"You're going to kill yourself." People tell me that every day. Why? Because I've got a nasty heroin problem? Because I get loaded after work and drive the wrong direction down the freeway for kicks? No, the reason everyone thinks I'm committing slow suicide is because I eat so much meat.

Yeah, so I've been on the Atkins Diet. The one that, according to a recent and highly publicized panel of diet gurus and the USDA, is supposed to kill you by clogging your arteries and turning your intestinal tract into a fetid shop of horrors. (Excuse me, but whoever thought of the intestines as anything but?) Cosmopolitan even went so far as to write an exposé on how eating too much meat will turn off your man in the sack. They ran it right next to an article about how to give a better blowjob.

Aside from a little Pilates, which can be done lying down, I hate exercising. However, one must keep one's figure in check. That's why I eat a shitload of meat. When I first heard about the Atkins diet, it seemed too good to be true. Nothing but meat, cheese, eggs, and cream all day, as much as I want, and only the tiniest bit of vegetables -- which is great for me, because I pretty much hate vegetables. I was a vegetarian for 18 years. Don't think that didn't suck.

The diet says you can eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, steaks for lunch and dinner, and cheese and cold bacon for snacks. And only one small salad is required each day. The concept is that by restricting carbohydrates, you produce less insulin, freeing your body to burn its fat reserves for energy. It makes sense to me -- I believe the ridiculously carbohydrate-laden pyramid system promoted by the U.S. Department of Health is what's making Americans so fat. I bring London broil or pot roast to work and nuke it for lunch. I order hot dogs at bars and throw away the bun. I'm eating more in one day than I ever did before, and I'm losing weight like crazy. Thirty pounds in five months. And I'm eating all the fucking bacon I want.

That's not to say there aren't any drawbacks to this meat mania. For one, I'm totally dying of embarrassment every time I go to the grocery store. At any given time at the QFC on Broadway and Pike, there's guaranteed to be 10 people you know shopping there, and it's not a place you want to be seen loading up your cart with steaks, pork loin, and bacon, let alone fried pork rinds, which is the closest thing to crunchy chips I can have on the meat diet. (Pork Rind Nachos are comprised of lean hamburger meat, shredded cheese, and sour cream layered over a plate of pork rinds. It's disgusting, I know, but not bad once you get over it.) Still, buying crinkling bags of trashy fried pork skin is a mortifying experience. People with Preparation H in their carts look at me with disdain.

Then there's the whole toothpick thing. I never understood why people thrust them into their mouths and immediately begin digging for gold after finishing a meal. Now I've become painfully aware that it's because meat sticks in your teeth; so now, like everybody else, I'm digging too. Gross.

And then there are the legions of dissenters. "Your cholesterol levels will skyrocket!" "You'll get colon cancer!" Whatever. My cholesterol is lower than it was two years ago, I'm stronger than I was 10 years ago, and I weigh a shitload less than I did in October.

So fuck y'all; I'm sticking with my meat. I get a perverse joy out of telling people I'm going to Ruth's Chris for dinner, because I know damn well they wish they were going too. Hey Cosmo, with your blowjob tips -- you want to talk about lust? How about writing one of your little hot guy pieces on butchers? I've begun to find those well-muscled meat choppers attractive and sexy, and not just because they give me a fix. Butcher-shop butchers -- the kind who cut the meat just for you and then wrap it up in crisp white paper, tape it, and hand it lovingly over the counter -- are a dying breed. They're strong, skilled, and give you the best cooking tips. Men hand that craft down through the family. They're the ultimate providers, and that -- in addition to my frequent need for meat -- makes the butcher very appealing.

One last thing. My tits are growing, and I'm convinced it's because of the hormones they shoot those poor animals with before I eat them. All the better to entice the butcher, I say.