Friday, April 11, 2008

When Reading Internet Articles - Beware of Manipulation

One good outcome from the Kimkins disaster is that a lot of people have gotten much more discerning about things they read. Is the material education or manipulation? Is it the truth? What's in it for the author? Is the author a real person? Who is making money off this article, or the product it casually mentions in the closing lines?

Here's one brand new 'article', spreading across the internet like a virus. It is created by the accused fraud, Heidi Diaz of Kimkins fame. I started to do a phrase by phrase commentary but it got too ugly and snarky for me. When it comes down to it, this article was written by a career liar intent on making you feel bad about yourself in order to motivate you to hook up with her dangerous crash yo-yo diet plan. See how convincing she can be? There are some real hard truths in there. Mixed with big fat whopping lies, and really powerful manipulation. If you aren't on to this woman, she can be quite convincing. And even if you are on to her, it's still easy to forget as you read her persuasive words that she's:

  • Not a successful dieter at all
  • Not a low carb diet expert
  • Not honest with herself or her clients (have you seen the deposition videos?)
  • Not interested in promoting healthy weight loss
  • Not capable of taking her own diet advice
  • Manipulating potential customers by acting like she's got all the right answers
  • Destroyed her health trying to do the plan she's selling
I can't imagine what is missing her soul that she's not hiding under a rock, trembling in fear over what's coming for her as a result of her actions. Instead, she's still out there marketing under various names.

As intelligent consumers, we often will research products on the web to find out more about what we're considering purchasing. A year ago there was nothing readily findable on the web but glowing articles and reviews of Kimkins. I remember reading them and thinking - wow, I can't find anything bad about this plan! Now I'm aware that the articles I was reading weren't really articles, they were spam. The reviews I was reading were lies. The blogs I was reading were affiliates - often the same affiliates over and over. The photos were faked. It was really a brilliantly engineered scam, designed to solidly lock up the top hundreds of spots of search results. If it weren't for the work of empowered and outraged consumers, this would still be the case for Kimkins today.

Unfortunately, it isn't just Kimkins that's like this. Deceptive and relentless marketing can really drown out the truth. In Kimkins case, it took thousands of hours of work by people rallying together to get the truth raised up so new people can find it. That work has to continue, or the truth will sink again. In all likelihood, the vast majority of scams are in the same golden position Kimkins was in last year.

We have to be so suspicious of what we read about services or products we are considering. There is a lot to be gained by the scammers wanting to separate us from our money.


Are You Faux Dieting?
08th April 2008

If you look anywhere it seems these days, there's a revolt of "faux". Faux fur. Faux Louis Vuitton. Faux paint treatments. Faux Monet. Well, technically I suppose that's a poster, but you get the idea. With so many alternatives to the real deal, it's unfortunately becoming second nature to accept second best.

What about faux dieting? Are you guilty? Quiz yourself on the following and see if you can give yourself a truthful "yes" (hey, without crossing your fingers!)

Ask yourself:

1) I've got a diet strategy for family gatherings rather than playing it by ear (or urge).

2) I've never saved calories or carbs from meals so I can drink alcohol later.

3) I don't confuse 15 carbs from high nutrient veggies with 15 carbs from sugar free chocolate candies.

4) I've never pretended 400 calories of fried chicken was the same as 400 calories of broiled chicken & veggies.

5) I always make a whole hearted full time 100% commitment to my weight loss plan.

Ahem, so how did you do? How quick are you to forgive yourself for a relapse? Nobody is suggesting we flagellate ourselves for a cheat -- planned or otherwise. But in this era of pop psychologists who diagnose 15 year problem marriages in 15 minute TV segments, we're all too quick to gloss it over.

"Well, I tried." Yep, you tried. You've been trying for years, what else is new? When are you going to suck it up and finally do it? If you can't be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with? Think about it.

It boggles the mind to hear the excuses we give ourselves for remaining fat and undisciplined. What's even scarier is that we're believing it! Or do we? Try these on for size:

"I was losing too quickly and experts recommend only losing 1 or 2 pounds a week so we don't deprive ourselves of nutrients."

Oh really? So your splurge was on organic fresh spinach salad with organic free range chicken? Yeah, didn't think so.

"I really like this low carb thing, but I want to keep my calories up so I started having faux cheesecake or chicken wings with bleu cheese dressing."

Oh, please spare us. Did you also order some celery sticks for the dressing so you could faux the vaguest semblance of nutrition in that scenario? I'd have to say one of the strangest "starvation mode" stories I've ever heard was from a mom who ate the rest of her kid's Klondike ice cream sandwich because she felt her calories were too low that day. And, uh, yes, that mom is still "trying" to lose. Stay tuned.

"I want to be a good example for my daughter (son)."

Good! You can start by quit finishing off their left over Kraft macaroni & cheese, buying trans fat soaked Cup of Soup, sneaking mashed potatoes and gravy off their plate when they aren't looking or announcing "Just one won't hurt," as you order a triple burger super combo on the way home from soccer practice. With a diet soda, of course.

Now, what exactly about "dieting" is a bad example?

What's wrong with showing your kids some self restraint and making healthy choices? If you're a low carber, there's no law lurking in the universe that you must eat carbs. Serving yourself a plate of grilled salmon, mixed greens salad and steamed broccoli florets with ginger dressing is nothing to be ashamed of.

"My grandmother will freak out for sure if I don't eat (take your pick) the 100 year old family recipe potato salad, Aunt Sarah's chocolate cake, my sister's famous garlic cheese bread ... at the family picnic this weekend."

The final nail in the coffin may be, "And your sister is going through a divorce so be sure you don't upset her."

Ask your grandmother if she's going to pay for your insulin when you develop obesity induced diabetes. Hopefully she can explain to your kids why you couldn't get life insurance with a BMI of 43 and died prematurely due to heart disease. Obesity related, of course.

When are we going to quit lying to ourselves? Excuse me, fauxing?

"I don't want my daughter to develop an eating disorder by watching me diet."

A candidate for the Mom Hall of Fame! Odd they have no qualms about parking their kids in the waiting room of a bariatric surgeon while they get a Lapband consultation. Or sitting patiently at the pharmacy while mom picks her diet pills. Or watch them count calories, fat grams or points with military precision at every family meal (don't forget to drag out the food scale).

If you're serious about weight loss, do it. But don't make excuses. Quit fauxing.


Heidi Diaz is the owner of popular Kimkins.con weight loss website and an expert in the low carb lifestyle.

This article is free for republishing. OF COURSE IT IS!


Mayberryfan said...

Free for republishing? Careful, you may find your work elsewhere credited to Heidi!

Great post and a nice kick in the over-sized tushy for those who are still playing at losing weight!

MrsMenopausal said...

Doesn't that article just make you sick on so many levels? An article about faux dieting by a fraudulent diet guru that lied about her weight loss. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief of her nerve.
Great post.
My blog: Weighing The Facts