Daddy’s First Fuck Up

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A screenshot from my scale this morning.  Obvi I went up by about a pound and a half.

And I know why. I had it in my schedule that I would skip the gym Wednesday mornings.  I have a standing weekly appointment at that time, and if I’m being realistic I won’t have time for the gym then, so why not avoid the unrealistic gym goal, and build in one day a week that I don’t go?  That seems reasonable.  So I didn’t go Wednesday morning. I went to work, and had my Potbelly’s for lunch and my salad for dinner.

Wednesday is my Friday, meaning I have Thursdays and Fridays off work every week.  I came home at the normal time that night, and I wasn’t hungry, like normal, and I had my fruit waiting for me at home, like normal.

But something happened in my brain in the span of getting off the train and walking down two flights of stairs to the street.  Without thinking, or rather, with a little weak justification and then no critical thinking about those justifications or my subsequent actions, I straightaway went into the pizza place across the street and got a slice and a cookie, my regular after work meal before that got me into this fat pickle in the first place.

And then I didn’t go to the gym Thursday.  Or Friday.  And I ate garbage too.  And I avoided this blog.  I basically laid on the couch and watched shitty tv and ate whatever the hell I wanted.

So let’s figure out what the fuck happened.

I made the following justifications that shoved me right the fuck off the wagon:

  1. It’s my weekend, I deserve some treats.
  2. I haven’t lost much weight yet, and I probably will fail this time like I’ve failed in the past when trying to lose weight so fuck it I’m going to eat an entire pint of ice cream because nothing matters.

And I avoided my goals by taking naps and watching tv.  What’s weird is that I enjoyed my mornings going to the gym*, and I felt better eating better.  I didn’t even really enjoy the pizza, and I felt bad for eating garbage I knew wasn’t good for me.

So what I think is happening is maybe a couple things:

  1.  Old habits die hard, and are going to take time to not only rewire my brain with a new habit, but also, and even before the rewiring takes place, I’m going to have to practice some serious awareness with actions that are so insidious they are nearly automatic.
  2. There is a lot of data out there about how our gut microbiome drives our food cravings, and I think my pizza and cookie microbes are strong, because I’ve been feeding them a lot for a long time, and that’s likely where my “automatic” drive to eat pizza and cookies comes from.

So what am I going to do in the future to try and beat back this bad behavior?

Next Wednesday, I will still skip the gym.  I think it’s good for me to have a rest day at this early stage.  And like I said, I can’t make it that morning b/c of a scheduling conflict anyway.  Also, it wasn’t a problem to eat well during the day.  I just fucked up when I came home after my work week and thought I deserved something for completing that task.  And my need for a reward wasn’t even very strong.  The biggest hurdle was that I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing.

I think the answer is to plan to write a blog post that night.  It will give me something to do and it will force me to use my brain and think about what I’m doing as well.  And if I need a treat, I will bring home some different fruit, so I’m staying within my good eating routine but still getting something special.  I love mango, so I will likely bring home some pre-cut mango slices from work, and destroy the whole container, guilt free, because even a whole container will be well within my calorie allotment.  I think the most important takeaway here is to stay the course.  I fucked up.  I will likely fuck up again.  I just can’t give up.

XOE


*I’m not going to lie and say I enjoyed the exercise, because that’s bullshit.  The exercise is hard because I’m fat and out of shape.  But I do enjoy how I feel after the exercise.  I like the shower and the blogging and the water drinking.  And the exercise isn’t as bad as I think it’s going to be when I’m rousing in bed before I go.

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Food Fight

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I broke the 180s.  Down 1.2 lbs from yesterday.  That’s hot.  40 more days like yesterday and I’m at my target.

The above graphic is taken directly from my scale this morning.  I weight myself every morning, naked, post- (TMI WARNING FOR THE SQUEMISH…AVERT YOUR EYES NOW UNTIL THE NEXT PARAGRAPH) shit. I think this is the most realistic way to weigh myself.

Last time I wrote about my workout routine and generally what that entails.  Today I’m going to write about food: what I eat & when I eat.

A few months ago I read Penn Jillette’s book, Presto.  I was hoping  it would give me the kick in the ass I needed to start losing weight.  And it did play a role.  The thing that stuck with me the the bit about how he’s a drastic guy, and so he needed a drastic dietary change.  Most dietitians and trainers will tell you, generally, that drastic doesn’t work, won’t last.  I think they will also tell you the routine that will work is the one that’s right for you.  I think Penn just found what was right for him.

And so I have been spending a lot of time reading, and thinking, and failing, trying to figure out what’s right for me.  That’s all fine, it’s part of the process.  You failing?  That’s ok.  Keep trying.  You only really fail if you don’t try again.  Failing and trying again is just process. You trying to get healthier? Then you’re in process. I’m in process. Our lives are just process until we die.  Sound defeating?  I find comfort in that.  We’re all just trying.

But I digress. I’ll write more in another entry about the reading I did and the things I learned that are helping me now.  This entry is about food.

What I eat now:

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This is a screenshot taken directly from My Fitness Pal.  I prefer vegetarian meals. and I had that remarkably low cholesterol when I was vegetarian, so for now I’m sticking to vegetarian.  I’m not much of a cook, that is to say, I’m actually very capable in the kitchen, thanks to the women in my life, but I don’t enjoy cooking.  So for this weight loss to work, I have to be honest and acknowledge that, right now, I don’t enjoy cooking.  So I find pre-made, reasonably healthy alternatives.  Almost anything is better than pizza and ice cream.  You know what I also love? Hot sandwiches. So I eat Potbelly’s for lunch.  I love hummus.  I love onions.  I love red peppers.  Their Mediterranean sammie has all those and more.  And while it has feta on it, the amount they put on is much less than the six slices of cheese I would get on their other vegetarian option, the mushroom melt.  Sure, I could ask them to not put any cheese on at all, but I think that would be the fast track to failure.  I can adjust later.  For now, the cheese stays.

And I work at Trader Joe’s, so grabbing dinner there is easy.  I had a sandwich for lunch, so I have a salad for dinner.  Dinner’s closer to bedtime than lunch is, so I try to eat less bread later in the day (fewer simple carbs hanging out overnight, just begging to become a part of my waistline). The salad is good because it has quinoa in it, which will help raise my good cholesterol and lower the bad.  It also helps me feel fuller.  It’s got kale and cabbage and tomatoes, all super healthy.  But the best part is the cilantro and lime dressing, with some cotija cheese and roasted corn.  The dressing is the least healthy part, but the tastiest.  As I continue to eat better, my taste will continue to shift toward desiring healthier foods, but for now, just like the sandwich, this salad, dressing and all, is a much healthier option than pizza.

As for snacks, I love a decaf iced coffee with some soy milk added.  The milk is a little sweet, so it beats back my cravings for an entire chocolate cake.  I have some fruit every night when I get home, because I am a little peckish after work, and I don’t want to fuck up my day by going for pizza.  If I have the fruit to look forward to, it keeps me on track.  It also scratches that sweet itch.  The cookie?  Well, there’s always something open in the break room at work for us to share, and it’s a real struggle.  I love our sugar cookies.  So I ate one & logged it on MFP.  I didn’t eat 4, and I didn’t leave it off my tracker, so it’s still a win.

You might notice I don’t eat breakfast.  Through my research (mostly reading and podcast listening) I am persuaded by the weight loss results others have had with intermittent fasting.  Unfamiliar with IF? Go here for more info. Briefly, IF for me is the decision to not consume anything but water between my fruit when I get home at 11pm and my Potbelly lunch before work at 1:30 pm.  That’s 14 glorious hours of not eating!  Here you can find out about all the sick benefits of IF. And you will notice I am consuming the amount of calories myself and my doctor are comfortable with (i.e. I’m not starving myself), and because I dragged my ass to the gym yesterday morning and I’m fortunate in that I have an active job, I left plenty of calories on the table to run a good deficit.  Fuck yeah.

So for now that’s my routine: gym in the morning, blog post in the morning (both activities keep me from getting bored and confusing that boredom with hunger), sandwich for lunch, salad for dinner, coffee snack, fruit snack (and it has to be fresh fruit, nothing dried or artificially sweetened.  I want the fiber and water only fresh fruit can give me.), then bed.  I sleep about 9 hours, if you care to know that.  That’s what feels good for me.

Oh, and I drink around 100 ounces of water a day: 30 before work, 70 at work (I count the 16 oz. coffee with that because it’s decaffeinated) and another pint at home before bed.

Stop thinking about me in bed, you perverts.

XOE

 

Gym? Rats.

I wrote ever so briefly yesterday about my goal: 140 lbs.

That’s 50.6 lbs. to lose.*  I’m giving myself 5 months to lose it. Ten pounds a month sounds doable to me.  That’s 2.25/week, which by most doctors’ estimates is the upper limit of how much a person can reasonably expect to lose weekly and keep off.  Let’s start counting today: July 23rd.  In five months it will be December 23rd!  Huzzah!  Christmas Eve Eve I will be looking hot af for Jesus’ birthday. My gift to him will be rippling abs.

Let’s go over how I expect to do it.

My methods are not sexy or cool or cutting edge.  I’m looking down the barrel of a lot of leafy greens and hours spent on the elliptical.  I think losing weight is about routine.  Because gaining weight was a routine, too.  A routine is what got me where I am, right? Nightly pizza after work, weekends popping over to the ice cream spot. I’ve been eating like everyday is a 4th grader’s birthday party. How much does a 4th grader weigh? About 50 lbs I bet.  Carrying around this kid’s weight is not sustainable.  Not if I don’t want to end up some fat asshole on a rascal missing a foot.  Diabetes does run in my family.  So let’s forge a new future.

I have some tools I’ve been using that I think are going to be essential in getting off (heh-heh) and keeping off the weight:

-My Fitness Pal, which you can get here.  It’s a free calorie counter, and super easy to use. I used it once to lose weight, and it worked,** so I’m going back to it. It makes me conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth, and how many calories the junk really has in it.  If you try it out, don’t cheat, log EVERY SINGLE THING you put in your mouth.  MFP is the most useful when I’m completely honest with what I’m consuming.

-Fit Bit, the model I’m using can be found here. Or really any pedometer.  While the one that comes standard in your smart phone isn’t as accurate at counting expenditures as a Fit Bit, it will give you a good baseline of how many calories you’re burning daily.  The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you expend, so just make what’s going in smaller than what’s going out and you will be on the right track.

-Weight Gurus scale, find it here. I referred to my scale in the previous post, and wrote a little about what it can track.  I pair all three apps and they tell me all the things I need to know to lose weight: what I eat, how much I exercise, and my current weight (including my fat %). They are all synced so, for example, my Fit Bit tells My Fitness Pal how much I’m exercising, and I can adjust my calorie consumption accordingly.  But I choose not to take into account my exercise when it comes to calories eaten daily, and instead just count those extra burned calories in my deficit.  The point is to lose weight, not eat more just because I can.

At the gym, I do cardio, not weights, because my doctor told me I have high cholesterol, and that is a thing that was never, ever true about me.  I was a vegetarian for almost ten years, and was routinely told I had incredibly low cholesterol. My grandfather died of a heart attack, so that high cholesterol news scared the shit out of me. If you’re trying to lose weight, I suggest going to your doctor and asking them to be brutally honest with you.  Maybe you’ll get some horror show news that will scare the shit out of you, and light a fire under that ass, too.

So, cardio at the gym will lower my cholesterol and burn some calories and it’s good for my lungs, too.  And it’s good for lowering stress, too.  And it will help me sleep better at night while I’m worrying about my cholesterol.  Six days a week I do 30 minutes/daily, alternating between a fast walk on the treadmill to a steady pace on the elliptical.

Tomorrow let’s talk food: what am I eating and when am I doing it?

XOE

PS: My spacing after periods is all over the place.  You may have noticed, maybe you couldn’t give two shits less.  But I can’t figure out if I’m pro two spaces after or pro one space. I just wanted to acknowledge it so you didn’t think I was just some idiot who didn’t know he didn’t know how to properly type.


*I lost some weight between my last post and this post, which explains the discrepancy in weight from yesterday to today.  Hooray!
**But if I lost weight using MFP once and gained it back, am I sure using the app worked? Yeah. I am, because I stopped using it, and gained it all (and more) back. The complicated reasons for losing and gaining the weight will be discussed in a later post.

Fats and Stats

So, I’ve been fat for about a year and a half.*

How fat?  Well, here’s some big numbers to consider:

I’m 5′ 4″, and I weigh…

193.8 lbs. Fuck.  That’s the fattest I’ve ever been.  You’ll get the history of my weight in another post.  for now, let’s just talk stats & how I get them.

I have the Weight Gurus Bluetooth scale that you can find here.  I find the scale, after a brief set-up process, to be very user friendly.  You just link the scale to your phone and stand on it (the scale not the phone, dum-dum).  It calculates your BMI, and body composition percentage in four other key areas: % of bone, muscle, water, and fat.  My numbers are:

BMI: 33.3
Muscle Mass %: 33.2
Body Fat %: 31.7

I’m not logging water and bone here because I’m not trying to bore you to pieces.  I have those numbers logged if I want to consult them as I learn more about their importance in weight loss.  For now, let’s stick to the basics.

So what’s the goal? Well, as a trans person, that’s a little tricky.  Because although I have the primary sex characteristics of a man (facial hair, deeper-than-most-ladies voice, receding hairline [BUT STILL A HEALTHY AMOUNT OF HAIR UP TOP GODDAMNIT]) due to the testosterone I inject weekly, I do still have that pesky estrogen encouraging my body to store fat in a cis-lady way.  Physiologically it’s confusing.  Just because I take T shots my body doesn’t automatically become biologically male.  (Let’s not say that in front of the Bible thumpers, they wouldn’t understand & are easily confused.) For example, I can build muscle like a man but hang on to fat like I need to prepare to feed a baby with it.

The bottom line?

Sometimes, guys, we need to acknowledge we were women to become men.

So I won’t have the health goals of a cis-guy my age and height.  I will have the health goals for my body exactly, because I can remember being fit and healthy just about two years ago.  If you need a get skinnier goal for yourself, but have been fat for a long time, ask your doctor.  I REPEAT: ASK YOUR DOCTOR WHEN CONSIDERING A CHANGE IN DIET AND/OR EXERCISE.  Also, make sure your doctor gets trans stuff.  For example, when I went to my doctor and asked her what amount of calories I should be consuming to lose weight, she quoted me an amount for a cis-woman my height.  Because that’s how my body uses and stores those calories, like a cis-woman.

So here’s my initial goals**:

Weight: 140 lbs

That’s it. My only goal. I have a scale.  So I can track weight honestly. I know what my adult body looks like at 140.  It’s a weight I feel good in my clothes in.  It’s a weight that puts me back into my 32″ Levis. It’s the weight that turned heads at my 20 year high school reunion. Fuck, I have such a sharp suit in my closet that I look dead sexy in but now only my arms fit in the leg holes. Christ.

Also, I don’t want to over complicate things this early in the game.  With no encouraging results yet I’m hanging on by a thread here.  This early it’s all salads this and elliptical machine that and ugh.  Gross.  I just want to lay on the couch and watch UnReal and eat popsicles.  But that’s how I got here and here is so fat I have to lean forward to read my scale to see around the fat.

So let’s change some bad habits, shall we?

XOE


*This post originally started at a year, but I’ve been procrastinating writing this post/working on this blog/not shoving pizza in my face.  I wanted to tell you that so maybe you don’t beat yourself up too much if you’ve procrastinated too.
**I am not a doctor, and my plan is for my body specifically.  These are not suggestions for you, dear reader, to follow.  My only suggestion for you, if you want to embark on a weight loss journey of your own, is to first stop talk to your doctor.

 

Fuck Being Fat: An Introduction

Hi, I’m Eli.
A fat trans guy.
A fat trans guy in his 40s.
A fat, white, trans guy in his 40s.

God, I bet you guys can’t click away fast enough.

But wait, you know what people do love?
Comeback stories.
I’m letting you in on this one on the ground floor.

You see, I wasn’t always fat.  I was always trans, but just started the physical transition a little over five years ago.

If you give a shit about my transition, click over to this site’s big brother, My Life With Tits.

If not, stay put.  This entry ain’t over.

A Condensed Background for Interested Parties

Why am I here?  Well, I’m here writing this blog because I used to look hot in the mirror. That’s no longer the case. That’s my truth.  You don’t like it?  Fuck off, this blog’s not for you. Unless you’re a fat trans guy tired of being a fat trans guy.  Then this blog might be for you.

This blog is about my health, and FTM issues relating to health.  This blog is for trans guys, and cis guys, in that we sometimes overlap.  This blog is for allies if you find it helpful.

I swear a lot, and my outlook on my appearance and the way I talk about myself might not be for you.  That’s ok.  I bet there’s some shit you’re into that I find offensive.  So I can fuck off, right? Right. I can fuck right off.

But if you’re ok with the swears, and how I talk about my body, and you find this stuff interesting or helpful or encouraging, well then fuck yeah, stick around.  Watch my fat ass get skinny agin.

What Can I Expect as an Observer?

Welp, you can expect posts a couple times a week.

You can expect the swears to keep coming.

You can expect links and tips from others in the trans health community. You can expect responses to any queries within a reasonable amount of time.

You got questions?  Ask them.  If not, let’s get uncomfortable together. Let’s dive right the fuck in.

XOE