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.


Becky said...

Awesome blog post! So true. I'm glad you wrote this.

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing that with us.

Your journey may be different than many of ours, but please don't feel that you walk alone.

I do hope and pray that you will be able to overcome ALL the side effects you have experienced from following Kimkins.

This just reinforces my determination to keep warning folks about the dangers of the Kimkins Diet Scam.

Say NO to Kimkins!

Mjr said...

Thank you for opening your world to those that may be struggling. For continually reaching out to those that can't see beyond the numbers on the scale. I wish more people could look beyond today, and visualize what it must be like to try to sustain such an unhealthy weight loss. You are a remarkable person to care so much for those that just don't want to listen. Thank you again for allowing us into your world and for sharing so much. I wish you the very best in your continued recovery.

OhYeahBabe said...

Christin, thank you for your courage in sharing this. I pray that it gets easier for you soon.

Barbara B said...

Christin, you have shown great courage in sharing your struggles and trying to warn others who may fall prey to Heidi's lies. I hope that it will get easier with time.

2BIG4MYSIZE said...

thank you for sharing your struggles. I'm so glad Atkins moves us along from the induction to maintenance as we are losing so it isn't like a Kimkins.complan and poof youa re there not just stay there.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the secret to losing weight is to exercise. People who subject themselves to dieting ofthen lose weight at first...but put it all back on later. Here's a good video to explain it all.
You just can't cut out eating and expect to keep weight off. You need to turn fat into muscle.
That's my view , at least.

Cintia EUA said...

"The true prize in a weight loss journey is sustaining that loss and better health for the rest of our lives. "
What an awesome post. You just keep inspiring me to stay on the healthy track and not only that, you pushed me to think ahead. You are really being used by God. You will make it through. I pray for God's harvest of blessing in your life as you serve Him with boldness.

Stargazey said...

Christin, I've been maintaining for a year after a 75 pound loss. My BMI is 20.5. I'm not an expert, but I'm not a novice either.

Please consider buying the 1972 version of Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution. It is a stricter version of Atkins and is probably closer to what you were used to on Kimkins. If you follow the book and slowly, systematically, go through the various levels, you can teach yourself how to do low carb in a healthy way and maintain your weight for the long term.

I'm praying for you. I know how scary it is to think about going back to where you were before.

regandy said...

EXCELLENT MESSAGE! I especially loved the part about thinking ahead to 1 or 5 years from now. Sometimes we just live for the moment and NEVER think about tomorrow. FANTASTIC POST. A person CAN lose weight AND be healthy too! And just as we all "discovered" the unhealthy way, we can all help each other discover the HEALTHY LIFETIME way! Never give up Christin.. you have a special gift.

theTRUTH said...

Post kimkins weight loss was so impossible I have since have given up trying. Kimkins gave me hope for a brief period then took it all away. I need strict Atkins just to maintain. Let this be a warning to others: You are ruining your metabolism.
Things are so much worse now. I wish I never heard of that stupid diet and that lying liar.

cheri said...

Hi Christin!

Thank you for sharing your experiences with everyone! I know there are a lot of others that are struggling with weight gain after coming off of the Kimkins plan. I did an interview with Colette from Atkins Nutritionals that is geared toward people that have messed up their metabolisms. They are trapped with eating very little or they will gain weight very quickly. We felt this would help people fix their metabolisms without a huge weight gain. I hope you don't mind me posting the link here but I think it would be very beneficial to you and anyone else that are struggling.

Take care!!

cheri :)

Cintia EUA said...

This is one more avenue for telling the truth! Did you read this?
God bless you on your journey!

Debi said...

My heart aches for what you've had to endure, both in the weight loss journey and in the scrutiny from the public for you standing up for your convictions and being a beacon of truth. I applaud you for continuing to stand firm, and for being so honest with everyone about your struggles. I know you must feel all alone at times.

As you know, I also struggle with weight, and have for my entire adult life. (Thank you for replying to my email message -- I appreciate the time you took to reply with advice and share your experience.) It's a very hard journey that will never end for me, as even when the day comes that I get to my "goal" I know that I'll struggle to stay there.

I pray that you'll continue to get your health back and that you'll also be able to maintain your weight loss in a healthy way.

God Bless!

Jeff said...

It's a well known fact that you can consume a large number of calories ( 2000-6000 ) without any or very little appreciable weight gain - when eating low carb -

So - why not eat a couple pounds of cheese once in a while -

I ate 3 3/4 pounds of cheese one day a month ago ( 8000 total calories for the day ) and had several 5000 calorie days that month - my weight at the time ( a month ago ) was 192 pounds -

My carbs averaged about 100 grams with zero refined sugar/fructose - I gained almost no weight during this month -

a month later my weight is still 192 pounds - although now I am in the beginning of a loss cycle to lose another needed 10 pounds - and have reduced my cheese/butter intake to 50 calories and other fats to 200 calories or so - with protein average 200 grams per day (500-60 - variance)-

Why you keep belly aching about not being able to eat is beyond me -

Love Jeff

Christin said...

Jeff I want you to know that I appriciate your concern. But there are several differences between you and me that I feel I need to point out.

First, you're a guy. It's also a "well known fact" that men need to eat more calories than women. So while you may be able to eat up to 8000 calories in a day, I do not need near that many even to sustain my BMR.

Second, from your comment I gather than you never participated in a program like Kimkins. I am for all practical purposes, a recovering anorexic. I have been diagnosed with EDNOS, which IS a bonified eating disorder. Because of the damage that was done to my metabolism from eating the Kimkins lifestyle for so long (at least 6 months solid of eating under 1000 calories, for 5 months under 700 a day), I MUST take my recovery time slowly in order to allow my body to heal. If I ate a 3 3/4 pounds of cheese in 1 day, #1 it would make me so sick I would have to throw it up, and #2 it WOULD have a negative effect on my weight/health. Now don't get me wrong... I do actually eat cheese. However, my doctor/therapist have helped me learn what a healthy eating style is to repair the damage that was done, but that repair will take time. I cannot be expected to just suddenly change my mind and eating habits and everything be ok. It doesn't work that way in healing from any drastic event. I would love it if I could do that... but I cannot, I've tried, and I can't. (oh, and BTW, I do not eat refined sugars in my regular diet either and my total carbs are ALWAYS under 100 total)

Third, you misunderstood my message. I am not complaining and "belly aching" about not being able to eat. I am giving a warning to those who continue to abuse their bodies by utilizing that starvation method of weight loss that their recovery time from that lifestyle will be long and hard. I am on your side by trying to inform them that a much healthier Low Carb method of eating with more calories would greatly behoove them.

Anyways... thanks everyone else for letting me get this off my chest. I don't like being misunderstood. I want everyone (Jeff you too) to live a healthy lifestyle.... I believe LC is the way to do that. I just want everyone to know that I am trying my best and I only want to be open about my life now.

Sherrie said...

Hey Christin just read you're post and wanted to say, what a well written and great post, thank you!