Saturday, December 1, 2007

TIPPYTOES SPILLS THE BEANS! SORT OF...

In a response to a post by Amy at Eating Low with Amy this morning (see Amy's post below Tippy's post), TippyToes coughs up her version of the truth:

"10:00 a.m. (Saturday, Dec. 1/07)
The last thing I wanted to cause was trouble here. I do not want to see members leave because I am here. So please don't go on my account. If anyone has to leave it should be me.

OK. Where to I start? This is hard knowing this is being monitored by all--Kimmer, John Teidt and the like. So try and bear with me for a moment.

When I first joined as staff at Kimkins I was very enthusiastic for being given the opportunity to turn Kimkins around. I have lost a lot of weight doing Kimkins and yes, I still have a lot of faith in the plan. I never thought it was a bad plan at all. Perhaps a little more difficult to stick with that other plans but most effective. Hence the cycle plan was introduced as this was what had worked so well for me.

I had heard the horror stories of starvation and laxitive abuse. I was determined to put a stop to all of that once and for all. But oddly, I saw very little of any of that. I did see a few people not eating enough and I PM'd them and began to work with them on that. Most listened and responed well, but again, it wasn't that many. Nothing like what I had expected to find. Kimkins members turned out to be some of the kindest and caring people I had ever seen on message boards. I grew attached to so many very quickly. The last thing I would do is put these people in harms way. I wanted to help them and I feel I was able to.

But the drama spilled over from LCF just as it is spilling over here now. Many members came in and ambushed us with very bad spamming such as Kimkins will kill you and the like. All of us admins were told by Kimmer not to put up with it and we were taught how to ban and even purge a member when necessary. I am not comfortable banning members but I have banned a few. A small few. For the most part I would send a PM and ask what was wrong and try to work it out with the unhappy member behind the scenes and without banning them. I have been insulted in PM's, had the icon tongue stuck out at me, ect. Did I ban anyone who PM'd me? No. I let it go and I let them stay.

I always worked days and rarely nights. If I came in early and saw spamming posts I would delete them hoping no one else had seen them. Of course some were really bad--cursing us, calling us killers, ect. I deleted what I could as fast as I could. If the same person came back and did it again then yes, I agreed to ban them. But keep this in mind. Every admin AND Kimmer had the ability to ban. I even saw admins leave and ban their friends first and then themselves in an attempt to "save" them from Kimkins. It was crazy. Then suddenly I became responsible for each and every banning--thanks to LCF and the gossip about me. Yet I will say I believe I banned less than anyone. I have been banned myself from LCF over an email to an admin who had part in ducky. I told her if the Ducky wasn't removed (and folks, Ducky was really bad and often untruthful and invaded personal lives with aggressive attacks) the next would be XXXXX exposed. Did I expose her personal information and dirt on her? No. Could I have? Yes. But I chose NOT to, even after being banned. Adding wrongs will never total a right. So yes, I personally know what it is like to turn the computer on and find you are locked away from your friends without warning. It feels empty and sad. And lonely. Did I want to do that to others? No. Why else would I waste my time PMing them first?

Kimmer. I always thought the internet should be a source where privacy should be respected and at the time (before proof she was Heidi Diaz) I respected her right to privacy as well. I never questioned her identity. She told me many times she was not the woman in the pics and I did not argue. It didn't really matter to me. I figured if she was that woman she was a victim of her own obesity. I knew her from LCF and I thought if she was Heidi the lies had just followed her over to Kimkins. I knew she didn't start her own website alone. I knew it was Catherine McDonald who made the suggestion and it was she who made it happen. So, knowing this and wondering if she really was Heidi, it did make sense to me that she may have just been caught up in years of lying about her weight. Maybe she was ashamed she had failed and maybe she was afraid to let down her followers. But honestly, I thought if it was her, the crime was obesity. I felt sorry for her. I know what obesity is and I know the impact it had on my own life. I could imagine the impact it would have on her running a diet site. But again, she insisted she was not that woman over and over. And again, if she was and her crime was gaining weight I decided to stand by her anyways. Watching people lose a lot of weight, reading the joy they were finding with life while doing so was far more important to me than the founder's identity or weight. The diet does work, just as it promises.

Kimmer's attorney, according to her, told her to make the charactor "Kimmer" go away. And so she agreed to stay behind the scenes. Of course she followed the boards and read posts and took part in bannings she deemed necessary to keep peace. Meanwhile members there who were happy there were being aggressivly attacked. They didn't deserve it and like Amy wants to protect her members here, we wanted them to be protected as well. From what I saw, people were not banned for no reason although some say they were. And maybe so... As I said, every admin was capable of banning and every admin made the decision alone. So who knows.

Back to Kimkins. I watched carefully and saw a beautiful thing begin to happen. People started keeping calories up, started paying more attention to the quality of foods and supplements and it all started becoming what I knew it could--safe! And it was working. People were losing just fine! Some were cycling too and loving it! I was so happy to have been able to help them. To me that was far more important than what LCF said about me. The people meant more to me than anything. They still do. And you know what? I hated to leave them more than words can say. It feels much like being banned from LCF. Except this time it was my decision. I still feel torn. I miss them so much and really, I didn't want to leave. So why did I?

We learned Christan was going to NYC and I decided to contact the producer and ask if we could show our side. He agreed. We asked if we could use members success stories and testimonies and he said send them in. We worked countless hours getting them all in--for nadda. Seems it was a set up from the start. An incident happened in hair and make up with the nutritionist and myself but more about that another time. A couple days before the show Kimmer calls me and says "This is Heidi and how do you feel about that?". I was delighted! FINALLY she was coming clean! We had already learned of the Russian Brides thru LCF work and I admit, we were ALL surprised. Now there were two crimes--obesity and Russian Brides. Considering I had seen so much Kimkins success at LCF I figured she used them to start. I really didn't know why she had not removed them as real success stories came in. But when I found out, she did admit it and I asked her to remove them and she did without hesitation. So, I didn't think it was that bad. Dumb yes. But now she was admitting her identity and all I could think of was the freedom it would give her as the truth will set you free... I thought it was the last wrong finally made right and I thought Kimkins would survive.

Kimmer said money was tight and she needed to make budget cuts. We had to lose the Fitness Guru and another admin previously. After the trip to NYC she asked me to take over a 40% paycut and I agreed.

We all know Kimmer's accounts are frozen and she can no longer pay staff at all. And we all agreed to stay on for free. Yes, money mattered but the people there mattered MORE. And so we stayed--all of us, unpaid. Kimmer told me over and over the site would be OK no matter what. She said if the site was forced to close we would open another and take all the members with us. I was confident of this and did believe her sincerity. Recently she sent me an email saying Kimkins future was now uncertain. I was taken back by that as I thought there was a back up plan. Then I began to think about people paying for a lifetime membership. I didn't feel comfortable helping draw in new customers knowing that. I pulled my link down offering allifiates free business cards. And I decided to concentrate on the existing members instead.

But recently Kimmer had a deposition with Teidt. I saw parts of it. Kimmer told me she was in danger of losing her car. She had financed it to build credit and can no longer make the payments. She couldn't buy milk on her ATM card... And so I then learn from her own deposition that she had 1.6 million in cash, spent almost half a million on a house just prior to deposition, and that she bought two cars with CASH. It was then I realized Kimmer was not really coming clean as I had hoped she would. Things really were not changing after all. And her photos on the front page... I had recruited Brian and Heather to be out there with her losing weight. I began to notice that Heather was losing a lot of weight pretty quickly and Kimmer claimed about the same loss. But suddenly Kimmer looked 100lbs less than Heather and I knew something wasn't right. It was really the final straw for me. I have asked Kimmer numerous times what Kimkins plan she was following and never received a reply. This, combined with the rest was too much for me and I decided to take a break and reflect on the situation.

I came here because I still need support. I have a problem with weight and just because I am at goal doesn't mean the battle is over. It is just beginning. And now I am thinking Kimkins is not going to survive and the members there who I love so much will also need a place for support. I was hoping we would be welcome here and decided I would test the waters first. If you don't want me here I will go away. But will you let them come and can you please give them the support they need? I think of Singinglass and a conversation we once had. We both knew there was a possibility that if we left Kimkins no other lc forum would have us. And I hear she posted at LCF thread recently and was met with hatred--just as she dreaded might happen. Delany is a nice girl. She has worked hard to lose over 100lbs but she still has more to lose. She needs support and she needs it very badly. Please don't turn her away if she comes here. She hasn't done anything wrong. She supported a diet that helped her lose weight. That's not a crime, nor is it helping a criminal. It was about helping others as her motive. It wasn't for the money--she barely was paid at all.

So there you have it. I suppose I am expected to make some sort of apology but really I am not sure what I am supposed to say. I am sorry Kimmer didn't come clean when she hads the chance. But I am not sorry I showed her members how to lose weight and keep calories from dropping below starvation levels. I am sorry if anyone was banned without cause. I am not sorry that I gave Kimmer a chance to turn her life around morally. It was the right thing to do, even if it didn't work out as I had hoped. I am sorry so many hate me. I am sorry so many hate. I am sorry so much negativity has been brought here by my presence. And I am sorry if I have made some of you feel uncomfortable with my presence here. I could have made up a name and all but I just cannot feel right about hiding who I am considering. I can go back into the woodwork if you like and I am willing, but again, please don't turn the others away who may need a place for support."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Amy's post (made @ 9:18 this morning before Tippy's post):

"Just FYI to everyone- I have sent the Jeannie a PM basically stating that while I don't have a problem with her, my members do and that I feel she owes them an apology and an explanation for the things she did while at kimkins, and if she can't at least give them that (due to legal issues or whatever) than she can't be here. I said her presence is causing too much drama on the board.

I have not banned her at this point. I'm hoping she will leave of her own accord. Perhaps in the future if things calm down and she can speak more freely about her reasonings behind the things she did while at kimkins, I would let her try to come back, but I can see this is a hot button issue for a lot of people so it's now my feeling that it's probably best if she just leave.

But let me also say this. I was really disappointed on all sides by this whole thing. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I was once a KK admin so perhaps I have a little sympathy because I know what it's like to deal with kimmer. I don't know why Tippy stayed, but I do remember how hard it was for me to quit. I cried all night. I truly cared about the people there and I felt like I was letting them down by quitting. I worried that I was abandoning them. I quit being an admin before Christen, Deni, or Becky even left so I don't even really know Tippy. I had zero interaction with her other than 1 PM asking her to take down my journal and success story which she responded she would talk to Kimmer (who of course didn't take them down til I sent a cease and desist). People have begged, pleaded, and yelled at Tippy to leave Kimkins. Now that she appears to finally have left, no one wants her. Ok I understand that. But I was trying to rise above all that.

I said it last night and I'll say it again. Having a forum is hard. You end up having to do what the group wants and not necessarily what you as a person may want because without your members, you have no board. You often end up feeling like it's not "your" board at all and that you have little to no control over this thing that you started. Because it's a public free forum, you also get outside people weighing in as well (which is totally their right), but which doesn't feel great either because if they really cared about you, they already would have been a member long ago and not just joined when the day the drama hits! (ok, not totally true as some of you have said in PMs to me, but that's just sometimes how it feels. You've all known I'm here, you seem to like my videos, yet you never joined my board until yesterday. I don't hold that against anyone. It just hurts my feelings a little! LOL.).

A big part of why I even started this forum was that when I left KK, I was unhappy with the conflict I saw on other low carb forums. Don't get me wrong - that stuff is important - I'm not knocking it. We needed a place that was doing that because it brought everything to light. But me as a person needed a calm place that was just neutral and safe where people could just focus on losing weight and not worry about what was going on in the rest of the low carb world. There have been many times where I've just said "F*** it, let's just shut the whole thing down. I don't need this. I have a full time job. Why am I doing this to myself?" But Barb (the other admin who was not a kk member so is kind of a neutral party and who usually has way more sense than me) talks me out of it. That is also the reason I am respecting you guys wishes that Tippy not be here - a calm place is still needed and I just don't think we can have that with her here right now.

I only found out that it was really Tippy a little bit before LCF found her here. She had joined the night before (not exactly hiding but not saying for sure who she was) and many people had given her the usual warm welcome. A few of us suspected it was her and she confirmed it yesterday afternoon (unprompted by me). I didn't really have a chance to take a vote to see how people felt about her being here because I knew we were about to get an onslaught of people coming here to check things out. About the time I posted my FYI, LCF was confirming she had joined here. And so it began.

I just want to explain my reasoning a bit on why I let her on in the first place. The easiest response would have been to ban her once I found out it was really her. However, I don't want to be in the position of picking and choosing who gets to be a member. Now that LCF people have joined, do I have to ban/reject them because some of you have had run-ins with them? I would hope not. Do I always love or even agree with everyone on this board all the time? No, of course not. What if Singing Lass wanted to be here? Is she somehow more acceptable than Tippy? What about other KK members who are still there? They know about the fraud yet they choose to be there? Do I accept them here when they finally leave? Do I start an invite only board so we keep the small group we've gotten used to? I would hope not because we'd miss out on some really nice people. These are just hypothetical questions to show you the can of worms I see opening when I start picking and choosing who gets to be here. I do understand that Tippy is a special case. My main thing has been just be nice and keep it drama free. I was hoping that since Tippy appeared to have left KK, people could let her start over and maybe judge her for who she is now, not who she was on KK. But I see that's not going to be the case. And do I completely trust her motives for being here? Of course not. Give me some credit, guys.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox. Let's please try to have a nice weekend."


Kudos, Amy!

PS Tippy? Your spell-checker isn't working.

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9 comments:

2BIG4MYSIZE said...

thank you for this information.
I am linking my blog Tippy Toes post to it

2BIG

Medusa said...

You're welcome, 2Big!

yust said...

Mind-boggling.

Great coverage Medusa.

yust said...

We still want to interview Tippy & SL. Anybody here knows their email address please pass along this message for us.

They can contact us at:
yust.yucky@gmail.com

Thanks & thanks to blogger extraordinaire Medusa for excellent coverage of Tippy & Amy's situation.

Anonymous said...

Amy I for one cannot stand to be anywhere around where TT posts. TT started trouble way before going to kimmers and she made hateful comments about people at lcf and I felt she just made some of us with low self esteem feel worst because we were struggling.We didn';t need to be tolfd we were fat and she wasn't. She can lose all the weight in the world,but it does not change her mean hateful and vindictive personality. Some of our members have left lcf due to her lies in her pms and I have to wonder where they are and if they are ok, It justs breaks my heart and I for one will never forgive her I lost some dear friends because of her, I think if I was in your posistion I would probably feel like you ,but you need to have known her before to understand.

Cindy Moore said...

WOW!! Today is my first day reading this blog, so I don't know you all (although I do recognize some I think), nor do I know this Tippy Toes person.

I read Amy's part before reading Tippy's response, and followed a bunch of links.


"Now there were two crimes--obesity and Russian Brides."

No, the crime is fraud. When you repeatedly claim to be somone you are not, that's fraud. When you take money from people who are under the impression that you are who you say you are, when you are not, is fraud.


"Recently she sent me an email saying Kimkins future was now uncertain."

What's that saying about rats and sinking ships?

As for ex-Kimkins members not being "welcomed" on other low carb boards? Well they sure are welcome at the ones I go to....Active Low Carber Forum, Jimmy Moore's forum and the LC teams within SparkPeople...in all cases, members are accepted regardless of what their current or past plans are.

Medusa said...

Welcome, Cindy!

Thanks so much for your great post!

Hopefully, the Kimkins empire will come crashing down very soon, and Heidi Diaz/Kimmer will be residing in the Crowbar Hotel.

~ Medusa

Sherrie said...

Thanks for sharing :)

Kat said...

Friends don't let friends do Kimkins! Remember that cover girl on the WW Mag? Well, she learned the hard way about Kimkins and it's dangers!! Read her blog and decide for yourself.

http://the-journey-on.blogspot.com/