It's hot. It's damn hot. It's hotter than a half-fucked fox in a forest fire, and I'm way too fat for it. You see, for the last couple years, my combination of diet and "exercise" has lead to a combination of my waist and inflated fat cells. And if you've ever seen fat cells on TV, you know they cause unsightly bulging and skin puckering, making a perfectly attractive person look like a Kielbasa And I for one want nothing to do with them.

I could lie and say all I want is to get back in shape. Being a complete butterball, I feel like shit, and can hardly remember when I ate well, exercised regularly, and felt good. But health and well being are secondary to the more important issue: being GOOD-LOOKING. It's all about hot and sexy, not hot and sweaty. To this end, I've tried many different diets, and, obviously, none of them worked. However, I think I've found the solution. But first--the failures!

First, I tried "the journal." Everything I ate, I recorded. This actually prevented me from eating really gross stuff because I was too embarrassed to write it down. For about three weeks this diet was very effective, but you know what? Writing down all that shit is a pain in the ass, and the moment I stopped writing, I stopped dieting.

Next, I tried Nicole Kidman's 10-day instant weight loss diet, which I read about in US magazine. This diet allows you to eat anything you want for 10 days as long as it's not food. I combined this effort with dieter solidarity ("Let's drink meals together--we'll all support each other!). I lasted about four days, which was two days longer than everybody else.

The last popular diet I tried was a Weight Watchers-style calorie counting diet. My discovery: The only reason this type of diet works is because YOU GIVE SOMEONE A PILE OF CASH to watch your weight for you. Left to their own devices, normal humans cannot regulate themselves (one slice of toast, a half cup of cottage cheese), as I already learned from trying the journal method.

After trying these diets and some of my own ("No more sweets!" "No more eating after 11 pm!"--aka "The Exclamation Mark Diets"), I did some stocktaking. First, I was fatter. Second, I was fatter because every time I started a new diet, here's what would happen--"Okay, I'm going to start my new diet on Sunday. CRAP! That means I won't be able to eat candy bars! (Gobbling candy bars.) What? No pizza? I guess I'll have a third slice" Then, once I quit the diet I was on, I would gorge myself on sweets and pizza. This resulted in eating EVEN MORE of the foods I was supposed to be cutting out.

So what's the answer? While ruminating on the cost/benefit analysis of bulimia vs. accepting my new body

1, I came across an article in the New York Times Magazine about our old friend, Dr. "all-protein-all-the-time" Atkins. His theories were the impetus for those crazy diets a couple years ago, where people would go to McDonald's and order "a cheeseburger with everything, hold the bun?" As it turns out, Dr. Atkins may have had it right all along.

In the late '70s, the USDA devised a nationwide nutritional plan to combat heart disease, which called for a huge reduction in fat intake, and a large daily dose of carbohydrates. The results? It turns out that heart disease has remained at EXACTLY THE SAME LEVELS, and obesity and Type II diabetes have skyrocketed. In fact, Type II diabetes is now so prevalent in teenagers, that they had to stop calling it "adult-onset diabetes." Suspicious--oui, or non? OUI!

Funny thing is, Dr. Atkins told us all along this carbohydrates crap was bullshit. His plan for weight loss is not surprising. The main thing you need to do--and I am sorry to tell you this--is EXERCISE. Start small and work up to a routine of at least four days of 30-minute cardiovascular workouts per week. Then replace carbohydrates (aka bread, pasta, potatoes, candy bars, soft drinks, beer, Gatorade, etc.) with proteins and FATS. Because actually, fat ain't so bad. It raises LDLs (bad cholesterol), but ALSO raises HDLs (good cholesterol). It's an improper ratio of LDLs to HDLs, which seems to cause heart disease, and if both are raised equally, there's no problem! Furthermore, with more protein and fats, you feel fuller longer. It turns out that people on the Atkins diet end up eating fewer calories because they simply aren't as hungry!

But enough. Rather than scaring you into thinking I'm starting an all-meat cult, you should figure out your own exercise and eating plan. But it's also time to make a decision: Will you be happier busting your ass to be thin, or busting the ass-seams out of your pants?

1 I need to make an aside here. I know, and you should too, that some people are just naturally heavier than others. There are confirmed studies proving that some people who are totally healthy and at their peak of physical fitness also happen to be kinda chubby. Sorry, skinny freaks, but that's just the way it is. Likewise, there are people who are just naturally really, really skinny. They can't help it. All their attempts to gain weight will fail because their bodies just aren't equipped to do so. It doesn't mean they are obsessed with being thin or that they are anorexic. Sorry, fatso, but that's just the way it is.