Whole30 Day 2

Okay, it’s more like day 4 since August and I started, but I’ve only started keeping track of exactly what I eat yesterday since our gym is doing a Whole30 challenge that started yesterday. The way they’re doing it is you get points for following the Whole30, exercising ( only get points for up to 5 days a week to encourage people to take two off days), getting 8 hours of sleep, and spending 20 minutes doing something relaxing that does not involve technology (reading, napping, mobility / stretching, so long as it doesn’t involve electronics in any way).  You also get a point for any new personal records (PR) you set on any major fitness category, such as the weightlifting movements or mile runs.  What they did last time, and I suspect will happen again, is they did a WOD the first day and did that same one again on the 30th day to see how much people improved.  At the end of the 30 days, they total up the points from all the good behavior and they are planning to give prizes to the individuals that did the best.  A fun way to encourage people to pick up better habits, not just in their diet but in their overall lives.  I really like that they give points for getting an adequate amount of sleep and for taking some time to do something relaxing every day.  It’s a great way to help people do things that will better help them manage their stress levels and just be healthier overall.  I’m also fond of having a maximum amount of points for working out every week to avoid people over training themselves just to get more points.  Off days are just as important as the training days themselves.  So yeah, anyway, I’m participating in this since August and I were going to be doing a Whole30 this month anyway.

Yesterday, day one of the gym sponsored Whole30, I got pretty much everything that I could get points for, despite spending 6 hours at work.  I had eggs, bacon, and onion for breakfast, put a paleo sriracha sauce that August made on the eggs, so good!  Then had a single cup of coffee with homemade hazelnut milk in it.  I miss my heavy cream in my coffee because it made it so thick and creamy, but I can deal with this for 30 days no problem, hazelnuts were meant to go with coffee.  Then I brought left over paleo chocolate chili that August made over the weekend, and added a little homemade olive oil mayo to it, which has a similar effect as putting sour cream in chili so was a good replacement.  I also brought an orange with me for lunch.  I used my 30 minute lunch break at work to read while I worked, so got my technology free relaxation time in.  Then I went to the gym as soon as I got off work and did this terrible WOD:

“Fortius Chipper”
– For Time –
100 Double Unders
70 KB Swings
60 Wall Balls
50 V-Ups
40 Goblet Squats
30 Burpee Pull Ups
20 HSPU
10 Muscle Ups

[30 Minute Cap]

O/R: Singles, Light Russian, 8/4#, Situps, Air Squats, Burpees, Box HSPU, Ring Rows
Beg: Singles (3x), 35/26#, 14/8#, Burpee Jumping PU, Box HSPU, Ring Dips
Int: 53/35#, 20/14#, Ring Dips (2x)
Adv: 70/53#, 20/14#

For those that don’t know, double unders are jump roping in which the rope passes under you twice each jump.  I basically did it at the male beginner level, which means 300 singles (I can’t do double unders very well yet), 35# kettle bell for the kettle bell swings, 14# ball for the wall balls, and did hand stand push ups (HSPU) from a box… I can do HSPU but not a whole lot at once yet, and definitely not after all the stuff that came before that part of the workout.  I did normal burpee pull ups, though, instead of the burpee jumping pull ups, so that was the one movement out of the workout I did at intermediate level.  I just finished the box HSPU when time ran out, so didn’t make it to the ring dips.  It was one second for every missed rep, so that put me at 30:10.  Looking forward to seeing my score on this next time we do it, I have a feeling I’ll improve a lot.

When I got home from the gym, we had dinner, which was citrus-garlic marinated steak that turned out really delicious and tender!  We had a mixture of veggies with it: bell pepper, carrots, and kale.  For the fat we just drizzled a little olive oil over it.  That was the hardest thing for me the first time I did a Whole30, making sure I got enough fat in my meals.  Too little and you end up hungry again real quick, but if you get enough it’s easy to make it to the next meal without snacking.  Despite a couple things waking me up in the middle of the night, I got my 8 hours of sleep.

So far today I’ve had eggs scrabbled with onion and kale and I mixed together the sriracha and homemade mayo to make a creamy sriracha sauce. Naturally, I had another cup of coffee with hazelnut milk in it.  Plan to go to the noon crossfit class today and today’s strength is max testing the clean and jerk, so should get a PR for a bonus point today.  I probably won’t post about every day of the Whole30, but I’ll be sure to update every few days or so and to link any recipes that were particularly delicious for those that want to check them out.

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New Beginnings

As it always seems to happen when I sit down to write, I realize it’s been quite a while since I last wrote a post.  A lot has happened lately.  I finished my first semester of school, got out of the military, and started a new part-time job for a little extra money while I’m in school.  Two of the three months have passed since the CT scan that I wrote about having gotten in my last post, so one more month until I get another one to make sure the ground glass nodule they saw is going away and was just related to me being sick a little before the first scan.  With all the good changes happening, I’ve been doing a pretty good job keeping that health concern out of my mind and focusing on other things at least.  So about those other things…

As I said, finished my first semester at the community college I’m going to and did pretty well despite having to balance 14 credits worth of online classes with long days at work.  It was especially stressful when the replacement for my boss who had just retired came in and decided we weren’t leaving until a certain time, regardless of whether we had actual work to do during that time or not.  That resulted in frequently being stuck at work doing absolutely nothing when I could have been home working on schoolwork.  After he got there, I had a lot of 9-10 hour days there.  But that’s not something I have to worry about anymore.  My military days ended just in time to start the new year as a civilian.  I’m excited that I can focus on school and work my new job around my classes rather than my classes around a job I don’t intend to stick with.  This will be the first time I’ve been in a position in which I’m truly able to make school my top priority.  I’ve always had to work full-time and deal with family chaos when I’ve gone to school in the past, so I’m really looking forward to this new semester starting up and having so much less on my plate this time around.

Then there’s the new job, a certified technician at a retail store.  Nothing terribly special, but allows me to put my technical skills to use while I focus on school.  The best thing about this job is this:

Featured image

It’s only been a couple days since I started this job, but it’s so nice to be able to go by my chosen name at work.  It’s like a weight has been lifted off me, no longer having to worry about if the people I work with figure out I’m trans, no more having the knowledge hanging over me that who I am is banned where I work.  When I told my new manager about it and that I intend to start transitioning in the near future, he seemed genuinely excited for me and congratulated me on getting out of the military and being able to transition.  He also made sure to tell me that if anybody gives me a hard time about it to let him know immediately.  I feel pretty good about this new job for that reason, for being so easy to work around my school schedule, and for how low stress it is for me.  Even with both this job and school, I’ll have way more time off to do whatever than I’ve had in a really long time, so much more time to unwind and get chores and such taken care of.

Speaking of transitioning, I think sometime in the next couple weeks August and I will be going to the clinic to start the process to get my transition moving along, as well as to see about August’s needs as he continues his HRT.  From what I understand, as somebody that hasn’t started any treatment at all, it’s about a month from when you first go into the clinic to when they actually give you a prescription.  I’m not starting as soon as I had originally been hoping, but it’s still so close.  It seems so unreal that I’ll actually get to start sometime soon!

So I started the new year off as a civilian and with a new job in which I can be myself.  In addition to that, August and I have started another Whole30.  It seemed like a good idea to get back on track with healthy eating after the holidays.  I did get pictures and measurements to compare at the end of the 30 days, but will wait until then to post them.  I’m mostly just wanting to get back to good eating behavior, as well as back into working out regularly now that my schedule allows for it.  That was another thing that suffered with the long hours at my old job, especially after the last couple months.  It feels good just knowing I’m in a position to better take care of myself again, and I’m sure it’ll feel even better as I continue on with this plan and improve my health.  Hopefully I’ll be back in good enough shape to start looking at doing CrossFit competitions again before I know it.  The one I got to participate in before was a blast, and I really want to do more.

So, that catches you up on most of what I’ve got going on right now.  Hopefully I’ll have more to post about and make more regular posts now that I’m not so busy, but we’ll see how it goes after school starts up.  At any rate, 2015 I think is my year.  I’ve started it off well already and still have so much to look forward to this year.

Whole 30 Again

So, I’m doing another Whole 30.  My crossfit gym is doing it and I wanted to participate in it, even though it had only been about a month since I finished my first one.  I also felt like after the trip to San Francisco where I felt like I was eating pretty badly, it’d be good to get me back on track with what I want to be doing.  You can’t go to San Fran and not eat delicious foods, though.  I’m also aware that my idea of “pretty badly” is still better eating habits than the average person now, but still felt like I should get back to the healthier eating I’ve grown accustomed to.

It’s only been a week since I started this Whole 30, so don’t have a whole lot to write about in regards to it just yet.  I didn’t take measurements at the beginning, so I’ll just be comparing to the measurements I took at the end of the first one.  I did, however, take before pictures so I can post before and afters when the time comes.  One exciting thing is that August made hazelnut milk from scratch to put into our coffee to replace the cream we usually during this Whole 30.  It turned out really good and hazelnut always goes well with coffee.

Anyway, I’ll post more as I get further into this, as well as other life happenings that I should really get around to sitting down and writing about.

Whole 30 Results

Okay, so took measurements yesterday since my Whole 30 ended.  Keep in mind that I am only 5’1″ when you look at those measurements.  Between the Whole 30 and attending my awesome crossfit gym, here are the comparative 30 day measurements.


 

Before               After                     Difference

Weight              119.2 lbs          117.6 lbs              -1.6 lbs
Neck                  13.25″                13.5″                     +0.25″
Shoulders        37.75″               38″                         +0.25″
Biceps               11.5″                   11.5″                        —–
Forearms         9.5″                     9.5″                          —–
Chest                 29.5″                  31.5″                        +2″
Waist                 28.5″                  28.25″                    -0.25″
Hips                   35.5″                   35″                          -0.5″
Thighs                 22″                     22″                         —–
Calves                12.5″                  12.5″                       —–


 

So, the changes of a slight loss of weight and inches in waist and hips, and gaining of inches in the neck, shoulders, and torso may be indicative of loss of body fat and gaining of muscle, especially when paired up with comments I’ve received from people on my appearance lately.  Multiple people I work with or friends that have visited after not seeing me for a couple weeks during the Whole 30 have commented on how I look like I’ve lost weight, despite the weight loss being a pretty negligible amount, and look noticeably leaner.  Additionally, August mentioned that he is able to see more definition in my back muscles now, which would theoretically mean less fat covering those muscles.  Things I’ve noticed myself have been more definition in my shoulders, arms, and upper abs.  The veins in my arms definitely seem closer to my skin than they were before.  I also feel as if my face looks a little thinner in the mirror.

I reintroduced dairy yesterday and will be reintroducing something else this weekend, though I haven’t decided which thing I want to reintroduce next yet.  As for daily eating habits after the reintroduction period is over, I intend to stay pretty close to the Whole 30 for a while still, except for having heavy cream in my coffee and having protein shakes instead of full meals after working out.  I’m hoping that the fat burning will continue until I get to a body fat percentage that I’d like to have.  After that, I’ll be shifting my focus to muscle building so will be changing my diet to something more appropriate for that.

That’s pretty much all I have for today.  It’s exciting to see the results I’ve gotten from the Whole 30 and crossfit so far.  I’ll post more about how the reintroduction process is going next week when I’ve gotten through more of the stuff I’ll be reintroducing and seen how my body reacts to them.  I’ll probably start posting pictures every so often for comparison as I continue towards my fitness goals.

Pre-Transition Identification and Other Stuff

This weekend has been a good one.  It was our anniversary which was a great time between the safari park, lunch at a brewery (felt like anniversary was worth cheating during the whole 30 for), and a wonderful steak dinner.  It’s crazy to think that it’s already been a year, and unfortunate when I realize I was gone for the vast majority of that year.  At least I won’t have to be away from home for so long ever again, though.  I appreciate how much August has had to deal with over the last year with me being away for so much of it, especially since he had started his transition only a little while before I left.  Despite all this, it’s been a good year together and I look forward to more even better years.

In other news, the other day we went to the grocery store to get some more of the particular olive oil that August likes to use to make mayo.  When we went up to the register to check out, the cashier was helping an older gentleman.  She was all smiles and chatted with him while she worked.  As he left, she turned and looked at August and me.  The smile almost immediately fell from her face and I felt as if she was giving us a dirty look for some reason.  She didn’t say a single word to us as she rung up our items.  Not a “Did you find everything okay?”, “How are you?”, or even a simple “Hi”, very much exactly what you aren’t supposed to do when you work in customer service positions.  This is the first time I’ve ever had somebody give me a dirty look and give me such a cold shoulder for what seems to be nothing more than appearances.  I can’t be sure of what she was thinking or why she behaved that way.  Maybe she didn’t like August’s ear piercings (plugs), maybe she just couldn’t think of anything to chat about in regards to olive oil like she had chatted with the previous guy about his ice cream, maybe August and I are starting to get identified as a gay couple and she is homophobic, or maybe it was something completely unrelated to us at all and I’m reading too much into a look that wasn’t really there.  It did seem weird, though, and was a first of that sort of interaction for me.

When I was on deployment and we’d stop in different countries and got to go out and explore the area a bit, I was pretty consistently identified as male by the locals.  At least until I spoke, then they wouldn’t be sure.  There were several times when my friends and I were browsing stores or markets and one of the shop owners or employees would ask one of my friends if I was a boy or a girl.  One lady asked my friend if I was her little brother (I’m 6 years older than this friend).  This was all rather exciting for me, especially when people just identified me as male and didn’t question it even after they heard my voice.  In the states people do identify me as male some of the time, but pretty much every time I speak they notice how high pitch my voice is and apologize because they feel they misidentified me.  That is until the other day.  The same day we had the weird encounter with that cashier, we went out to dinner after catching a movie.  The waiter that helped us called us gentlemen when he was talking to us, and specifically called me sir a couple times when I ordered and when I paid for dinner.  He obviously heard my voice when he took my order, earlier in fact when I asked for a glass of water while we were looking over the menu.  So even after hearing me speak, he still identified me as male.  This was a cool experience for me, it was a first here in the states.  No apology or correcting to ma’am or anything.  It kind of made my day.  August didn’t seem as impressed, but I feel like that might be partly because he’s far enough along in his transition that he is consistently identified as male by strangers and it’s lost it’s excitement for him.  I, on the other hand, haven’t even began my transition at all yet.  It’ll be nice once I do and my voice starts to drop some so this can be a regular thing and it’ll lose it’s excitement for me as well.

Today we did a Memorial Day run of Murph.  For those that don’t know what that WOD consists of, it’s as follows:

1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 hand release push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run

We have to start and end on the runs, but we could break up the pull ups, push ups, and squats however we wanted.  The time cap to do all this was 50 minutes.  I didn’t complete it in time, but I did get to start the final run before running out of time.  I think we’ll be doing this again next Memorial Day, so my goal for a year from now is to be able to do all the pull ups without having to resort to jumping pull ups in the middle of it, and to complete it within the given time limit.  This was the first time I’ve done this particular workout.  It was pretty rough at the time.  The second mile at the end was particularly bad after all the stuff you do before it.  All that being said, I felt pretty amazing about 15-20 minutes after I finished and had caught my breath.  A couple hours later and I’m really tired and feel like taking a nap, though.  Burned a lot of energy today.

My next post will come later this week when my Whole 30 ends and I get my measurements, which I’ll be posting the before and after measurements.  I’ve been really happy with how much fat I’ve burned off during this and intend to stay mostly Whole 30 for a while afterwards.  I’d like to get my body fat percentage down a little bit more before I shift my focus more towards muscle building.  The exceptions to the Whole 30 are mostly drinking coffee with heavy cream, and maybe having an occasional beer, though I intend for those to be few and far between still… Oh, and not fretting as much about what might be in the food when we go out to eat.  Can’t wait to find out what my exact results are when I take measurements later this week!

Distracted

I meant to post this a few days ago when I hit the 20 day mark of my Whole 30, but I’ve been distracted.  Mostly distracted by video games since August and I have started playing a new one, but also visiting with friends, going to work, and the gym all had a part to play in it as well.  Now on to business…

I’m on day 24.  In one week I’ll be starting my day off with a nice cup of coffee with heavy cream in it.  I don’t have a whole lot more to report on from my previous post.  I continue to feel like I’m getting leaner and stronger between the Whole 30 and going to the gym.  I’ve started working Olympic weightlifting into my schedule as well.  I’m trying to get into a regular schedule of weightlifting twice a week and crossfit three times.  I’d love to eventually be doing two a day workouts, but I don’t think that’s going to happen until after I leave my job and only have a class schedule to worry about working around, which is still months away.  A friend of mine commented on my appearance when she came to visit over the weekend, saying at first that I looked like I lost weight or look noticeably leaner, which was exciting.  I actually hope that I’ve gained weight or at least stayed around the same weight since I’m wanting to be gaining muscle, but I certainly am not complaining that I seem to be losing fat.

One big thing I’ve noticed since being on the Whole 30 is that before doing this, when I’d go too long between meals, I’d get light headed or headaches accompanied by a weak, shaky feeling, basically low blood sugar symptoms.  If I can’t eat as soon as I’d like while I’ve been doing the Whole 30, even if I’m really hungry, I don’t get those side effects.  I’m eating a lot more fat now and a lot less sugar, which probably has a part to play in this.  Since my body has adjusted to being fueled by the fat instead of sugars more, it seems that my blood sugar has leveled out nicely.  Keep in mind, I’m not diabetic or have any diagnosed issues with maintaining my blood sugar, I just would occasionally get mild low blood sugar symptoms if I went too long without eating.  I just wanted to make that clear in case anybody that has been diagnosed with something reads this.  The whole 30 has really helped me with this, but I never had anything too serious in this area to begin with.

So, one week until I start reintroducing things.  The only things I really want to reintroduce are dairy in the form of protein shakes and having heavy cream in my coffee, and gluten / alcohol in the form of beer.  Dairy has the higher priority since my Whole 30 ends in the middle of the work week when starting my day off with coffee and being able to just have a convenient protein shake after the gym instead of a full meal is really desirable.  With how late in the day I end up going to the gym (after work) I have my post workout meal just before I have dinner.  Two full meals too close together.  I can totally wait until the weekend to reintroduce beer.  That’s a better time to have a drink anyway.  The same friend that commented on my appearance the other day bought August and me a bottle of the Game of Thrones red ale that we saw at the store, so maybe we’ll just try that out that weekend.  Other than those two things, I can’t really think of anything I really want to reintroduce.

In about a week I’ll make my final post in regards to the Whole 30 and will be weighing myself and taking measurements so I can share my results.

I’m Back

So a couple of weeks ago I came back from an 8 month deployment on a ship.  In some ways it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, and in others it was worse.  8 months of dealing with the same people in the same environment, no days off, just the same thing almost every day.  It got monotonous to say the least.  That being said, we did get to get off the ship and check out some cool places for a couple of days about once every month or so, which helped the time go by faster.

It was difficult sometimes, sharing a living space with so many females… having to put on the female, or at best butch lesbian, face everyday and not being able to come home to an environment where I could feel comfortable and be myself at the end of the day.  Sure, there is a rather small number of people I work with that know how I identify, but there were nearly always others around that don’t know and can’t know.

I made some new friends on this deployment, some of which I think will be lasting friendships.  Between that, the cool places I got to visit, even if only for a day or two, and the time going by faster than I thought it would, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.  The bad stuff I just had to push through and use the good things awaiting me back home to keep my outlook more positive.

So, getting back home.  I can’t believe how much I’ve missed out on while I’ve been gone.  August has progressed so far in his transition, it’s ridiculous.  He hit his one year on T the day after I got back.  Between the deployment itself and the exercises I kept having to leave for in the months leading up to the deployment, it feels as if I was gone for nearly that entire year, minus a few weeks here and there between the exercises.  He’s gotten really into fitness, which is great.  He really looks fantastic.  I wish I could have been there for more of his transition, but things are what they are and I’m here now, so there’s that at least.  I don’t intend to leave for any significant period of time again.

Speaking of fitness, I’ve joined the crossfit gym that August started going to while I was gone.  It seems like a really great place.  I was afraid of going and finding a bunch of bros and have been pleasantly surprised that the coaches and members there both seem mature and fun.  I’m really enjoying it when I go, though sometimes I’m tired from work or just not in the mood and don’t want to go.  I think that will improve with time, though, it already is starting to feel like it is.  Right after I got back, I found I was feeling even more antisocial and didn’t want to deal strangers a lot more than usual, but I feel like that’s from spending 8 months in such a confined community.  I’m feeling more comfortable with the idea of going to the gym without August accompanying me, in fact I’ll be going without him this evening.  The more I go, the more energy and better mood I know I’ll have, since that always happens when I workout regularly, and then I’ll be looking forward to my after work crossfit sessions a lot more.

I also started the Whole30 challenge and am about 10 days in so far.  I haven’t really had much in the way of cravings, just when I see somebody drinking coffee or August drinking protein.  I decided to take coffee out as well since I felt like I became very reliant on caffeine during the deployment, and wanted to get that out of my system so I can just go back to drinking it for the enjoyment of the taste rather than as an energy crutch.  And as far as the protein goes, it’s just so much more convenient to drink it after a workout than it is to prepare a whole post-workout meal.  Neither one is really a big deal, though.  I can definitely make it another 20 days.  So 21 days from now I’ll probably start my day off with a delicious coffee from our new Nespresso machine (like a Keurig only for espresso, it’s amazing and ridiculously tasty if you are the coffee drinking type).

So yes, 10 days in.  I didn’t take any pictures to document a before and after, but I did take measurements, which I will post the comparison of after I finish the Whole30 since I won’t be taking any more measurements until the end.  What I’ve noticed in these first 10 days… my skin has cleared up a lot.  I’m sure part of that is getting off the ship and getting more sunlight than I had for the last 8 months, but I also feel like a good deal of the credit can go towards being on a healthier diet.  Within the first few days I was already starting to feel leaner looking in the mirror or noticing how my clothing was fitting.  Today I noticed the sleeves on a top I wear for shirt are feeling a little tighter, which I feel like is a combination of crossfit and eating healthier.  My energy levels haven’t changed a noticeable amount, which I was hoping would improve after August had mentioned his improved early on in his Whole30, but there’s still 20 days left so it might get better.  That’s really all I have so far.  I’m sure I’ll post more about it as I notice more.

I’m glad to be back home and able to be me again.  I’m also glad to have a husband that has really led the way for me, I have some direction on my own situation thanks to him, as well as am living a much healthier lifestyle than I probably would have been without him.  I should be making posts more frequently now that I’m back, and I look forward to getting caught up on all the things I missed from those that I was following before I left.