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>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?

>     Hi, folks! I don’t normally post on weekends, but with Halloween being tomorrow, I’d like to get your take on this holiday. Is it something you celebrate with your family? Is it all in fun? Is it evil? Should we even worry about it? I mean what’s wrong with free candy, yo? Where does Jesus come down on this? (I’m of the mind that as Christians we’re to be about the business of redemption, and this can include Halloween. Call it “redeeming the time, making the most of the opportunities,” if you will).

     Also, I’d love it if you’d share your take on the absolute worst candy there is. Here’s mine: Circus Peanuts. They look like packing material and taste like sugar-sweetened styrofoam. They’re like nothing so much as candy suppositories! Insert orally for an intense alimentary response!