October 25, 2007

With time away in Missouri to rest, relax, and reflect on everything that’s happened over the past few months, I’ve now come to realize that my blog has changed in many ways and is headed in a direction that I feel isn’t in the best interests of the larger audience of readers who come here. Because of that, I think today is a good day to share some of my sincere regrets, what I have learned from those, and where I recognize I need to be refocusing on from this day forward.

In the last few months I have made some very real mistakes which have caused many people to question my intentions and motivations here at my blog. Admittedly, I was unwilling to listen to the criticism from those who were only trying to help me and I began growing frustrated to the point that my frustrations got the better of me.

Before I continue, I first owe everyone–whether you are friend or foe–a very big apology for taking liberties with a highly critical comment of me at my sister web site LowCarbNewsline.com earlier this month. I didn’t simply ignore the comment or even delete the comment in question. I admit that I modified it to be positive and replied in kind. When called on it, I replied it was a joke and did not show the remorse I should have for something I should not have done in the first place.

Not only was this an abuse of my editorial powers at that site, but it was highly unethical and wrong. For that I am truly sorry, and promise that in the future when I find myself frustrated, I will simply leave comments as they are, step away and remember that not everyone will agree with me. If you go to that forum, then you will see I have apologized in like manner there making it clear to everyone that I was wrong and am truly sorry.

Over the last few months there has been a growing concern from those in the low-carb community about my promotion of Kimkins. I had failed to openly disclose my affiliate relationship with that diet plan and I now realize I should have. Additionally, my insistence that Kimkins was just another low-carb diet similar to Atkins, Protein Power or South Beach as well as my posts encouraging readers to join me when I started what I believed to be the K/E option was overzealous to say the least. I apologize for not being more upfront about that.

More importantly, my refusal to properly review and then hold Kimkins to the same standard as other plans and approaches I’ve praised and criticized was a glaring mistake of omission for which I regret. My intentions were good, but now I can see why there were questions arising about me and my business relationship to Kimkins.

Call me stubborn, but for the life of me I could not see what the problem was; I truly believed I was indeed following K/E and honestly had not reviewed the other plans on the site. Now I know I should have.

While I’ve been on vacation in Missouri this past week, I’ve now taken the time with some gentle nudges from those that implored me to review all the plans, review the content that is publicly available (present and archived), and then review the historical content found on the Low- Carb Friends forum.

After doing that, I can now see why this issue with Kimkins has stirred up such a fiery controversy because most of the plans are a controversial approach to losing weight by encouraging fast weight loss without mention of the very real risks involved with doing so. I regret that I allowed my excitement about my renewed commitment to losing those last few pounds I wanted to overwhelm me to the point I lost my good sense.

I hope sharing this with you today will help us all avoid making similar missteps in the future. To be very honest, the thing that held my emotions so well was the strong sense of community I felt from those on the forums at Kimkins. It’s something that I missed terribly since I was banned from Low-Carb Friends and I didn’t recognize that until recently.

With the Kimkins forum, I felt a sense of belonging that often lacks when you’re writing day-to-day on a blog. There’s such a sense of community that I now recognize I can be part of if I join any number of online support forums by taking the initiative to do so. There are some truly GREAT people providing support out there.

In the past I did join Low-Carb Friends in part to be a part of a community and in part to promote my blog. In doing that, joining with an underlying agenda to serve my own needs, I missed the opportunity to really be part of a community and found myself quickly banished by the admins there. In my enthusiasm to promote my blog in the early days, I violated the terms of service and was rightfully banned.

Instead of doing what I should have done by apologizing to the admins and ask to be reinstated with the agreement I would not promote my blog within the forums anymore, I walked away disappointed and slowly allowed resentment to build. The January post I wrote at my blog about Low-Carb Friends earlier this year was inappropriate and uncalled for because it deeply offended many at that board. For this I am truly sorry and can only hope that, in time, those who make Low-Carb Friends their community for online support will find it in their hearts to forgive me.

I now realize that without Low-Carb Friends I would not have been able to review the historical posts that led to the creation of the controversial Kimkins web site. It is an eye-opening look at how many people were ill-advised and mistreated over months and years prior to the launch of the Kimkins web site that I started promoting last year. It is something I should have taken the time to read much sooner, something that should have been part of the necessary due diligence on my part before agreeing to support and promote what I believed was just another low-carb diet.

So first I must thank the admins and owner at Low-Carb Friends for maintaining the sticky thread “Ask Kimmer” because it has helped me begin to see many of the errors I’ve made in my assumptions about most of the Kimkins diet plans these past few months.

I also find myself once again in need of giving an apology to my readers here at “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb.” I allowed the strong sense of community I felt with Kimkins to cloud my judgment and subsequent action to continue promoting Kimkins even in the face of numerous people pointing out problems that are clear as day even after my podcast interview with Kimmer.

Had I only stepped back and looked objectively at the criticism for what it was–again a way to help, not harm me–then the entire last year may have taken a different path. While I cannot change what I have done in the past, I can change what I do starting today and moving forward.

Today begins a refocusing back to the original purpose and mission of my blog–to educate, encourage, and inspire people about the healthy low-carb lifestyle!

I have always maintained that each person must find the diet that works for them, whether that’s low-carb, low-fat, or whatever. If it works for you and you can do it over the long-term with your health improving because of it, then go for it and rejoice as you take control of your health! I very clearly do not agree with low-fat and low-calorie options as I lost most of my weight on the Atkins diet, but that does not mean they do not work, nor serve some well even in the short-term.

Because I do not agree with those dietary approaches, I focus on carbohydrate restriction and proper fat intake since research supports that as a healthy way to lose weight and find optimal health over the long-term.

In the past I have taken many others to task over their diets and I now regret I did not critically evaluate the full context of the various dietary plans for Kimkins.

I should have because, as many have repeatedly said, the plans are very low-calorie diets despite any specific requirement to count calories (in some plans like K/E), thus by design they are low-fat and low-carb because they are very-low-calorie in nature.

One of the most objective reviews I recently read was from my friend Carol Bardelli at the “Kudos for Low-Carb” blog. She provided a wealth of information about very low-calorie diets in that post that I encourage my readers to review to gain more understanding of why it’s important to nourish our bodies as we lose weight. Also, Sherrie from the “Pinch Of…” blog made some very valuable points on this same issue as well.

As one poster on Low-Carb Friends has integrated into her signature, “It shouldn’t be a RACE to get thin. It should be a Journey to good health.” I couldn’t agree more!

Therefore, you will notice I have made some necessary changes to my blog that reflect that sentiment to remind myself that part of finding what works for me and you finding what works for you means encouraging each other to also make good decisions that optimize our long-term health in the process. Livin’ la vida low-carb is as much about improving health as it is weight loss.

You will notice that I have removed the banners promoting the Kimkins diet today as a matter of conscience. In the last week I have realized that I cannot try to “educate, encourage and inspire” my readers if I am associated with Kimkins, a web site promoting some plans which may indeed be unhealthy if followed over the long-term.

My focus has been on the best of the five plans (K/E) and I cannot say they’re all sound and healthy ways to lose weight on your own. Because of this, I cannot encourage my readers to join the site knowing they may wind up following a plan that may do more harm than good in the long-term. Be smart about any diet plan you go on.

Let me also state clearly that I believe it is extremely important for people to research any diet before they begin and even talk with your doctor about not just the short-term impact, but also the long-term effects and potential health risks you may face.

While many believed I was making great big bundles of money from my affiliate relationship with Kimkins, let me just say that no amount of money is worth losing sight of the bigger picture to educate my readers with quality information, encourage them to find a way of eating to help them regain their health while losing weight, and inspire them to be their best while going through this process.

While I still believe it is possible to tweak things within some plans promoted by Kimkins, I also realize that this is strongly discouraged on the plan. If something is not working, then it’s easy to say you’re not working the plan. But, then again, as many of us know it’s in the little bit of tweaking that we find our strength and confidence to make the diet our own over the long-term. That’s what I did after Atkins, although I am sure the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins would not object.

With that understanding now, I’m left questioning what I am really doing here and why I felt compelled to start making changes in my diet in the first place. I now realize I find myself exactly where many other low-carbers land when they lose weight with a low-carb diet–a place where I am comfortable making modifications that make low-carb work for me over the long-term!

I could label it and say it’s Atkins, or Kimkins, or South Beach, or any number of plans as recommended for maintenance, but that wouldn’t be honest! The truth is, I’m doing what works for Jimmy Moore right now and it is simply a low-carb diet where I’ve started to also look at my fat intake to control calories naturally. That’s all! I don’t need to place a label on it to make it mine and I certainly don’t need to convince my readers what they already know–finding the plan that’s right for you and then DOING IT!

By opening up my mind to better understand what I am doing, what I can tell my readers is that I now truly understand that I have not been following K/E as recommended, nor could I. What I have done is merely modify and play with what I’m eating to find what will work for me now and that’s simply been lowering carbohydrate, reducing fat slightly and paying more attention to carefully choose the treats I still do include to make the plan work for me.

For me, life without a small indulgences like bread and chocolate here and there is not what I want. So, I’m still playing around with what will work for me and wish others well with what works for them. If that includes low-carb products, then great; but if not, that’s cool, too.

Over the last few months, my promotion of and subsequent insistence that I am following the Kimkins K/E plan has caused a polarization within the various low-carb forums. I am deeply sorry for bringing much of this on myself, by both words and actions, by fueling the debate and ignoring many of the red flags and warnings people had for me.

We low-carbers are an ever-growing by leaps and bounds community online with brand new people looking for hope for their obesity and I am becoming more and more aware of that fact. With Kimkins, I saw an easy quick-fix and ran with it, unwittingly undermining my mission here to educate, encourage, and inspire others.

This too is something I hope my readers will forgive me for doing. As I go, I grow. I learn sometimes slowly along the way and can only hope that those who have spent time and effort to educate me, encourage me to take the time to really scrutinize what I’m doing, and inspire me to hold myself accountable, will understand that I am now listening, I am hearing you, and I am trying to make right what many have pointed out were errors on my part. I too am human, imperfect, and do make mistakes.

Where I’ve erred, I hope you can forgive me for that, too.

Along with the criticisms sent my way about Kimkins also came criticism for not clearly disclosing sponsor and affiliate relationships that allow me to maintain this blog freely to all who wish to read it. I strongly believe that those of us who write about low-carb need to be free to publish information that is lacking in the mainstream media, or even worse, manipulated or twisted in ways that cause confusion.

I’ve said it before, my purpose is to educate, encourage, and inspire.

I hope my readers understand that to write every single day like I do takes many hours of my time to do–time to research, review, read, gather information and then write my articles.

Over the last two years, the time invested in writing for my blog has grown from a few hours when I first began in April 2005 to now as much as 12 hours a day. It really has become more of a full-time job now and is something I cannot continue to do without a means to pay my bills and support my family.

I so passionately feel it’s important to continue on with my blog that I sought out a way to support my family so I can continue to write. But I failed to disclose those changes along the way with my readers. I had a responsibility to do so, and am now making changes to insure you understand how I choose sponsors and how they’re included here.

I do take seriously my real responsibility to choose wisely those whom are offering me opportunities to make my blog possible. Plus, I am keenly aware that not only are my readers a quality audience to many companies, but that my readers expect I will choose products and services from companies that are of the highest quality.

You’ll now notice in my sidebar, I have placed a conflict-of-interest disclosure that fully informs my readers that this blog is, in part, sponsored by companies who recognize the value of low-carbohydrate diets and respect my readers dietary choice. They want to do business with us and it is my policy that I will only accept sponsors and affiliates whom I believe offer quality products or services, along with good customer service and responsiveness to needs of my readers. While we won’t always agree about whom I’ve included, it should now be clear that banners on my sidebar are from sponsors and affiliates I have chosen to include after I’ve researched their offerings and am comfortable to offer something of value to many of my readers.

I’ve also clearly stated that when I am including a post that does mention a sponsors product or service, that is my opinion about the product or service and I have not been compelled by contractual obligation to promote the product or service to my readers within the text content of my blog. I want to assure my readers that none of the sponsors or affiliates they see on my sidebar have contracted with me to specifically mention or promote their products within the text content of my blog, nor will I enter into such contracts in the future. So, yes, when I am enthusiastic about a product or service, it is because I really am, not because I have to be because I’m being paid to say something I do not believe.

There is one small exception to this that I believe is a win-win for all of us. When a company that meets the standards to be included here offers a giveaway or contest to my readers with no obligation, and I write about it, then it is the writing about it that brings it to your attention. You are never under any obligation to participate or enter, but I feel including it meets my goal to educate, encourage and inspire. In posts such as this, I will clearly state the nature of my relationship in the promotion.

Right now I can only hope my readers will forgive my past sins and understand that I didn’t fully appreciate how important such disclosures are. I’ve taken many researchers to task because they did not adequately disclose potential conflicts of interest in studies, but I failed to hold myself to that same standard. I believe I am now correcting my own error of omission and hope you will continue to point out things if I fail to live up to my words in the future.

The last thing I feel it’s necessary to address is the fact I’ve allowed my emotions to get the better of me at times when I should have “taken my medicine” like a man. Instead, I acted out and sometimes aggressively responded to criticism in ways I wish I could take back. Calling those who were critical of my words and decisions various names, including “haters and crybabies,” was not only wrong, but failing to live up to the spirit of open-and-lively discussion and debate.

I closed the door to listen to some of my readers and realize how damaging that is to all of us, no matter what your view is on the controversy around Kimkins. I hope today to reopen the door to those who have been turned off and welcome you back with open arms so we can work together to help each other on this low-carb journey.

In the future, I will be ever-mindful that we’re all in this together. Some will agree with me, others will disagree. But all views are important and should be heard whether everyone agrees or not.

I will do my best to honor this commitment I am making today to temper my immediate reaction and try to give more thought to my replies in an effort to be a better writer and fulfill my desire to make the “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” blog a place where facts are at the forefront and opinions, while still critically important in the big picture, are provided by me in the light of solid, reputable evidence and data that must be part of any substantive debate of ideas in the health arena.

I realize now that I focused heavily on the positive feedback, largely ignoring the negative. While it’s important to stay positive, it’s also very important to be open to hearing the negative to really understand the issues. It’s constructive either way and that’s how I will view it from now on.

Without that acknowledgment and respect for the fact we don’t all agree about everything, we cannot make progress to educate others about the benefits of low-carb diets, encourage each other to be our best each day, nor can we effectively inspire those who want to know more to seek out and find more information, even with our faults.

So I am hoping today to begin anew on a path that will enable me to serve my readers and their best interests, to be cognizant of a standard of excellence I must hold myself to each and every day as I write about livin’ la vida low-carb, and remember the all-important bigger picture–YOU, my readers, our common goals and desires, our interconnectedness that makes us an online community on the same path, finding what works for each of us along the way and our mutual agreement and understanding that for the long-term, good health is attainable with healthy low-carb living.

Each of us must be able to freely share what is working for us as well as the pitfalls and obstacles we may face along the way. When we share these things–both the good and the bad–with each other, we all grow in our understanding and help each other in the long-term.

And that, my friends, really is where my heart is–to help, both myself and my readers, learn how livin’ la vida low-carb truly can benefit health over the long haul. It is a position I feel is strongly supported not just by the latest research, but also through my own experiences.

These experiences are ones I want to continue sharing with all the thousands of people who come to read here each day. Through that, I am sure there will be plenty of education, encouragement, and inspiration along the way. Even if someone decides low-carb isn’t for them, then at least they will realize it is something that works for many who do make the choice to follow it as their permanent way of eating for life.

I ask nothing more from you than to please allow me to try to be the best that I can be by continuing to support my mission here to educate, encourage and inspire. I cannot change who I am as a person. I’m not suddenly going to be different or less outspoken than I have been, but I will be much more aware of the fact that we are all in this together, and without you my readers, I cannot fulfill my hopes and dreams to help others find their way to health like I did.

Working together, we can do that and more! So I hope you know from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. Please forgive me for my mistakes and help me as I continue to learn and write about a subject we all are enthusiastically passionate about–that’s Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb, baby!

from “Livin La-Vida Lowcarb”


2 Responses to “Jimmy”

  1. […] kimkinssmith placed an interesting blog post on Jimmy.Here’s a brief overview:We low-carbers are an ever-growing by leaps and bounds community online with brand new people looking for hope for their obesity and I am becoming more and more aware of that fact. With Kimkins, I saw an easy quick-fix and ran with it, … […]

  2. 2big4mysize said

    I’m sorry you were a victim of Kimmer and her
    scam on Kimkins.com.
    Hope you are doing better now

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