Yes that photo is me at age 11. Everyone else in that 1954 photo is my age. I'm the large fellow in the back looming over my classmates at Flat Gap Elementary School in Johnson Country, Kentucky. I was a big fellow.

No one else in my family is very large. My mom's father was about 5'6" and my Father's family was normal size.What happened to me? The theory is that when I had my tonsils removed at age 5, the ether used as an anesthetic messed with my pituitary gland and sent me into blimp city. When I started 5th grade I was 6'2" and weighed way over 200. I remember our very kind 5th grade teacher  let me sit at a library table off to the side of the classroom.

Finally when I started high school, my mom who worked at a clinic in Paintsville,Kentucky, tacked a 3 X 5 index card by the kitchen/dining room door. It was the "DON'T EAT ANYTHING WHITE DIET". The directions said -- eat anything (and as much as you want) that is NOT on this list. There were a few exceptions but the general rule held pretty good.

These were the items I could NOT eat:

1. Sugar or anything that had sugar in it. This included soft drinks

2. Flour or anything that had been made from flour' (like bread)

3. Milk or any dairy products (I was allowed a glass of skim milk with meals but NO ice cream or whole milk) No butter, no cheese.

4. Mayonnaise

5. Potatoes

These are the foods that I could eat AS MUCH OF as I wished:

1. Meat of any kind. bacon, hamburger, chicken, fish, liver (ugh) ham and steak

2. Vegetables of any kind (except potatoes which are white), I could eat as much as I wanted of beans, tomatoes, celery, green beans, lettuce, apples, oranges, pears, grapefruit, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, turnips, onions, bananas (they're white inside but yellow outside so OK), corn and popcorn (my favorite snack).

3. Eggs - I know the outside is white but when they're scrambled they're yellow. We always bought the good old country eggs that were brown outside anyway. Hard boiled eggs were excellent although I couldn't use much salt since it was white. Just a smidgen. Or maybe a scosh. OK-a pinch every now and then.

So over the Summer of 1957 I dieted for about three months from the list and lost 30 pounds. I was able to keep my loss through high school.


Here I am all decked out in a rented tux after the diet.  I'm headed for the Paintsville High School junior prom and going to Chick's Drive In for a couple of cheeseburgers as a special celebration.

I realize now that this diet is similar to the Atkins diet in some ways. It is lower in carbs  like Atkins but it does allow fruits and veggies. All I can tell you is it worked great for me and allowed snacking on fruits, boiled eggs and popcorn. I did the diet during the summer when all the country vegetables were available. I had success. It was easy to remember:      If the food is white-it's not right

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