Friday, March 1, 2019

About My Body (and Transgender Athletes)

Explore, Experience, and Love
Xenia - 30 years difference
That's how I roll!

For years, one of my frustrations before coming out was the dearth of in-depth information with regard to the full effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) not only on the body, but on the mind, heart, soul.
So as one who has always tried to track her physical and mental health (and aided by my insatiable curiosity and analysis techniques from Philosophy and Anthropology) I have been taking notes all along the way. Some things I have yet to share publicly, but many new things about myself have been revealed
In fact when it comes to my perceptions, tastes, emotions, and more -- I believe 'Revealed' is a more appropriate term than 'Changed.' For it seems when utilizing my "Explore, Experience, Love" strategy, loving (not judging) myself, I have been shown much about my own heart, interests -- which I have only shared in private with only my most trusted friends. Maybe someday I will share more for the sake of understanding.
Having said all of that, I want to return to some things regarding my physical body. There has been some recent talk and state legislation and school policies, not to mention from a high profile women's Tennis champion, regarding participation of transgender athletes. People who are wholly unfamiliar with transgender reality / those who are not field experts believe that women who are transgender have an unfair advantage over cisgender women - claiming that trans women are "male-bodied."  
The people who push this are neither medical professional field experts and definitely are not trans!
[* For professional insight visit the World Professional Association for Transgender Health WPATH ]

As a woman of moderate athletic ability, I have been tracking my physical changes for the past 20 months since I began HRT on June 24, 2017. I have not changed my workout routine much (save for the fact that I walk a great deal more than I used to and am probably in better cardio health because of it) 

In those 20 months, the absence of testosterone and introduction of estrogen and progesterone have diminished my muscle mass and ability to build muscle to the same degree as men, my BMI has increased (mostly accumulating on my thighs and waist). I can no longer magically lose weight just by walking up the stairs a few times a day, or build muscle just by moving a couple heavy objects.

With this winter, I have not been walking near as much as I do when the sidewalks are shoveled, but in 2 months since my last KISSin Time gig, I definitely noticed my legs are not as strong as they were in December - and a few people witnessed my embarrassment backstage just about 10-15 minutes before we were set to play, when I took a fall on the concrete (fortunately my 78 Ripper came away fine) - but my sore butt and leg have me realizing I need to actually work at maintaining strength, rather than relying on the natural muscle building advantage that men take for granted. (** also thanks to my MMA training for knowing how to fall back into a shoulder roll instead of using my arms and risk breaking my wrists - just forgot to compensate for the added distance with the 6" platforms).

I’ve had a few friends, outside of my late wife, who knew I was a woman since the 1990s. So when I told them that I was beginning HRT, one of these long time friends-in-the-know (Jendeen) warned me that in about 6 months time, people will notice that something is different about me. And funny enough, a few weeks before I came out publicly (December 1, 2017) my mother, who didn’t know I was trans (but is now one of my biggest supporters), noticed something different and wanted me to get checked for diabetes. 😆 🤣😅 —

Yesterday, I posted a comparison photo of my original Demon shirt which I made in December 2016 compared to my new one made earlier this week. Full disclosure There was a time in my life (senior year in High School, I had muscles and my chest size was about 42" (did a lot of push ups then). Most of my life I was between a 38-40" 

2016 Demon top
2019 Demon top

Now I am a 34" (band size -- ok well technically 33 1/2")

Another significant change is that after about 3-4 months on hormones I could no longer fit into my Levi 501 30”x30” Regulars which had been My jean since 1987! 30 years an never needing to worry about shopping for clothes that fit AND looked good. -- Now I cannot even pull these 501s up over my thighs!
Xenia, 20 months HRT
February 27, 2019

This winter, I have learned the benefit of keeping different sizes of jeans on hand — Here I am in a pair of my “fat jeans” - And 2 years ago, these jeans looked baggy on my legs (and I could button them rather easily) 

Here endeth today's trans ally lesson

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