Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Change Awaits

AM oat bran
Gasp! Are you seeing what I'm seeing? If you're seeing a food photo on this self-described food blog, then the answer is yes!

If you subscribed to Kitchen Courage for yummy, healthy recipes and opportunities to stare at amateur food photography, I owe you an apology. The blog has been glaringly empty of food-related posts for a long, long time (excepting the submissions from some of the lovely recent guest posters). Instead, my posts have focused on:
So, really, I've been writing about nearly all aspects of my life . . . except food.

That raises the question -- why? Why haven't I been writing about food? It's not that I haven't been eating, or haven't been eating well. This morning's oat bran (pictured above) was delicious and cozily autumnal, full of pumpkin, warm banana, raisins, spices, and thick yogurt. And just this weekend the Best Husband Ever enjoyed a trip to one of our favorite restaurants, and I didn't even think to bring my camera so I could blog about it later.

Why not? Because food just isn't as important to me any more. I've already shared some of my realization of how I use food to avoid feeling emotions, or as "treatment" for negative emotions, boredom, depression, and all around feelings of hopelessness. Since then, I've noticed how my mind immediately turns to food when I find myself in an uncomfortable situation.

For example, this weekend I went to the women's retreat my church sponsored. Outside of God whispering past all my self-erected barriers, urging me to go, I don't really know why I went. I certainly didn't want to, and wasn't planning on it. I hadn't even been attending church for the majority of the summer. But a few loving emails and a call from a couple of women at the church and suddenly I found myself an hour north of here, shacking up with twenty other women. What's more, I carpooled with one of the other participants, and so didn't have my own car at the camp with me.

The first night of the retreat, I wanted the get the heck out of there and, if I'd had my car, I might have. During a time of free-form socializing, I found myself thinking of all the ways I could binge on food if I was alone. Thankfully, I couldn't. For better or worse, I was stuck at the lakeside retreat center.

The next day (Saturday), my pushing-people-away tendencies were curiously missing in action, and suddenly I found myself lovingly supported by the community of women I was staying with.

On Sunday, something in me completely broke and I found myself sobbing in the arms of a dear friend, one of the many church friends that I tried to push away but -- thankfully, due to their caring -- could not.

Now, I feel . . . okay. It's easier for me to recognize what's happening beneath the surface (i.e., that I'm feeling something) when I want to turn to binging or over-exercising or starving myself. I can't say that everyone would see this weekend's retreat as a miraculous quick-fix of my disordered thinking . . . but it certainly was (and is) miraculous to me.

All that to say . . . my focus has changed. Food isn't the center of my life anymore (thank God!). And I don't feel like "Kitchen Courage" is the right name for this blog any longer. As delightfully alliterative as it is, it doesn't describe where I'm at in life. Something more accurate might be "Work in Progress," but that domain is sadly already taken. But maybe having my own domain just doesn't matter, and I could use that title on a blog hosting site like Wordpress. What does matter is that I'd like to focus more on blogging about my faith, my dreams and day-to-day living and writing, the challenge and blessing that is marriage, canine antics, and time spent in the hoop.

What do you think, wonderful readers? Does it matter to you whether a blog you read has its own domain as opposed to a .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com tag? As for a new name, I'll leave you with a [rather lengthy] poll because it's been far too long! (Click through to the site if you're viewing this in a reader and can't see the poll. Also, feel free to choose more than one option.)


  1. You could always keep kitchencourage.com and just change the title! I can't decide which title I like best though - maybe "girl meets world" or "the balanced spirit"

  2. I really like Alive in Life, although I haven't been following you for very long yet to really know what your journey has been like. I will say though that I don't care if a blog has its own domain or not. :) I still read either way.

  3. blametheweathermanOctober 12, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Your oatmeal looks AMAZING. Seriously, amazing. I wish I had half the culinary skill it would take to think to whip that together, or to go "this recipe looks fun" & do it. alas. I'll just look at your pictures & dream ;)btw - I like Life in Progress.

  4. What about something similar like "life courage"? It'd be neat if you kept "courage" in your title some how. "Courage Porridge"? ~ food related, but "porridge" refers to a mash up of...things.On the blogspot vs wordpress... I personally don't think it matters. Content, baby, is what it all comes down to. "Courage, baby." Heehee.

  5. Freely Alive is my vote. Beth I'm so humbled by your honesty here. Keep it up.

  6. I found your blog a while ago because of your bento content. I've been a bento-er for many years. When I started reading your blog you had very little new bento content but I still kept reading. I enjoyed your honesty and courage and spirituality. I quickly found that we had much in common regarding disordered eating, spirituality and emotional and physical issues. I like your writing style and I like you, at least what I know about you from your posts. I guess what I'm trying to say is I came for bento and food and I stay for your personality and positivity. I read because I like your content...no matter the subject.


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King