But except for my jockey grandfather, most of the men in the family run between 200 and 220. I let myself get up to 275, and 13 years ago today it caught up with me.

I was feeling really rough, my heart rate was so high I could not count it, so I stopped by the local doc in a box. The Doc spent all of thirty seconds on me and told me not to let my shirt tail hit my butt on the way across the street to the local big box hospital. It was the only time in my life I had orderlies waiting to put me in a wheelchair when I got to the door!

So I got to spend the next week losing thirty pounds of excess fluid – getting a double ride on the defibrillator – and learning just how little there is on a hospital’s TV.

I left the horsepistol at 245, cholesterol at 260, with strict orders to go on a diet. To make a long story short, I tried the diet the doc gave me – and gained weight. I tried the diets in the medically approved diet books – and gained weight.

Finally, taking some good advice from a doctor (Ssst, Ex, don’t let anyone know I told you this but the Atkins diet works) I did try the Atkins diet. NO carbs, lots of protein and fats. And it’s boring as all heck. But it works. And a lot of things, like gallstones and salivary calculi, quit bothering me as well. Even the plantar wart went away.

I was down to 198, with a 32 inch waist and a 190 cholesterol number when Katrina hit. A month of cold meals and six months of stress played hob with my waistline, and I’m back to 215. Down from 222. And yep, I’m back on meat, cheese, buttermilk, and all those other foods that all the “experts” say are bad for you. Oh, I cheat. I have a piece of pie every Sunday!

My gallstones have quit bothering me – and I’m beginning to feel better. I sleep better as well. It’s not diet related but the last three weeks have been hectic enough to put me off my diet. But I’m still sticking and losing. I intend to keep on keeping on until I look more like an hourglass than a potato again.

I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV. So don’t go running to a lawyer if a high protein diet bores you stiff. But the protein diet works for me, and it works for a lot of people I know. Including a certain cardiologist I have to see once a year. The aftereffects of the high carb diet I quit in 1996.

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