Week 5: Monstrous Appetite, Spice Cravings, and Social Anxiety

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5wks on T

I am 5 weeks on testosterone now and I haven’t really noticed any more physical changes yet.  I have experienced a new beast from within called “Appetite” which has been very fascinating.  I’ve been craving the spiciest of foods ever! I never really liked spicy food to be honest.  But this week I was wanting something that burned and made my eyes water.  I decided to make “Chupacabra Chili”  which is my own recipe using “Chupacabra Hot Sauce” that has scorpian peppers as well as the infamous ghost pepper.

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I used ground turkey, sodium free beans, hot cumin, smoked paprika, chipolte spice, red chili pepper, caynne, 4 green jalapenos, 2 red jalapenos, 2 green serrano peppers, and 2 habanero peppers.

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So colorful and so tasty

I decided that just chili wasn’t enough.  This guy really wanted some…

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Chili Dogs!  I wolfed down 4 of these nuclear melt-down molten lava dogs. Still was not spicy enough for me.  I wonder if it’s the Testosterone? who knows!

I ended up not going home for Thanksgiving break.  I had initially thought that my animation project was due 2 weeks from last week, but it turns out that it is due this Thursday, and so I had to stay back here and work on cut-outs and storyboards.

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Here’s an example of the cut-outs

I felt very sad not being home.  I was very, very homesick over break.  I was fine when I was busy working on my projects, but when I would stop that’s when I was really missing my partner and my family.  I did go over to some friend’s houses for Thanksgiving, and had my first vegan thanksgiving meal .  A couple of friends that I met through activist work had an open invitation to come to their farm and break bread with them, which I did for a short while.  They run a local CSA.  The food was beautiful and delicious.

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thanksgiving5wks

The whole time I kept thinking about my partner.  On their record player they were playing Arlo Guthrie’s Alices Restaurant, they played some Cat Stevens, and even some Peter, Paul,, and Mary.  All folk bands that my partner loves.  Even though she was 3 hours away from me, I still felt her with me.

After dinner I visited for a half hour longer then went over to a good friend of mine’s apartment for coffee and pie. I got to meet his sister and some of his friends and it was a pleasant couple hours of conversation and music.

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Me, Lily the Corgi, and Cameron

I’ve always dealt with anxiety, but social anxiety has been something a bit more new and has gotten much worse since starting T.  I think it’s partly because I’m constantly misgendered every time I go out, and I feel uncomfortable disclosing my trans-identity with acquaintances and people I don’t know, for safety reasons.  I feel the vicious cycle of shame and humiliation every time I go out. Feeling constantly embarrassed is unbearable.   I feel embarressed because I’m not ‘out’ about my identity, and I feel guilt that if I do come ‘out’ about it, I will be disbelieved, and on top of that I feel like a phony because I obviously look ‘female’ to everyone, and then I am basically asking people to ‘pretend’ to see me as a man for my own sake, when I obviously do not ‘look’ like what people think a man looks like, and it’s just this vicious cycle of feeling constantly embarrassed, ashamed, and guilty. Spare me the “Don’t care what other people think, blah blah blah” I know all that already, but that doesn’t magically make me feel better or change my situation. This has nothing to do with what other people think, it has everything to do with my interactions with people, how I am perceived and treated, how I feel about my body, and the very real pain and trans angst that for the most part only Trans people will understand. Being really truly seen and affirmed for who you are without having to rationalize, explain, theorize, debate, and pathologize is a privilege. Having to ‘perform’ an identity thrusted upon yourself in order to protect yourself is exhausting and alienating.  To shut me down and say “what matters is what you think! Who cares what they think!”  is simplistic thinking, not supportive, hurtful, and not taking into account the complexities and realities within each individual transgender persons story and life.   To say that just to shut me down is basically saying, “Your trans experiences make me uncomfortable, you having feelings makes me uncomfortable, please be a robot and just have no feelings to express!”   Anyway,that’s all I will say about it. I’m human, and I will never apologize for feeling, because that’s the most human thing anyone can do—feel and experience and express.

Anyway, on top of social anxiety issues that I will be working on this coming week, another monster reared its ugly head, and that’s my old disordered eating thought patterns.  I am trying to learn how to cope with this inevitable weight gain that comes with starting HRT, most of it is water weight, and muscle growth, but also what I eat.  I was obsessing over taking water-pills and was very close to buying some the other day, but instead I bought some kale, bananas, yogurt, and coconut water to try and get the excess water out.  A good friend of mine told me while I was having a mild panic attack over body-issues said, “It’s just how you’re perceiving your body right now,  it’s not how it actually is.”

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I look okay, but I felt really embarrassed and bloated in this picture. I wanted to share this to illustrate how real body dysphoria is and how irrational it is and how obsessive it becomes. I’m taking a breath.

Body dysphoria and disordered eating is so real.  My issues have never been life-threatening, but that doesn’t make it any less serious.  I will be talking to my therapist about it soon.  When I was in my early 2os I had done fad-diets, cleanses, fasts, diet pills, and so on. In my mid-late 20s I obsessively worked out–to an outsider that may not know me, they probably wouldn’t have seen my exercise routine and nutrition enthusiasm as a problem, but my thoughts around it and how my whole life revolved around it did make it become a problem on top of me not letting my body rest. I was working out 7 days a week up to 2 hours per session this last summer. i spent hundreds of dollars on supplements too.Thankfully, I have taken some steps back and am only working out 2-3 times a week.

I decided to treat myself and take advantage of a sale this weekend at a local gentlemans clothing shop downtown.  I’ve been wanting a paisley shirt so bad…..I wonder if I can bring the style back?

 

The shirt is a medium size which is a little too big for me.  But by tucking it in and putting a vest on really made it come together!

I was feeling pretty groovy in this shirt.  I’ll let you all in on a secret…

I love paisley.  Oh man….I do. It’s so vibrant and expressive and beautiful!

Anyway, 2 more weeks left of this semester. Wish me luck!

Thank you for reading,

Ravn Thor

 

 

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