Archives For sweetness

>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?