You think you're a good person. You abide by the rules you set for yourself. You walk the straight and narrow. You are kind to strangers. Maybe you even floss.
But the true test is what you do when tempted. When given the opportunity, do you stray from that straight-and-narrow path you usually trod? Or do you stick to your guns thanks, but no thanks and give not into temptation?
A straight-away path with no roadblocks is easy to walk; it's when the path branches off that you can get into trouble. It's when the chance to err is presented that you are really tested.
Of course, I'm talking about cheesecake. Not the kind that has dalliances with Tiger, but the kind that seduces your stomach. And I'm talking about brownies. And big, greasy cheeseburgers with fries smothered in chili. And chocolate chip cookies the size of a baby's head.
Can you guess who's on a diet?
It's not until you make a vow to lose weight that you totally appreciate the way food affects our lives. For many, it is life.
Let's meet for lunch. You should come over for a cookout. We could catch up over drinks. How about a Starbucks? I'll bring the doughnuts. Can't wait for the family dinner. Have you tried that new restaurant? Wait until you taste this new dessert recipe.
Dieting and eating healthy, for that matter is tough enough in a vacuum. But if you get all the sweets out of the house, load up on stuff that's good for you and stay in your safe zone, you've got a chance.
However, unless you're a jobless hermit, that safety zone is only temporary housing. On a daily basis, you have to walk down a path that has multiple branches, all seeming to lead to a fast food chain or snack machine. And junk food is a tasty temptress.
It's easy to eat your low-carb, low-taste meal in the privacy of your own home with nothing else to eat save for the lower-carb and lower-tasting meals pushed to the back of the pantry. But it's different when the rest of the people at your meeting are eating pizza. Or a dozen doughnuts are set out for breakfast in the breakroom. Or the lunch crew opts for that really good Mexican place with endless chips and salsa.
That is the moment of truth. Your chance to stay or stray. Your time to walk the straight path and eat the yogurt or to branch off for spaghetti and Italian ice. Your chance to stand strong or sit down at the buffet table.
So, what is it? Can you handle the temptation? Are you good or not?
To that I say: Let he without sin eat the first roll.
E-mail Todd Cline at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Wednesdays.