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.