Monday, March 7, 2011

Message from a weight-Loss website Coach

I found this in an e-mail sent to me just yesterday.  I find it troubling for a couple of reasons.  First, I didn't think I was giving any advice to anyone.  I quote studies, tell people what has worked for me and encourage them to read some of the diet doctors like the Drs. Eades, Schwarzbein, and Rosedale.
Secondly, I find it troubling that they believe that it is alright for me to have a different opinion, but as soon as I voice it, it is seen as a danger.  I didn't find anything all that dangerous in my statement.  It was pretty much just information obtained from the Ellenberg & Rifkin Diabetes Mellitus book.  In the book, the writers project an increase in the need for insulin injections, due to a variety of types of failures in disease management and current treatment options for Type 2 diabetes.
I think the real danger here is that one or two people got their feathers ruffled when their authority was called into question.  Then they decided to squelch dissent by threatening to cut off access to their site.
I took the sentence off my post, and will continue to self-censor on their site.  So here's the only diet advice I'll give to diabetics.  Read all you can read, from lots of different places.  Pay attention to the data as much as you pay attention to the experts.

Here's the letter:

I've seen some of your recent posts regarding a low carb diet. I understand that you subscribe to a different way of eating than our program recommends, and that's fine. But when you start to contradict the advice of our dietitian (in one thread in particiular related to diabetes, you said "[dangerous statement redacted]") that can become dangerous. We give advice that is based on proven research. Like I said, it's fine if you don't agree with it and want to share your own experiences. But when your posts start to come across as fact and challenge our experts, that's when we have to intervene. I have to ask that you stop posting like this if you'd like to continue posting on our site. Please let me know if you have questions about it. 

Thanks in advance for your cooperation, 

Jen "


  1. Seriously? As if their advice is healthy @@

  2. I also disagree with a lot of what the so called "experts" have to say on Sparkpeople!
    It's very hard at times for me to keep my opinions to myself (and sometimes I don't)
    I feel bad for the new people that join the site that have no clue about losing weight...The "experts" will tell them that it can take up to 6-8 weeks before they see a loss-huh?? Are you kidding me? That statement alone would discourage me straight to a box of cookies! But, I know better. I know how to lose weight...because I've done it sooo many times.
    I don't do low carb as in Atkins, but I do very, very low carb.
    Low carb, low calorie (1,100-1,200)works for me every time, but the "experts" have people so convinced that they will go into starvation mode, that they stay at the 2,000 cals a day and then wonder why they haven't lost a pound...
    Don't get me wrtong, I love spark, but those experts really drive me crazy!!!

  3. I love it too, but mainly for the social aspects, not the diet.

  4. Gotta love the power grab.....Is such an effecient way to develop respect in one's underlings.

  5. Wait, I thought YOU were one of the experts on the site! Aren't you a featured monthly blogger or something? Interesting.

    I've found some of the nutritional advice to be contradictory at times, but I chalked it up to (me) not paying close attention. Perhaps there's more to it than that... I'll be reading more of your posts over here.

  6. Ha ha! I was a regular blogger over there, but never a guest blogger, just on my personal page. I did get a popular blog post award for my anniversary post, and my page was frequently featured for my community involvement. OTOH, Dr. Birdie has started posting as a guest blogger, and is the official non-dietitian nutritional expert. I think that is one reason why they had to scare off the other birdies. I am not a doctor, I am a medical researcher, but like Dr. Birdie, I also lost alot of weight.

  7. Since the "dangerous statement" has been redacted, I cannot comment on it, but I do know that in my case, I had impaired fasting glucose & seemed to be on my way to become diabetic (I weighed 342 lbs. in December 2011), and now my fasting glucose readings are remarkably low from switching to Very Low Carb. And I hope that if I can get into ketosis, I will lose about 150 more pounds.

    I had never heard of Dr. Birdie until I read your comment here. I will be reading up about her. Thanks.

  8. It doesn't look like Dr. Birdie is active anymore. She hasn't had a blogpost for awhile either. Of course, yours-truly-Birdy has been completely redacted.

  9. Johanne, congrats on your success!!!!!!!!

  10. LOL Yeah! Your own username too was Birdy! I have seen a few of your low-profile comments under your other username over there. My username is fleur_de_lune. We have mutual friends. I want to learn about leptin, so I will be reading what you have on this blog, and the materials from the team which you leaded (or is it lead? English is not my mother tongue. lol)

  11. fleur de Loon???? What a wonderful name!

  12. lol Lune means moon in French. The English name moonflower was already taken. I later discovered that in French, fleur de lune is a common name for the plant called peace lily (spathiphyllum)-- and that in English, moonflower refers to several night-blooming plants. I see from googling that your own username is a giant prehistoric bird. Have a lovely weekend. Still eating tuna?

  13. The tuna has gone along, but there was a sale on salmon, so life is still good.