Author Topic: Long journey ahead  (Read 434 times)

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Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Long journey ahead
« on: June 29, 2019, 01:34:12 am »
I had posted in the introduction thread a while back, but I have been pretty quiet on here. Last fall was the first time I admitted out loud to anybody the thoughts I have had my whole life, when I talked to a therapist, and soon after I talked to my wife. I still don't really know what lies ahead for me. Therapy, coming to terms with myself, trying to keep things as stable as possible within my family, developing a support network of some friends that I have spoken to, and trying some things like some changes in clothes and hair and grooming has all been a lot. My biggest focus beyond all of that (which is a lot!) has been my health.

I've been overweight almost my whole life, and things went steadily upwards after marriage well over a decade ago, and even more when my daughter was born, and she is now in elementary school. I've worked with a trainer the last couple years and that had helped with my mobility, but not so much with weight loss. I guess there is maybe some irony that once I more directly admitted to myself that yes, this is real that I'm trans and my whole life I have felt out of sync with this male body, that I immediately felt immense pressure to lose weight. But it's not as if that is a new desire, and it is tied with my desire for better health, as I have a number of health issues connected to my weight that I have been working to address.

So I did start working with a new doctor this year on a new nutrition plan, and I've built up a more comprehensive plan that has helped me to lose nearly 10% of my weight so far. But since to get down to what would be considered a normal weight for my height I need to lose nearly 55% of my starting weight, it's really long journey ahead. In May I lost about 1 pound a week, which is still average, but earlier I had been able to do about 2 a week. The difference is being able to lose the weight in maybe 2-2.5 years versus 4 years or more. And that just seems like forever.

Even 2 years is a long time. But I'm going to keep plugging away. My doctor has expressed doubts about whether that much is possible, but I'm going to keep plugging away.

I'm working on getting out for more and more walks, working with my trainer at least once a week, consistently eating low carb. I have pretty good patterns of eating that I've built up, but I can probably do more with daily tracking—I use an app for that. I'm trying to really push to get into the 2 pound a week range, which is on the upper end, but it's what makes the timeline seem feasible.

Also trying to work on making sure to get enough sleep and trying to work on stress management. That feels hard, because I'm still in the closet to most people, including my parents and siblings. And I'm just not sure if that's going to change anytime soon. My wife is trying to be supportive in the ways that she can, but this is difficult and emotional for her, which is completely understandable. I have the deepest empathy for everything she is going through. She is seeing a therapist too and has family tensions and history of her own that make everything more challenging.

I'm just really determined to keep working on this and to keep going to get myself into a healthy state. I don't know what's going to happen if I do. I want to keep my family together, and more physical transitions have a strong chance of putting that at risk. But it feels like I can't possibly start to feel at comfort with my body in any way at the size I am now.

One step at a time, I suppose, one step at a time.

Offline Gertrude

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2019, 08:21:54 am »
I lost 160lbs doing keto. I use Fooducate to track what I eat and a combination of Apple Health and runkeeper for activity and other metrics. I focus more on what I eat or really how much than activity. Some folks here seem to eat too little and try to exercise a lot, which I have my doubts of sustainability over the long haul. What I have is that if you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. It doesn’t have to be radical. 10-20% calorie reduction is it. Www.ruled.me has a calorie calculator that I used to calculate my macros and calories. You don’t have to do keto to use it. It took me 16 months to lose 160lbs. Work up to whatever activity level you can do and I would say take a multivitamin too.


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Offline Maid Marion

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2019, 08:34:49 am »
Hi Rey

Good luck on your journey.  It is long but it may be attainable now that  you are finally headed in the right direction.

One of the best investments I have made is to buy a doctor's office style balance beam scale to get consistent measurements.

Marion

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2019, 05:14:23 pm »
Thank you for the encouragement!

I'm not quite doing keto, about 50-75g of carbs a day. I've had type 2 diabetes for several years, and my blood sugar had gotten out of hand. Thankfully the numbers have come down to almost non-diabetic numbers since I changed my nutrition. I had thought I was doing lowish carbs before, but I've realized now that I was making a lot of choices that weren't so great.  I'd say my focus right now is much more on nutrition although my fitness and being able to get around better, increasing my flexibility is also really important to me. I use MyNetDiary for tracking nutrition, as I've found it has a good database for food and has good ways to easily see macros, which I've found really helpful. i use Apple Health and an Apple Watch too.

I have brought my calories down considerably. Based on my weight, my basal metabolic rate for calories in theory should be pretty high, but with some testing with the doctor, it looks like mine is actually lower than what would be expected. And when I brought things down that's when the pounds started moving. But I find what's most important for me with tracking is often making sure I eat enough rather than too much, as sometimes when I go too low, I think that's when my body starts to say, hold up, I need to hold onto things here.

One of the components of my support system is an online weight loss group that I got access to through my insurance. We meet once a week, and there's a coach who is supportive, and we have text-based chat with video of the coach, and there are some videos. I don't always agree with the nutritional advice, but it's nice having the check-in and support. Meeting with my trainer once a week is also really helpful. I was able to talk with her about my gender issues which was really scary, but has helped a lot so she can understand the fitness and nutrition goals I am working towards.

It had been really frustrating because for years I wasn't even able to get my weight to register on my scale anymore. The online weight loss group provided me with a new scale, and that one finally registered, and now I have lost enough that I register on my old scale too. But there is a discrepancy between my home scale and my monthly weigh-ins with the doctor, where I weigh a few pounds more. That gets frustrating. I know about what the difference is though so I can plan for that at least.

I definitely do multivitamins, also do fish oil and vitamin D. Some of the medicines I'm on also help with my appetite, which is very useful. So... it's a process.

160 pounds in 16 months is really, really impressive! I'm trying really, really hard to get to a 36 pound loss for my five month check-in, which would be 10%. That tells you where I've started—not a good place. I'm not sure I'm going to quite get there this month, I may miss it by a few pounds.

I wanted to get out for a really long walk today, but there's a super high heat index. Probably should hop on the treadmill and maybe try to get out later this evening when it cools off.

Offline Gertrude

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 05:17:53 pm »
I weighed 385 when I started and I weigh 225 now. I’m 6’5. I could weigh less, but at this point I am ok. 


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Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 12:45:21 am »
That is super impressive, Gertrude, and thank you for sharing. Knowing that others have been able to make such a big change does give me hope.

I've been getting out for a lot of walks, or walking on the treadmill if I can't get outside. I have a week until my next monthly weigh-in with the doc and just trying to make as much progress as I can. Started working with a new trainer that specializes in walking/running to help train for a 5K coming up, in addition to my regular trainer, and that went well. I had a really good long walk yesterday at a faster speed, and I did a mile on the treadmill tonight even though I had a workout earlier today.

Strawberry picking over the weekend, so that's making for a lot of good salads and other fun nutrition options this week. Just going to make sure I make every day count this week to see how far I can get.

Our driveway is being worked on this week, so I have to walk 0.1 miles to get to the car on the street each way. Extra steps for the week! Every step helps!

Offline Allie Jayne

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 01:27:47 am »
I am overweight, and strangely enough, it was because of my body dysphoria. When I lost weight I saw in the mirror a well muscled man, but when I gained weight, I saw a much softer person. My doctors were always telling me to lose weight, with dire predictions, but every time I tried I ended up heavier. My wife gave up, saying I was addicted to food. She didn't believe me when I told her my weight was related to my dysphoria. So I started HRT 4 months ago, and that gave me a positive goal in my life. My dysphoria was down, so I could afford to see if I could lose weight. So far I am down 37 pounds, and I'm liking what I see in the mirror. I didn't go on a specific diet, just cut down on carbs and portion sizes, oh! and about 300 fluid oz of Coke a week!

Allie

Offline Lexxi

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 01:43:17 am »
Way to go Allie! I've completely changed the way I eat too. Most days I only eat one meal per day. But it's a pretty big meal...though it's very low in calories. I call it my big salad.

I'm the world's pickiest eater so there's not a whole lot to them. My salads are constructed of lettuce, some shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, four slices of ultra thin ham, and some fat free french dressing. By the time I get done eating one I'm really full. So far I've lost a little over 11 pounds.

It would have been more, but I've had 3 cheat days in the past 3 weeks. Two of them I got Subway sandwiches and one of the days was the worst...that was the day I ate at Hardees. I ate two hot ham and cheese sandwiches. But I passed on the fries so I guess that was a plus.

It sounds like a lot of us are dealing with the same thing...and we're all finding the fortitude to correct it too. So good luck girls with your weight loss. I have to say it sure was a lot more fun putting the weight on than taking it off, but look at it this way...we're all going to be better off for it.  ;)

xoxo
Lexxi
Finally started the process of becoming the real me! 5/20/19
Came out online 5/20/19
First time coming out face to face 6/3/19
First therapist appointment for HRT 6/3/19
Got my letter for HRT 6/10/19
Came out to my mom 6/18/19
Started HRT 7/12/19

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2019, 11:56:24 am »
Allie, I've certainly wondered if subconsciously my body responded to my desperate prayers and wishes for my body to change with years of weight gain... the only way it knew how to give me some semblance of the body I could only dare to admit I wanted in the middle of the night.

And honestly I still have a lot of fears about what weight loss might mean for me. I have gynecomastia and while my chest doesn't really look the way I want it to, it's one of the few parts of me that feels right. I worry about that going away with significant weight loss. But my understanding is that is one of the last things to go if it does at all, so I am trying to put that out of my mind for now. My testosterone levels have been on the low side for at least the past decade perhaps in part of my size, and I know that fat cells can have an effect on that, perhaps even converting some testosterone to estrogen. And I don't know if I have ever had estrogen levels tested. But if that is happening, and if that goes away, I worry about what effects that might have on my mental state and on my appearance.

I'm not doing HRT. My wife has significant concerns about the impact that would have on me and how she would feel about that. But we both can agree that weight loss is good for me regardless of everything else going on with me. So I am focusing on that.

I'm working with a doctor on weight loss, but I haven't discussed any of my gender issues with any medical staff. I'm concerned about how some of these worries that I have might impact my weight loss, as my mental state and subconscious concerns have probably played a big role in my weight over the years. But talking to an endocrinologist about these issues or with my weight loss doctor means that then my gender issues are in my medical record. Forever. And maybe that's inevitable. But I find that really terrifying with all the rulings coming out from the administration allowing discrimination from medical professionals against people who are trans. I'm scared about how much worse things are going to get. And I know I have a lot of unearned privilege in life because of how I've presented, and that may all go away. It's scary.

It's scary to think that while I could get answers to my questions by talking to medical professionals about my issues, I could also be signing up for random acts of discrimination or the medical people I'm working with could just end up choosing not to work with me anymore. Or they might work with me, but in a resentful manner. Where they don't really want to help me anymore. And I really need a lot of help losing this weight before I can even possibly start to become a more whole person in any other way. Whatever that ends up meaning.

Sorry that went a little deep.

Got new walking shoes today, which is exciting. It was hard because I don't have enough flexibility to even really tie my shoes. It felt so awful. I've been using slip-on shoes. But they didn't have enough support. So the person helping me got some elastic laces that will be easier for me to cinch. Not cheap, but hopefully they'll be a lot better and that will help me keep moving forward.

My weigh-in this morning was a really good milestone, below 325 in the first time since I don't know when. At least 8 or 9 years. Still need to get down a few more pounds to hit that number on my doctor's scale.

Going to make a strawberry smoothie for lunch and then try to get out for a good walk this afternoon with my new shoes!

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2019, 12:03:33 pm »
I call it my big salad.

I'm the world's pickiest eater so there's not a whole lot to them. My salads are constructed of lettuce, some shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, four slices of ultra thin ham, and some fat free french dressing. By the time I get done eating one I'm really full. So far I've lost a little over 11 pounds.

That sounds like a great salad, Lexxi! And great work on 11 pounds. One step at a time. Changing a lifetime of habits is a process. I've found that my tastebuds have changed and the things I used to want aren't as appealing to me now. But it's hard making a big shift. Good luck!

Offline Allie Jayne

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2019, 04:06:22 pm »
Rey, having fat boobs was a major attraction to my exess weight, unfortunately they do go away at roughly the same rate as the fat on the rest of the body. Luckily for me, my breasts are nearly keeping up with my fat loss, so I will never not have them.  I’m sure my weight contributed to my falling T levels, and by the time I started HRT this year, my T levels were already in the female range.

I am feeling so much better. I don’t puff when walking, my arthritis is all but gone, I now may not require a knee operation, my blood pressure is down, and my life expectancy has surged ahead. Talk to your trans specialised psychologist and develop a plan to get your life on track, and a formal diagnosis and treatment plan finally got my wife onboard with my transition.

Best wishes, Allie

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2019, 07:06:10 pm »
It's been a while since I've posted an update, partially because I had a fairly tumultuous couple of months. For a while I had been working towards a goal of being able to talk to my sister and then my brother and then my parents about everything going on with me, and about a month or so, I finally did so. I may write a post about that in the coming out forum. The short version is that things went mostly well, they didn't disown me, but obviously it's an adjustment and a lot to take in, and it will take some time to work things out.

I took a couple of big trips over the last couple of months too, which was good, and I managed to not gain a bunch of weight while doing so, which feels good. I love travel, but it does tend to complicate weight lost.

On my home scale I'm down to about 315, and I have another official weigh-in on Monday. I'm hoping to be around 317 to 318. If I'm below 320, that's my bare minimum for feeling good about the month, but I'd like to do better than that.

I still have a goal of getting below 300 at least on my home scale by the end of the year, which I think with some effort is feasible.

I'm going to be walking several 5Ks this fall, and focusing my training on improving my walking is a good way for me to not put all of my thought into the number on the scale. We did measurements last month, and my inches are going down, too, which is good. My mile pace is improving. And in addition to my long time trainer/nutritionist, I started working with another trainer who specializes in coaching around walking/running. She's really good, and I was able to talk to her about what's going on with me, and she's been very supportive. I'm really enjoying the workouts, they're very upbeat, and I feel like the strength training is really having a difference.

I'm trying to focus on small goals that are achievable. I can think about how I'd like to lose 160 pounds, but that is super daunting. It's a lot more feasible to think about how if I can get down another 5-10 pounds then I'll hit the 50 pound weight loss mark, which feels like a good milestone to focus on. When I got to the 10% weight loss mark, that too felt really good. So if I keep picking achievable goals and work on what I need to do to focus in on that particular goal, I think I can just work on one thing at a time.

I do feel like getting past the big goal I had of talking to my close family members has lifted a bit of a burden. That didn't by any means solve everything. I still need to work on helping the family members I just talked to through adjusting to a new reality. And I have some challenges, like how my therapist is unfortunately leaving my clinic due to some personal issues, so I need to find a new one (which she is helping me with). But I feel like maybe I'm entering a new phase where I can work on my health goals, work on some things around the house to get things in better order here, work on some coping skills, and even though things are still challenging, maybe that gives me somewhat of a plan for right now.

The future's impossible to see. But for me, right now, I feel like nothing is possible unless I get my health in order. And if I could get my house in better order, that too would do a lot for making our lives more livable. My wife says she is feeling better right now, and while I don't know entirely what that means, I'm just going to keep working on the goals that I have the power to make a difference with right now.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Offline ReyOfStarshine

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Re: Long journey ahead
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2019, 12:39:58 am »
I had my official weigh-in for the month, and I was down 4.5 pounds for the month, so officially down like 43 pounds since I started. Lots more to go, but I felt good about it.

Today was really nice out, and I wanted to get out for a walk. Work ended up being stressful, and maybe I should have just forced myself to take a break, it probably would have done me some good. I scheduled a workout for myself tomorrow with my trainer at least.

I've found it hard to get walking the last few days. A lot of stress maybe. Need to keep focused on my goals, and I won't get there without good exercise.

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