/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » the kimkins debacle

Most of you are probably thinking. “What the heck is Kimkins? And what’s the hub-bub around it?” I didn’t know the answer to those questions much before this week, either.

Backtracking a bit, I’m relatively active on my PCOS support board. And one thread I had responded to and was reading had a signature tag (sig tag) of “See how I lost 30 pounds in 30 days!” as a hyperlink. So, okay–figuring it was a scam but also being curious, I checked it out. “Cysters” (those with PCOS) often struggle with weight–the short of it is that insulin does screwy things with your body, and the prevalence of insulin that comes with PCOS often causes us to gain weight and make it frustratingly hard to lose it. Anyhow, I clicked on the link and ended up at the “Kimkins” website, where a woman professes to have lost a staggering amount of weight (198 lbs) in less than a year.

As I peruse the site, I realize that this is not just low-carb dieting, but it’s extremely low-calorie dieting. And since I eschewed dieting (more on that later), I knew it wasn’t anything I was interested in. Its restrictions seemed almost “otherworldly,” and I realized that if you were following this plan, that life in the real world simply wasn’t an option. Followers are supposed to attain SNATT, which stands for “semi-nauseous all the time”–which is a way of saying that your blood sugar is low enough to make you feel like barfing. 😮

Blech. Oh, and to attain all of this, you had to pay $60 for a membership.

I also realized that my number one priority was not to myself and constantly focused on food, but to my family. And teaching Brendan that his mama couldn’t have a nibble of popsicle that he might offer me or that “women behave “this way” around food” simply isn’t healthy. For him, for me, or for who he will become as he grows in to a man.

So bumping up to the present, Nettie was telling me that there was a bit of controversy around this Kimkins diet and its author. Apparently, she’d been quite controversial in months and years past on a low-carb bulletin board and now it was coming to a head. Pro-ana (anorexia) sites were talking about this diet and how great it was. Members in the plan were talking about how they ate 300-500 calories a day, and teens were being encouraged to follow this plan as well. OY!

But to cap it all off, the author of the plan had been photographed surreptitiously by a private investigator and was found to not be the svelte individual she said she was–or to have lost anywhere near 198 pounds. She appears to be well over 300 pounds and is bilking individuals for $60 a pop and encouraging them to develop eating disorders. Her diet is causing individuals to lose their hair and have other signs of malnutrition, and she’s telling that that it’s because they’re eating too much food. 😡 She’s encouraging people to abuse laxatives, and worse. And yet, she hasn’t (apparently) followed one iota of her own advice. 😡

So this whole thing is hitting the fan. I researched and read it all on Monday evening until my eyes (literally) were crossing and my brain was full of this junk. I couldn’t believe how gullible people were to follow this woman, but it really does show me several things:

1. With a few hundred dollars, you really CAN put up a website that looks professional and entices people to shell out their hard-earned cash–whether or not you’re legitimate.

2. People who put their faith in people will *always* be disillusioned and disappointed.

3. There really is no “quick fix” for weight issues. Not even gastric-bypass surgery is a quick fix. It’s a kick-start, but it is still hard work and being diligent in what you’re doing that gets you where you want to be.

As far as where I am, I mentioned earlier that I’ve thrown dieting out of my life. I was a proponent of Weigh Down before it got all screwy in theology and the leader formed a cult (seriously). But in the whole process of sorting out truth from fiction with that plan, which was based on eating within the confines of physical hunger, I ended up throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It was too hard to sort out the twisted thoughts and the teachings that “if you’re not perfect, God won’t love you” from my already-bizarre food issues, so I ditched the whole thing.

I realized that if God really wanted to say something about sin and its relationship to food, He would have done so in the Bible. Not through someone’s twisted interpretation of the Bible. He made it clear about other things we’re supposed to avoid and that displease Him–why would He be suddenly silent if this was such a ‘black and white’ issue? I don’t think He would be.

And so using hunger and fullness as a guide, I realized that biology can guide me. And I’ve embraced “Intuitive Eating.” IE is simply not eating when you’re not hungry and eating when you are. It makes no food off-limits (although for my specific health needs, there are things that I avoid), and teaches savouring the good things in life in small amounts and moderation, remembering that the size of the human stomach (unstretched) is roughly the size of your fist.

I cannot tell you how freeing it is to do this! I can~guilt-free~teach Brendan that we need to listen to our bodies and not overstuff our tummies, I can~guilt free~eat things that would be otherwise verboten on a traditional diet, and I can~without hesitation~teach others of this natural and emotionally-healthy way of eating, without bringing God’s wrath in to the whole thing. Which is a fantastic way to create even more “food issues” than most people already have, and really twists the whole idea of a loving God in to something that is just plain wrong.

So if you’ve got time and a stomach for it, google “kimkins fraud” and see what comes up. But if you’ve read enough to realize that the internet is full of hucksters and shysters and understand that pro-ana sites are touting this Kimkins plan, save your energy. Go for a walk in the early fall weather, wrestle with your kids in the grass, or go do something else fun and productive. Enjoy life and don’t let anyone steal it from you! :).

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