1 Year on T!!!

Okay… so really long time no post… I apologize to anybody that really wanted to know how things have been going in my transition.  Life has been crazy over the last several months.  I moved across the country for a new job, while August remains on the west coast for a little while.  I’m living in a crowded house in the meantime, residents here include myself, 2 adult roommates, and 2 children.  With that many people in a 3 bedroom house doesn’t give much opportunity for privacy so I’ve found it hard to get around to taking pictures lately.  Additionally my eating habits went down the drain the first few months here, and I definitely gained a bit of fluff, as you’ll see in the pictures.

That being said, I’ve gotten back into going to the gym on a fairly regular basis, especially since I got a new car (so nice to not be reliant on my roommate for transportation anymore!!!) and eating better.  In fact, I am on day 6 of this year’s Whole30, and my roommates are both doing it as well.  We’re working on being healthier and less prone to eating the kids’ snacks that we were guilty of grabbing when we weren’t feeling like actually cooking.  So far, things are going awesome with the whole30, I’ve gotten into a good routine for cooking and I already feel like I’m past the worst of the cravings and am starting to feel my energy levels even out.  I can’t wait for another week or so to go by and to really be seeing and feeling the effects of it fully!

So, yesterday was my one year T anniversary.  As such, I have a series of comparisons to post.  There’s some pretty obvious changes, I’m much hairier than I was before.  I’m also a lot bigger, my muscles have grown a ton, and you can see some of the fat I’ve gained in my period of crappy eating too, unfortunately.  I think my hairline might have changed slightly, though not a whole lot… but it’s hard to tell since one is a fresh haircut and the other isn’t.  The full body pics I took were for my whole30 comparisons, so I’ll be taking another set of pics in about 25 days for that, which I’ll probably post on here too.  So, here are the pics and voice recordings.

Day 1 Voice

Year 1 Voice

1yearface1yearfront

1yearside1yearback

1yearjaw

1yearchin

1yearstomach

All the pictures are pre-T followed by the one year pics.  I’ve definitely gotten a lot more body hair, though I’m still wishing I had more facial hair growing in.  That being said, I really started noticing the facial hair coming in more significantly than it had been within the last few months, so hopefully it’ll keep up that pace.  I would really like to go with longer sideburns, but need that stuff to grow in a bit thicker before I can realistically do that.

I’m pretty happy with how far my voice has dropped in the last year for sure.  I’d love for it to drop even more, since a good portion of my job is answering phones and I still occasionally get a “ma’am” from people on the phone, but in person I almost never get misidentified, unless somebody sees my legal name before meeting me.

Speaking of legal names, I got my court order and doctor letters to get the name and gender marker changes on all my documents!  I just mailed off the paperwork to get my birth certificate changed and a new one to be sent out to me, as well as a form for gender marker change that I have to mail to the DMV here and await approval before I actually go into the DMV to get everything changed.  I’m so excited!  Once I get the birth certificate back, I’ll take the necessary documents to social security and after that actually go to the DMV for my license.  This state has veteran ID cards as well, so will be getting that done too (it’ll be nice to be able to take advantage of veteran discounts and such without having to worry about having my DD214 on me, lol).  Can’t wait to have all of these things taken care of and no longer having to worry about the “Well, that’s my legal name, but I go by Alex” conversation with people!

Anyway, that pretty much gets you caught up on everything for now.  I’ll be posting a follow up with comparison stuff for this Whole30 I’m doing, and… well… we’ll see after that.  I can’t make promises on my posting frequency, I never seem to follow through on them… but I do want to try getting back into blogging more regularly.

Endocrinologist Appointment

Had my first appointment today with my new endocrinologist.  I’m pretty excited about it, she seems to genuinely care about her patient’s both physical and mental well being.  I told her about the dose I’ve been on since I began my transition and my frustration at my progress, especially how bummed out at the 4 month mark.  As soon as she heard that my period has still not stopped at almost 5 months in, she was all about upping my dose for a bit.  She wants to do labs in a few weeks to check my levels, including my thyroid levels given the family history of thyroid problems and my tests in the past coming back borderline.

Thursdays are my injection days, which I usually do first thing in the morning before I go to work.  Since I had the appointment today, though, I decided to wait until after the appointment.  That meant when I got back home, I got to do my first injection at the higher dose.  I’m pretty excited about it, I’m eager for my period to go away completely, as well as slightly speeding up other changes.  Hopefully I’ll see some results from this in the near future, and I’ll feel a bit better after the frustration I ran into at the 4 month mark.

In just over a week I’ll be doing the 5 month comparisons, but I doubt that I’ll see much effect from the higher dose so soon.  Just the same, hopefully having been able to go to crossfit again and eating healthier since I’ve been home for a bit now instead of living out of a hotel room, I’ll see some progress made on the fitness front if nothing else.  I know some of my shirts (such as the one pictured below) are fitting differently these days at least and making me feel more muscular than I really am.  I’m going to be sad when I outgrow some of them, especially this Joker shirt, and it seems like that might be in the near future.  We’ll see how much has really changed recently, however, when I do my measurements around the 19th.

Featured image

Anyway, that’s really all I have for now, just excited to be upping my dose and am glad that the endocrinologist is so caring and eager to help me in my transition.  Expect a 5 months on T post in the not too distant future! 🙂

2 Months on T and Getting Stronger

So I decided not to write the post on Thursday, when I hit the 8 week mark, and instead waited a few days to do a nice even 2 months in post.  I think this is what I’ll be doing for the long run.   I’ll post an update on the whatever week mark that is about halfway through the month with commentary on whatever I notice going on at the time, maybe some pics if I’ve noticed some particularly cool change.  The big updates, like today’s, will be on the month marks and will include all the measurements, comparison pics and everything.

So, the biggest thing that has happened recently in my transition is my strength gains.  In the last 10 days I have gotten 5 new records on various lifts.  The smallest of which have been 10# jumps.  Most of these I didn’t even push to my true max because I either ran out of time before the crossfit class was going to start, or I didn’t want to completely burn myself out because of what was going to be in the WOD, such as when I tested my deadlift and there were going to be box jumps in the WOD… I didn’t want to miss a jump because my legs were too tired and bang up my shins on the box.  So, yeah, huge strength gains all of a sudden in the last week or so.  It’s exciting to see the effects of T starting to kick in in this area.  Here are the lifts that I did.

Lift             Old Max            New Max             Difference
Jerk                   105#                   115#                      10#
Strict Press         70#                     85#                       15#
Back Squat        170#                   180#                      10#
Deadlift              230#                   250#                      20#
Bench Press      120#                   135#                      15#

As for measurements, I’ve gained quite a bit.  Below is a screenshot from the excel document I’m keeping record of everything in.  The pic shows all the measurements, the difference between current measurements and pre-T, as well as the measurements taken at the 1 month mark.  Measurements are in lbs and inches.  Most of my gains seem to be in my upper body, but my thighs have also become noticeably larger and stronger.  I noticed they looked different a week or so ago and have been really looking forward to taking the measurements today to see how much of a difference there actually was.

20150419Measurements

In my last post I mentioned having noticed some darker facial hair starting to grow in on my lip now.  I managed to actually get a picture of it before I shaved it off the other day.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get anything since it’s still really fine, but I definitely was able to capture some of it.  I’m pretty excited that it’s getting to be enough to show up on camera.  I feel like it won’t be too long before I’ll have to start shaving more frequently because I’ll start to get a wispy little shadow on my lip if I don’t.  A bad wispy mustache is not something I want to even attempt to rock, but it’s still exciting that it’s growing in just the same.  I haven’t noticed any dark hairs anywhere else yet, but keeping an eye out for them.  It’ll be interesting to see how much facial hair comes in grey too, since I have a decent amount of salt in my hair these days.  Wonder if I’ll be able to notice it growing in thicker as easily if it’s grey in some areas as opposed to the obviously darker hairs on my lip.  Anyway, enough speculating, here’s the pic.

IMG_20150411_172549_869-1

And now for some comparison pics.  I’m so bad at getting the positioning the same in comparison pics, so it’s hard to tell what’s an actual change in appearance and what is just from me standing differently.  Just the same, here’s a couple comparison pics of me in a tank top.  Additionally, I took some pics of me in my favorite tank top that I own so I can do comparison pics with it in the future.  I feel like the angle I got in the front shot of that shirt shows my lats better, which have definitely grown and I wish I had a good pic from before to compare it to.

20150411_20150317_Front 20150411_20150317_Side

IMG_20150414_140927_452_cropped IMG_20150414_140209_760-1_resized

But wait, there’s more!  I haven’t given you the full body comparison shots yet!  Pre-T, 1 month, and 2 month.

20150419_Front

20150419_Side

20150419_Back

So, looking at the measurements and the side pics, I can tell my stomach has fluctuated some.  One thing that the first and last pictures have in common, however, is that both were taken during my period, so I’m a little bloated, and that may very well be attributing to that little pudginess at the very bottom of my stomach in those pictures that isn’t there quite as much in the 1 month one (my period had already come and gone by this time last month).  Otherwise, when I look at the front comparison pictures, it definitely looks to me like I’m getting more definition in my abs as my transition is progressing.

I was also surprised to see some definition in my chest starting to develop in the pictures.  I had been able to see it happening when I looked in the mirror, I’ve been noticing my breasts becoming definitely less perky and being able to see my pecs beneath them now… and possibly got way too much enjoyment out of the fact that I can flex my pecs and see them move now.  Just the same, I didn’t expect it to show at all in the pictures since I’m covering a good portion of that region with my hands.  It’s not a huge amount of definition that is visible, but I’m definitely seeing some changes going on there.

In the back comparison… well, I just feel like I look so much bigger now than I did even a month ago, let alone pre-T.  I wasn’t expecting that big of a change, even though I guess the measurements I took should have indicated that I’d be seeing that.  I can definitely see how much my lats have grown in this comparison.  In all three sets of pictures, but especially the back one, I can see my traps are significantly bigger now as well.  This was another thing I could see to a certain extent in the mirror, but I definitely didn’t realize exactly how much it had changed until I was putting together these comparisons.

So, I mentioned that I’m currently on my period, unfortunately.  This is something that I can’t wait to have stop eventually.  This is my second one to start since I started T.  Typically this has been something that is a huge ordeal for me: debilitating stomach cramps and back pain, nausea and vomiting, ridiculous fatigue, and usually a pretty heavy flow… the first day being the worst, then the second being uncomfortable but not interfering with my day to day activities nearly as much.  This time around it’s been really light, just barely more than what I’d consider spotting.  There was a little back pain, but no stomach cramps or nausea at all.  The fatigue was not near as bad as normal either.  Cravings for sugary things were way stronger than normal, though, but I almost wonder if that is connected to the lack of nausea this time.  It’s possible that the nausea I experienced before kept the cravings away because it just made not want to eat anything for fear of it not staying down.  Overall it’s been a significantly more pleasant experience than I’m used to.  I still really look forward to just not having it at all, but it was a nice change of pace to not have to take a ton of ibuprofen just to make it through the first day.  In fact I was able to go to the gym the first day, though I had to talk myself into it because I wasn’t really feeling like it.  I have almost always skipped the gym the first day of my period in the past because of the cramps and nausea I usually have.  I wouldn’t say it’s been a good experience, it’s still my period, but it has been a relief to not have it take everything out of me like it used to.

Other changes I’ve been noticing… My skin, particularly on my face, has been more oily than I’m used to.  At first there was a little acne on my face, back and chest and I began mentally preparing myself for a complete breakout, but it never seemed to quite happen.  There were a few blemishes here and there, but never anything real bad… so I guess pretty comparable to when I went through puberty the first time, I never did get hit real hard by acne.  Granted, I still have a lot of time ahead of me for things to go crazy, but right now after a tiny increase things are back to normal already.  We’ll see what happens as time goes on.  Because of the oiliness I’m having to use face wash more these days.  It’s the first time I’ve actually been able to use products to wash my face without having it drying my face out, though.  I’ve actually noticed an improvement in that sense and feel that my complexion and skin health is surprisingly improving from what it was pre-T, especially my face.  The increased oil production seems to have fixed an imbalance that had left me with dry skin problems in certain areas before.

And finally, time for the voice recordings.  There’s not really a whole lot to say about this, just listen and you can hear how much it’s changed for yourself.  Getting further and further from my original very feminine, almost childish voice I started with.

Day 1
Month 1
Month 2

So yeah, that’s pretty much everything I can think of at the moment.  Expect another transition and general life update around the 8th, but the next big comparison post will be in a month.  So much has changed in the last month, more than I expected.  I’m really excited to see what next month’s comparisons show!

6 Weeks On T and a New Job

So after my last post I decided to just write a post every couple of weeks so that I’ll have more to write about as well as to discourage myself from looking so hard for changes to take place and to be more patient with the process.  That being said, if there’s a week that goes by and there’s a huge amount of change that suddenly happens, I’ll definitely post that week, but at the slow but steady rate things are going so far, every other week seems like a good pace for updates.

Six weeks in as of today.  There’s been a lot that has happened in the last couple weeks, both in regards to transitioning as well as life in general.  August and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary of when we started seeing each other with getting all dressed up and going out to a nice restaurant for a really great dinner.  Our 2 year marriage anniversary is just around the corner, but because of work related travel and such we won’t be able to spend it together so was nice to celebrate this instead.  While I wore a different shirt than the one I got married in, the vest and slacks were the same and I was surprised by how differently they fit now.  There’s still plenty of room to grow into them, but they aren’t quite as ridiculous as they had been a couple years ago.  It’s my intention to wear these every anniversary to see how much change there is in how they fit over the years, at least until I out grow them if that ever actually happens.  August definitely out grew his wedding clothes, what he’s wearing in the more recent picture is a completely different but better fitting outfit.  So I have some pictures, starting with when we got married almost two years ago, a picture of the two of us together from the other night and one of just me.  Not the highest quality pictures and there wasn’t any good angles really showing how the clothing fit in the wedding pictures, but here they are.

20130524 20150323_Both 20150323_Me

As I mentioned, work related travel is preventing us from celebrating the 2 year anniversary of our marriage together, unfortunately.  Both of us will be traveling for work, though.  August has a temporary thing he’s doing that’ll take him out of town for a little while, which we’re both excited that he has the opportunity to do this work.  It pays pretty well and should give him some more experience to put on his resume, which should help his search for a more permanent job that is relevant to his degree.  Additionally, I’ll be starting a new job in the near future that will involves a lot of travel.  So much travel that I may be looking at being home as little as one weekend a month.  I’m both excited about the job and nervous about it.  I’m excited because it pays well and has a huge potential for growth.  If all goes well, I should be looking at getting promoted to a position that involves less travel within just a few months.  That period of time should be shorter than my deployment was, plus I’ll be home at times throughout it, even if I’m not home a lot, so shouldn’t be near as bad as deployment.  Not to mention it’s not like I’ll be stuck on a ship in an isolated community the entire time either as I’m just traveling around the States, so there shouldn’t be any readjusting to socializing and everything that I had to get used to again when I came home from the deployment.  We made it through me being deployed and the depression and anxiety problems that I had after I got back from deployment and this should be a walk in the park compared to that, so I know it won’t be anything we can’t handle.  Just the same, I’m nervous about being away from home again.  I feel like things in our relationship and in my life in general have only recently returned to normal and I’m not real eager to let go of the stability that I’ve just barely gotten a taste of.  I worry that about whether it’ll put any stress on our relationship, directly or indirectly.  But as I said, it shouldn’t be very long before I can get into a position requiring less travel, and we’ve been through worse.

In fact, I think the last year since I’ve returned from the deployment is probably what will end up being the period of time that will have tested the strength of our relationship the most probably up until we have a kid and eventually find ourselves disagreeing about some aspect of raising the child.  It’s bound to happen, nobody can agree on everything.  The depression and emotional instability I went through after the deployment probably put more stress upon our relationship than the separation during the deployment itself.  Not to mention the concern over finances since I got out of the military and knowing that August has been struggling with his own feelings as his job hunt continues.  While I find myself worrying about the stress of another period separation in our relationship, I also find myself feeling optimistic about where things are heading.  This job pays well and will help us feel more financially stable, especially whenever I do get promoted to something that involves less travel as it should also mean even higher pay.  Additionally, I think that August’s temporary position will lead to either a permanent position at that company or at least significantly aid him in finding one with another employer as it’ll give him some much needed experience, as well as allow him to network with people from other companies.  So the stability at home that I’m seeking, and being financially comfortable again, really aren’t that far away and there’s no reason to think that we can’t push through to it when we’ve been through much more difficult things… but I’m a worrier, it’s just how I am, unfortunately.  So while I intellectually know things will be fine and are about to improve significantly, I am still going to worry about how being away from home so much in the next few months is going to affect us.

And now for an abrupt change of topic.  I haven’t really said anything yet about my transition over the last couple weeks.  My voice has dropped even lower.  I could feel it in my throat and hear it in my own head when I spoke, even though nobody has said anything about it.  There’s times where my voice cracks now, particularly when I’m having to shout at one of the pets to stop doing something they aren’t supposed to be doing.  When I listen to the recording, I feel like I almost sound like a pre-teen/early teen boy now… not quite, still has some femininity to it, but it’s getting there.  I’ll just link the Day 1, Month 1, and Week 6 recordings for comparison.

Day 1
Month 1
Week 6

Stuff below the belt is still pretty sensitive, but I think I’ve gotten used to it.  After starting T I started having some major dryness issues down there (actually been having several menopause type symptoms, such as hot flashes, as well) and it was getting really bothersome, occasionally even interfering with my being able to get to sleep or satisfaction during intercourse.  A little over a week ago I started taking fish oil and vitamin E daily, and it seems to have helped a lot.  There’s really only been one night that it got bad again since I started taking those, but I was pretty dehydrated in general that day due to the retail job I’ve been working (and am leaving thanks to that new job I mentioned) and not being able to have my water bottle with me when I’m out on the floor.  It makes it a lot harder to stay properly hydrated.  Anyway, outside of that one evening, I really haven’t had any further problems with this issue and hopefully it stays at this level that fish oil and vitamin E are enough to treat it.

A couple weeks ago, I think just after or maybe a little before my last post on here, I noticed a some darker looking hairs on my lip.  It’s hard to say when those first showed up as I wasn’t really looking for them at first, I just mentioned to August that I had recently shaved (trying to keep the peach fuzz off my face) and he asked me if there had been any dark hairs yet.  I had no idea if there had been or not because I hadn’t been looking for it, but as things started growing back in I kept an eye out for them, and sure enough there was a small handful on my lip.  It started off looking like just 3, maybe 4 darker but barely noticeable hairs on the left side of my lip quickly became several (enough that I didn’t take the time to count them) across both sides of my lip.  They are still pretty fine, so hard to see, but they are definitely darker and thicker than what used to be there or anywhere else on my face.  I haven’t noticed anything in other areas of my face yet, but am keeping an eye out for that.  I hope my sideburns start getting longer soon, but I know that the facial hair will grow where and whenever it feels like regardless of what I want.  Since the facial hair is starting on my lip (August’s started on his chin and sideburns), it makes me wonder if I inherited my dad’s mustache growing genes.  For the first 18 years of my life, my dad had a Tom Selleck level mustache like this:

Although he didn’t pull it off quite as well as Tom Selleck did (after 18 years of seeing him with it, it looked SO weird when he finally shaved it off though).  I’m pretty sure I also wouldn’t be able to pull that off so well either, lol.  That being said, I’m excited to be seeing anything growing in right now, regardless of where it is, even if I think mustaches are a bad idea for most people, myself included.

Whole 30 Results, Haircuts, and First Steps

So we finished the Whole30.  It’s been nice to do this sort of reset to start off the new year.  I feel like my energy levels are lasting through the day better.  As far as physical changes… well the measurements I took before and after, as well as the pictures (before on left, after on right) speak for themselves.

Measurements

FrontComparison

SideComparison

BackComparison

I think the measurements tell more than the pictures do.  I had a hard time getting pictures that weren’t completely blurry and were close to the same stances I had in the first set of pictures.  The lighting is also obviously different, given that one was a set of morning pictures and the other is afternoon pictures (I didn’t have time to take them before I left for class this morning so had to wait until after I got back home).    Ultimately, though, I do think I look a lot leaner.  I noticed my face in particular looks leaner, though it might be partially because I was in desperate need of a haircut during the first set of pictures.  I also think there’s more definition in my abs.  Overall, I lost inches where I wanted to and gained them where I was hoping to gain muscle.  We’re planning to stay pretty close to Whole30 as we continue on from here, though not quite as strict.  It was good timing for it, since there aren’t too many special occasions or holidays in January, so I think we might make this an annual thing.

So I mentioned needing a haircut in the first pictures… It’s been almost a month since I got it, but I got a new haircut.  I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on it.  One girl at the gym told me several times in one gym session how much she loved it.  I’ve even gotten compliments from customers at work who don’t even know me or know that it’s a new hair style.  I’ve also been getting identified as male by customers a LOT, sometimes even after I speak.  I’ve been getting called sir and was referred to as a gentleman.  It seems to be mostly older guys that continue calling me by male pronouns after I speak, while younger ones and most women correct themselves.  I can’t wait for my voice to get lower.  Anyway, below are pictures of the haircut.  The first one is right after it was cut, and the next two were just the other day when I was particularly happy with how well it was cooperating.

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Final bit of news for this post is that today I have my first appointment to begin the process of starting my transition!  Today’s appointment is just an orientation at the clinic to go over transitioning to make sure I fully understand what I’m getting myself into, as well as the costs and such.  Next week I have an appointment to get blood drawn for the labs.  If the labs come back normal, which I don’t see why they wouldn’t, I’ll get my prescription on the third appointment.  I’m so excited!  As soon as I have that, I’ll start posting more updates with pictures, maybe even voice recordings to document that changing.  I’m really looking forward to this, it’s been a long time in coming.