muscle gain

Remembering Where I Came From

Sometimes, I find myself comparing my body to guys around me and/or the amount of weight I can lift in the various lifts I practice. When I do this, I get discouraged because I’m not as muscular or strong as the guys around me.

Then, I take a look at my old PRs and photos from before or the beginning of my transition.

 

MRM_20140222_101805_RCD4_09191-(ZF-5406-38795-2-001)

 

This is a picture of my doing front squat for 3 (@ 155 lbs) above my previous one rep max (150 lbs) at the competition on February 22nd. Then, last weekend, I did 165 lbs for one. When I first started CrossFit, I couldn’t even do a proper squat. My mobility was so bad, that I couldn’t squat beneath parallel. The first time I did, I was only able to squat up to 125 lbs. In a little less than 6 months, I was able to increase my front squat by 40 lbs. My other lifts have increased considerably as well. This is where I’m glad I’ve been keeping track of my progress. When I get discouraged because I’m not as strong as I’d like to be, I remind myself of where I came from.

20130421 Full Body

   Pre-T

20140225 Body

10 months on T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along those same lines, when I think I’m not as muscular as some guys. I look back on my pre-T photo and see such a huge difference.

It’s just a good reminder to keep perspective. I’ll be interested to see what I look like and how my performance is in another 10 months or so.

 

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Whole30 Complete!

Yesterday was the last day of the Whole30. It was a really good experience. I am so glad I did this with my gym. I tried to do a Whole30 on my own a few months ago, and I ended up quitting after about 5 days. It was really great having that support system from all the other people doing it at the same time.

I cooked a lot of food this month. I made sweet potatoes for the first time ever. They are probably one of my favorite things to eat now. I will definitely continue eating paleo after the end of this. I’m in the reintroduction phase now. Today, I added dairy in the form of heavy cream with my tea, a small glass of milk with my lunch, and some yogurt with fruit after dinner. I have kept a close watch on how my body reacts to these things today and will continue to do so for the next two days. After that, I’ll add in other things that I think I may want to eat occasionally like rice, soy, and beer.

Overall, I would definitely recommend doing this to anyone who wants to have a better relationship with food. It really makes you think about your food choices and your cravings. You really learn what your triggers are. In addition to that, there are a lot of other health benefits that you could experience. I talked about some of the things I noticed that have improved due to eating better. (My experience with the Whole30)

In addition to the health benefits I experienced, I made a separate post about my weight loss/fat loss and muscle gain. I wanted to keep these separate because I didn’t want to take away from all the benefits I saw just in case there wasn’t a change in body composition. (Photos and measurements post-Whole30)

And last, but not least, we did a workout before we started the Whole30. Today, we repeated that workout so that we could see how our performance improved. I blew my time out of the water. I was really happy about this. In addition to that, I hit 5 PRs during the Whole30. (Test workout)

I really hope I don’t fall too far off the bandwagon now that I can eat whatever I want again. I saw such great results. I hope to keep moving in the right direction.

Binder Problems

I thought it was pretty awesome when I first got my binders. I got two binders, both in the same style. but different colors. I would fasten all the fasteners and then pull it on as you would a t-shirt. It was amazing how it felt wearing the binders. That feeling has worn off as time has passed. Now, the binders are more of a nuisance. I honestly wouldn’t even both wearing them anymore, but the more I physically change, the more self-conscious I feel about my chest. It’s probably because I care too much about what other people think of me; this dude who is just sprouting facial hair, gaining muscle mass, and voice is deepening is walking around with size C breasts when not binding. It’s awkward, for me at least. I’m not sure what other people think or if they even notice, but the only thing I can think about is trying to hide them when I’m not binding.

This is where my problem comes in. I’ve been gaining a lot of muscle since I started testosterone and ramping up my workouts, so much so that it’s nearly impossible to get into one of my binders. (I have two binders which are the same size, but one is significantly smaller for some reason). Once I get the damned thing on, the sweating begins. Not only is it just annoying to be sweaty while binding, it makes it feel like it’s digging into my skin. Not to mention, no matter how much I try to adjust the breasts underneath the binder, it definitely doesn’t look like a male chest to me. At the end of the day, I come home and take my binder off, which can take me 5 minutes or more. I struggle so much that I’ve come to the point several times now that I’ve been about 2 seconds away from grabbing scissors and cutting it off.

I’d buy another one, but I’m worried that in another couple of minutes, I’ll just run into the same problem. I’m not sure which is more uncomfortable… the physical discomfort of the binder or the mental discomfort of having a visibly female-bodied chest.

Oh how I can’t wait until next summer when I can take enough time off to recover from top surgery.

4 months on T!

That means I have photos.

20130825 Back

20130825 Full Body 1

20130825 Full Body 2

Looking back at my photos from three months, I don’t see much of a change. Half the month though, I was both sick and waiting for my hand to heal. The other half, I was trying to spend time with Alex before he left on his deployment. But now, I’m ready to get back into the swing of working out, especially if I decide to officially join the CrossFit gym I checked out on Saturday after my week trial is up. I am pretty sore from the workout yesterday, but it’s the kind of sore that makes you feel really good about yourself.

As far as other transition things go, my voice is gradually getting deeper. I’m not sure what it sounds like to other people, but I think it may be on the edge of teenage boy – adult male sounding. I’ve been getting a lot of comments from friends and people I work with about how they notice that it’s getting lower. It’s definitely one of those things that kind of makes my day.

I’m getting darker, longer hair on my upper thighs, whereas before it was so fine and light in color it was hardly noticeable. I’ve also noticed hair sprouting up on my stomach. And of course, I’m sprouting more hair on my chin, upper lip, and side burn region. I shave about once a week, but I probably should be shaving every 3-4 days because it honestly looks kind of silly after a week since it’s just a few hairs and not a full beard. The acne on my face has gradually been getting worse as well, but I’m okay with it. It’s nothing like it was when I went through my first puberty, and I’m sure it will calm down as time goes by.

I still haven’t noticed any changes in my fat distribution. I still have obnoxiously big hips and thighs. I can’t wait for those two areas to change more than anything. I’m hoping that by doing CrossFit, it will ignite some fat burning and get rid of that fat once and for all. That’s probably the area on my body that I am most dysphoric about; it’s always the area that I get frustrated about when my clothes (pants) don’t fit right. I eat pretty well, so I think it’s just being stubborn. Even if CrossFit doesn’t help with the fat, it will definitely build muscle. It’s as if I’m fighting a losing battle though by both trying to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. I’m not sure which I want to focus on more at the moment since fat burning requires a calorie deficit while muscle building requires a calorie surplus. I’ve definitely been in the calorie surplus area, considering all the muscle I’ve put on in the past 4 months. I just don’t want to purposely try to lose fat by eating fewer calories and then lose all the muscle I’ve been working so hard to get. Eh… I’ll figure something out. It’s just kind of frustrating at the moment.

Anyway, that pretty much covers the noticeable changes for this month. I’m still waiting on my new birth certificate to arrive, but other than that, most of my name change stuff is going smoothly. The only big thing I really have left to get is a new passport.

Until next time!