Day 1

I am trying to schedule top surgery for this summer and it suddenly became a whole lot more pressing to lose weight (#1 on my New Years Resolutions) and tone up my chest. Last week, I joined a transgender fitness group on Facebook and ended up stumbling across an online personal trainer in the midst of also signing up for a three month weight loss competition on the group… why do I do this to myself?! I had to take pictures of my mostly naked body to submit as “before” photos, and it was way more emotionally difficult than I expected. It’s actually weird how much the emotions of eating disorder and gender dysphoria are basically the same. In both cases, the way I feel in my mind and what other people see are in conflict. I forget I’m fat- not that I actually physically forget that I’m fat, but I forget that it’s how other people see me. Same thing with respect to gender and how people perceive the “gender” of my body. Both are equally disorienting and painful. Having people remind me or seeing either reality in pictures is wildly distressing. So yeah, sharing pics of my pasty white, blubbery body with a bunch of strangers was not fun, to say the least. 

Anyways… I impulsively (duh) signed up for this online personal training thing, Paypal’d $120 to a total stranger, and dove headfirst into another attempt at getting the body I want (and need in order to get the best results possible from top surgery). $120 a month gets me a meal plan so I don’t have to count calories or macros, weekly exercise plans, accountability with weekly weigh-ins and photos, and a significant amount of motivation to not blow it and throw away a bunch of money. It seems easy; just eat the things on the list, do the exercises on the list, and I’ll lose weight. Deceptively easy.

Today is Day 1 of my new meal plan and I’m going to attempt the first workout tonight. I did a bunch of meal prep to get me through Wednesday without having to think about what to eat at all. So far today I’ve eaten 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup of sliced strawberries, a sweet potato, arugula salad with lemon juice and pepper for dressing, 4 oz of grilled chicken, a serving of pretzels, and a half cup of cottage cheese. It might sound like a lot, but rest assured that it does not feel like a lot. Yes, I am hungry. Might just be emotional hunger, can’t tell yet. Yes, I caved to my sugar addiction and had a couple of bites of the coconut cake someone brought in from their weekend birthday party (why did it have to be coconut?!). Yes, I am drinking a ton of water and tea trying to beat the sugar cravings and snacking impulses. Yes, I am cranky and stressed out. Also, it turns out Greek yogurt is disgusting and why the f*** do people act like it is Jesus in a tub?

As much as I can moan and bitch about the diet aspect of it and how much I hate Greek yogurt, the exercise plan is what’s really scaring me. I’m no stranger to restrictive diets, but these workouts… they’re well outside of my comfort zone. I know my way around cardio equipment at the gym, but the lifting weights part of the gym is as unfamiliar to me as the Constitution is to Donald Trump. And while His Majesty the President wields his ignorance like a Roman gladiator, I am crippled by mine. What if I can’t find one of the machines on the list Trey gave me? What if I need to adjust something and can’t figure out how? What if I start with too much weight and look like a pansy lowering it (lol at myself for this one)?? The list goes on. I know they’re stupid fears but they feel all but insurmountable right now. And part of the fear is fueled by dysphoria- I feel very exposed trying new things at the gym and like everyone is keenly aware of the not-male things about my body. It’s silly. I need to suck it up. We’ll see how that goes tonight. And the next few weeks.

So I’ll finish this blog with the exact thought that just went through my mind: “how many minutes until I can eat again?”

2018 Goals

Hellooooo, 2018. Boy, am I glad to be done with 2017! 2017 was beyond not my favorite year so far. In fact, between our country having a clown for president and the emotional roller coaster coming out as trans has been… I think I’ll rate 2017 as my hardest year so far. And because 2017 was so tough, I decided to set some goals for 2018 to make sure it’s a better year and that I’m taking control of the things I can in my life. So, only two weeks late (I really need a planner), here are my 2018 goals in no particular order.

1. Lose weight.

I know it’s cliché, but I think working on losing weight and then maintaining an ideal weight is going to be a forever resolution for me. I’ve gained back a lot of what I lost during my Paleo month because of my gummy bear addiction, and my pasta addiction, and my ice cream addiction, and my fruit sna— shut up, Ben, they get it! So I really need to focus on forming more healthy habits with food and turning healthy habits into a healthy long term relationship with food. I definitely eat when I’m bored or upset. I eat anytime I can justify it to myself- “it’s Friday” or “it’s Monday” or “I exercised today” or… really anything can justify overeating or putting garbage food in my body.

Self-awareness seems to be the key for me and getting healthy. When I’m aware of being lazy, it forces me to be aware of why I’m being lazy and that somehow breaks the cycle. Same goes for my unhealthy food consumption.

2. Form more meaningful friendships.

I had a lot of friends in high school. A lot of really good friends who I was close to and hung out with a lot and shared life troubles with. I met them in marching band, science club, Spanish club, church youth group, etc. I wasn’t even particularly involved with extracurriculars, but somehow it still fostered a lot of close friendships without me even trying.

College was a different story. My freshman roommate was my best friend from high school and one of our suitemates was another good friend from high school. Having built-in friendships entering college left me feeling socially comfortable and like I didn’t need to put myself out there to make new friends while everyone else was busy forging new friendships and joining clubs. Couple that with trying to maintain a 4.0 GPA while taking 19 hours (WHY did I do that to myself??) and working 30 hours a week, needing to build a new network of friends just wasn’t on the radar screen. So then I got to sophomore year and moved off-campus while my old friends stayed on campus, which culminated in us all growing apart… Long story short, I failed to really tune-in to the social stuff in college, really only made two close friends, and entered post-college adulthood feeling isolated and incapable of making new friends.

Fast forward to now. My two close friends from college have moved away to start careers and families. My friends from high school long ago went down different life paths than I did and we don’t stay in touch for the most part. Coming out as transgender distanced a lot of my friends who were still around. I work in an office surrounded by 40-somethings with wives and kids. And I’ve developed a good dose of social anxiety about trying to meet new people. Where to even start??? I haven’t figured that out, but this one is probably going to be my big focus for 2018. I’m going to pursue new friendships and work on the relationships I do have that are just very surface-level.

3. Get emotionally involved with my career again.

I hate to admit it, but I kind of checked out of my career at some point in 2017. I’ve found myself having more and more days where I goof off instead of being productive, or try to focus on my work but just get nowhere with it. Since I started college in 2011, I’ve been nothing but full-steam-ahead career focus and motivation. I think 2017 was a much needed mental break for me, especially considering that I was starting transition and had a lot on my plate in other areas of my life. But I don’t like that I’ve stalled out and lost focus. I’ve lost sight of what I want and where I’m going. I’ve just been floating through week after week of completing a checklist with no real end-game for it.

4. Walk/run 2018 miles.

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A coworker mentioned this one to me at work right after the new year when we all returned to work still hungover and bloated from the holidays. That means 5.53 miles a day everyday for the entire year. Brutal and unlikely that I’ll accomplish it, but it’s something to work towards. My average so far is.. 3.94 miles a day. So clearly I’ll need to step that up. Why am I so lazy??

 

 

5. Keep a planner.

I think this one should help with 1, 3, and 4. I desperately need a better way to keep track of appointments, goals, and to-do lists than putting them all in my Outlook calendar. That’s great for work stuff because I’m always on my computer at work, so the calendar is right there with all the event reminders. But basically every errand I need to run ends up taking more than a week to accomplish because I don’t have it written down in a tangible place.

bulletjournaling

I ordered a Lemome A5 Hardcover Dot Grid Notebook so I can format my own planner. I couldn’t really find a planner in stores that had spaces for everything I need to record and wasn’t HUGE. I really like the InkWell Press planners, but why do they only come in girly colors?? Not that I’m above using a planner just because it’s cutesie, but I’ll take a stab at the whole bullet journaling thing first, since it’s completely customizable.

So here’s to you 2018! Here’s to better health, better organization, better friendships, and better career direction.

$$$$$$

Y’all, I did it!

I totally meant to update the blog every three or four days while doing the Paleo thing, but alas, I am a spaz. So here I am checking back in over a month later and 10 days after the official weight-out for my bet. Long story short, I lost the 13 lbs (managed 14 in fact) and won my $1300! I won’t lie- I’m damn proud of myself. I mustered more self-control and motivation than I ever have before and did the diet justice.

starving

Paleo was brutal. The cravings for pasta and gummy bears about destroyed me. I probably averaged 2 zucchinis a day made into zoodles to curb my noodle needs. I consumed a total of 17 lbs of sweet potatoes and god knows how much chicken. And I still felt hungry constantly. I’m pretty sure my coworkers and boyfriend hated me for the first couple weeks while I was detoxing off sugar and getting used to eating so clean. Thanksgiving and Christmas felt like major splurges, despite staying as Paleo as possible, and left me feeling bloated/sick for two days after each holiday. I honestly rode the struggle bus from day 1 of Paleo all the way to the final day. Actually, I didn’t ride the struggle bus. I drove it. But… after all the #struggle… I submitted my official weight-out on December 31 at 183 lbs and it was worth every bit of trouble.

And now, I am treating myself to a few weeks of normalcy. All the gummy bears, ice cream, and pasta I can handle. Coincidentally, my mother gave me a 3 pound bag of Haribo gummy bears for Christmas. Best. Gift. Ever. gummybearsThen I’ll probably be picking up a less strict Paleo lifestyle again to see how much I can slim down before top surgery in April. Onward to 2018! 21 pounds lighter and significantly more fit than I was mid-November 2017! And best of all… $1300 richer!

Hairy-Beer-Gut Paleo Guy

This morning, I impulsively decided to start a blog. Well, actually, this morning I impulsively decided to start a Paleo diet in a desperate attempt to lose 13 pounds in less than a month to avoid losing a $1300 bet. The internet told me I needed to start a blog to successfully get through my first month of Paleo. So here we are. Because the thought of losing $1300 = ouch.

Like most millennial Americans, the first thing I did when my eyes slowly creaked open this morning was grope around in the dark for my phone so I could click through all my social media apps to clear those ever addictive notification flags and… largely to waste the first 15 minutes of my day consuming mental popcorn. The first image my sleep-drunk brain took in was a friend’s hairy beer gut in his dirty bathroom mirror. And by friend I mean someone I briefly chatted with on Grindr months ago and added on Instagram to assess as a potential hookup (major no-go). The caption read, “Since I started Paleo last Wednesday, I’ve lost 13 pounds! And I feel so much better!” Hairy beer gut be damned, this Insta post intrigued me; coincidentally, I have 13 pounds to lose by mid December to avoid losing a foolish $1300 bet I placed in July on a weight loss app that uses your own money to shame you into exercising and eating right. I started at 204 and I’m at 197 now. I’m supposed to make it to 184. Not exactly stellar progress with 5 of my 6 months gone. Even with $1300 on the line, I’m apparently too lazy to get in the gym regularly and eat anything resembling a healthy diet.

But anyways, I couldn’t get hairy-beer-gut guy off my mind (not like that, you perv) and obsessively searched Paleo diets all morning at work (instead of working) to see if going Paleo might be the answer to hold onto my $1300. If you aren’t familiar with Paleo, check out this ridiculously informative site. After a lot of my own reading, I completely impulsively decided to give it a shot. I went to the grocery store on my lunch break and bought 7 lbs of chicken, 10 lbs of sweet potatoes, 2 lbs of zucchini, a 3 lb bag of clementines, a lb of deli turkey lunch meat (not sure how Paleo that is), and eggs to kick this thing off. My usual cashier at Kroger probably thinks I’ve gone unhinged.

Say a prayer for me because Lord knows I’m completely addicted to gummy worms, Starbucks, Cheetos, and Chick-fil-a. None of which are Paleo friendly. I’ve decided to cold turkey off fast food, grains, and processed snacks, but I think I’m going to keep gummy worms and my weekly Starbucks fix in my routine until the base diet starts getting easier… for the sake of my ever-tenuous sanity.

Lunch was a sweet potato, a handful of baby carrots, a few slices of deli turkey, and a couple of clementines. I was limited to what I could cut with a butter knife and cook in the microwave.

day1

Yes, it was sad. Yes, I am hangry now. Yes, I am staring hangrily at the bowl of Reese’s cups on the receptionist’s desk. No, I can’t stop thinking about food. Yes, I’m going to be printing dozens of Paleo recipes over the next 24 hours to avoid a repeat of today’s lunch.

So thank you for the inspiration, hairy-beer-gut guy! I’ll probably start despising you at some point in the next 24 hours when I hit full blown sugar detox.