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.