I don’t have much time on my hands but I always have more to learn so here’s my reading list for the next few months. If you’re planing on reading any of these soon and want to chat, let me know!
Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality
The Affect Theory Reader
Melissa Gregg, Gregory J. Seigworth
The Queer Art of Failure (a John Hope Franklin Center Book)
Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law
The Transgender Studies Reader
Susan Stryker, Stephen Whittle
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny
The Bridge to Humanity: How Affect Hunger Trumps the Selfish Gene
I took the dogs on a five mile hike. Now we are going to make garlicky bacon kale chips, clean off some radishes, and generally get our food provisions in order for the week. I started the leptin reset protocol today and had a big ass breakfast as commanded – three pastured eggs fried in bacon grease and four slices of thick cut organic nitrate free bacon. I fried up two packages so I should be set for bacon for a few days.
I found a local grocery chain that sells grass fed beef – maybe if I’m really up for more activity later I’ll score a steak and throw it on the grill tonight and pair it up with a hard cider.
How I generally feel these days:
Bacon kale chips ROCK:
It doesn't look like much but it's crispy, tastes like bacon and is super nutritous!
How to: clean the kale (wash it, cut out the stem and cut into chip sizes), pour some liquid bacon grease – not hot – over it with pepper and garlic powder, squish it around in a pan to cover the kale, spread it out on a cookie sheet single layer, and bake at 310 for about 12-15 minutes.
MUCH better than pounding down potato chips!
I just finished booking my flights for Atlanta and Philadelphia in May. I’ve booked them under my new male name and gender on the advice of my attorney. It took a leap of faith on my part to believe all the paperwork will be finished in time.
First, I go to Atlanta to visit with my surgeon (Dr. Miro) who will be flying in from Serbia to speak at a conference. It will be nice to meet him well in advance of the surgery (planned over Thanksgiving week this November). I think it will help me get over some of the anxiety I feel about traveling so far away for such a major procedure.
A week after Atlanta, I’ll be heading to Philadelphia to attend the Trans-Health conference. It looks like there will be plenty of interesting people there and it will give me a chance to meet other trans guys who have or will be facing the same health challenges I do. Even though I’m building a nice virtual community of friends and allies, it will be great to finally meet people “in the real world” in a safe setting.
I’m working out like a fiend and eating clean but my weight is holding steady… I’m going to try some radical changes soon if the needle doesn’t budge. I refuse to buy into the “eat less move more” paradigm – I don’t want to lose the muscle I’ve built or put my body into a stubborn “starvation mode” so – next stop is Leptin reset with Dr. Jack Krause.
I spent part of last week in WV to attend a family member’s memorial service. I drove the 500+ miles in one day – the dogs were champs hanging out and napping in the back seat. The drive gave me time to reflect on where I’ve been and where I hope to be. The death gave me pause to reflect on what really matters.
1. People can change for the better – even if they’ve hurt you horribly in the past. If you don’t believe this (and practice forgiveness), you will likely miss out on healing a very deep wound – one that festers and becomes fatal when ignored too long. The flip side is also true: if you’ve changed and made amends to someone you’ve hurt in the past and they can’t forgive you – move on. Quickly.
2. Your body is a vehicle. If you don’t take care of it, you’ll end up with unexpected interruptions or perhaps even a premature end to your journey. You only have one body – respect it. If someone in your life can’t get on board with that and honor your choices to be healthy and in tune with who you are – move on. Quickly.
3. Listen for excuses – they are cues. If someone constantly externalizes the “why’s” of their choices don’t buy into it. They aren’t ready to take responsibility for their own feelings and actions. Move on. Quickly. You can’t truly change anyone but yourself.
4. Relationships can be life giving or life zapping. Death has a way of reminding us how short and tenuous life can be. Nurture the givers. Don’t waste it on the zappers. Move on. Quickly.
I just uploaded my 30 day fitness and 90 day chest reconstruction photos. I feel much better physically but I do wish the fitness data was better. Good news – I’ve gained lots of upper body strength. Not so good news – I still have “lots of room for improvement” in the weight, body fat, and hips/thighs measures. T is supposed to move fat off the hips and thighs and onto the belly so I guess it’s also good news that my waist went down 1/2 inch after being on T for a couple of months.
The trainer says “don’t get hung up on the numbers” so I’ll try to focus on how I feel instead. More energy, less anxiety, and a more even temperament are all good things.
Here’s to your health!
I recorded my voice today and really noticed the difference between the Week 1 and Week 8 recordings (they’re posted – check them out). It’s really (finally) starting to happen! I’m relieved. A small part of me felt like my body would rebel – saying “You waited too long. You’re 50 for fuck’s sake. No transition for you!” – yes, illogical, but haunting.
I also started reading “The Testosterone Files” by Max Wolf Valerio. I’m hoping to find some simpatico – glimmers of “Oh yeah, someone else has experienced this as well…” but so far I can’t get past all the drug use, punk rock, and artist/writer lifestyle. It just doesn’t resonate with me. My past is too conventional, even as an out (and somewhat activist) lesbian, to relate to Max’s story.
So I trudge on, feeling very alone at the moment, assessing the small but visible changes to my outer and inner landscapes. The outer part is easier. A bit more hair here and there. Broader hands, visible veins. A bicep (never had one before) And yes, a deeper voice. The inner landscape is tricker. Harder to verify against mere placebo effect. I feel more confident (going into the men’s restroom is not as stressful), energetic (I walked a fast-pace three miles today and still had energy left over to cook a big pot of food for the week), and focused (less “multi-tasky”).
I’m going to Atlanta in May to meet the surgeon that will do my SRS. I’m hoping to have my new Driver’s License by then. Otherwise I may not “pass” as the “F” identity marker on the current version. A good problem to have.