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.


Leighlee said...

Reading this post meant a lot to me. I was never a follower/victim of "Kimkins", but I did starve myself for a long time, while I was in an unhealthy relationship. And lately the pull has been strong to go back to that behavior, because it "worked". Thanks for helping me wake up from that.

BamaGal said...

A high fat way of eating has been very successful in treating eating disorders. The brain operates better on a high fat eating plan and many people forget that ED is an actual diagnosed brain disorder. So following a modified Atkins approach will be very beneficial for you and others who are diagnosed with an eating disorder.

Christin said...

Leighlee - You are so right and welcome. There is a much better way. See the advice here given by Bamagal. There are a great number of healthy weight loss methods available, and we do NOT have to return to that VLCD way to regain control.

{{{Bama}}} Thanks so much for your encouragement. I only hope that others who are feeling the draw to KK or any other VLCD will recognize this as well.

BamaGal said...


Here's some interesting links for you and your readers:

Feed Me!

Feed Me!: Fat matters

Dietary energy density and diet variety as predictors of outcome in anorexia nervosa

Maudsley Parents - family-based treatment for eating disorders

Neurobiology of Eating Disorders: UCSD Eating Disorders Program

The brain is a very complicated organ and it surprises people that nutrition can make such a big impact on it's function.

Also take the time to read Dr Larry McCleary's book---The Brain Trust Program. You can check out his site here:

The Brain Trust Program by Dr. Larry McCleary

Anonymous said...

thanks for taking the time to blog about the addiction of the "fix"

Bama it is the knowing that is the addiction as in I know I can do it for a few days and get those pounds of and then I will resume my healthy eating as Christin said. Going for the easy harmful fix is a powerful addiction for all those who did the plan and saw the rapid scale number movement. it is like a relapsing alcoholic or drug addict the appeal of the pleasure associated with the "fix" is stronger that day then the desire to live a healthy life is. Society has places a high value on lighter smaller bodies and too many folk have accepted those values as something they want enough to take shortcuts and get a "fix"

I wish the harm done to the body while starving your body of needed nutriants doing kimkins was as rapidly visible but like an out of control young diabetic the harm is cummulative and not something you can fix years later when it becomes visible.

My hope is that any relasped kimkineete can be found and helped back into the light and away from self harm of following the kimkins plan.

Amy Dungan (aka Sparky's Girl) said...

I understand the pull as well Christin. It's tough for me at times as well, even though I know better. I was talking with Dr. Berkowitz the other day about some problems I'm having and then we discussed Kimkins a bit. He stressed to me how very dangerous Kimkins is and how I have probably damaged my body from it and it will take time to recover. KK could very well be part of my health issues right now. :(

Yucky said...

{{{Christin}} Just wanted to send you and all the other Kimkins Survivors a hug.

Magicsmom said...

Great post, Christin! I think that for many of us, the pull to return to KK is strong because it really did work, and it worked fast. We had it beaten into our brains by the Kimmer that fast is best, and if you lose slowly, you're doing it wrong. Yes, it's flawed thinking, and she certainly doesn't apply it to herself. I don't see her breaking any land speed records for weight loss. That's the insidious part of her "plan". She enjoys the suffering of others, and I believe that with all my heart.

Here's to us "survivors"! We will ultimately get a handle on this and will be healthy mentally and physically. All of that in spite of Heidi's sadistic influence.

Christin said...

2Big - I totally agree with you statement on the "fix" being a stronger desire that day than the realization that you are harming your body.

When I was writing this blog the Beatles song "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" was going through my head. I was thinking about the idea and picture of the happy place where there was "tangerine trees and marmalade skies," it seems in your head so fun and happy, but you're becoming addicted to something that is horribly dangerous just like the drugs. The idea of a drug addiction and the like is very relevant. Even though you know it is bad for you and that it will only harm you in the end, the draw and the pull for that "quick fix" is inticing.

lynn said...

Hi Christine

I am so sorry for all that you have been through. I did not do KK however I am struggling with a year long stall. I know a zero carb diet would fix it and break my stall but what I do to lose is what I must do to maintain so I cannot do that.

Thanks for such a great post!

Anonymous said...

If you are worried about gaining weight, you need to educate yourself on eating as healthily as possible -- and making fitness a serious part of your life.

Dr. John Berardi, of Precision Nutrition, has wonderful, very educating articles on his site.

Eating 5 - 6 small meals a day would help keep your blood sugar stable, reducing cravings. Following Berardi's 10% rule helps a person not to feel deprived. Eat 90% of your meals with healthy foods and allow yourself 10% to enjoy the not-so-healthy fare.

I have no clue what your fitness regime is, but I do know that regular, intense exercise has been proven as effective as Zoloft for treating depression (often a contributing factor to anorexic behaviors, then a symptom of same).

Anonymous said...


I have been reading everything that you have been through and i am really sorry. But you need to stop dwelling on Kimkins. People know that its a dangerous diet. About 98% of us have heard the stories.

We hear the message. I think you are still trying to get a "fix" as you call it, but on the opposite side of KK.

Let it go. take care of yourself. Always thinking and Praying for you.


Anonymous said...

wow, christin. i just heard about kimkins a couple days ago, and have doing research since then, and i came across the tv interview you did. i honestly cannot believe the site is even still running. i think the issue, worse than the fact that she lured people to her diet using lies, is the fact that she screwed up so many peoples' health. look at you, you will probably be battling these issues for a long time to come. but i think you are so strong and brave, and i thank you for putting it all up on this blog for the world to know.

Jess said...

(hug!) I'm so glad you posted that. I've been out for almost a year (in fact, this weekend will be the anniversary of my minimum weight), and I don't I still don't quite have my head screwed on straight. Every so often I get this panicking urge to go back, and it is a scary thing. I'm going to keep Turkish Delight in mind - especially because the candy itself is tempting at first, but does make me feel sick!

Lily said...

I've struggled with an eating disorder for 15+ years, and I applaud you for becoming your own activist. This is so important in bringing awareness to the BS fad diets out there.

(And honestly, I think Bama doesn't understand what "eating disorder" means, even if she was meaning well.)