"Anyone want to do Kimkins with me?"
That was the Subject of the new thread in the forum I hung out at. I knew the poster, and I knew she had been faithfully and successfully doing Atkins for at least a year, but her more recent posts bemoaned these last 10-15 pounds that she felt were haunting her and wouldn't budge, no matter what she'd tried. So I wasn't all that surprised that she was trying a different tactic, but I didn't want her to try THAT one. This was well before the whole scandal broke wide and all of the blogs popped up exposing Kimkins to be no more than a fraud and a very well organized scam put together by a morbidly obese woman herself. The whispers about Heidi Diaz, aka Kimmer, had already begun building momentum, but it hadn't yet reached the covers of Woman's World or the ears of 40,000 unsuspecting members about to be suckered in by this con game.
I'd been trying to stay out of the fray, it was too draining, mentally, physically, sometimes emotionally. Not because I had anything vested, but because whenever I communicated with that woman, I wanted to go through my computer screen and rip her snarky little head off and toss her over a cliff. Seriously, she just pissed me off all the time. I hate for people to think they've gotten over on me, even in the cyberworld. It bugged me like crazy that she was always so nasty to people on the forum where we first met. It bugged me that her stories didn't quite add up, and the pictures always looked like someone else - a relative maybe, but certainly not her. And most of all, it bugged me that whenever I would bring this up, her fans would accuse me and others of being jealous or trying to start trouble. Or they would say stupid things like, "well, people look drastically different when they lose weight" and proceed to use examples like, "look at MY pics, I get told all the time that I look like my own daughter". Oh STFU. That is NOT what I was getting at. We all know that people look different, but certain things don't change unless you get your face cut off and replaced with another one. Kimmer's "After" pics were just NOT HER. Period. And even Helen Keller could see this woman was fake.
On the left, the original Before pics that Heidi used when she posted on the low carb forums. On the right, the recent surveillance photos taken by a P.I. hired by Heidi's former business partner. Surveillance photo courtesy of Slamboard.
When Kimmer (Heidi) put up her website and started charging a membership fee, the discussions about her authenticity started to increase, and every time, they would end the same way. The Kimkins fans would fiercely defend her and declare that we were all Jealous Haters and despite more and more people joining the other side, the devotion to Kimmer was eerily unshakeable, even in the face of such irrefutable evidence, such as when one member zoomed in on one of Kimkins' Success Stories' After photos and revealed that the lanyard around her neck bore an inscription that referred to the Universal Amphitheater's 30th Anniversary celebration which had taken place in 2002. Circumstantial? Maybe, but in light of all of the other suspicious looking Success Stories pictures, it really didn't help her case.
I remember emailing her initially out of concern for what I thought was just a poor strategic attempt to market her new business, when I saw she had used Louise Vyent's photo as one of her After shots. It was so clearly obvious that these were not the same women. Clearly. Obvious. When I mentioned it on the forum, I was flabbergasted at how many people didn't believe me and tried to school me on how people look different in photos, after losing weight, etc.
Back in the 80s, Louise Vyent was my Christie Brinkley, my Carole Alt, my Cheryl Tiegs. When black models didn't regularly grace the covers of Cosmo and Vogue, Louise Vyent was one of those ground breaking supermodels that helped break down those barriers and let young black girls see images of themselves in fashion too. It was Louise, Iman, Beverly Johnson and Sheila Johnson, among others, who made history and opened the doors for Tyra and Naomi to do half of what they're doing now. So when I clicked across this photo and saw Louise, my mouth dropped open. Not that I couldn't believe she might have possibly put on some weight over the years, but because I knew her face so well, you couldn't convince me that that Before photo was her, and if she did need to lose weight, I doubted she would go to some unknown, unemployed, faceless message board character for help. So I emailed Kimmer with the intent of just offering some friendly advice that it might not be a good idea to use fake photos on her site because of legal problems, and I was as nice as I possibly could be, even suggested that with the success of her diet, she should have real life success stories to use among her members. But I was incredibly insulted when she responded with:
Please be assured that all of the Success Photos are real.
If complexions are different that might be because very few of them are "professional" photos. Home photos turn out with various tones depending on lighting and features available. It's also why many are blurry.
But more than likely it has to do with my poor skills as a graphic artist. The photos which are sent to me are sometimes 'sunburn' red or greenish and I attempt to adjust them to more 'flesh' colored. I'm not a professional either.
Okay, I couldn't believe this chick was pissing on me and telling me it was raining. She wants me to believe that the people in her photos who changed ethnicities, grew hair, changed the shape of their eyes and noses, because SHE couldn't use Photoshop???? Unable to let it go, I fired back again and pointed out the inaccuracies of each of her fake photos on the site, and she responded with this short and simple little quote:
I thought I was done with the negativity and jealousy when I left LCF.
There it is again. Anytime you question the truth in front of your eyes, you have to be jealous. Of what, Heidi? We don't even know what the real you looks like, so what is there to be jealous of??? Her final words to me:
This is why I didn't post photos of myself. Everyone criticizes you to death. People told me my before/afters weren't me!
So, FOR ARGUMENT'S SAKE, let's say I have photos of Halle Berry & Christie Brinkley. And I'm a 97 year old man living in Bali. Now what?
Indeed. Now what. I left it alone for a little while but it was always in the back of my mind. Now what? It's not in my nature to let other people get the last word, esp when they piss me off. And Heidi had pissed me off. I hadn't given her a dime, but I knew she was a liar and I hated seeing people I "knew" being sucked in by her. And I hated that she got the last word, lol.
When the Woman's World cover came out, she had made the big time. A liar and a fraud, she had managed to get her diet put on the tables of millions of desperate women worldwide, and so many people responded that it crashed her servers and made her a millionaire practically overnight. All of this for a woman who never once showed herself or proven her claims of losing the weight herself, a woman who blatantly put up fake Success Story photos on her website and told inconsistent stories about herself and her own life. But people were flocking to her website and paying her money that some of of them couldn't afford, paying her for her secrets. Secrets that were all lies.
When her former business partner and her husband hired a private detective to finally uncover the truth about Heidi and her diet, I thought I was going to literally pee my pants when the photos came out. It was everything we already suspected, and more. Not only was she herself morbidly obese at well over 300 pounds, but from the information gathered, she was bald, had never lost any weight at all, and has a history of being a convicted con artist and crook and abusive mother. This of a woman who regularly took up collections for non-existent foster children, couldn't even take care of her own child, much less those given to her by the state.
The picture wasn't pretty. Literally. It was pretty damn ugly. But I'm glad its finally coming out and there's a virtual army of people out there uncovering the truth. Finally! And its a beautiful thing because it was getting more and more difficult to warn people away from it. They had seen the magazine cover and read the stories of people losing 15 pounds in 3 days, and they wanted that kind of success. Never mind that common sense tells us that kind of weight loss is unhealthy, unattainable for most, and impossible to maintain long term. Never mind that we've been taught our entire lives that the best weight loss program is one that combines exercise, water, and a healthy relationship with food, not one that calls for severe restriction of calories, does not promote exercise and encourages laxative use and diet soda in place of water. People wanted the kind of success that Heidi lied and said she had found and maintained for five years. People want fast and they want easy. That's what Kimkins promised but couldn't deliver. Yeah, some of them got fast weight loss, but if you read the stories of the survivors, you see the price they paid for that temporary high. If you read the blogs of Kimkins' former top officers and real Success Stories, like Christin, Deni, and Becky, you see that while they may have lost weight, they were sucked into a web of deceit and dishonesty, and even fraud, and they ended up virtually running for the door as fast as they could. What does that tell you, when not one but several of the biggest, most publicly visible spokespeople for a company run for the hills?
There is so much wonderful information out there right now about this whole debaucle, that I won't even go into the details. Go to any of the links above and you'll find out all you need to know to stay away from Kimmer, Kimkins, Heidi Diaz, or whatever she's calling herself these days. Just follow one link after another and you'll be confronted with more material than the screenplay for Heroes. The evidence is overwhelming, but the sad part is that there are still people that support her. There are still people that believe her and are committed to helping her fight back. And its really funny because with all of the facts at hand, Heidi is most likely planning her escape to Mexico for real. Out of all of the crimes she's pulled off in the past, this is the most lucrative and ripped off the most people, so it won't just be a little local case where she can pay a fine and do some community service and keep it mobile. She's going to pay dearly for this one. There's a lot of people in line for a piece of her sizeable ass. And at this point, "my bad" just won't cut it.
I sent my message board buddy a note with a few of the links to the so-called "antiKimkins" sites growing across the internet. I haven't heard back from her yet so I hope she's not so fully indoctrinated into the "Kimpire" that she can't find her way back. I don't think any of them will really be able to break free of their leader until she is taken out of "power" and the spell is broken.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
"Anyone want to do Kimkins with me?"