>Sweetener packets in progressphoto © 2009 Becky Stern | more info (via: Wylio)

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ve lost some weight this year. Because I like chocolate too much to give it up entirely, I switched to the sugar-free variety–some of it quite tasty!

The thing about sugar-free chocolates, and indeed sugar-free candies in general, is that they usually contain sugar alcohols (some among these are: maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol). These are sweeteners that can’t be metabolized by the body, thus passing out into the draught.

Thing is, there’s usually a warning on the labels of these products, which says “Overconsumption can have a laxative effect.” Well, yesterday my family took me to the movies for Father’s Day, and I–due to overconsumption–experienced this effect for perhaps the first time.

And like John’s scroll in Revelation, what was initially sweet to the taste, was bitter in the belly. Very bitter.

I think sin is often like this: in our limited understanding, what seems sweet at the time, invariably turns bitter in the end. Oh, sure, we often see the wicked prosper–but that’s only for this life. There’s literally Hell to pay afterwards.

Hebrews 11:25 tells us that Moses rejected the “fleeting pleasures of sin” (to join in solidarity with God’s people). The corollary being that there is indeed pleasure in sin–but only for a season. Is that fleeting pleasure worth the steep price?

Where have you, like me and my candy, indulged in something that seemed well and good at the time, but paid the price later? Share in the comments.

>Weight loss patches do not actually workphoto © 2011 Jodiepedia | more info (via: Wylio)

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you might be aware that I’ve–like so many folks–been waging a war this year with the dreaded “battle of the bulge.” I don’t mean the famous World War I action, of course; I mean my bulging middle.

As a man, whether he wishes, or no, firmly in his middle years, the old metabolism just ain’t what it used to be. I mean, used to be I could set to on whatever I wanted without guilt, or worries. I didn’t gain–or lose. Like a ship on course it was steady as she goes.

That all changed when life got busy with: family commitments, children, career, aging, indolence. I became less active. And as we all know, in life there is no standing still; rather, there is either progression, or regression. I paid for my inactivity by joining a rather august, yet altogether too common, order: The Order of the Ever-Expanding Girth.

The weight came on in dribs and drabs, and over the course of twenty years, I found myself sixty pounds heavier. That’s right: I went from 5’11” and 165 when my wife and I married to (perhaps a tad shorter) 225 earlier this year.

In about February of this year, I decided to do something about the seemingly inevitable profession of pounds by embarking not on a diet, but rather on a lifestyle change. I decided to eliminate all white flours, sugar, and any otherwise excess carbohydrates (*cough Mountain Dew cough*) from my diet. Oh, I still eat some fruits–apples, oranges, melons, a little pineapple–and all the green veggies, and meat, I want.

And you know what? The guy who’s never really been disciplined about anything in, well, just about his whole life, is now actually experiencing the benefits of self-discipline. As of this morning, the scale tells me that I weigh in at 186–down nearly forty pounds since February!

Would you like to know the secret to my diet? Well…

Like the the Dragon Scroll in the first Kung Fu Panda film, there’s no secret to this weight loss–other than discipline and exercise. Like writing, blogging, painting, dieting, walking with the Lord, anything–the only secret to the desired results is putting in the work. I know-it sounds so unromantic, right? But there are no shortcuts.

I can promise you this: self-discipline in one area of life reaps dividends in others. And you can take that to the bank.

Where have you seen the benefits of self-discipline spill over into other, seemingly separate, areas of your life?

No Post Today

randomlychad  —  June 17, 2011 — 3 Comments

>Today, my family and I are driving back from vacation. We enjoyed beautiful Sedona, Arizona, passed through Jerome, and stopped in Prescott for lunch.

Regular posting will resume Monday.

Blessings,

Chad

>

I don’t know about you, and wouldn’t presume to speak for you, but as a blogger by the time Friday rolls around, I’m tired.

My tank is trending towards empty.

It’s not that I’m out of ideas–it’s simply that I’m too spent to execute on them. So back into the well they go to await the new week.

I don’t know about your workflow, but I find it works best for me to take weekends off to rest, reflect, recharge.

Which is why I say that some creative blocks simply aren’t; sometimes you’re just tired, and need to take time away from the keyboard. Get out, look at the sky, read a book, take a nap, or just play.

Unlike at the gas station, where it is frowned upon, your creative soul functions best when it is topped-off. And higher than the highest octane fuel is just some simple downtime.

I say this in all seriousness: downtime is the best creative Ex-Lax I know. Clears the logjams, lubes the gears, gets one’s mental motility back on rhythm.

In conclusion, don’t feel guilty (trust me: guilt is one of greatest ways to get oneself well and truly blocked) when you feel the need to take time away; in fact, give yourself permission to do just that. Take a break.

You’ll thank me. Now, time for some pinochle. ;-)

This post is part of a synchroblog on creative blocks, which you can read about on Thoughts About Nothing.

>Words With Friendsphoto © 2010 Rex Sorgatz | more info (via: Wylio)

If you’re at all like me, you’ve played the monstrously addicting iOS
game, Words With Friends. For the uninitiated, Words with
Friends (hereinafter WwF–not to be confused with wrasslin’) is an
electronic online Scrabble-type game, which can be played with
friends, family, and frenemies far and wide.

If you’re like me, you’ve also gotten your spouse hooked on said game
(won’t boast at all about how many times I’ve beaten her–that
wouldn’t be proper). Who in turn turned you on to some “really hard
players.”

If you’re like me, and you love words like I do, you’re holding your
own against these “really hard players.” Surging ahead, even.

Except for today, when you found yourself down by forty points. You
had the letters. You had the motive, means, and opportunity.

You were sore tempted. You even arranged the tiles on the game board,
saw the letters there forming the word. You tabulated the score…

But you couldn’t do it. You couldn’t pull the trigger on “Submit,” hit
“Cancel” instead. You recalled your tiles.

Even though it would’ve tied you up, you couldn’t play the “c-word.”
Something in you rebelled, and you played the much safer “coot.”

Congratulations, my friend! You have just–like Jesus did in the
wilderness–beaten your first Word (Temptation) with Friends (or,
WTwF). You are a model of Internet citizenship.

Years from now, children will be told the tale of your character and
valor on the field of play. In fact, God in Heaven is rejoicing over
your wise choice, and will likely honor you with a victory.

Ridiculous, right?

But isn’t it the truth? Don’t we altogether too often take our games
this seriously?

What do you think? (Please prove your gallantry by not cussing me out
in the comments, ok?).