year now, true…. However, with time, as with most things, some has begun to creep back on. For this reason, I now am facing the reality of a) get this under control, or b) go back to the way I was. Option B is not an option.
I have often thought about the draw to that way of eating in similarity to recovering from a drug addiction. If you go back to it, the first hits give instant relief and “comfort.” You think… I control this, it doesn’t control me. However, the longer it continues; the reality is… that it does control you. You are trapped in a never-ending carrousel of recovery/getting a fix.

I would be kidding myself if I did not admit that the appeal and draw to go back to a Kimkins method of eating was not strong. But why would I do that to myself? The rational in my head says… it’s only 15 pounds… you’ll get that off real quick and then you can go back to eating right. But my heart knows better. I know that if I returned to that method of eating I would be caught in a vicious cycle of ALWAYS having to return to that in order to keep my weight under control. That is no way to live. I would much rather have one fixed way of healthfully eating that, combined with a regular exercise program, I know is good for me and will allow me to not only get my weight back under control, but provide me with a pure and simple strategy for lifelong fitness.

So what is my reality? My reality is that here I sit, facing the dreaded re-gain. However, I am also a VICTORIOUS recovering eating disorder addict. I WILL do what is best for my body…. And that is NOT Kimkins.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Best Laid Plans


“My son, if sinners entice you, DO NOT CONSENT… If they say, ‘Let us ambush the innocent without cause…. We shall find all kinds of precious wealth, we shall fill our houses with spoil; Throw in your lot with us, we shall all have one purse’…. My son, DO NOT WALK IN THE WAY WITH THEM. Keep your feet from their path…. For their feet run to evil… They ambush their own lives.”



Proverbs 1:8-18 (paraphrased)


Thousands of years ago Solomon gave this advice to his son as one of his first instructions. It is amazing that this advice still holds true millennia later.

Thanks to the combined effort of some incredible super-sleuths, the identity of a certain poster who has been as staunch defender of Heidi has been accurately identified. I was admittedly surprised when I was approached with this theory. However, as was revealed through more investigation and finally IP identification, this person has misjudged that TRUTH can really set you free from the trap that you set for yourself by taking up with those who ambush the innocent.


Gary Fontaine, Kimkins admin, has been secretly flaming in some of his most recent pro-Kimkins antics. From posting on AmyB’s blog with criticism and harsh verbal taunts of her son and his medical issues, to his latest, and possibly most anonymous, stunt. Up until this last week, it was assumed based on what circumstantial evidence was gathered, that the poster within the Facination With Kimmer threads on LCF known only as “Crispybread,” was Heidi. This same poster linked to several outside blogs which commonly poked fun at, slandered, and even psychologically threatened members of the lawsuit against Kimkins, and those who had been vocal in their stance against Heidi Diaz’ deceptions. However, it is now CONFIRMED, that the true identity of Crispybread, is in fact, Gary Fontaine.

Gary, I can only hope that you have seriously thought through your participation and cooperation with Heidi in the intimidation and slander of key witnesses in the Kimkins lawsuit. There is no recanting what has already been said. Yes… it is too late to take that back.

HUGE special thanks to all who helped in bringing this truth to light: TheTRUTH, Prudentia, Becky, and Tom for confirming the IP locations. Thank you all for demonstrating what can happen when we come together as a team in a combined effort. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

An Open Letter to Kimkins Members

I wrote the following letter/reply to Kimkins member DeeDLynn in response to her posting within the Kimmer threads on Low Carb Friends. I wanted to re-write and post it here as an open letter to all remaining Kimkins followers. There are other points and issues that I’d like to address, but I will save some of that for another blog.

Here was my letter:

I have thought about responding here for the last couple of days. While I would hope and pray that my words here would not fall on deaf or cynical ears, I still feel that I must say something.

Dee, I have read your blog and all your posts here over the last several days. No doubt you know who I am. If you joined Kimkins in June of 2007, (and I’m not saying this to be conceited or “look at me” but just stating a fact) then you joined because of my face. I hope you will at least give me the benefit of the doubt and respect what I am saying just as you ask of your words.

As one of the FIRST “successful” Kimkins diet users, I was one of the original guinea pigs. I do take responsibility for what I put in my mouth. I will admit that I did not go to my doctor prior to starting the program. However, when I joined, I was under the mistaken impression that to have a diet program and to sell it, you surely would have had to have a doctor’s approval for it before marketing! I was very distressed when I began working for Heidi and asked if there was one, and her response…. Something along the lines of: just that my doctor said what I did was ok… yeah… haha I guess I really need to get that done. Strike #1

I take by your posts that you enjoy the weight loss that you have seen using Kimkins. Good for you. I did too. It’s almost addicting isn’t it? We liked seeing the scale go down on a weekly/daily basis. It was invigorating and gave us such a sense of accomplishment. Almost to the point that after a great deal of loss you trust the person you’ve looked up to for months (much like those at KK look up to you I’m sure) to let you know finally what you should do to get that last little bit off, which is what I did in listening to what Heidi instructed me to do.

You may remember that last year prior to leaving KK, I had a post that was in the main lobby titled “Christin’s FAQ – I Did it and You Can Too.” To which Heidi replied – “Always wondered what you did ;) Proud of you girl!” Within that thread I posted my menus and exactly what I was eating. Heidi, as the owner and founder of the site and the diet, had a RESPONSIBILITY to correct me if what I was doing was NOT what she was promoting or encouraging. Instead, it was sticky’d at the top of the page where it was the first thing that every new member who came in saw.

So I guess my next question would be then… you say that I was being irresponsible in eating the way that I did when following “The Plan” by eating so few calories. But, that was what I (and many others like me) were instructed to do as that was Kimkins. So I guess I’m at a catch 22 in what you are saying here and I hope you can help me understand. So I should NOT have listened to Kimmer when she personally told me (yes personally as I am one of few who she spoke to EVERY DAY) to NOT stress about low calories, that it was PERFECTLY fine if my cals were at 500 or less? But how does that justify or make any different that you are listening to her diet advice now? So it’s upped by 300 calories… Does that NOW make it nutritionally sound? Strike #2

So does it change things now that since she’s “apologized?”

Think about it this way… if I hurt you and many of your friends and I got caught… so in order to make the peace I said… “I’m sorry if you feel like I hurt you.” Would that make things better? No. Because you would know that my apology was not sincere. I gave Heidi multiple opportunities to come clean in a “safe” way. I presented her with the issues and asked her to address them. Not in a condemning way, or angry and hateful manner; but in a professional and simple request as her PR representative. She would not answer me. In fact, it was not until the lawsuit and her pending deposition (which these Ducks have so eloquently pointed out), that her arm was “twisted” to finally come clean. I too am of the opinion that had it not been for the pressure that was provided through that avenue, she had NO intention of coming clean, OR changing the diet. Strike #3…..

No one ever likes to be contradicted or “told” that they are wrong. I completely understand. You said that you came out and posted here on the fascination thread because there was “falsehoods and gossip” written about you. Believe me, I understand. I’m not sure how long you have been following the controversy, but, last August especially, there was plenty being said about me, and my friends within Kimkins. I too was mad at the time. However, instead of running out here and trying to defend everything that was being said, I decided to take the quite approach and do my own specific research on the issues that were being raised.

Honestly, and I mean this, what I found was an incredible group of people who really do care about people getting hurt. NOT a group of “haters” and “negative Nancy’s.” In trying to disprove them.. I actually disproved myself.

Now, you can take this or leave it. You are correct that you chose your own path. We may end up having to agree to disagree about the Kimkins program and its safety. I only wish your health and happiness. But I would be doing you and many others a horrible disservice if I did not share with you what I know to be true. In working with John, I have personally read many legal affidavits and heard heartbreaking stories of those who have gotten sick and worse by using this program. This is not about money. I don’t care about money. I agree with the above poster who said John and Heidi’s lawyer can have it all… if it only means that people will cease to be hurt by following dangerous diet advice; which IS still being handed out whether you see it or not. I know Heidi. It’s not changing on the underneath side.

I wish you the best Dee…. If anything just THINK about what is presented to you. You don’t have to respond to me. Think about those who are hurting, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Don’t discredit them, because, just like you and I, they too have a voice… I choose to listen to them.

_____________________________

Dee responded to me and I am afraid that we are at a cross roads. She and all of you will have to make your own decision as far as your eating plan goes. My utmost desire is that you be healthy. I do not believe that Heidi Diaz has your best interest and overall health at heart. But that is between her and the Lord. It is my responsibility to educate according to my experience. After all, that is the way we learn right? We learn based on our own, and other's experiences.

Heidi Diaz is not to be trusted. As many of you believe that she has told the truth and apologized, I know she has not fully come clean. And sorry Dee, but she did NOT tell the whole truth at her deposition. She did lie under oath. It was only when faced with proof in her own writings that she admitted lying.

Please also know that any of you can contact me if you have any questions or even just want to talk. I will not judge or condemn. I only want to help you understand what so many of us have come to know to be the truth. When discerning if something is true or not, simply look at the fruit... the only way to know is to look at the facts with an open mind. Weigh for yourself (based on cold hard facts alone, not emotions or what is "working for you") whether or not this is a person and business you can, in good conscience, support.

Once again, as you consider what is placed before you, I leave you once more with this thought: Think about those who are hurting, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Don’t discredit them, because, just like you and I, they too have a voice… I choose to listen to them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not KO'd Yet.... Not even close.

I have been transparent in my stance regarding the Kimkins program and Very Low Calorie eating plans.

I believe that everyone needs to find a program that will work well for them in regards to a sustainable eating and weight loss. Do I believe that Kimkins is a valid program for weight loss? No. Anyone can lose weight by restricting their calories to dangerous levels. I did. But as I have stated before… the maintenance of that loss has been extremely difficult. There are also serious medical issues that can arise from participating in such a program. I do take full responsibility for the food that I put into (or did not put into) my mouth. HOWEVER, I will also say that I was pushed and encouraged daily in the way that I was eating.

I want to make something very clear. I will not be intimidated. I will not back down from my stance against a very low calorie diet and the detriments that it can bring.

I have already begun working on a degree to bring a certification and official title to my convictions. I want to fully understand the medical and nutritional aspects behind the benefits of a low carb diet, and be able to back up my beliefs and statements. But I will NOT be intimidated into silence.

I am very grateful to those who have helped me along the way to understand the dangers of this program and who have helped me understand the fallacies even in my own way of eating.

Have I made mistakes in the past? Absolutely. I would not be human if I had not made mistakes. One of my mistakes just happens to be a lot more public than others. I, however, have peace. I know that my mistakes are forgiven. I have a Lord who forgives me and has given me forgiveness for those who have wronged me. I do not harbor any bitterness. I do however, have compassion and concern for those I feel are being wronged and harmed. I want to make sure that I take full responsibility for my wrongs or misleading; and, as long as I have a voice, I will fight for them. I will expose the dangers of falling prey to a scammer and to a very low calorie diet.

Don’t go anywhere folks… the story’s not over yet.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm so sorry....

My heart is aching tonight. I am so broken over any pain or hurt that I have caused many of you. I am so sorry I am that I delayed “Thank You’s” to all who helped my family during the aftermath of our accident. One of my many human downfalls is and has always been promptness in sending Thank You notes. I realize now that my neglect was wrong, it was rude, and has caused much distress to some very generous and kind hearted people. I hope that you will accept this apology and please forgive me for not acknowledging you sooner. I hope that you have all received my email by now, and if you have not, please forward your personal email address to me at: bear-family@sbcglobal.net. I want to personally send you an apology as well.

I know that many of you are curious and hurt by my recent activities regarding the upcoming Low Carb Community Cruise. The first cruise that I went on at the beginning of the year was paid for as a gift from a friend, and it was a welcome relief after all that I had been through over the previous couple of months. I was only excited that my injuries from the accident had not hindered my ability to go. That trip was such a success that the organizer of the latest cruise this year has asked for my assistance in gathering the community together and preparing the “Low Carb Community” activities and gathering on board. This cruise is NOT paid for yet. The only way that I will be able to attend is if we have a large enough group attending, which, as participating group organizer, will allow me to receive compensation for my work.

I have done all I know to do to express my most sincere gratitude to everyone who assisted my family during the time after our accident. I do not know who all the donors are, I can only say thank you here publicly on my blog, and send emails now to those who I had contact information for, both of which I have done. I apologize again if my participation in the community cruise gathering was confusing or distressing to any of you.

My vision for this cruise was and is still a gathering together of a community. We are a diversified group. But we are strong, and we are learning. Day by day, we learn from each other how to live a healthier and more productive lifestyle. My inspiration was that no matter what forum, no matter what low carb program you chose, we can still encourage each other. We can still support each other in our communal effort to make a better, healthier life for ourselves and our families.

Once again, I beg your forgiveness for my absent mindedness, and pray for your support as we work together, shoulder to shoulder, educating and inspiring towards a healthier and more contented life.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gratitude.... and Overcoming.


January 1, 2008. A day that will haunt my memory probably till the end of my life. I wanted to take a few moments now to share with you my recollection of what happened and of the week and events that happened after the accident, and give everyone an update on our status as we stand now almost 5 months later.

We were headed home from spending Christmas with our families. The back end of our car was cramped with gifts. We had a foam "sofa bed" wedged in between the kids car seats in the back of the car. It was about 8:00PM and I was very tired and worn out from the previous week's excitement. I checked to make sure my husband, who was driving, was OK, and then decided to doze off as we still had a little over an hour left in our drive home. I placed my feet on the dash of the car and proceeded to fall asleep.

I woke with a jolt to realize that we had gone off the side of the road and were barrelling down the grassy shoulder. I saw a road-sign quickly approaching and yelled what I can only imagine to be the equivalent of "Watch Out!" The car tilted and fishtailed and I saw headlights in my window... then darkness.

What followed is only as clear to me as a bad dream. Voices... Seeing my brother-in-law at the foot of my bed... pain... bright lights...

The first few days after the accident I was in and out of consciousness. I awoke in the hospital after being Life-Flighted there with my family and I am told that my first questions were about the safety of my children and my husband. I do not remember much about this time, but I do remember flashes and pieces. I remember waking and seeing blood and lacerations on my hand. My eye hurt, I remember putting my hand up to it and feeling the stitches. I scratched my head and felt the dried blood and bits of glass. My mother was there, and my sister. They were taking care of me. The first 2 mental evaluations were not good. There was concern I might have brain damage. But... after 3 days... it all started coming back.

I was sent home on the fourth day with instructions that I had a severe head injury and must take it easy. Once home, I was disoriented and in pain. I just wanted to sleep. I went to bed however the next morning I woke up horrifically nauseated and my head hurt terribly. My family made the decision to take me back to the hospital where it was discovered that my brain was still swollen and had been bleeding. I spent 3 more days in the hospital.

During that visit, I was overwhelmed with love and kindness. My family and my in-law family went above and beyond taking care of us. For some reason I was not worried about the presents and possessions we had lost. I knew God would take care of us. I was only grateful that my children had come away COMPLETELY unharmed. My husband only sustained a minor concussion. As I know most other mothers would agree... if it is a matter of me sustaining the injury and my children being unharmed.. then I am blessed.

It was during this stay and after I was finally released to come home that I learned of the incredible kindness and generosity of my online family as well. My friend and fellow low-carber Jimmy Moore rallied and set up a gift fund for my family. I wanted to take a moment here and express my most sincere and heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to that. I do not know who all of you are, but I want you to know that your gift was so appreciated. Hospitals can be pretty demanding about handing them a nice sum even before you are discharged, so please accept my humblest THANK YOU, for helping us during that time. God used you to touch not only my life, but that of my children, husband, extended family, and even my community. I pray that you will be vastly and exponentially rewarded for your generosity and compassion.

A month after the accident, I felt well enough that I thought I might be able to begin to resume life as "normal." I went back to work at my evening job waiting tables at a local restaurant. After my first day on my feet, I realized that all might not be as well as I had hoped. I went back to my doctor to confirm my fears. Because my legs had been on the dashboard when the airbags went off, my ACL tendon in my left knee was torn again. I also found out that I was going to have to have another surgery on my eye that had been cut as well... so I was facing two more surgeries.

I have always been one to try to see the positive in a situation or what I can learn from it. Many would say that I was foolish for having my legs on the dash. Not that I would recommend that way of travel.... but in this particular case, had they been on the floorboard, they would have been crushed. I can count my blessings now that a torn ACL is the extent of that injury and I will walk and even run again versus what the consequences could have been if my legs were crushed.

I had the surgery on my eye about 6 weeks ago, and my ACL reconstruction surgery was 5 weeks ago today. My eye (tear duct repair on the upper and lower ducts), unfortunately, was only about 50% successful. The top tear duct was beyond repair, however, the bottom duct was only clogged and they were able to correct that issue. I am still adjusting to a bit more tearing in that eye, but it is a minor issue to learn to live with. I have been in therapy 3 days a week to re-gain the use of my left leg and it is going very well. I have maybe another month of therapy and am excited that the progress is already evident.

I hope I didn't leave anything out. But, I especially wanted to say "Thank You" again with all my heart to all my dear friends who gave out of the kindness of their hearts to my family in the time following our accident. I wish that I could meet each one of you personally and thank you and give you a hug. My life has been nothing short of a cyclone over the last year, however, I am positive that I am moving forward in the highest anticipation and expectation over what God is going to be doing in the future. The generosity that was shown to me during this time affirmed to me the growing feeling that I have had that ours is a close-knit community: a virtual family. No matter what "home-group" you belong to.... Low Carb Friends, Active Low Carber, Eating Low, Livin Low Carb Discussion, Camp... we are a living thriving community who take care of each-other in a time of need and turmoil as you did for me.

God bless you all my friends and keep you safe and healthy as we learn to live this Low Carb Life together.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I was "Semi-Starving"

It is a well known and well published fact that Heidi Diaz of the Kimkins Diet does not believe in what the medical community deems "Starvation Mode." This was one of the topics that I addressed to her in the letter which resulted in my termination. Although there is plenty within the scientific community to prove and explain this phenomenon, Heidi has always held to that these beliefs were falsehoods and that "she didn't buy into it."

Here is just some of what she claims to believe (taken from conversation with Kimkins Admins, August 1, 2007):

"We are low calorie after ketosis kicks in or with the shake option, but those calories are identical to post-WLS patients (500 cal a day for months), original Optifast and Medifast (450-700 cal a day for months).

I don't think we can fight the "1200 calorie a day mentality". Some people cannot understand that your body takes the calories it needs from body fat if the calories you eat are too low to sustain current weight. If you need 2500 calories (250 lb person) and eat 500 (number picked for easy math), the other 2000 are taken from body fat....

I don't believe in starvation mode. I cannot and will not say anything about minimum calories. A grilled chicken breast and a 1 cup USDA serving of mixed greens is 200 calories. It just is. Adding fats or starches isn't "healthier" to up the calories."


Heidi would also regularly compare victims in concentration camps surviving on 300-600 calories or less a day. What she failed to acknowledge in this analogy was that most of those prisoners DIED. Many due to starvation. It was because of those horrible restrictions that the Geneva Convention specifically addressed the treatment of POW's and their dietary needs.

I have often compared the symptoms that many people have experienced utilizing the low calories that NATURALLY come by using the Kimkins program, to the side effects experienced by anorexics. I have seen bits and pieces of the scientific studies on this, however none more concise than those found in a study recently provided to me by a reader here on my blog.

"Sixboymom said:

Christin, I'm not sure if you remember me, I'm sixboymom from the kimkins site. Anyway, I read this article yesterday, and it explained to me what I went through after starting Kimkins the first time. I never got as bad as the sever cases, but I did develop MANY of the symptoms. I wanted to pass along for other Kimkins survivors to see.

The Effects of Semi-Starvation"

This study, performed on men, consisted of restricting their calories to HALF of what they were accustomed to eating. If these participants were eating according to average consumption for men, that would be approximately 3000 calories. Half would then be about 1500 calories for the purposes of a SEMI-STARVATION study. This is more than DOUBLE what the average person on a strict Kimkins diet is eating.

Many of these symptoms I experienced and didn't even realize that it was due to my eating habits. For example:

"One of the most of the striking changes that occurred in the volunteers was a dramatic increase in food preoccupations. The men found concentration on their usual activities increasingly difficult, because they became plagued by incessant thoughts of food and eating."

"...as well as corresponding declines in interest in sex and activity during semistarvation"

"They made what under normal conditions would be weird and distasteful concoctions," (This reminded me of the "weird" concoctions that I made while participating in the Egg White Challenge)

"Sexual interests were likewise drastically reduced....One subject graphically stated that he had 'no more sexual feeling than a sick oyster.'... The fact that starvation perceptibly altered sexual urges and associated conflicts is of particular interest, since it has been hypothesized that this process is the driving force behind the dieting of many anorexia nervosa patients."

"As the 6 months of semistarvation progressed, the volunteers exhibited many physical changes, including gastrointestinal discomfort; decreased need for sleep; dizziness; headaches; hypersensitivity to noise and light; reduced strength; poor motor control; edema (an excess of fluid causing swelling); hair loss; decreased tolerance for cold temperatures (cold hands and feet); visual disturbances (i.e., inability to focus, eye aches, "spots" in the visual fields); auditory disturbances (i.e., ringing noise in the ears); and paresthesias (i.e., abnormal tingling or prickling sensations, especially in the hands or feet"


The list goes on. I would encourage you to take a few minutes to read this article as it is very informative. Thank you Sixboymom, yes, I do remember you. I hope that your health has turned around and that you are improving now. Heidi, I ask you again, please show me the proof that Starvation Mode does not exist. I would wager that you will be hard pressed to find it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hacker Alert!

This is a public service announcement.

If you are a member of Jimmy Moore's site Low Carb Discussion dot com please be aware that the forum has been hacked. The person responsible is sending out a link to re-gain access to the forum. Please do not click on this link as it is a Trojan virus. If you have already clicked on the link and re-entered a password, please be sure to run a virus scan on your computer.

Jimmy will make it known on his blog when it is safe to return.

Thanks and have a great low carb day!

UPDATE!

It has been brought to my attention that a second round of emails was sent out by the hacker with another virus attached. As a reminder please do not open or click on any link sent from a "no-reply" address from Low Carb Discussion. Jimmy will be back in town at the beginning of next week. In the interim time, his admin is working diligently to repair the damage done and the latest update is that the hacker's IP has thus far been traced back near the Los Angeles area in California.

Jimmy will post on his blog as soon as it is safe to return.
UPDATE 4/18/2008
Jimmy and Christine have informed me that the new forum is almost ready to be operational! This good news is tainted however by another warning and alert. If you received the email from the hacker and happened to click on the link which contained the virus, it is strongly recommended that you review your bank account and/or paypal account. It has been reported that at least one person who opened the file has had their account drained. Please be very cautious and take the appropriate measures and means to protect yourself and your identity.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

In Her Own Words...

When I began my blog last September I named in “The Journey” inspired by Robert Frost’s classic poem: “The Road Not Taken.” The journey even over the last 6 months has been a learning experience to say the least. When making my decision about which way to take my life I was faced with some extraordinarily difficult decisions.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;


I looked and looked at my options. However I was finally faced with a conflict. A conflict of spirit and conscience in knowing that by staying on the “easier” road that would not only provide financial security but fame and recognition, I would be sacrificing something much greater.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


We are told throughout life that the grass is always greener on the other side. We are tempted by the glamour and glitter of the easy way. I was baited with promises of money, notoriety, and authority. The road and journey I have chosen has not provided these things. However, it has made all the difference because of the joy that I have found in finally foreseeing a desire that I obtained as a child.

I used to tell people when I was little that I wanted to be a nurse because I wanted to help people. I know that “to help” is pretty vague, however that has always been my underlying drive. I believed when I began working for the Kimkins program that I was finally achieving that goal. This compounded my distress when I began learning of the complications that so many were developing by emulating me and my “success.” Instead of helping… I was harming.

It has been said that the reason that I have taken up the crusade to campaign and speak out against the Kimkins program is because I am mad at Heidi and that we have some kind of personal war between us. There is nothing farther from the truth. Yes I was angry and hurt when I discovered the truth about Heidi and the scam that is the Kimkins program. But what has hurt me even greater is the apparent disregard for those who have been hurt by utilizing the low calorie methods that are a result of using the Kimkins program.

In watching some of the deposition video last night I realized just how little the welfare of Kimkins members means to Heidi Diaz. Please take a few moments to watch this exclusive program put together by Insider Exclusive.




My heart is hurting today Heidi. This was never about you and me. This was never about “losing” my job. I knew when I wrote you in an attempt to answer the concerns and issues that were arising within Kimkins that it would be the end of our relationship. In this clip we were shown more of the deposition in which you admitted that your own privacy was more important to you than the truth to your members. Never mind that we had based our lives and health on what YOU had said and the “fact” that you had done it and were healthy and living well.

Current Kimkins members, Delaney, Gary and all others who continue to support Heidi and this program. Please take about 15 minutes or so and watch this clip. Listen to Heidi’s own words and really take some time to think about whether it is worth it or not. Is it worth your own health and that of many others supporting someone who, under oath, admitted that her “privacy” was more important than the health and well being of her members.

It wasn't to me.

Monday, March 24, 2008

So what do I do NOW????

I have completed the surgical portion of my accident recovery and things are going well! The experiences of this last year have been extremely enlightening to me. So much so that I have decided to take my newfound passion and inspiration to a new level. I will be returning to college shortly to obtain a degree in health and nutrition. I would encourage anyone who is following a diet plan with such restrictions as Kimkins supplies to consult their doctor or a nutrition specialist to determine the proper way to add foods back in and re-gain a healthy manner of eating. Don’t go anywhere folks... There is still a battle to be fought, and healthy eating habits to learn and regain. Let us press forward to a happier healthier lifestyle together!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Anniversary!



A year has gone by. I still have a hard time believing it but, it's been an entire year that I have maintained my 100 pound weight loss. I have a mixed sense of emotions today as I think back over all that has happened this year. I am proud that I lost the weight of course, but not of the method in which I lost it. I am even prouder though that I have persevered and maintained my loss instead of giving up and giving in. I think I have learned more this last year than I have in the last 10 years. So without further ado, a humorous look at 10 things I've learned since leaving the Kimkins program.


Top 10 Things I’ve Learned Since Kimkins

10) Never trust a Russian Bride.

9) There are many ways to lose weight, starvation included, however not all methods come with a guarantee that you will retain your hair.

8) I did not get fat eating fruits and vegetables!

7) God has created a glorious rainbow of nutrition for me to partake in, and He intends for me to utilize it.

6) I can thoroughly enjoy eating healthfully using all 5 senses, and shift my focus from eating “because it’s there” to indulging in the satisfaction that nourishing my body provides.

5) There really are real people out there who do not lie about themselves or who they truly are, and they’re pretty darn nice too.

4) I must be more careful with my money.

3) Dizziness, nausea, and lightheadedness should NOT accompany NORMAL weight loss methods.

2) Food is to be savored with anticipation, not feared.

1) I am worth transforming my view of “me.” If I accept myself for who and what I am, I will only grow happier by treating myself right and losing/keeping weight off permanently for my own health and betterment.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Sensory Eating

This last week I had the distinct privledge of joining quite a few of my fellow low-carber's (many of which are former Kimkins members) on an incredible cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. We had an incredible time, and on Sunday morning got together for a short encouragement meeting. During this time together, I was asked to say a word. I feel like this speech is relevent for all those who are learning to eat and develop a "normal" lifestyle no matter what diet program you are utilizing.

When I began my journey I thought that my goal was to get thin and be “normal.” Kate Harding in The Shapely Prose said:

“… the Fantasy of Being Thin is not just about becoming small enough to be perceived as more acceptable. It is about becoming an entirely different person – one with far more courage, confidence, and luck than the fat you has. It’s not just, “When I’m thin, I’ll look good in a bathing suit”; it’s “When I’m thin, I will be the kind of person who struts down the beach in a bikini, making men weep.” See also:
• When I’m thin, I’ll have no trouble finding a partner/reinvigorating my marriage.
• When I’m thin, I’ll have the job I’ve always wanted.
• When I’m thin, I won’t be depressed anymore.
• When I’m thin, I’ll be an adventurous world traveler instead of being freaked out by any country where I don’t speak the language and/or the plumbing is questionable.
• When I’m thin, I’ll become really outdoorsy.
• When I’m thin, I’ll be more extroverted and charismatic, and thus have more friends than I know what to do with. "


These were my perceptions. I did not realize at the beginning of my journey the transformation that would also need to change in my heart and head in order to begin a completely new relationship with food.

We has humans are created to experience life through our senses. We are find peace, tranquility, and comfort; as well as pain, sadness and chaos through the same input preceptors.

• Sight – We feel elation at the sight of a beautiful sunset. We are at peace when watching the ocean or a mountain vista. We also feel sadness and grief when we see turmoil and hardship. Our hearts ache for those we see wounded in a terrorist attack or struck by natural tragedy.
• Sound – We are inspired by a triumphant symphony and soothed by the sound of a peaceful brook or gentle waves breaking. By the same token, we feel the harshness of a jackhammer or screeching of grating metal.
• Smell – We place scented oils in our homes to create a tranquil atmosphere; roses, violet, vanilla, cinnamon and other soothing smells help to calm us and give us pleasant sensations. Who among us hasn’t turned their nose up, however, when passing a dead skunk or smelling burning rubber?
• Touch – A massage or soft sheets give us comfort. We go home at the end of a hard day and “get comfortable” by changing into looser less binding clothes. However, if there is a burr in those sheets, or your messus is untrained it can immediately turn those pleasurable incidents into harsh and painful experiences.

These above senses can either be used or abused respectively, however, in typical acceptable society for the most part; we utilize them for the appropriate uses that we were created to. The sense of TASTE is one in which I feel we, as an obese culture, have lost perspective on in recognizing the difference between savoring the pleasure of a decadent food, and over-indulging for the self-gratifying purpose of just experiencing “more.” Our civilization has become one of self-pleasure and self-service.

CS Lewis in his novel “Perelandra” wrote about a man who traveled to a distant planet and partook in consumption of a fruit that grew on a tree native to that planet. “It was like the discovery of a new genus of pleasures, something unheard of among men, out of all reckoning, beyond covenant. For one draught of this on earth wars would be fought and nations betrayed.” In experiencing this new pleasure this fruit bore him, the subject was almost overcome with the human urge to repeat the act immediately to experience the sensation again. He was then presented with a conflict and revelation; “Perhaps the experience had been so complete, that repetition would be a vulgarity…. This itch to have things over again, as if life were a film that could be unrolled twice or even made to work backwards…”

Life cannot work backwards. We have forgotten the joy of appreciating the flavors that we are given in foods in hasty self-serving gluttony of wanting to experience the sensation again too quickly.

video

In this clip, Remy realizes that there is more to eating than just “horking” down his food. He discovers the unique flavors and learns a whole new appreciation for the culinary arts. A wine connoisseur does not gulp down his glass. He will take a little, and then anticipate and enjoy the other senses that accompany the taste. He smells it, swirls it in his glass, holds it in his mouth to experience all the flavors, and then moves on.

What would our lives be like if we captured each moment as an opportunity to make the absolute best of each situation? What would it do to our “dieting” experience if we transformed our thinking from I can’t have this or that… to I can have this? Then completely focus on the enjoyment of the food that you have selected.

The second part of this harmony is combining this new found excitement and enjoyment of food with anticipation and knowledge of what your body needs. Make peace with food. We need it to survive and have been given an incredible gift to enjoy our sustenance. We could have been created like other animals without taste buds and only the instinct to eat to survive. While that is still the primary purpose of eating, we are set apart from other animals with this ability.

Depravation is distinctly different than anticipation. What you keep in your house for daily consumption may be very different than what you have “boxed in” for others. One of my favorite desserts is carrot cake. My grocery store actually sells “individual” slices of cake that prior to losing my weight I was fond of purchasing. I no longer keep carrot cake around my home or chose to by those individual slices because I am aware of my own inability to maintain control when it is readily available. However, I have completely enjoyed the change of mentality when I allowed carrot cake to be one of my “special occasion” pleasures.

Several months ago, my husband and I attended a wedding rehearsal at which this particular cake was served as the dessert. I had a few bites of the cake and instead of “inhaling” the whole thing, I chose to chew very slowly and actually enjoy the flavor that it provided. I did not finish the entire piece because I did not need all of it to complete my enjoyment, however, I do look back with great pleasure at that incident, and I look forward with joy and anticipation to the next time.

Instead of saying that I CAN’T have a certain food, I say that I choose not to have it at this time, and find an alternative. I know what that carrot cake tastes like. The flavor will not change. It will still be carrot cake a week, 3 months, or a year from now. I can avoid the guilt of indulging in it regularly and instead turn that guilt into satisfaction and joy in knowing that I have anticipated and allowed myself the pleasure in due time.

Being fit is a journey with ups and downs, mountains and valleys. I have found that the journey is made much more enjoyable by learning to focus on the experience rather than attempting to “take it all in.” I learned that that “fantasy” of being thin was nothing more than an illusion that quickly dissipated and could have been very discouraging had my mindset towards wellness not shifted. We can be happy in our pursuit to a healthy weight by accepting the way we were made, and learning to distinguish between satisfaction and over-indulgence.

This has been a long year with more roller coasters and twists and turns then I could have ever anticipated. But, we are here. We are on the road to a better us. And, we have each-other to support, encourage, and push along the road. Thank you for sharing in my journey with me.

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Confession

It is time for me to share something with you. I am coming clean about the excruciating difficulty that I have had in maintaining my weight loss that I obtained utilizing a Very Low Calorie Diet such as Kimkins. The road has been far from an easy transition. We think when we are on the road to losing weight that once we attain our goal that life will somehow magically get easier.

There are many people within the Kimkins forums even at this time that are bypassing or ignoring the warnings of various side effects that may occur while utilizing the diet for the mere idealism that, “It’s working for me. I’m losing weight, so a side effect is a short term sacrifice.” But there is one side effect from using this program is not spoken of often and I’m afraid is one of the most mentally demoralizing that can come from achieving weight loss from the Kimkins diet program. That is the inability to maintain the weight loss. Or at the least, maintenance with an agonizing amount of effort.

I have a hobby that most people do not know about me. I am an artist… and not just any artist. I am a cake decorator. My confectionary creations are my art. They are each works of love and I put a tremendous amount of pride and effort into each one that I make.



On one occasion I was hired to provide a Barbie cake for a sweet 4 year old little girl. I worked on that piece with much joy and anticipation knowing how happy it would make that little girl. I made a mistake however, in the delivery of that cake when instead of the safer route of placing the cake on the floorboard of my car; I was in a hurry and opted to place it in the passenger seat next to me. The inevitable happened, and a car stopped quickly in front of me. In order to avoid a collision I too stepped quickly on my brakes. The force of gravity was too strong, and the cake slid off the seat and onto the floor upside down. I decided to take the easy and quick solution and ended up not only losing what I’d worked so hard for; but I also lost my profit from the cake, and disappointed a precious little girl.

The reason for my story is this. Why would we labor and put effort into something that means much more to us than a cake (our bodies and lives), if the method in which we choose to better ourselves in actuality sets us up for almost inevitable failure?

Weight loss is a very personal and difficult journey in and of itself. We work hard. We sacrifice, we get discouraged, we get excited, we laugh, we cry, we push ourselves farther than we thought we could go. But what does all that hard work profit us if it is not met with some sort of reward? As exciting and rewarding as achieving a goal weight is, it is also worthless if that goal is not maintained. The true prize in a weight loss journey is sustaining that loss and better health for the rest of our lives.

The transition from weight loss to a maintenance lifestyle should be smooth and painless. It should allow freedom and excitement in a new way of life. It should not be confusing and discouraging. One of the hardest things for me to hear is when people disregard the warnings about the dangerous side effects from the Kimkins program by rationalizing that I lost the weight and “it worked for me,” especially since I have kept the weight off for almost a year now. What most people do not know, is that it has taken me an entire year to even moderately repair the damage that my metabolism endured by losing weight the way I did. My transition into maintenance was/is EXTREMELY slow and difficult. The fear to add in any foods warred with the head knowledge that I HAD to eat something. Even now, I am still not in the position that most hope for to be able to eat “normally.”

Kimkins has NO maintenance program. The guidelines that were provided at one point in time were actually written by me, and were removed very quickly after I left the program. I am not a dietician or physician, so I have no doubt that even the guidelines that I was lead to believe were appropriate were lacking in nutritional value. Most of my friends and acquaintances who have since come off of the Kimkins program and resumed eating “normally” have either completely halted their weight loss efforts, or put back on the majority of the weight that they initially lost. Through our discussions we all agree that it would have behooved us to have lost the weight that we did utilizing a program that would not have set us up for such heartache.

So yes, it might be working for you. Yes, you may be losing weight rapidly and ignoring the other warnings. You may view me and those with me who oppose the Kimkins program as hateful because we have discouraged the only program you think will work for you. But, I must ask you to step away for a moment and glance into the future. How will you maintain your loss? Praying that you do not suffer any other side effects that many, if not most, of us have suffered; how will you sustain the joy of your new body? No one wants to have to continue a diet indefinitely. I certainly do not want to have to resort to reducing my caloric intake again such as I did with Kimkins merely to get off the holiday 10lbs. That is a miserable existence.

Think of yourself in 1, 3, or 5 years. Where do you want to be personally? I only wish the best for those of you who are still traveling the weight loss portion of your journey. I pray that you will not struggle as I have to sustain the tremendous effort that you have put in to reach your goals. As for me…. My metabolism will repair eventually. It will take time, and great care and attentiveness, but, I am confident that I will get there someday. I hope you are there sooner.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Good Morning America - The TRUTH addressed

Photobucket

I have almost been at a loss concerning what to say today. There has been much on my mind since I participated in this interview for Good Morning America. I've been troubled by the smoke screen obscuring the truth versus multiple fabrications regarding the Kimkins diet. Because of these questions and discrepancies, I want to address several "points" of argument that continue to surface following any media coverage of the Kimkins controversy.

I have been accused of many things. Most center around the assumption that I have some sort of hidden agenda or motive in exposing issues regarding Heidi Diaz's presentation of the Kimkins diet. My reason remains that many people still sign up for this program who simply print out the food lists and guidelines and put it in practice. These silent people get sick without understanding why. These unheard voices may be saved by the continuing exposure of real dangers in the fundamentals of this program.


The following are the claimed "discrepancies" and my response to the accusations:

1) "There is no 500 calorie limit. I was never told to starve myself."

Well, of course you weren't. No one would be interested in a program where people are told to NOT EAT. Heidi's gimmick emerges as admins advise fervent, intense dieters to "only eat when you are hungry," while failing to define what true hunger signals. Diaz published an article on the "'myth' of starvation mode" (her idea: one cannot starve if any fat reserves remain in the body) in order to hook dieters into believing that fat people cannot eat too little. Members are told to eat when hungry, but to also determine if the "hunger" feeling is real or psychological. That is where the tricks of a cup of chicken broth (Kimmer's Egg Drop Soup = 1 cup chicken broth and 1 egg or egg white. UNDER 50 calories with 1 egg white) or Crystal Lite come in.

NO one is told to keep calories under a certain amount, but given the food lists and choices available, that is where they naturally fall because "I'm not hungry" usually comes before a desire to eat one more lean protein portion. In this post that I made last year I described how even with my calories BELOW 400 on average, Heidi encouraged me to limit my protein servings and cut foods with any fat out of my diet, completely in contradiction to the current claim of "I'm never told to eat less." This advice prior to October, 2007 was standard.

Here are Heidi Diaz' own words regarding the low calorie aspect of the Kimkins diet:

"We are low calorie after ketosis kicks in or with the shake option, but those calories are identical to post-WLS patients (500 cal a day for months), original Optifast and Medifast (450-700 cal a day for months)."


The difference? Those who are on a post-WLS diet are under STRICT doctors supervision and the do not remain on those diet plans for an unspecified period of time. Even those following a shake diet program are encouraged to eat a normal, HEALTHY BALANCED meal for dinner.

2) "We never recommend laxative use unless someone has constipation issues."

This statement actually has two parts. The second part of the phrase included the innuendo from Heidi to the moderators "... or unless someone reports that they are stalled." Along with a request to view the dieter's Fitday or food journal would be a question regarding regularity many if not most times accompanies with a version of the following instructions (Heidi's words):

"but all I'm suggesting is someone take a regular dose for 1-2 days and then a 25-50% dose each day after. The member who's doctor prescribed a laxative (which is stronger than what can bought over the counter) and to take full strength daily. Stores are full of laxatives and those people aren't all doing Kimkins."


In closing, I would like to direct your attention to this blog, published today by former Kimkins member "Regandy." In this post, "Regandy" describes the emotional and psychological damage that comes very frequently from following a program such as Kimkins. I can completely empathize with Regandy in this post. The road to maintaining my weightloss has been rocky at best. I know all to well the difficulties that come after a metabolism is damaged following a program such as Kimkins. All though there are still people utilizing this program to lose weight, their road has only just begun. Using the Kimkins program establishes a maintenance disability. It enables a fear of adding in any "normal" foods. When those attempting to add foods to their diet do, they see a shocking result on the scale.

It is because of these continued arguments and discrepancies, and because of those struggling to regain their daily lives that I continue to speak out regarding my experience with the Kimkins program and Heidi Diaz.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Why.... The Risks ARE Real.

Many times I am asked why I am continuing to spread the word about my fears regarding the Kimkins program and sharing what I feel are the very real and present dangers regarding the eating issues that can arise utilizing it as written. I want to share some of my motivation with you today. It is not often that I share photos of my family here in my blog, but these people are some of the most important people in the world to me.

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This photo was taken about 2 and ½ hours prior to our accident on January 1 of this year. From my grandparents, to my parents, to all 5 of my siblings plus their spouses… these incredible people are why I do what I do. Standing by a loved one suffering is heartbreaking, no matter what precipitated it, but no family should have to endure watching a loved one endure the self-inflicted illnesses many Kimkins users have experienced. Each member of my family was worried about my emerging anorexia/bulimia. All expressed their concerns for my health and eating disordered methods and mentalities.

So why did I blog about Kimkins from my hospital room? Because I was overwhelmed with love, support and kindness from my family and those closest to me. I could imagine another family sitting in a similar hospital room watching their loved one suffer from a preventable eating disorder or a side effect from disordered type of behavior, and I felt that warnings must continue to be given.

If you have a loved one who is suffering, or if you have concerns or questions regarding the warning signs of these behaviors, please feel free to contact me through my blog or send me an email. I’d love to help however I can, whether through a listening ear, understanding shoulder, or caring hand.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year - NEW LIFE

As I write this post, I am lying in a hospital bed recovering from an auto accident that occurred on January 1 of this year. Praise the Lord, my injuries are the worst of my entire family and are minimal compared to what could have taken place. Here is a photo of my family’s vehicle after the accident (my husband was driving and my 2 young children, ages 2 and 4, were riding in the back seat).



My injuries involve an acute concussion, swelling and contusions in my brain, laceration to my right eye, and severe bruising over my entire body, that will all take time to heal.

These days in the hospital, however, have given me time to reflect over this last year. Over the course of 2007, I have lost 100 pounds. I have fallen prey to one of the most incredible diet scams of the internet community, I have been on the front cover of a magazine, and in national news, yet, for what cause?

As a formerly habitually overweight person, I too know the pain and turmoil that comes from living that lifestyle. As I have said in my testimony previously, I have yo-yo dieted my entire life. I never seemed to find “that one magic bullet.” I am here to tell you now, there IS NO MAGIC BULLET. I thought I had found it, I thought I found my one answer. I lost weight, but not until after my “success” did I realize the damage that I had done to my body through the diet. Here I am almost 1 year later and I am still struggling daily to maintain and keep a grasp on my weight. It is NOT EASY.

There are many timelines across the internet which will provide you with great detail into how this twisted story unfolded, so I will simply share a short synopsis from my experience:

The Kimkins diet program was started by Heidi Kimberly (Kimmer) Diaz several years ago during a dieting stint in an internet community called Low Carb Friends. Never actually having successfully completed the program, Ms Diaz gave the appearance of being her diet’s ‘leading lady,’ completing and maintaining her loss for at least 5 years. This led to Ms Diaz’ rising popularity as “one with answers” within the internet weight loss community.

Soon Ms Diaz took her program and created a new website. She touted her weight loss “success” and popularity as basis for creating her own pay-per-membership website. The rising popularity of her program reached its peak when it achieved national recognition on Woman’s World Magazine in June of 2007 with the byline “Better Than Gastric Bypass.” This title led to an explosion of Kimkins membership with led to an estimated $3 million in revenue for Ms Diaz. The hitch?

1)Ms Diaz never lost her claimed weight to begin with.















2)The diet program is unsafe and can cause severe damage beginning with slow, unrecognized starvation and malnutrition.



















Through the next few months, the dangers of this program became increasingly evident as more members began complaining of the same symptoms and side effects. Slow and steady starvation methods utilizing a caloric intake of significantly less than 1000 calories a day was the norm. The daily intake of less calories and less fat was not only encouraged, but praised as new members began to feel “snatty” (Slightly Nauseous All The Time), lightheaded, and generally weakened. Tips for controlling hunger varied but all were primarily synonymous with little to no caloric intake. All for the sake of losing weight fast. But at what cost to the individual’s physical and psychological condition?

Disguised eating disorders emerged; serious malnutrition indicators like hair loss, heart palpitations, electrolyte and potassium deficiencies were commonly reported. I did not learn of the potentially deadly side effects of my eating habits till after I completed the program. I had shrugged the symptoms that I had off as “typical” or short term.

Bottom line, starvation works to take off pounds – here, just like in Ethiopia or Dachau. The difference is that in those sad places, the people knew they were starving. Kimkins moderators are merely overweight peers with eating disorders of their own (speaking from personal experience), completely unqualified to assess what constitutes nutritional dangers.

Do not let the tantalizing beauty of rapid weight loss hinder the ultimate goal of a better life and good health.

There are many effective and safe weight loss programs out there today. Diet responsibly; do your research; always remember to speak with your physician regarding your plans. Do not desperately trade obesity for broken health.