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I'm moving

 Yes it's official
I'm moving to blogspot
it is a separate blog than my silly photo blog
 it's my totally no-holds barred figure out my body blog

as you can see, they're both linked above
my live journal will stay open...mostly because i like to revisit my old posts and i have friends here
may post my more scholarly stuff here as it happens
but this will be my vacation home

so it's official

My weight is back

I actually typed this entry a few minutes ago
i rambled on not knowing what to say after that first line
really not much else to say at the moment
i guess the "glitch" that erased my first entry knew I needed to focus on the first line


torn between two blogs

I'm not sure if I'll ditch my lj page
but i have started using my blogspot more often
I wonder if there is a way i can link them to one another

this one will always stay, it's my "introspective" space
but if you're curious about my day to day
or it's been eons since I've posted here
bookmark my blogspot and say hello

I'll try to remember to post a link whenever there is a cool post over there!
There's been some fun ones this week so pop over and say hello

I'm getting intuitive here
my channeler friend asked if the doctors said it was "all in my head"
some have, yes
she said she heard a bit of that too
so she's making me another tape...she's asking deeper questions 

But before she even asked that I'd been connecting some dots

Before: Comfort with Food
Now: Food brings Discomfort

Before: Physical Touch is my dominant Love Language
Now: physical touch physically hurts

Before: Very self conscious about body image and weight issues
Now: Can't stop gaining 

All of my "ways" of living in the world are being challenged...both good and bad ones
So ...some sort of metamorphosis
a deeper level of trust
a deeper display of love
a deeper sense of self

i dunno...what do you think?

on another note
something in lunch today obviously wasn't right
which is really kind of shocking because our waitress was all over the gluten thing
asked for a NEW salad when the chef started pulling off the croutons
honestly answered that they don't always keep a dedicated fryer for fries
totally understood the whole no bread thing

but 20 minutes after lunch
i got dizzy, felt every ounce of energy drop out of me and onto the air filter aisle floor at Ace Hardware
and had to sit before I fell over
I'm thinking maybe the dressing had an offensive ingredient

tonight I ate a cookie from a line of cookies that  I've eaten recently
the one I ate last week was gluten free
(and egg, dairy, casein, trans fat free yada yada)
so I assummed
should NEVER assume

but of course it wasn't until my last bite of cookie that I casually flipped over the package to read the witty story that all the alternative food companies have on their labels and there it was...first ingredient Organic Whole Wheat

it was good, but not awesome
honestly I probably should've just put it down after the first bite
but the lil b and I had smoothie and a cookie for girls night
it definitely wasn't THAT good

I (still) believe that God's healing power is working in my body right now
but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna feel like crap in the morning :( 


What's the Frequency Kenneth?

A friend of ours at church is a channeler (is that even a word?) she channels healing spirits and she spent some time with me this past Sunday...asking about my symptoms and my struggles, what the doctors have said and what they havent
She's spending some time this week in meditation for me...and going to make me a tape.

I feel as though I've been channeling Spirit lately too
Words that I would not necessarily have said have come forth
Words that I wouldn't normally have typed have been sent
not irresponsibly...totally spirit filled and just well, right
I don't mean they felt right I mean they were right, correct
the exact things that those on the receiving end needed to hear and or read
Spiritually guided solutions to problems
Definitely inspired by the spiritual and educational knowledge I've been gifted with but inspired...not taught and regurgitated

I've been thinking on the surface of my Call lately
by this I mean I've let the idea float around to the forefront of my thoughts several times over the past few months
I'm asking for more clarity and specificity
now that I'm getting ready to finish up my BA in the next 12 months, Seminary is on the way and I need to decide a direction
I need to realize whether I chose an MDiv because it's what I want or because it's what the denomination required of me (at the time...my pastor says there are changes now)
A friend of mine from my old high school in Chicago is a Lutheran Pastor in Wisconsin now
He's a year older than me
We "bumped" into each other on Facebook about 6 months ago and turns out he and his wife vacationed in Florida  a couple months ago and we all had lunch  and pints together
He asked me if I really wanted to be stuck behind a desk and all the other non-preaching non-teaching things that come along with a Pastorship. He said if he had it to do over, he would not Pastor a church...he'd go out and do REAL ministry
I dunno
My psychology professor asked me quite seriously whether or not I had considered counseling
My yoga mentor asked if I'd given thought to yoga therapist
My husband and I have discussed traveling and teaching
My sociologly professor tells me I should write books

So, we'll see
I've had the opportunity to flex some "organizational" muscle in the congregation we're in now
not forcing a hand, just sharing a gift, and it's been a good thing for me and the church but I'm not sure I'd want to wear the Pastor's shoes just so...

So it's time to think about clarity of vision
it's time to write my Student In Care letter so I can at least start looking in the right direction (even if In Care winds up not being part of the plan) I know I'm called...I totally know that through and through without a shadow of a doubt
now...called to what?

I think about it all the time, but I don't write as much as I should
I should write more because the pouring out of my soul helps me so much
I'm working on the Four Agreements right now, not just the book but actually re-applying them to my life
See, turns out I agreed with the Four Agreements before I even agreed to read them
It's funny how in agreement all the universal teachings are with the se Four Agreements
Be Impeccable with Your Word
Don't take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
then this morning while reading my book on Conflict Free Living I read...
(1 Peter 3:10 - 11 paraphrase)
Keep your tongue free from evil
Turn away from wickedness
Do right
Search for Peace
and one of my favorite pieces of art in church respresents the 8 paths in buddhism
Right View
Right Intention
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration
And so on and so on...
It gets me back to a post from forever ago
Doing what's right because it's the right thing to do
I think I do this...but it hasn't been intentional lately
I dunno, maybe that's a good thing...maybe it's become my nature rather than something I have to focus on to accomplish
but if I don't realize it...does it affect me?

I do notice God working in our lives
things I've been in conversation with God about for years are coming to fruition..in the oddest ways I could imagine but coming to fruition
it's a reminder to keep praying and trust that whether it's an immediate response or a seemingly long time coming, it's coming

In these strange times, my head feels like I should be scared or worried (about what, you name it, money, health, relationships...) but my spirit is at rest and my heart has peace.
I wonder if I truly do...since I've been struggling with Epstein Barr (at least that's what they're calling it right now), constant fatigue and chronic dull pain...so I wonder if that's a manifestation of the fear?

Then again I wonder if my current physical struggles are a new mirror in which I'm supposed to look at things in my life.
The very foods that I have turned to for comfort my whole life now cause me serious physical discomfort (we have yet to discern whether this is celiac of gluten intoloerance but it doesn't matter, if I ingest gluten, I feel miserable so diagnosis or not, I am avoiding it like the plague)
When I am so tired that I cannot physically do for myself, it makes me rely on others and rely more heavily on God...gee I'm supposed to do that anyway. I thought I did...but maybe I'm supposed to press in further. I was finally "brave" enough to pray publicly about my physical struggle...and my family conceded to attending the healing service this past weekend even though it is MUCH too slow for any of them...they recognized that it was very important to me and were there with me...I needed for others to be in agreement with me about my healing. I needed to be in the presence of others who believe in the healing energy that exists in us and in those around us. I needed to ask for help and not feel like I was asking for pity.

I need to learn how to press through no matter what but still understand the difference between that and pushing myself too far.
I need to write more
I miss it
It's good for my soul

Pavlov's Cat rang the bell



I dunno why the formatting is funny....I guess APA format doesn't translate to blog :)

Classically Conditioned Emotional Eating: Why my emotions make me hungry

For as long as I can remember, all of my emotions have been quelled or rewarded with food. If I got an “A” on a test, I got a cookie, if I stubbed my toe, I got a cookie, if my sister picked on me, I got a cookie, if I had a nightmare and couldn’t get back to sleep, I got warm milk and a cookie. I learned to use food as a self-soothing tool from a very young age. This trained emotional eating led me through some devastating cycles both physically and mentally. Through constantly reframing the way I see and deal with my emotions, I am learning to overcome this conditioning.

Classical Conditioning and Behavior

Behaviorism is a school of thought in psychology that assumes that learning occurs through interactions with the environment. Two other assumptions of this theory are that the environment shapes behavior and that taking internal mental processes such as thoughts, feelings, and emotions into consideration is useless in explaining behavior.

One of the best-known aspects of behavioral learning theory is classical conditioning. Discovered by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs through associations between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus. In my example I will show how through association, my emotions are tied to food. To understand the process of Classical Conditioning, the concepts of stimulus and response must first be understood.

An unconditioned stimulus (US) is a stimulus that naturally triggers a response and an unconditioned response (UR) is a natural response to a stimulus, such as salivating when food is in the mouth. Classical conditioning uses these naturally occurring behaviors to train new behaviors. A conditioned response (CR) is a learned behavior triggered by a previously neutral stimulus that becomes the conditioned stimulus (CS) (Myers, 2007, p.316). 

Self-Care through Food

Psychosomatic theories hold that the obese abnormally increase eating in response to emotional distress (Allison & Heskha, 1993, p. 285). I learned at a young age to associate emotional distress with increased eating. The originally neutral stimulus, an emotional response or feeling, was gradually connected with food, usually sweets in order to help me cope with the feeling. I remember vividly a day when I stubbed my toe quite badly at the age of five. I was riding my big wheel without shoes and scraped my big toe on the sidewalk. In addition to the pain I felt from the injury, I was also quite scared at the appearance of my toe and the amount of blood coming from it. My father immediately scooped me up and brought me inside where my mother proceeded to clean and dress my wound. Still a bit shaken from the experience and finding it hard to catch my breath, my father opened the cookie jar and handed me two Oreo cookies, one for each hand and told me they would make me feel better. Naturally, at the age of five, I already had an affinity for Oreo cookies (US) and the taste of the sweetness of the cookie made me smile (UR).

This type of reward system happened quite often through my elementary years. Not only would I be encouraged to be happy through food with comments like, “I don’t like to see you cry, here have a cookie and you will feel better,” but also through seeing other members of my family soothe and reward themselves with food. It wasn’t long before my use of food to soothe or reward myself was generalized across all of my feelings and this carried well into my adult life. If I was mad at my husband (CS) I would need something sweet to eat to help me calm down (CR). 


Reframing my Coping Skills

Negative affect substantially influences self-perceptions in terms of emotional eating, which is relevant for both prevention and treatment (Bekker, van der Meerendonk, & Mollerus, 2004, p. 461). Even when I rewarded a “good” feeling, such as being proud of an accomplishment, with food I had a negative self-image because of the weight I carried. In order to be healthier both physically and mentally, I had to bring the conditioning of my youth to extinction. Extinction occurs when an unconditioned stimulus does not follow a conditioned stimulus (Myers, 319) therefore I had to find other ways to cope with my feelings and ignore my desires to mindlessly munch on sweets. Realizing the end result I wanted was to feel comforted, I chose different responses such as asking for a hug, wrapping up tightly in a warm blanket or soaking in a warm bath. Sometimes I had to physically remove myself from available food or call a friend to “talk me down” from my craving to eat. Over the years I have been able to reduce the desire to turn to food when experiencing negative emotions. I still do, however, have trouble finding ways to acknowledge feelings of pride and self worth and am still working on those feelings and the responses they elicit.


Growing up classically conditioned to deal with my emotions through food put me in a depressed state mentally and physically. Through understanding how my emotional behavior is a learned behavior, I continue to work towards extinction of this behavior. I still can’t keep a bag of Oreos in the house, but I’ve definitely come a long way!


Allison, D., & Heshka, S. (1993, April). Emotion and Eating in Obesity? A Critical Analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 13(3), 289-295. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.


Balfour, L. (1997, January). Examining how avoidant coping and anger suppression relate to emotional eating in young women. Retrieved January 17, 2009, from PsycINFO database.


Bekker, M., van de Meerendonk, C., & Mollerus, J. (2004, December). Effects of Negative Mood Induction and Impulsivity on Self-Perceived Emotional Eating. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 36(4), 461-469. Retrieved January 17, 2009, from EBSCOHOST database.


Myers, D. G. (2007) General Psychology II: Applied Psychologies: PSY 202 Belhaven College (Chapter 8, pp. 313-326) New York: Worth Custom Publishing



What's your waiting strategy?

I delivered my second message this past Sunday, November 30th...First Sunday of Advent.

It's interesting to watch the playback (our church records sermons and posts them on the website) and learn my "preaching style"
I'm definitely more of a storyteller than a lecturer...I think I like that but I'm sure I'll go through lots of changes on my journey.

I'd love to hear your thoughts so comment away!