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?”