The Intuitive Self

New plan!

Okay, so not the best title but I couldn’t think of anything better.

This “new plan” I’m putting in motion is dietary — so if anyone has trouble dealing with, talking about, or hearing about food you may want to turn away!

Earlier this year I was quite literally slowly dying. I had a horrible thyroid condition which I was rushed in for surgery for. When I went in for surgery, I weighed approximately 130 lbs — just 5 lbs or so below the TOP end of “normal” for my height BMI-wise. Since then I have started T, gone on a low dose of Synthroid, and started an anti-depressant/mood stabilizer/anti-psychotic. 2 of these work for me. 2 of them work against me.

I went from weighing 130 to more like 170 and now my weight has pushed me into the “obese” category of BMI. This has my doctor concerned and even though I don’t particularly care about my looks (probably a sign of depression, but whatever) I should probably be doing something about it. I feel that I can’t move around a whole lot because of what causes me pain. However, there are things I can do, movement included, in order to lose a little weight!

Earlier this year when my thyroid was running rampant, I was eating compulsively almost constantly because my metabolism was running on overdrive. Since having my thyroid removed my metabolism has taken a nosedive, but my eating habits never changed. I still put away more than my body knows what to do with, and so the first thing I’d like to change is how I eat!

I started using a site called MyFitnessPal — this is a site I can track my calories, fat content, fiber content, etc in the food I eat, as well as keep track of how much I move around each day. I put in my weight (as of today I weigh approximately 167 lbs) and my height (I’m about 5’2″) as well as my age (21) — and I left my gender “female” so that the site knows what its’ doing for my body type. My “goal weight” I wasn’t sure about, so I put 135 lbs because that’s the very top end of “normal” for my height group.

It suggested I keep my calorie count (as someone completely sedentary) to around 1,200 calories a day. So today was a test run to see if I could keep my stomach happy, my numbers low, my health high, and my spirits in tow.

Today I ate:

Breakfast:
-Quick Oats (1/2 cup) – 150 calories
-Honey (1 tbsp) – 64 calories

Lunch:
-Gluten Free Crackers (8) – 140 calories
-Beef Summer Sausage (2 oz) – 180 calories
-Whipped Cream Cheese (3 tbsp) – 75 calories

Dinner:
-Banana (1) – 105 calories
-Strawberries (6-7) – 23 calories
-Rice Milk (1/2 cup) – 60 calories
-Honey (1 tbsp) – 64 calories

Snacks:
-Steamed Broccoli (1/2 cup) – 25 calories
-Mayo (1 tbsp) – 90 calories
-Taco Bell Black Beans and Rice – 180 calories [won’t be doing this again]
-Pistachios (1/8 cup) – 80 calories
-Rice Thins (2 crackers) – 20 calories

Drinks:
-Taco Bell Coffee (12.5 oz) – 10 calories
-Decaf Green Tea (x3 mugs) – 0 calories

GRAND TOTAL: 1,266 calories
Attempted total: 1,200 calories
How high I went over: 66 calories

As you can see, I went a little over — so to balance things out, I did 20 minutes of light cleanup around the house such as putting groceries away and picking up the floor.

Overall this isn’t bad for a first try. I was able to down about 5 glasses of water, I’m gonna try to have 3 more before bed — but I’m cutting off my food source once it hits 8 pm. I knocked out my salt craving with just 2 rice thins (which were very tasty, but I didn’t feel the need to have more) and I was able to write up a couple more things for my shopping list like brown rice, kefir, cottage cheese, celery, lemons and some other stuff I’m gonna add to my new diet. Overall I’m working on keeping portion sizes down, having no more than 3-4 meals a day, and minimizing snacking between meals so that I can get down to the amount of food a normal person eats and hopefully shed just enough weight to slide back into the “overweight” category of BMI.

I’ll be checking my weight each day at the same time for the first week just to see if this is a horrible idea that will cause my weight to skyrocket — after that I’ll weigh myself just once a week and see where it goes from there!

Appointments, Suppliments and Health-stuffs galore!

Wow!

All of the sudden I have a full schedule. As of today I’ve got my usual Therapy, tomorrow I’ve got my thyroid surgery consultation, Wednesday I’ve got an appointment with my new Psychiatrist, and the following Monday I’ve got Therapy again and an appointment with my new GP!

On top of this, I’ve decided to get back on my suppliments and vitamins and such. I’m back to taking Fish Oil, my Multivitamin, some D3, a Biotin, some Calcium with Magnesium and Zinc, some EFA/DHA oil, and some Probiotics every morning with Breakfast — I’ve got some HCL/HCL Activator coming in the mail by sometime next week or the week after. I’m hoping these will give me a new base so that as the medications I’ll undoubtedly be put on within the next 3-4 weeks (preferably including hormone replacement) begin, I’ll have a solid foundation. Plus I know at least some of these work, so I may as well get healthier doing it.

With my surgical consultation tomorrow (Tuesday), I’m one step closer to going thyroid-less, which means my heartrate SHOULD come down. I’m not sure if anything else will change, but so long as there isn’t so much thyroid hormone in my systems — and so long as my heartrate gives other people the optimistic view of my heart that I do. So long as it does, however, I may be back in the driver’s seat in terms of Scuba Diving than I thought!

With Psychiatry this coming Wendesday, I shall be yet one step closer to really beginning my transition too! I’ll be giving them my therapist’s number so that they can see how long I’ve been with her, and I can refer her to the other various bazillions of therapists I’ve been to in the past. Hopefully before the end of the year I’ll be given the second go-ahead, if not a prescription for SOME form of testosterone therapy (be it a pill, or a cream, or a patch, or whatever — then an estrogen blocker). Wouldn’t that be nice?

Next week on Monday I have my new GP — I’ll be giving him a FULL history of all of the shit I’ve got going on. I’ll be asking for an ultrasound or x-ray of my appendix, to see if the stones inside have gotten any bigger — then I’ll refer Little Company of Mary (the hospital I was in for 3 days while my appendix was being monitored. That shit can get real bad when it bursts) so they can chat or something.

I don’t remember if I did a post on my hospital stay but long story short — 2 or 3 weekends ago I was rushed to the emergency room for a pain in my side just above my hip. I asked a friend that had their appendix out — and they said that was just about the spot. I was kept for a total of 3 days, starved for about 50 hours straight and kept alive on pain killers and anti-stomach-acids, so that I would be prepared for surgery just in case. Ultimately they did a CT scan, several Ultrasounds and I believe an x-ray and the ONLY thing on that entire side of my body that was at all abnormal was my appendix — which currently has little stones in it. Because there’s no way to tell how long they’ve been there or for sure whether they’re causing my pain or not — the hospital refused to remove it. Even though my kidneys, galbladder, uterus, stomach, bowels, EVERYTHING else were perfectly fine and healthy. I may need to go in again, as it still hurts.

Other than that, I’m just sort of waiting for everything to kick in. I stay up all night through 8 or 9 am then take my pills and then sleep…but sometimes I actually fall asleep at some point — then get up by 2 or 4 am. Yay.

Changing my name, my gender, and my legal identity.

This is gonna be a doozy so go grab a glass of water, pull up a chair, and get comfy.

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From the first time I said my name aloud, I loved it and I hated it. I’ve never been able to explain why — as I loved being unique and as far as I knew I only knew one other Taylor. “Taylor Michael Scott”, my parents knew what they would call me the moment they both said it aloud.

When I was younger I swung from intensely boyish to intensely girly, and several times I asked to change my name in kind. From the times when I tried so hard to be girly that I wanted to be called “Crystal” to the more neutral times I wanted to create an identity for myself and desired “Kasoka” to the later and more confident masculine times I asked my friends to call me “Tai” and “Bo.” No matter the friend, whatever name they called me had some effect on what I said, how I acted, and our relationship as a whole. It was almost imperceptible to anyone but me and perhaps my family.

I found out rather quickly that I needed to be very sure on what I wanted to be called or I would really regret it. When called a nickname like “Tay-tay” I cringed and sought out something better — and every time someone called me something I wanted, I did a little dance inside. My characters have always had very carefully chosen names with meanings in various languages, and from “Crystal” on I never asked for a nickname unless I was absolutely sure.

8 or so years later I still have people calling me everything from “Tai” to “Kasoka” to “Bo” to “Tay-tay.” If I asked someone to switch nicknames they usually wouldn’t, and my parents were especially cross if I asked for anything but “Taylor.”

I can’t stress enough just how much names mean to me. How carefully they have to be picked, how much they effect the person, and how changing one can be critical. No two Annes may act alike, and an Erin and a Baxter might act very similar, but I really do believe what you pick is life-changing.

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I’ve had many therapists over the years as I began my transition which is still a long time in the making. Many of them asked me if I liked my name, if I planned to change it, and ultimately — why not? While I may not have liked “Taylor” I appreciated what was a good intention — something unisex for a boy or a girl, something that straddled the line with a distinct masculine flavor when introduced to my middle and last names — both men’s first names.

For the first time in my life, I’m seriously considering changing my name. I don’t want to jump into it, I don’t want to choose arbitrarily, and I don’t want to ruin the intention my parents were going for. The last thing I want to do is insult them by rejecting the name they chose for me! I thought about doing [NEW NAME] TAYLOR [MIDDLE NAME] [LAST NAME] or [NEW NAME] TAYLOR [LAST NAME] but I’m not sure how two middle names work — and my middle name is the name of my Uncle (and I don’t want to burn whatever bridge we have left since an awful fight we got into many years ago). I’m running names by every person in my life I can think of, trying to find the perfect one that will help me signal the turning point in my transition.

This name would be the milestone that shows me I’ve officially gone from a girl that feels like a boy, to a man that’s trying to do himself right. I intend to wait minimum until I have top surgery to change my name if at all, which requires a year on hormones once I find a psychiatrist to give my T letter to. Once I do or don’t do so — it’s onto possible bottom surgery (SRS) and finally the official legal gender change on my birth certificate.

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I know my Mom won’t be happy about it, though my Dad may not mind. I’m getting advice from other FtM that were in my position, as well as people I know that changed their name for other reasons. We’ll have to see what I come up with.

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Names I like so far: Caspian, Olliver

The Work-In-Progress Man, Step #1!

I’m getting ready to take the most serious, permanent, and life-changing decisions any FtM Transman can take! As such I need a solid base of people and professionals I can rely on and talk to when I begin the next step, and whilst I monitor myself.

My last therapists have all been awesome, and the past 3-4 have all written me T-letters I never used. I guess I just wasn’t ready, but in turn each one moved away or stopped answering my calls, or I myself moved out of the feasible range to continue seeing them.

The only psychiatrist I’ve ever had was part of a big complex facility that was beyond impossible to get ahold of, harder to keep up appointments with, and constantly cancelled and moved around on me — good riddance!

I’ve just called the only psychologist and the only psychiatrist on my insurance’s plan that has a transgendered specialty and has evening appointments — it was kinda like fate was saying something there. I didn’t realize it was the Sunday of a three-day-weekend, but I get good feelings about both of them — and one even answered when I called!! This is in STARK contrast to the loads of others I called, sometimes 5 in a day that never called me back.

I’ve done more research into not only what processes and surgeries would make me happier, but which I need to undergo to become a legal male in the state of California. They require top surgery (double mastectomy) AND a hysterectomy (the former which you can only undergo 1-2 years after starting Testosterone, the latter you can only undergo 2-4 years after starting Testosterone) for some, and yet some get away with only undergoing top surgery. Frankly, all of the health concerns/sterilization/my distaste for periods/desire never to have kids involved with the uterus once you start T make it so I wouldn’t mind removing it BEFORE I have a problem. And certainly there’s never been any question as to my distaste for my chest. Worst-case scenario, the only other surgery I’d have to undergo to become legal would be a phalloplasty, so that even when completely naked — my body would only look male. I’d have a permanent addition to my nether regions, an actual skin-made penis shaft I’d be able to pee through. Some also ask for a stiffening rod you can pump to give yourself a pseudo erection for sexual play (and I hear it works quite well). While I never considered this before, they look better than they ever have before and only continue to work better, not to mention in the very worst-case scenario they cannot deny my changing my gender on my driver’s license if I get this far.

The only reason I’ve taken the process so painstakingly slow is mainly because I knew I wasn’t ready to jump in 110%, and I always thought of T as a means to an end. It’s the start of the process, and starting something always takes the longest. Scary things, beautiful things, wonderful things — all of these can be caused by T if you wait long enough. I’m worried, as someone who’s been diagnosed as Bipolar 2, that T will change me in some horrific way. I know about the mood swings post-T, but who knows. Maybe T will mellow me out. I don’t have much of a sex drive now, that will be a willing change (as a person I do love sex, I just find myself frustratingly never in the mood). The rest, only time will tell!

Things to look forward to: Within 3-4 months, most transmen see a HUGE voice drop while on T. It’s amazing, really! 6 months to a year, you see the facial hair and fat redistribution. In 1-2 years, gaining muscle will become easier and any last little inklings of height you have left will eek themselves out — and some guys even experience a gain in 1-2 shoe-sizes!

This post will feel short because I’ve talked myself out of blogging for its’ long and time-consuming posts. I may keep them a tad shorter (but just as informative) like this, in order to keep myself blogging more often.

Mumbling, shuffling, and stuff

Super special awesome short blog post because it’s 2 AM on a Saturday and all that 4th of July pizza has given me a stomach ache.

So, apparently, my eyesight and hearing have gotten a little worse without my noticing over the years. As someone who doesn’t blast music, doesn’t read using super bright lights, and generally tries not to abuse these abilities, I find myself having to ask people to repeat themselves, turn the volume up louder, boost the brightness, and beef up the font size to keep things comfortable. And did I ever mention just how freaking similar the colors green and red seem to look now?

I really should call up an audiologist and an optometrist, but I’ve been so down on the idea that anything else could go wrong with me that the last thing I wanted to admit was that I was having more trouble seeing and hearing things.

Does the idea of wearing hearing aids in both ears sound attractive? No. Does the idea that I might be shuffling around with a white cane in a decade or two sound fun? Absolutely not. Part of me wants to ignore it for as long as I can–and if it goes away, great! But as someone with a lot of other physical health problems, I know that’s a bad idea.

What’s a guy to do?

Jungian philosophy on personalities

I know, big words–right? It’s not too bad once you get into it.

According to Carl Jung, a German psychologist, there were 5 parts to one’s personality. There is the Self, the Anima and Animus, the Shadow, the Ego, and the Persona. (Source)

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The Self is a tad hard to identify; It is who we are at our very core. Once you strip someone of their masks and of all of their faults and their doubt, you are left with one’s Ego, one’s conscious, and one’s unconscious mind. When we are little, our Self is the only thing we’ve truly developed–but as we grow, it helps us to develop our Ego, and the other 3 archetypes mentioned in Jung’s research. (Sauce)

The Anima and Animus, are the “female soul image of a man,” and “the male soul image of a woman.” These are the two little voices in our head that whisper to us when we do things throughout the day. Some people call these your dæmon, many children call them a as an ‘invisible friend’–because their voices sometimes sound so real, that we take their advice not as our own but as another’s–but their advice usually leads us to think or do things we shouldn’t.

The Shadow is every part of ourselves that we deny, and hide from the world. Sometimes, we reject it so vehemently, that merely seeing someone else act or do the same fills us with an intense disgust and anger. Jung says, that the easiest way to discover what your Shadow represents, is to list everything you hate about the things and people around you; I.E. If you feel disgust at how much your friend needs to be dating someone in order to feel whole, you may secretly feel that way yourself–or you may secretly be afraid you are that type of person.

The Ego, while part of our Self, is most of what we believe represents our personality at our very core. It represents our unconscious mind, and all of the decisions we make behind the scenes without even realizing it. When one gets in touch with their Ego, they can get into touch with who they really are–much like our base personality when we were kids. When we grow up and get more involved in society, we lose touch with our Ego and cover it up with expectations and negative feelings. Children that are homeschooled are generally closer to their Ego than children that were sent to public school, and exposed to other children during key developmental stages of their brain and personality.

The Persona is the most famous part of our personality. It is known to many as the mask that we show the world, all of the good and the bad that we want people to see, regardless of what we really are. One most relies on their persona when faced with hardship or grief, and sometimes prolonged stress. They may help or hinder us, and some have become so used to theirs that they think one’s mask is the true personality underneath. Often times, one’s persona will be the exact opposite of one’s ego or shadow–if one is naturally shy or has a low self-confidence, the persona they show the world might be brave, bold, and completely self-actualized.

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Now that we have all of these nice little definitions straight, you’ll have to wait for my next psychology-related post to see what we do with these once we know them, why it’s important to further understand ourselves, and why it might be better to leave certain aspects of our unconsciousness untouched.

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Stay tuned!