Go indeed, Sandy! I am doing pretty much he same thing, and the first week lost seven pounds without ever being hungry. I am currently at my lowest weight in about ten years. Atkins does not ban vegetables, and the very strict part is only for two weeks. Then you add carbs back in a bit at a time till you see where you will stop losing weight. I got sick, decided I needed some treats, and ate whatever carbs I wanted, including a candy bar, for one day. I gained back three of the seven pounds I had lost the week before, and it took another week to get rid of them again, after re-developing a taste for sugar.
There is a table of how many carbs people with different sorts of metabolisms can eat in the Atkins book. Those who exercise regularly (defined as 45 minutes of vigorous exercise five days a week) can eat more than twice as many as everyone else.
We're none of us going to live forever, but hauling around extra pounds is not going to extend your life. I have not been able to lose any significant amount of weight for 20 years by following my doctor's high-carb, low-fat advice. It was lose two pounds a week, and gain'em back on the weekend. Never any progress. I figure if I knock off the 20 pounds my doctor has suggested and find my maintenance level of carbs, I will be able to have a treat every now and then. And I really like beer.
There was recently an article in our local paper about high-fructose corn syrup and how it is almost every processed food, and how American obesity dates from the time it came into major usage. There is also a book on the subject which I forget the name of, but the subtitle is, "How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World."