Sunday, March 16, 2008

Changes I've noticed...

I have recently reconnected with a few friends from college, and have been trying to explain how certain things have shifted since I began my transition a few years ago. My friend was joking about male pattern baldness, which really triggered a huge reaction in me, as I fear that so desperately~say it ain't so!

Anywho ~ here is the list of some of the changes that I have noticed.

the changes i have noticed since being on testosterone...


* the fat migrates from typically feminine deposits (like breasts, hips, thighs, butt) to more masculine areas ~ like the gut (wah wah wah).
* breast size decreases mostly when the fat migrates, but possibly related to hormonal shifts as well (like the opposite of breasts getting bigger right before women get their periods.)
* speaking of ~ my period disappeared several months after being on "t"
* much easier to lose weight almost instantly, but if i stop working out, or if my diet changes drastically~weight is put on immediately.
* i can build musculature incredibly easy now, from even mild work outs
* (this migration/elimination of fat, teamed with added more muscle mass completely changed the structure of my body. my pants were a lot baggier, and my shoulders "beefed" up over night ~ meaning i had to get almost an entire new wardrobe. i gained 20 lbs despite being "leaner" since i started t~it's crazy.)
* i have a lot more energy, meaning i generally have more desire to work out, etc ~
* but that also correlates to my appetite having doubled to sustain the work outs (making it that much more challenging if i miss work outs! guh!)
* food cravings have changed most dramatically... many years ago i had been vegan, and even though i am not now, i don't eat a lot of meat, and try to avoid mass amounts of dairy. when i started "T," instantaneously i began to crave things like bacon cheeseburgers with barbeque sauce, topped off with a chocolate malted milk shake. it was completely bizarre to crave different foods all of a sudden, and my ever-present sweet tooth suddenly dissipated. (i guess pregnant women are used to these kinds of fluctuations with hormonal shifts prescribing which exact foods will be appreciated or "tossed.")
* based on this new found diet~the particular scent of my body odor changed ~ which to me, was the most striking difference, to not recognize my own "natural" scent. (kind of like when morgan spurlock was joking about going into a sauna when he was making "super size me" and someone asked unknowingly "who brought a cheeseburger into the steam room?")
* also, random note: that pH balance crap from those deodorant commercials is real. i had to stop using my gender neutral hippie-dippy deodorant to a more manly brand to prevent "unwanted" scents from developing
* speaking of hormonal shifts and such, i also began to break out in small bouts of acne, primarily under my jaw line and even a tiny bit on my shoulders~which was gross. this has mellowed out as my body has become more used to the hormones, but also because my diet has become more moderate again
* my body has gotten generally hairier (facial hair is slowly coming in, but is still relatively light, so it's not as noticeable...)
* one weird side effect that i can't quite explain is that my hair would no longer absorb commercial dyes, so i went back to my uber-dark original hair color (to find that my hair is more salt and pepper now, coincidentally.)
* i fear that the hair on my scalp might be thinning at the crown, but my hairline itself has definitely receded at the temples. (that part is fine, as i think that can be sexy, but anything more than that, and i am getting rogaine and hair club for men, damn it all!)
* my voice has dropped roughly three octaves, but in the beginning i was losing my voice and experienced my voice cracking in the stereotypical pubescent boy tone (my voicemail accts have my original voice still on the greetings, which i want to try to record and upload to the blog for people to hear the difference)
* it is common for the facial features themselves to become more angular/rigid as a result of the testosterone, such as the eyebrow ridge seeming more pronounced, and jaw line getting more square (i fear i have this cromagnon thing going on in my forehead now. arg!)
* i produce more saliva now ~ which is odd, but i hear common for transguy to confirm
* i often feel hot, (like hot flashes that women experience through menopause) as opposed to always feeling cold pre-t
* the libido increases exponentially (um, awkward!)

other changes that i noticed:

* it becomes nearly impossible for me to cry (when before I could cry at the drop of a hat) even if i get sad, it is tough for more than like 4 tears to fall.
* challenging times in the past would have typically manifested as sadness/paralysis, where now frustration/challenging situations trigger anger instead, propelling rather than paralyzing
* a lot of my shyness has dissipated ~ which is weird to have this sense of myself, (as somewhat shy, reserved, someone who tends to get sad) change so drastically
* the shyness has been replaced by a quiet confidence (as opposed to a more codependent feeling of wanting to be liked and gain others' approval) now, i don't really care as much about what others think. again~odd to see this huge shift, when it seemed so inherent to what i knew to be "me" ~ i don't know how much can be attributed to the physiological changes based on the hormones, or how much is simply the result of having faced my demons because of mytransition
* i relate to people much differently now, where i step up and state my feelings much more directly (which i don't think was easy for my former partner at the time, nor my boss...) i don't tip toe around things anymore
* i have found severe set backs with things like spelling and grammar, which were never a problem pre-t
* the most interesting element to my transition is that what i find attractive has shifted. mid/post transition i found myself much more interested in gay men, which i wasn't really anticipating. and i hate to admit it, but embarrassingly~my attention in other people became a lot more objective, than subjective. finding myself checking people out based on looks in a way that i never experienced before. ( i feel like such a douche bag admitting that, but it's true...)

1 comment:

heather said...

Hello Will! I saw you in Emily Flake's photos on Facebook :) I'm Heather James from MHS. I was laughing out loud when I read this post, thinking of all the differences we take for granted between men and women. My partner and I like to *think* we don't fall prey to gender stereotypes in our behaviour, but there are simply some things we both can't help. Your post pretty much sums it up! I realise this post is one year old- but I wanted to say hello. Best wishes to you for the New Year :)