transmasculine

Fashion Woes

Now that I’m done with school and mostly recovered from surgery, I’m looking for jobs. With that comes the need to be properly attired for potential job interviews. I love getting new clothes, but it almost always brings on a lot of negative thoughts for me. Nothing ever fits me right. More specifically, my hips are simply too large. It’s really frustrating. I’ve been wearing shorts for the past few months because I can’t stand how my jeans accentuate my hips.

This makes it really hard for me to go shopping for suits and pants, where the shirts are intended to be tucked into the pants. For me, it just feels like it’s calling attention to the fact that I’m not a cisgender man. I don’t have the relatively straight line that most guys have. My waist is still significantly smaller than my hips. In fact, I don’t think my hips measurement has changed at all since starting testosterone over 15 months ago. When I do finally find pants that fit my hips, they are too large in the waist and legs. They are way too baggy, and it just looks sloppy.

I had planned to stop by a Men’s Wearhouse this afternoon to figure out my measurements for suits, but I couldn’t bring myself to even go in the store. I just have a lot of anxiety about the “feminine” shape of my lower body. I wish there was a trans friendly suit shop somewhere, but I’m not even sure such a thing exists. I ended up going to an Express where I could just try on clothes myself. I basically just reaffirmed that nothing fits properly.

I thought by now at least some of my fat would have left my lower body, but I feel like I’m just going to be stuck with it forever, unless I go one some extremely restricted diet. I have no intention of restricting my calories or intake in any way. I feel like I eat a healthy, balanced diet right now. Plus, I’d rather be gaining muscle and strength. It’s not like I’d be able to realistically shift my body composition in a desirable way before I’d have to go on an interview anyway.

When I lose fat, it seems as if it comes off more from my upper body than lower body. It makes me wonder if my hormones are at the appropriate levels. I just wish I could have my reproductive organs removed, so then at least I’d know that the testosterone isn’t fighting with the estrogen my body is producing. If I have one disappointment with my transition, it’s that I feel like my fat deposits have remained exactly the same. I’m happy with everything else that has happened.

But yeah, tomorrow is another day, and hopefully I will make it into the suit shop for measurements and trying on suits. I have to remind myself that I just need something to get me through job interviews.

6 Weeks Post Op

IMG_20140730_070033_428

IMG_20140730_070100_523

IMG_20140730_070230_689I sent these pictures to Dr. Mosser this morning. Everything looks really good to me. Now that the swelling/fluid is gone, I’ll just be waiting for my scars to fade. I should be cleared to go back to my normal workout routine and such today. I’m planning on going to the noon class at Fortius today. I’ll probably be taking it easy for a while though since lifting my arms still results in some tightness/stretching of the skin, but overall, I have my full range of motion back with no pain.

I did CrossFit today. It felt pretty good. The only movements that resulted in some trouble (tightness in the chest) were strict press and pull ups. I took it easy on those, but everything else felt really good. I’m going to be easing myself back into over the next couple of weeks. I hope my scars don’t stretch too much, but I’d rather get my fitness back up than spend time worrying about how my scars look.

I’ve been using Kelocote on my scars twice a day since 3 weeks post op. I’ve also been massaging the scars as I’ve seen suggested through a Google search.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with how everything looks. Now, only time will tell how the scars will end up looking.

15 Months on T

I went to SD Pride last weekend with Alex. It was a huge contrast compared to the way I felt after last year’s pride. We participated in the 1st Annual San Diego Trans* Pride and March. For me, it was pretty overwhelming, in a good way, all the support I saw from those just passing by or looking on. Granted, we were in the “gay” neighborhood, but still, it’s something. We also got to see Laverne Cox give the keynote speech at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally. As she was leaving the stage, they brought out her biggest fan, Ryland Whittington. It was really nice to hear such focus on trans* rights this year. I know last year was a huge win for marriage equality, but I’m glad this year the focus has shifted.

I realized just a few moments ago that it has been three months since I’ve done a proper picture update. Honestly, not much has changed since then, except that I’ve gotten more hair on my face and body. My body shape seems to have stayed the same in the past 3 months. Part of that could be owed to recovering from surgery and not being able to workout though. Assuming my Dr. Mosser approves, I should be able to resume all normal activities starting Wednesday (6 weeks post op). I’m looking forward to being able to put on some more muscle and hopefully lose some more body fat.

20140725 Front

20140725 Back

 

As far as top surgery recovery goes, it seems to be going really well. My swelling/fluid build up has pretty much all cleared up now. It was like magic after the three week mark. I’ve regained a lot of my range of motion. The only thing that is still pretty tight is reaching above my head. I’ve been avoiding doing it too much, but I had to reach something way above my head in the grocery store yesterday. It was tighter on the left than on the right, probably due to the longer time it took the swelling to dissipate.

Dr. Mosser has expressed concern about stretching of the scars by lifting the arms too much, but I think I’m more concerned about regaining full range of motion. I hope that I can find a middle ground. It is my body after all, and I hope that my scars will fade enough that the size of them won’t really be an issue. I’ll probably be asking about regaining full range of motion versus scar stretching in my follow up next week.

4 Weeks Post Op

I know I said I wouldn’t be doing a chest update unless I saw significant improvement. Well, I’m amazed at how much the swelling/fluid build up has gone down this week. With how slowly it’s been going down since I first took my compression vest off to take a shower at 5 days post op, I can’t believe it has improved this much in a week. I thought for sure that wearing the compression vest less would make it take even longer along with the added cardio, but apparently it did the opposite?

IMG_20140716_070136_490

IMG_20140716_070301_824

IMG_20140716_070442_070For reference, here’s a link to last week’s photos: 3 Weeks Post Op

 

Fashion Fail

Lately, buying clothes has a really big hassle and usually causes me huge amounts of dysphoria. Nothing ever fits the way it should fit: my shoulders aren’t broad enough for the width of my hips, I’m too short for the broadness of my shoulders for shirts, and my hips are too wide for my height for pants.

But despite my frustrations, I decided it was time to finally to get some shirts a size bigger than what I’ve been wearing. My shirts have gotten a bit tight in the shoulder and chest region lately. In fact, if I have both arms stretched out in front of me, it’s super tight.

Small - Front

Small – Front

Small - Back

Small – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I headed over to my local mall and picked out two shirts that fit reasonably well in the shoulders and chest, which happen to be mediums. Apparently though, only people who are 5’6″ are taller wear mediums according to clothes makers.

Medium Slim - Front

Medium Slim – Front

Medium Slim - Back

Medium Slim – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “regular” cut is also pretty large in the stomach region.

Medium - Front

Medium – Front

Medium - Back

Medium – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took these two shirts into the tailor to have them hemmed, and the regular shirt taken in on the sides and fitted in the sleeves.

Medium Slim Tailored - Front

Medium Slim Tailored – Front

Medium Slim Tailored - Back

Medium Slim Tailored – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medium Tailored - Front

Medium Tailored – Front

Medium Tailored - Back

Medium Tailored – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, I think they look pretty good after being tailored. They feel comfortable in the shoulders and not like I’m going to bust the seams as I feel sometimes in the smalls.

I still am not happy with the hip situation, but it is much better than how it looks in small shirts that I wear. I’m almost hoping that I can gain enough muscle mass in my shoulders/chest so that I’m able to fit into larges. That should give the shirts enough room to hang loosely over my hips. Of course, I’m still hoping that I’ll lose some fat in that region as I continue to eat right and exercise (with the effects of testosterone, of course.)