Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Monday, September 10, 2012

Yes yes, the wedding!

Ok, so it's seriously flaky to fail to blog about one's own wedding for two whole months, but in my defence they've been pretty busy months.

Married life is treating us pretty wonderfully so far. I've started a new (and much nicer) job, and the munchkin has started his full-time schooling career. Big changes for all, but we're managing well enough.

And now I'll stop waffling and Show You The Pretty.

We expected to have pretty decent weather, given that we held our wedding in the middle of July. Unfortunately it was in fact the wettest July for a century. *sigh* Our wedding day was a little drizzly in the morning, but fined up just enough to allow outside photographs after the ceremony.

My mum arrived in Hertfordshire the day before the wedding. I hadn't seen her for more than two years and it was overwhelming and wonderful to have her there. She also kept us *just* this side of sane as various things went inevitably awry at critical moments!

On the morning of the wedding we went over to the reception venue and got it all set up with the help of Ellie's wonderful brother and sister-in-law. That all went off smoothly, and despite unexpected traffic we still got back to the house in time to meet the hairdresser. We got all dolled up and then dodged the drizzle to climb into a car with *no back doors* (yes that was quite a feat in those dresses!) and get down to the ceremony venue.

We got married at The Bury, Hemel Hempstead’s registry office:
http://www.hertsdirect.org/statweb/movingeye/hemel.html

Here we are waiting nervously in the small ceremony room before the ceremony, with my mum, the munchkin, and our flower girl:
















More waiting:























A note on my jewellery - the crystal earrings and necklace were a gift from my maternal grandfather to my mother, decades ago. She's had them in reserve for me for years, and I'd always intended to wear them on my wedding day.

We walked down the aisle (such as it was - very short as we had to come in a side door instead of the main door due to some light rain!) to "Forever" by Debra Arlyn:



The song was one Ellie found on a youtube video of a German lesbian couple's wedding, and it struck both of us as just so perfect.

The ceremony was short but sweet. We only had one reading, and it will forever make us slightly cross but resigned that the woman who read it (not our lovely celebrant in the picture, but another registry official) flubbed the last line and changed the meaning entirely. Thankfully most people heard it the right way around anyway!

“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

For anyone listening closely, there was a little gasp in the background. My lovely artist friend Sarah had, all unknowing, created a painting for us as a wedding gift... of two intertwined trees. She couldn't have chosen a more perfect subject!

Here we are moments after Ellie put my ring on my finger:
















During the signing of the register, we listened to "Flora's Secret" by Enya.  It's one of my favourite Enya songs (and Enya is one of my favourite musical entities), and I played it for Ellie pretty early on in our relationship.



The signing mockup photo (we'd already done the actual signing when facing the other way!):
















First kiss:























We processed out to "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone. This one was Ellie's idea as I wasn't familiar with it; but as soon as she played it I knew it was right. Civil marriage & partnership ceremonies cannot contain any religious messages or references, but to me (as a nature-loving pagan) this is practically a hymn.



Various set shots from the garden…


















Me and my mum :)

















One day when we were starting to think about ordering wedding rings, Ellie said "I think what I really want is a rose gold wedding ring." I'd never considered anything other than white gold, but again she was right. They are beautiful (and comfortable!) and I have only taken mine off once since the wedding day.


























Our simple but happy-making d├ęcor at the reception:
























We had home-made favours (bulk chocolates wrapped in baking foil and tied up in mesh bags, secured with a wired rose) and I printed the table numbers and labels at home, just as I did all of the other stationery.

The cake was one of the aforementioned 'awry' moments. We were planning to get our names and decals to match the stationery printed on a large sheet cake, but the cake printing machines at both local stores broke and it was too late to get to anywhere else, so we improvised. The crystal hearts were the only remnant of the original plan; they are napkin rings that were given to my paternal grandmother on her wedding day.

















Our reception was just lovely. I had set up a slideshow of images juxtaposing my childhood with Ellie's - matching first days of school, awkward high school pictures, and so forth. It made for a great conversation piece and icebreaker, as well as allowing for nostalgia on the part of our families. It was also a way to ensure that our absent fathers (in Australia on my part, deceased on Ellie's) were there with us.

A good friend of mine read out a letter from my Dad, and my two maternal uncles also sent 'telegrams' that were read by my Mum during her speech. Ellie's brother made a speech too which brought the house down. He talked about Ellie as a child: "I remember her kind of as a giant book with curly hair and little feet. She'd come running after me... 'Matt! Matt! Matt! Did you know...' and I'd just know I was going to miss Dangermouse." We laughed until we cried. It was everything a big brother's speech should be.

I made a bit of a speech too, and I think I was fairly coherent if a little rambly from nervousness. Luckily when I was running out of things to say the munchkin came up to me and said "Christine, do you know what? I can see a CAKE." and that gave me the perfect out! The munchkin later made his own speech which entertained everyone mightily and is still discussed whenever my wedding is mentioned amongst friends.

Later on the dance floor got going, and despite not having "My Sharona" in his collection (WTF?) the DJ did a stellar job. Watching my Mum get up and do some well-known party dance (a British equivalent to the Hucklebuck) with Ellie's relatives and various British friends was a highlight of the evening. We were there until the waiters gave up, switched the lights on and started clearing up!

It was a brilliant, wonderful, fantastic day and I couldn't have wished for better - not even including wishing for sunshine as I can always reflect that at least it wasn't too hot!

I am very happy that all the months of planning went off so well, that the image I had in my head came to life closely enough that I was completely satisfied. Everyone and everything was wonderful, basically.

Next up: a recap of our GLORIOUS honeymoon. Brace for a picturesplosion!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Countdown to a (Same-Sex) Wedding #3

2 Weeks to Go

Erm, well. I meant to make that a weekly thing, and then 4 weeks mysteriously evaporated. I really don't know where the time goes. Where it concerns time remaining at my current school, I'm satisfied that "away" is where it is going. The wedding, on the other hand, is racing up unimaginably fast!

Today I want to talk briefly about homophobia.

I have to be honest, I've rarely encountered vitriolic homophobia directed at me as an individual. The only incident I can think of is when a random man messaged me on facebook with one of those "I saw your profile and would love to get to know you better" spams. I - being a bit bored and reckless that day - replied indicating my reason for being disinterested. I got a very vile flame in return from this person, the contents of which I won't repeat. Suffice to say, it was not nice, but it didn't offend me because the source was already a figure of fun to my mind (as is anyone who sends similar messages to strangers).

I do see a lot of homophobia not directed at me personally. Read any comment thread on any article relating to LGBTI anything and you'll see it in plenty.

That kind of homophobia is easy to identify, and while addressing it comes up against the brick wall of insecurity, stupidity and intractability, it's at least an honest reaction. Idiots that rant about "poofters" - spare me! - or tiresomely bible-thump are at least being straight with everyone (excuse the pun).

The sort of homophobia I find truly offensive and difficult to deal with is that coming from people who are in denial about their own feelings and beliefs. The ones who start sentences with "I have lots of gay friends, but..." or "I'm not homophobic, but..." or even "I'm in favour of gay marriage, but..." and finish the sentence with a statement about the necessity of restricting gay rights in some particular area.

Sorry, but no.

If you believe that a person's sexual choices should in any way restrict their rights as a person or a citizen you are, to some degree, homophobic.

Now, I know people don't want to hear this, because the people at whom it is aimed are often nice, sensible, generally thoughtful people who would never in a million years class themselves with the "burn all the fags" brigade. And neither would I - different kettles of fish entirely. But still, uncategorically, afraid of the changes that full LGBTI equality would bring. And if you're afraid of full LGBTI equality, you're homophobic.

I've lately been sad to see this kind of homophobia coming out in a truly unexpected place: namely, the Society for Creative Anachronism, the worldwide medieval re-enactment group of which I am a member. Some people whom I previously/otherwise liked and respected have shown a homophobic side I did not expect to see, and I've found this revelation so distressing that I've left my membership fee unpaid this year and have dropped out of active society life for the time being. I've felt hurt and angry that people I looked up to or thought well of have let me down.

The issue revolves around the way in which the society selects its Kings and Princes, and their consort Queens and Princesses. This is done through 'heavy' fighting - full-speed, full-armour fighting with padded rattan swords as weapons. It's hard, fast and potentially dangerous, and while there are many female fighters, species dimorphism ensures that it's extremely rare for women to win fights at all, let alone hotly contested Crown and Coronet tourneys. It's happened literally a handful of times in the history of the society. The winner is almost invariably a male fighter, and he becomes King / Prince, with his wife/girlfriend/willing female friend as Queen / Princess. All entrants in these tourneys must be fighting for someone who will be their co-ruler - it's a requirement of entry that you are 'inspired' by someone.

Currently, SCA Society Law states that you can only be inspired by someone of the opposite gender. No exceptions. This law has been problematic for some time, and there is an ex-SCA group in the UK who split off from us over precisely this issue. Lately the problem of 'inspirational equality' has become a raging thorn in the side of the SCA both in Europe and worldwide.

This has opened the door to some seriously regrettable views being aired by people who should otherwise know MUCH better. Their objections don't stand up to criticism, and they all boil down to the same thing: 'gays are fine but I don't want them parading around in full view on my Kingdom's throne'.

The first and most easily dealt with argument is, "it's not period". Well, homosexuality was very much period, folks. And as for same-sex co-rulers, there are plenty of documented same-sex co-rulerships. While these people were often parent-child pairs or sibling pairs, some were unrelated joint rulers, and unless we have a time machine we can't say for certain what they were doing behind the scenes. I've never seen heterosexual crown couples snogging on the throne, so if having two men or two women up there really worries you then pretend they're cousins and be done with it.

Besides... we have female fighters. We have black rulers with white subjects. Almost all of us wear garb made from machine-woven commercial fabrics (some of which are even synthetic *gasp*). Machine stitching won't get you thrown out, nor will drinking cola from your charity store 70s glass goblet. We drive to site, and no one will tell you off for using a torch to make sure you don't fall in the moat after dark. Our royalty keeps court on flat-packable wooden thrones in everything from fields to ruins to 1970s scout halls. No one moans that their pastry was made from machine-ground flour, or cooked in an electric oven. We're the Society for Creative Anachronism, not the Society for Constrictive Absolutism. Same-sex rulers are far less anachronistic than swords wrapped with frickin' duct tape.

The second that usually comes out is "if we have two men or two women on the throne then the opposite sex will have no one to look up to/be encouraged to emulate.". This argument particularly pisses me off. The rulers of any particular SCA group are only up there because (almost always) the guy won a fight. Sure, that's a feat, but it's no more than that either. The pair might both be outstanding SCA practitioners, authentic to a tee, involved on every level and skilled in multiple crafts; or they might be a fighting-is-all-I-do guy and his I-only-own-one-piece-of-garb other half. The point is that, no matter how skilled or unskilled they may be, they are only up there because of one skill practised by one half of the couple. King / Prince is a meritocratic role only in the arena of fighting; and Queen / Princess is not meritocratic at all, merely luck/being the right person for the best fighter at the time.

If you're looking for a role model to emulate or someone to look up to and think "if I work really hard that could be me", the Crown is the wrong place to look (unless you're a male heavy fighter, in which case, carry on). The people on the throne, no matter how good they are at whatever multitude of skills they employ, didn't get there by virtue of the majority of them. If you're not part of a couple where the guy is a highly skilled heavy fighter, then being on the throne is completely out of your reach. So the argument that people need sexual dimorphism on the throne to inspire them to new heights of creativity and authenticity is bollocks. Our truly meritocratic awards - the peerages and other orders - are the place to look for role models. The rulers are figureheads to provide pomp and circumstance at events, not the best players we have to offer. I see no reason why two women or two men couldn't provide the pomp to all and sundry.

(The above also opens up another rather tricky arena, that of sexual equality in the SCA; that women are all but barred from participating in the meritocratic selection of rulers, due to their relative strength, is another thorn in the SCA's side. And the arguments against other forms of selection are equally specious. *sigh*).

At the end of the day, what people are really saying is "I want to see traditional marriage reflected on the throne because that's The Way It Was and when I play I'm trying to get AWAY from the modern world and all its trappings, not have it shoved in my face here too." (this is a paraphrase of an actual statement by an SCA member on the Facebook page). If you regard gay visibility as less desirable / uncomfortably modern, then no doubt about it, you're homophobic. If you'd make a rule for same-sex coupled players that you wouldn't make for black players or disabled players, you're homophobic.

Like the gay marriage debate in real life, none of the genuine arguments against Inspirational Equality stand up. The opposition to both  is based on peoples' fear, ignorance, distaste or religious beliefs. Frankly, in this or any other day and age... that's not good enough. It's time to take homophobia out of the SCA statutes, for good.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Countdown to a (Same-Sex) Wedding #2

6 Weeks to Go

This post is a little later than I intended, but it's been a busy long weekend: we spent 4 days completely redecorating our living room. It looks absolutely fabulous if we do say so ourselves! It's made the place feel properly "ours" and we couldn't be happier.

So this week I want to write about some of the people we've encountered on our wedding organisation journey.

It's always a little daunting when we walk into a shop and the attendant says "so, who's the bride?". Explaining that we both are, and no we're not sisters/best friends, and that yes it's the same wedding, usually takes up the first few minutes of any interaction. There's always a little apprehensive feeling: how will they react? The hope is for acceptance; the expectation is generally tolerance.

What we never expected was enthusiasm!

Without fail, everyone we have dealt with has reacted in a manner indistinguishable to the reaction you would expect as a heterosexual bride. People have been excited, interested, thrilled, engaged, eager to help. A little curious sometimes about how it all works, but never indecently so, and always with a warm and welcoming manner. We have been SO impressed. The attitude of vendors has exceeded all expectations and made us feel truly at home in the wedding supply landscape.

Here's a shout-out to some people and companies who have made our journey so enjoyable:
Christine at Crystal Breeze in Kingston-upon-Thames, where we bought my dress;
Jessy (we think that was her name) at The Wedding Dress Factory Outlet, who found Ellie's perfect dress after we picked up the wrong sizes and were running out of time;
The ladies at H. Samuel in Hemel Hempstead, who not only sorted out our engagement rings but wave and smile at us whenever we pass in the mall; and
Kerry of Kerry Steeden Couture, whose genius as a seamstress is seeing our lovely dresses shortened without losing their loveliness.

There have also been numerous other people, encountered in passing, who have entered into the spirit and made us feel good.

Cynically, one might think that people in the wedding industry know their business and put on a good show for their customers whatever their private beliefs, but we've never been given reason to think that about anyone. Without exception, everyone we have dealt with has seemed genuinely happy for us. We think that's amazing, and it gives us such good vibes for the future.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Plotting

I'm setting myself a bit of a challenge as a writer at the moment: to plot/plan my new work only, with no scripting or writing permitted, for two months.

In my early 20s, I worked very hard on what I intended to be my first novel. But in 2004, at around the 20,000 mark, I hit fatal plot flaws and had to abandon all the work I'd done on it. The failure of that novel attempt really shook me up. Since then, I've barely written more than a couple of thousand words on any project, and that rarely. I'd say that in the past 6 years my output of genuine novel composition would barely top 10,000 words.

Initially, I went into planning overdrive. I was so fixated on not getting part way through then falling down that I refused to let myself write without having every itty bitty detail sorted out. So I spent countless hours fidgeting with character profiles and defining currencies and making maps and generally avoiding doing the actual writing bit.

Then, I got frustrated with myself for never writing anything, forbade any further procrastination, and forced myself to just write.

This went about as well as you might expect... my characters rocketed through their (well-imagined) starting scenarios then drifted aimlessly as I had no clear idea of how to get them from there to the intended finishing point. I've always been good at starting scenarios, but fine-detail plotting is more of a challenge. Without it, I was sunk. Repeatedly.

So I've decided to try giving myself a timeline and boundaries. Between now and the end of my honeymoon, writing is prohibited, but I have to spend a bit of time planning every single day. Any and all planning is allowed, including obsessive world-building, but by the end of those two months I have to have a workable chapter and scene list.

At the end of those two months, I have one month to write as fast as I can. The planning should be done and I will have 4 weeks of school holidays in which to pour out something resembling the first few chapters of a YA fantasy novel.

When school goes back I don't know what will happen, but hopefully I will have developed good planning and writing habits that will allow me to keep going at a gentler pace.

The honeymoon is a good marker for all of this, as I'm going on my first ever cruise and seeing 5 new cities in 3 new countries, so I'll head into the writing stage full of new inspiration and atmosphere. Seeing bits of France and Spain for the first time (and Guernsey!) can't help but fuel creativity, right?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Count Down to a (Same-Sex) Wedding #1

7 Weeks to Go

I haven't blogged much yet about the wedding, because there's really not been much to say. We've booked stuff, organised people, bought gorgeous dresses, and dealt with various big-and-small issues along the way. We're down to the fine detail now though (7 weeks yesterday) so I thought I'd start talking a bit about it.

Next week I'm going to blog about the wedding process itself, but today I'm going to talk about Civil Partnerships.

You see, according to British law, what we're having is not a wedding, and what we're creating is not a marriage. We're having a Civil Partnership Ceremony, which leads to a Civil Partnership.

Now, you might say (as a great many have done): what's the big deal? It's only words.

Yes, it is only words... and this is an argument that can be applied equally to both sides of the debate. It's only words- so same-sex couples shouldn't care. But, it's only words- so the religious right shouldn't care.

Hmm.

Civil Partnerships are a compromise. Right now they're a compromise for which I am grateful: it would be extremely difficult to marry form a lifelong legally recognised partnership with my darling girl if they didn't exist. (Leaving aside the fact that a dozen or so countries have introduced marriage for same-sex couples on equal legal and semantic footings and their societies haven't imploded, of course). But it's a compromise that mystifies me.

Let's imagine for a second that most world religions dictated that some people could own cats, and some couldn't. After many centuries, people realised that this cat rule kind of sucked. Non-cat people were clamouring for cats, and cat-owning people were coming to see just how stupid this was, especially when many non-cat people had been keeping cats in secret for years anyway. There needed to be an overhaul, but a tiny vocal minority of cat-owning people were predicting mass moral confusion and social disruption if the rules were relaxed (and asking why non-cat people would want cats anyway since they clearly rejected the faith of the Cat-Dictating God...).

So, a committee (it would have to be a committee) came up with a solution.
"Right," they said. "Here's the deal. You non-cat people can keep cats legally. We'll give you paperwork and everything. But... you're not allowed to call them cats. You have to call them Fur Covered Individuals. The sanctity of the word 'cat' is preserved for the traditional definition of cat ownership, but we wish you many long and happy years with your Fur Covered Individuals."

Who'd want to refer to their cat as a Fur Covered Individual for the rest of their life?

Who'd think that their god was stupid enough not to see through the deception?

That's the bit that mystifies me. Civil Partnerships are marriages. Civil Partnership Ceremonies are weddings. They do exactly the same things, excepting only the gender of the participants. If they are truly abhorrent to anyone's deity then nothing but a couple of flimsy bits of terminology stand between us and a thorough smiting. Using different words means nothing and fools no one.

So, whence this compromise? Is it born out of a belief that people really can fool their god by putting different labels on things? Is it a desperate sop to try to appease people who really do believe that smiting is on the menu? Is it a stubborn resistance to change, or a fear of the unknown? Is it simply prejudice, sanctioned and legalised as so many previous prejudices have been?

I have no idea, but it both amuses and annoys me that my lovely wedding and marriage have these artificial labels slapped on them. Poignantly pointless!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A funny old memory...

I was searching through old files on my computer today and came across one of the oldest I've got - from all the way back in early 1995. It contained two poems written by my then-10 year old neighbour, Sarah C, one of which was about me.

It made me laugh heartily and reflect that in some ways I've not changed all that much since I was 14...

MY FRIEND IS CALLED A DIMWIT.
By Sarah C.

My friend is called a dimwit,
She lives across the road.
Most people call her Christine,
But I don’t think so.

She talks like she’s a dictionary,
She talks like she’s a twerp.
She talks like she’s a maniac,
But she’s my friend,
And that’s that.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Coming up for air.

Sometimes we get a wake-up call in our life.

Since January, I have been working in a school that demands extremely high levels of planning paperwork, which undergo constant monitoring. The workload is demanding, the management style highly critical and perfection-oriented, and 100% commitment is expected.

And I've been giving it, more than I ever have before.

I've been working 9, 10, 11 hour days and more. Plus hours upon hours on weekends to do the stuff I just can't fit in during the week. I've dropped out of a sport I loved because I had no energy for it, stayed in when I needed fresh air, given up opportunities for socialising, sacrificed sleep, dropped the housework ball more times than I can count, grouched at my family, and felt like an escapee whenever I found five minutes in which to pursue my own interests. My life these past few months has been a work-induced blur.

I thought it was the right thing to do, because this job was important. It was my key to ongoing employment: getting it right, showing my commitment, being the best I could be might lead to a permanent contract, and thus stability and financial security.

So, last week it came to crunch time. I interviewed for my own position along with potentially 1-2 more positions in Key Stage One. My lesson was good. My data analysis task was rated excellent. My panel interview went as smoothly as you could hope. I know the kids, I know how the school works, I have the knowledge and experience to make this work.

But they said there was someone better. I will not be needed next year.

Oh no, feel free, I'll just stand here while you punch me in the gut.

I got the call very late at night, and my deputy head - who had said that she wanted me in the job - sounded as gutted as I was. But that's as may be. I went quickly through the stages of grief: only a little denial before anger set in, barely a moment for bargaining before I hit a huge pile of depression. But after a good night's sleep and the first few conversations in the morning, I'd made it to acceptance.

Thursday and Friday were hard. In fact, they sucked. People were either shocked, or consoling, or avoided me. I was disconnected, suffering resurgence of the cricked neck that had plagued me earlier in the week, and feeling rejected and wistful and exhausted.

On the weekend, my body asserted itself, and gave me a sore throat and lost voice: the one complaint that can truly keep me home from work. Go, body. Today (Monday) was spent largely in bed.

The upshot of all this is that it's time to take stock. I've allowed myself to be overcome by this school's demands, which are far in excess of any other school I've taught in, and do not necessarily serve the needs of the pupils any better than systems at other (often much better) schools in which I've taught. There's only so much I can do to reel it in - as long as I'm there and needing a reference when I leave, most of their demands have to be met - but I'm going to try.

I'm going to leave early enough to see full daylight every day.
I'm going to source plans where I can and quit re-inventing the wheel.
I'm going to make sure I have the energy to go to gymnastics.
I'm going to get home early enough to have some alone time every day.
I'm going to use that time to do things for me.

and...

I'm going to start working towards what I really want in life - which is not to be a slave to an education system that lets down its staff as much as its pupils. I have some dreams and some half-formed plans, and I'm going to do at least one thing every day that is a step on the road to getting there. I got out of mainstream education once, and fell back into it... time to look at getting out again.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Changing body, fixed image

My job is eating my life at the moment - 11-hour days are the norm (not counting time spent working at home in the evenings) and I still feel like I'm not getting everything done. It's intense and not leaving a lot of time for anything else. Nonetheless, I'm stealing a half-hour for blogging.

This is a post that has been nagging away in the back of my mind for some time. I spent Christmas with E's family at a wonderful holiday park which included a "sub-tropical swimming paradise" - ambient temperature 25 C inside the dome - so we all brought our swimming gear along.

My swimsuit is a simple name-brand racing one-piece, bought because it was cheap and it fitted and I had to have *something*. It's not designed to be flattering or concealing. I was hesitant about going in the pool at all, for a variety of excuses, all of which boiled down to "I don't want to be seen in a swimsuit".

On the last day, when my cold had finally subsided and I'd run out of excuses, I finally went with E to the pool. In the changing room I freaked out briefly, not sure I could actually walk out there with my arms & legs on show. E looked at me as if I'd gone a little mad, and pointed out that I was wearing a size 12 swimsuit and had just changed out of size 10 jeans. "YOU HAVE BELOW AVERAGE THIGHS! STOP WORRYING!".

She's right, of course. I may not have a super-toned body but once I looked around - really looked - I could see that it was true. For the first time in 12 years, I'm below average in weight & width. But when I look at myself in the mirror, I still don't see it.

Since late 2010 - my last recorded peak-weight measurements - I have lost 12.5cm off my waist, 18cm off my hips, 10.5cm off my thighs, 7cm off my calves, 3cm off my ankles, 4.5cm off my upper arms, and even 1.5cm off my wrists. Size 10 tops fit me comfortably, size 12 slacks fit me with room to spare, and size 10 jeans with a gentle waist are just perfect. I'm only 6.5lb away from a healthy BMI. I am doing very, very well and I'm not ashamed to point it out.

So why do I still look at myself in the mirror and imagine that my naked body is so much bigger than it actually is? How is there such a disconnect between what I know to be true about it and how I perceive it? Why do I look out of a size 10 body and see size 18 thighs in the mirror?

It's sad to think that perhaps I've become programmed to think the worst of my body and to see its most negative attributes so clearly. What is it about our minds that denies us the triumph of seeing what we know we have achieved?

Food for thought...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well, whoops. We hit the silliness that is December, and my intentions both of posting a photo every day and of blogging once a week went all to hell. Nevermind! I'm going to post photos for the days I've got them, and start again today.

I had a lovely 31st birthday and an amazing Christmas away with E's family. I have one more day of holiday tomorrow then one teacher prep day, then the kids go back on Wednesday. I am very nervous about getting started!

Photos will be up sometime today or tomorrow. Now to head out and replenish our much-depleted fridge for the week ahead.