I’ve been working out regularly for about six weeks now. I have struggled with body shame so much in the past that it has made it very hard to commit to getting in shape–working out has made me pay attention to my body and to dwell on my inadequacies. Prior to testosterone I worked out to lose weight, because my attempts at gaining muscle fell short and resulted in dysphoria. (At one point I was taking creatine on the mistaken belief that I would bulk up. It just made me fat and bloated. But I think it was a pre-T form of self medication.)
Being on testosterone and having top surgery has changed my whole attitude around working out. First of all, now I actually have some gains. I can improve day-to-day and actually see little muscles popping out of my arms and legs. So instead of being a cycle of frustration, it’s finally been affirming. Second of all, I can stand to look at myself in the mirror to examine my results. I can see myself coming to take the shape I’ve always wanted. Instead of a dysphoria inducer, it’s a dysphoria killer.
I don’t have much to show for it yet–but I’m posting here in part for accountability and in part to acknowledge how much my relationship to my own body has evolved. I would love to be able to post a picture of my physique by June that I am proud to show off. The one above is a work in progress.