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Struggling to lose weight and keep it off

by mattie on April 19, 2010

I’ve been thinking about how I need to work on losing some weight. Like most in our community, I think that if I was a little thinner I’d look a lot better. But as I’ve researched the topic of weight loss, I’m realizing that weight issues are quite common among transgenders and crossdressers.

Apart from the fact that obesity in the world is growing at an alarming pace, often I think people (like myself) have used food as a kind of treatment for their gender issues (especially if one isn’t “out”). On one hand I have always wanted to be thin, but on the other hand I have the lifelong stress of my internal transgender feelings that drive me to self-medicate with food. It seems I’m not the only one.

This morning I stepped on the scale and saw that I’m 213 lbs. This is really unacceptable. Why am I continually working against my own internal desire to be more thin?

About 18 months ago I had made it down to 195 lbs just by tracking calories on LiveStrong. I did it for several months and did pretty well with it, but something happened and I sort of stopped doing it. Since that time I’ve slowly been working my way back up the scale, and I’m not feeling good about it.

I need your help. Have you lost weight, or are you in the process of losing weight? Have you found something that works for you? What are your biggest and smallest dress sizes? Please share in the comments below.

For the time being I’ve started calorie tracker at LiveStrong and am making a commitment to enter my daily calories, activity, and my weight in this application.  For the short term I need to get my calorie intake under control, but for the long term (and to keep the weight off) I need to make some lifestyle changes. I hope to have the motivation to see myself through to a more normal weight.

I’d just feel a lot better about myself if I was a size 10-12 versus my current 18.

Update 10/18/10: Well, I’ve been at this for a few months now and am slowly taking the weight off. I’ve just been tracking calories and trying to get a little more exercise (not a whole lot). Simply by tracking my calories on LiveStrong’s MyPlate, and getting a little exercise I’m now down to 201. The progress is slow, but I’m making progress!

Image Credit: Playingwithbrushes

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Stace April 20, 2010 at 6:48 am

Weight loss can be tricky – slimming seems less so.

I’ve been exercising for about 6 months now (20 mins 3x per week building to 70 minsx2, 40minsx1 now), using a heart rate meter to make sure I am in the fat burning zone. I skate and run to burn the calaries off.

I don’t snack, and make sure I eat reasonable portions. When I am full I stop eating. I *don’t* count calaries or diet. I have cut back on how much I am drinking and am now more likely to drink a pint of apple water (50% Apple juice / 50% sparkling water) than a pint of beer when at home.

The result is that in the last 6 months I have lost almose a stone (not as much as I wanted), but have gone from a 33/34″ waist to a 29/30″ waist – and can fit into size 10 skirts and size 12 tops.

I would really not worry too much about the diet, and concentrate on making sure you are burning the calaries correctly. And buy a heart meter – that has transformed my exercise sessions.

Good luck,
Stace

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mattie April 20, 2010 at 10:11 am

Thanks for the comment Stace. Do you have a particular heart monitor you recommend?

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Jenna June 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I use food to medicate my feelings, too! What has worked for me in the past is to redefine hunger mentally as a GOOD thing. “Oh, I’m hungry — good. That means I’ll lose a few ounces today.” As part of that, I have to be prepared to process bad feelings (loneliness, anger, despair) in a different way. Exercise is always good, but when all I did was exercise, I didn’t lose weight. For me, the way to drop the flab is to eat less.

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Robert August 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Before starting any diets or exercise programs DO YOURSELF
A FAVOR. Go to the doctor and find out what your metabolism rate is. Your rate of metabolism aids in determining you weight. It determines how much energy you use in a single day.
If you have a low rate, you will gain weight based on your caloric intake. If it is high, you will have a harder time gaining weight. Metabolism rates can be changed, but it must be done under the care of a licensed physician. There are medicines, vitamins and minerals that can alter your rate of metabolism.
Nutricians know this. A dietary nutricianist is also a person to consult with. Diets DON’T generally affect your rate of metabolism. I have a extremely high rate, I am six foot tall
and weigh only 136 lbs.. My weight has never exceded 160 lbs.
I got tested by my doctor as should others.

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mattie August 26, 2010 at 11:01 am

Hi Robert,

You make a great point about getting my metabolism checked. I’m not actually sure if I’ve ever had it checked. I’m going to look into this a bit more.

I’ve had reasonable success by tracking calories on Livestrong’s website using their “MyPlate” tool. It helps me restrict my caloric intake and slowly lose weight. But I might have an underlying issue with slower metabolism.

Mizuki September 24, 2010 at 4:52 am

Hi, I ready your item about weight loss, I’m 40+ and 10stone 12, at present.
If you can cut out cakes, fizzy drink, chips/fries/crisps and eat more fruit/veg, then your onto a winning streak. Exercise is good too, I was heading toward 13 stone until I got a gym manager to put me into a good routine and I stuck to it, lost quite a bit in a few months, but the mental requirement to say ‘no I don’t want cake’ etc., can be hard to keep going!
I have to admit, I can get into a size 6 dress (USA 4) ;-) The tighter the better, it’s struggle but it’s great when on, getting it off is another issue! Don’t give up on the weight, keep a log of how it lowers with exercise and abstenance of the bad foods we eat!
^_^ Mizuki

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pepper kennie October 1, 2010 at 5:15 am

Part 1″ Whenever you eat cooked food. Any cooked food. You destroy most of the amino acids and enzymes. The fat on your body is in fact perfect food that is simply missing those extra nutrients lost in the cooking process. So your body cannot use any of it.
However, there is an answer. Raw fruits and vegetables contain extra amounts of these enzymes and amino acids, some in great quantities. If you start every meal with some fresh grapes or some melon (any kind), you will soon discover that your appetite for the cooked foods will become less. Very little willpower is necessary.
Part 2: The only liquid you should drink is water. No soda, no juice, no coffee or tea. And make it distilled. Don’t let the detractors tell you that distilled water leaches out the minerals in your body. Although it does leach out minerals from your body, in reality, it is only the unwanted and unneeded minerals (which is what you want anyway).
My first attempt at losing weight (I was 250* at 6’1″), I lost 70 pounds. But I went back to eating too much cooked foods and gain fifty back over a 5 year period (I was in construction).
But I restarted eating correctly again (90% of my diet is raw fruits and vegetables), and have easily lost 16 pounds in less than 2 months.
This diet is simple, sound, Biblical, healthy, cheap, and will even go a long way to curing most diseases. And once you get into it you will start seeing whats wrong in all the other diets.
Look up Rudy and Jeannie Davis, or Walter Veith on the internet.
I promise you will never look back,
Pepper

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mattie October 1, 2010 at 9:50 am

Thanks everyone for your ideas and input.

I’ve been a lifelong vegetarian, and a vegan (diet) for the last 5 years or so. My weakness though is that I love high calorie foods, like peanut butter, oil, mexican food (beans and rice), and more. I eat pretty healthy but I just enjoy eating large portions. I’ve discovered that simply tracking my calories on a site like The Daily Plate on Livestrong’s site helps me a lot. Actually I’ve gone from 212lbs as stated in the post above to 201lbs now.

My wife and I actually did try a raw vegan diet a few years back – we did it for 30 days and I lost weight and felt pretty good. But ultimately we decided we would eat a balance of cooked and raw food, so now I try and include more raw items in my diet. But I could always improve in that department.

Thanks so much for all your input and help. I’m still watching my calories and the weight is slowly coming off. Oh how I would love to be a size 6!

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Tanya October 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I very much relate to this post.

On the one hand, I very much feel the woman within as a smaller, more slender frame than the one you would see when looking at me. I am six feet tall and obviously can’t do anything about this. My weight, though, is something I can influence. I am presently 190 and would love to slim down to a 180 maximum.

This is complicated by two things. First, I eat to numb the pain and anxiety of being transgendered. Second, when I exercise I seem to do so with an attitude that is somehow aggressive toward my womanhood. There’s too much push and force to get somewhere, not enough appreciation of and nurturance toward the woman who is longing to express through this body. This dynamic seems evident even when I do ‘gentler’ forms of exercise like walking and yoga. It feels like another form of the self-abuse I’ve engaged most of my life; as a result, I don’t exercise as much as my dream weight would require.

I keep trying. I just haven’t found a way for this to work yet. I suspect yet more self-acceptance is called for. The lifelong challenge!

Tanya

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mattie October 19, 2010 at 11:31 am

That’s a really beautiful and honest comment Tanya. I think I’ve eaten as a way to deal with my own depression about being transgender too, but my eating works against me too because it makes me even less of the kind of person I want to be. Part of my issue to is that I don’t have a lot of types of ‘exercise’ that I enjoy. I think I enjoy swimming the most, but I’m a bit self-conscious to use public pools. Lately I’ve been spending more time on the trampoline that my wife and I bought about a year ago. It’s a very low impact exercise, and I feel good after jumping on it. Still, I must admit that my exercise issues pale in comparison to my relationship with food.

You bring up an interesting point about “force” in your exercise. I relate to that when it comes to my eating. I eat “forcefully” and don’t take time to really savor my food I think. I end up eating much more than I need to because of this I think.

Anyway, thanks so much for your comment Tanya. I found it encouraging and thoughtful.

Suzy December 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm

It’s a change of life style. And it has to be permanent.
I don’t have meal times. I only eat when I am really hungry.
I have cut out all processed foods plus all sugar in any form.
As for exorcise, I walk fast for an hour a day, every day [I enjoy it]
Apart from that I also do 50-60 crunches three times a day.
I have been doing this for 12 years now and I am very slim, and very fit.
But most important to me as a crossdresser is that I have a shape that’s a close to a slim woman that I could possibly hope for. And have been told I have amazing legs!

SUZY

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Marilee Jikey April 20, 2011 at 10:01 am

I just came across your blog and I’m glad I did. Funny thing is that I got on the scale this morning and I weighed 212. I have been on holiday from dressing for several years due to a partner who becomes depressed when I do. I made a big mistake years ago by trying to involve her in this …..I say again, big mistake. Back in my “Out and about days” I weighed around 150 and fit comfortably into as size 10/12. Now I would need a tentmaker to clothe me, giggle. I want to begin dressing a gain. It’s a need that won’t go away. Anyway, I ‘m in excellent health for a fat girl and have been walking 2 miles every day for the past 2 months. I’m starting to feel like I have much more energy. I now have some motivation to get back to the 150. But as you know it’s hard, really hard. I have been thinking about going on a 7 day fast to prepare for the journey. Years ago I did this and I remember feeling alert, in touch with my body, and a general sense of well being. I know what to eat and what to stay away from. Doing it is the problem. I have decent self discipline and I’m thinking that a fast might lead to a new beginning. Just my thoughts.

Marilee

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Victoria Rock May 23, 2011 at 2:31 am

I was tired of being a transformed “girl” and spending so much time and money on wigs, jewelry, nails, dresses, high heels and make-up; just to have the illusion destroyed by having a middle age male paunch, love handles, too thick a waist and needing to look for plus or large women’s sizes. So I got serious; started Yoga and Pilates 20 min a day and some 5 pound dumb bell straight arm swimmer type arm/chest exercises. Daily girlish exercise boosts metabolism, makes you healthy, reduces stress and can help the chest cleavage.

As far as diet, always have Yogurt, a banana (which I deep throat first) and oatmeal or high fiber bran muffin for breakfast, plenty of water all day long, a light all protein lunch, and salad oriented dinner with strict portion control and no high fat food. Snacks are nuts & berries, some soy nuts, and an occasional protein drink from a safe & willing man’s cock .

The ultimate “trick” that took off 40 pounds in the 1st 3 months was to drink LOTs of Green Tea all day. Keeps you “full” without putting on pounds, loads you up with great anti-oxidants and lets you just “pee the pounds off!” Seriously, it really works!

I was 5’11″ and 192 paunchy pounds with a 38-40 inch waist! Now, 5 years later, I am 6′ 5 ” in sky-high platform heels, weigh 150 pounds and have a nicely feminized 38 B, 28, 40 shape due to the diet, the exercise and some safe plant based female hormones from soy, black cohosh, saw palmetto and dong quai!
I AND my male & female admirers, are very happy with the “new lightweight “Victoria” AND I am still a daily cross dresser!

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avalana January 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm

i am SO sorry to say this, but i haven’t been able to gain a pound, my diet is mostly vegetarian, but i only eat one meal a day,work hard,snack often (carrots,celery,radishes,and cheese…) i do eat meat 8 times a month,and try to eat to much spaghetti.perhaps i have a strange metabolism, or maybe it’s the calories burned up in norhern minnesota keeping warm(sorta)..but maybe it’s the abscence of a sedentary life….i walk an average of 15 miles a day,every day,and have for a long time,i also work outside,(don’t wear a spghetti strapped bra when you shovel snow!) and dance a lot….i wish you the best!

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Veronica July 13, 2012 at 8:26 am

I have made the journey from 236 down to 171 at 6’2″ and I ever felt more feminine than when I saw those numbers 171 on the scale. I know it sounds like a lot but at that weight I fit into size 28 jeans, size 8 dress and medium tops. At my heaviest I wore a size 14 and XL everything else. I have gained some weight back and I don’t feel as feminine when I am heavy. It is as if my inner woman is hiding behind my fat male body. Recently I have been dieting with a goal to get back down even though my partner does not like me so skinny. She accuses me as trying to loose weight to look more feminine, and while I try to deny it we both know it is true. Yesterday I went to an exercise class wearing her Lululemon Capri pants. I was the only non-genetic female in the class. While I was presenting as a boy I was the most feminine attired of anyone in the class with my cute Black Nikes and Lululemon gear as the other girls showed up in running shorts and heavy running shoes. It was quite a thrill to be the girliest of all of us.

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