July 31, 2007
I had been at what I called my goal weight for about 3 years–a healthy 153-156 lbs. for a 5’7″, 41 year old woman. (I had been overweight from 8 or 9 til my early 30’s, my highest weight was 237 pregnant, and that is one month before I delivered… I had stopped looking.) With a combination of Weight Watchers and Atkins, I got down to my goal weight of 153.I was happy and healthy but always in the back of my mind thought that I would like to be at 140 and wanted to buckle down, get there and see if I could maintain it. After all, I knew how to maintain for me, how hard could it be. I had been a member of a low-carb site called Low Carb Friends (LCF) for years and low-carb (LC )was how I lived my life. I was familiar with Kimmer and her ideas from LCF… At that time I thought I could never do that…
Kimmer started her own site and I joined a couple weeks after it started to see what it was all about. I remember stepping on the scale after the first day and losing 3 pounds–I was thrilled and said yes I can do this…. I was losing almost at a rate of 1 pound per day. I was putting all my foods in Fitday religiously – it started at about 1000 calories a day and quickly dropped. I was living on diet soda and eating about 500 calories a day, some days less. I had no appetite so it was easy!
There was nothing like that thrill of the loss I saw on the scale each and every day and in about 5 weeks I went from 156 to 134! I was HIGH – it was an unreal feeling, euphoric. I got to the point that I was eating Kimmers Experiment Monday to Thursday and fasting on Friday (with diet soda…. hmm someone said that was ok LOL). I would break the fast sometime Saturday usually noon and do Kimkins saturday and sunday – I so looked forward to that salad (and I’m a veggie lover). I was SO in control!
I was shopping one day and realized that nothing fit me right. I am a classic hour glass figure and I couldn’t even shop and buy a normal size 4 or size 2… nothing fit right. I started shopping in the girls department after I realized that my boys had outgrown a couple pairs of cargo shorts (boys 12) and they fit me. I thought in my head that this opened a whole new world. DUH… I’m 41 I shouldn’t be shopping in the girls dept – it finally hit me!
I continued to work out and focus on improving my body – I transitioned to maintenance pretty easily – I knew what had worked for me in the past. I gained back up to about 140 and the curves started to come back and I started to look good. Now I maintain between 140 and 145 pretty easily – and feel good. I started focusing on my exercise more and less on the calories and threw away fitday – it was my ball and chain. But there was one thing left….
I have all my life had problems with bowel elimination but now it was non-existant. I tried the Epsom Salt drink that Kimmer recomended to get things going and that didn’t work for me. Realistically in my head I said – nothing in = nothing out.. but I didn’t get it. I bought into the “laxatives aren’t addicting” advice that was freely given on kimkins.com. When I went on vacation early August of last year – I got so constipated I resorted to taking EX-LAX – there it started. I was using EX-LAX almost daily and realized that it couldn’t be good, so I went to Smooth Move tea, a natural alternative LOL… Daily… sometimes twice – from August 2006 until last Monday July 23 – I drank the tea almost every day and a few times would take an EX-LAX or two in addition if things weren’t moving. I was ADDICTED… a member of LCF started a post about her addiction to laxatives and I knew I had to do something about it.
I have been trying to improve my health and this was the last demon to go… I am currently trying to fix this last piece of the puzzle and am improving daily. Right now at 42 I am in the best shape of my life and trying to make my health better, I exercise and eat right. I just had my body fat tested and have 128 lbs of lean body mass… no wonder I didn’t look good at 134 and clothes didn’t fit right – BIG DUH!
Looking back I say how could I have been sucked in, how could I not see what I was doing and what was going on around me? I just shut my mouth and eyes to it all. I posted in the maintenance threads and tried to help where I could. I could see folks getting to maintenance, with no guidance from Kimmer. I didn’t want anyone to fail and gain back their weight. I stopped going to any other threads.
I always read at LCF and stumbled on a post there about Kimmer and started posting… soon I was banned from Kimkins – after that, I shared my story and how I was influenced and impacted by Kimkins.
If I can help just one person from making the same mistake I will be glad!
July 30, 2007
I first bought a People magazine in early January of this year, the new issue of “ Half Their Size issue”. At the time I had been making my 7th attempt at Weight Watchers, with very slow results and half-hearted motivation. Even though all the people presented had different methods for losing the weight, I was immediately drawn to the name of one. “ Kimkins”. Sounds like Atkins, yet has a woman’s name attached. So I visit the website, see that there is a fee to join $39.95 for a lifetime membership. At the time I didn’t think the price was too high because I was already paying $9.95 monthly to the Weight Watchers website. Even though there was not a lot of information regarding the plan, the lure of quick results was my biggest draw. And it wasn’t the quick loss of 20 lbs; it was the big losses that had me excited. I had done Weight Watchers on and off for 10 years with never losing more than 20lbs. And I was nearly 90 lbs overweight. With every attempt to lose weight, I would inevitability gain it back.Once I joined and read what was going on I was at first excited, then scared. Excited by the amount of weight people had lost in such a short period of time, all the time thinking I would never be that lucky. Scared by the amount of calories people were eating. Thinking it sounded like you are expected to follow the plan as directed for the fastest results. I was thinking there was no way I could only eat 500-700 calories a day. Yet when I looked at other members journal entries I could see how little people were eating. Eating 500-700 calories a day, going by the different plans outlined by the plan is very easy to do. It comes very naturally when you are going by the rules and following the posts on the forums.
You start to see how everyone else is doing “the plan” and you follow by example. You think it is normal, even though in the back of your mind there is a nagging feeling that it is not normal. You ignore it. You ignore the feelings of nausea, and dizziness for months on end because you know that is part of the plan. You begin to accept the feeling of SNATT (Semi Nauseous All The Time) as a badge of honor for this new way of eating. You start using laxatives as directed to by other members because of “potty issues”. You’re armed with Epsom salt, Milk of Magnesia and Smooth Move Tea. You tell yourself you feel leaner, your clothes feel good when they are baggy. You know you are finally getting somewhere with your battle of the bulge.
That is until your hair starts falling out, and you notice others are posting about the same problems. And you notice how low your energy is, you can barely work an eight hour day, come home for your kids, cook supper and sit in a chair till bedtime. Then you notice you drink nearly a gallon of water a day, yet you don’t go to the bathroom like you used to with other plans.
After all this… I started to finally question what am I doing to my body when I’m eating 600 calories a day, losing globs of hair everyday for two months, and my heart feels at time to be skipping beats and other times it was racing? I’ve lost over 60 lbs and was still trying to lose the last 30lbs. I found it hard to let go, but I finally reached out. I finally started investigating other sites, found familiar faces and started asking questions. I also went to my doctor. EKG and blood tests revealed I have a heart issue and some questionable readings on kidney function. I will be back in a few weeks for a Holter monitor and further check-up.
I want to say thank you to everyone who have brought this issue of the questioning the diet’s safety out. This is stuff you will never find on the Kimkins website. I would have never let go of this plan had I not found what the controversies were and why.
You’re doing great work, please keep it up and keep coming forward.
July 30, 2007
I have to share my experience on kimkins. I first joined in February and had about 60 lbs to lose. It was very strict and austere, but I managed to stick w/ it. I have heard a friend say that the “high” you get when you see the scale go down so quickly is very addictive. That is so true, and that’s exactly what happened to me.
I believed Kimmer when she said new information shows that laxatives are not addictive, so I started taking ex-lax, much as she said her sister did. I took it for almost 5 months, morning and night, and it worked. After hearing the upset on the lowcarbfriends board, I tried to stop it, but I couldn’t “go” without them. I am still trying to undo the harm they have caused.
Another problem I had on Kimkins was the lack of energy and inability to exercise like before. I did go to the gym, but where I used to walk quickly on the treadmill, I had to walk very slowly and where I used to walk for almost an hour, I had to stop at 20 min. I just didn’t have the energy to go on. By the time I got home and took my shower, I was spent. Thank goodness I didn’t have a job outside the home. I truly don’t know how I could have worked all day in that condition.
I decided a couple of months ago that I needed to slow down the weight loss so I could ease into maintenance, and I knew I couldn’t slow it down the way I was going. I tried Atkins ‘72, but the thought of adding alot to the diet I was on (Kimkins) was very scary to me. It took alot of encouragement from people at a couple of lowcarb websites to even get me to try it. The first time didn’t work out so well….I went running back to Kimkins after 4 days and getting myself out of ketosis. The 2nd time I tried, I just had to jump in with both feet, because the fear was holding me back. I have done good on Atkins ‘72, still losing, but slowly, which is what I wanted. I KNOW it’s healthier and I am stronger and have alot more energy. When I go into the Kimkins site now, it breaks my heart to see the women talking about how few calories they are eating, threads about how weak they are feeling, etc. I don’t know how to help them because I feel if I say something, the post will be pulled before anybody can see it. It has happened to others.
I do not hate Kimmer. I do feel like she has hurt alot of people w/ her advice. I didn’t believe it when the thread at lcf started, and felt they were bashing her. The more I read, the more I had to agree w/ alot of what they were saying. This WOE is NOT healthy, is not going to help as much as hurt others in the long run.
I have been to pro-ana sites in the past, just out of curiousity, and when I started this diet, I felt at the beginning that it sounded like pro-ana, but just pushed that feeling aside. Now that I am caught up in that mindset (low calories are normal, afraid to add more, only picking the leanest of anything to eat, laxatives) I KNOW how the anorexics feel and why it’s hard for them to quit. I don’t feel like I’m anorexic, but I do understand them alot better now, and can see how they could get swept up in it all when they are just trying to drop a few lbs. The feeling of no appetite (I had that sometimes) is very empowering, makes you feel like you could diet forever and not be bothered by it. You push the bells going off in your head aside and continue on. Then one day the bells stop going off and all is well.
I’m telling you, it is soooo easy to get sucked in, and soooo hard to stop the madness.
I can hardly call this site a neutral site, but others and myself are telling our experiences w/ Kimkins. Please stop the madness, you know in your heart and mind it’s not healthy and there WILL come a time that you CAN’T convince yourself to stop. Do it before then, or it’s too late.
July 30, 2007
There is an immediate draw to a plan that promises you quick weight loss with no exercise. The plan promises you that you will not be hungry. It promises you quick results.You sign up. You want to know more. You find out that many of the people there are having such fast losses. You want that, too.
Told to follow those with the best successes, you strive to emulate those successes. To make them your own.
You are hungry for a few days, but that goes away. Now you feel high. Happy. Light. You are eating 1200 calories a day and you don’t feel a thing.
The loss slows. You know you could probably do with a little less. You could cut a little here, shear a little there. You feel a little bit of hunger, but this time, it is only for a day. That leaves you quickly. You are eating 900 calories a day and you don’t feel a thing.
Your loss slows. You feel perhaps that you have cut back on your fiber too much, and read that others are using laxatives in different forms to keep things moving. You use this. It works. You decide that you will use this method every time you feel uncomfortable. Now you can cut back your caloric intake further. Those in the boot camp program are allowed up to 500 calories a day. You change. You conform. You are now eating 500 calories a day and you don’t feel a thing.
Your loss slows. It is said that you are eating too much because you are not exercising like the people in boot camp. You know you must be weak to not try harder. You must not want this bad enough. So you shift. You change things. Just a little. Just a smidge. Light as a feather, feeling high in your mind. No one notices your hair is brittle. It wouldn’t matter. You are now eating 300 calories a day and you don’t feel a thing.
Your loss slows. You feel palpitations occasionally as though your heart is fluttering. Your family has noticed. Your friends worry. You have made changes. You are strong in your mind, and others wouldn’t understand. They are not strong like you are. You will show them. You are now eating 200 calories a day and you are exercising. And you don’t feel a thing.
You don’t feel a thing.
The coroner pronounced you dead at 2:34 am this morning. You suffered a heart attack because your body consumed the muscles of your heart for energy, and your body could no longer sustain itself. Your mother sobs in the corner. Your daughter stands, glassy-eyed, holding your cold hand. She is four, and she doesn’t understand.
And you don’t feel a thing.
July 29, 2007
You are not alone. You are never alone.
You tried to speak, but were stifled.
You tried to cry out and were muffled.
Your body wept and you shook.
You are a survivor of a VLCD (very low-calorie diet).
This is for you, about you, surrounding you, embracing you. For those about to speak, you are now safe.
Please leave your story. It will be published. Your privacy is ensured.
Your help is your love.
Your life is our light.
Your hope is the future.