Turning a corner?

I went last week to the gym and booked an induction with one of the personal trainers for the following day. He gave me a program of exercises to develop my upper body strength and hopefully provide definition for surgery as well as contribute to the weight loss efforts.

Starting this week I’m going three times a week to do the following routine.

Chest press 3 sets of 12
Shoulder press 3 sets of 12
Lat pulldown 3 sets of 12
Deltoid row 3 sets of 12
Leg press 3 sets of 12
Bicep curl 3 sets of 12
Tricep dip 3 sets of 12
30 minutes of cardio (treadmill/bike)

Had my first session yesterday and it felt good. Feeling a bit more positive about things so hopefully I’ll see my mood improve.

New Year, same me

A fortnight into the New Year and I’ve hit a bit of a slump. Maybe it’s just post-holiday blues but I’m struggling with my mood.

My eating habits are terrible and I just can’t seem to get my head back in the game. I’ve put weight on and not only can I feel it at work it has made me super aware and self conscious about my body – ramping up the dysphoria to pretty much unbearable. I feel so tired all the time and despite a thousand good intentions I haven’t been to the gym since Christmas. I need an injection of positivity but I haven’t found it yet. 2019 was meant to be my year but so far it doesn’t seem all that different from any of the last few.

I’m wallowing in a sense of hopelessness which seems to be turning into a vicious circle. I feel tired so I can’t be bothered trying to eat properly and exercise which is making me feel even more tired. My goal of having top surgery early next year was supposed to be the incentive to commit to losing weight and developing my physique but that has been derailed by financial pressures. A new boiler and water pump at £2,500 wiped out everything I’d saved so far for the surgery. The house almost certainly requires more maintenance this year to sort out the plastering and floorboards and having done 180,000 miles the car is likely on borrowed time so the ability to pay for surgery feels even more remote. Why bother losing weight and risk accentuating my chest if I can’t then get the surgery?

I can’t see how things are going to get any better at the moment.


I’ve got to lose some more weight.  Last year I had great success with the 8 week blood sugar diet managing to lose over ten percent of my body weight.  This diet (originally designed to reverse Type 2 diabetes) is a VLCD (very low calorie diet) involving restricting your intake to 800 calories a day and removing all simple carbohydrates such as sugar, pasta, bread, rice and potatoes.  Despite wanting to do another round of eight weeks I’ve found it very difficult to commit to starting again.  At my heaviest I’ve been 18 stone and did manage to get down to just over 14 stone.

Since starting hormone treatment I’ve noticed a significant increase in my appetite and I’ve given in to it.  Combined with a period of intense misery at work I’ve consumed a ridiculous amount of crap food and put on a stone.  Also due to the injections this has gone straight to my middle giving me an even more pronounced beer gut which I hate.  My starting weight is over 15 stone.


If I’m to have any chance of being able to have surgery I need to reduce my BMI.  Most surgeons insist on below 30 but I want the best results from my chest surgery and minimise the need for later revisions.  To do this I’m going to try to get a normal BMI then I can work on improving my chest definition before going under the knife.  To make this happen I need to lose at least 4 stone.

Chris and I have watched a programme about a VLCD that used meal replacement products instead of food.  We decided to try that approach as a springboard to getting back on plan and starting to lose weight again.  We opted to use the products in the programme from Exante.

Buy a Bike!

Every since we stayed in Morecambe last month, I’ve been thinking about getting a bike.  I can’t believe it really because I’ve not ridden a bike for 30 years but now I’m obsessed with the idea of it and I’ve been doing the usual intensive online research.

We decided to avoid Halfords because although they’d be cheaper I really wanted to get some expert advice on how to pick the best bike for us.  We went for a drive out to Charnock Richard Cycles aka Buy A Bike (presumably after the incredible success of the rather annoying but catchy jingle that has haunted north west radio listeners for years!).  Supposedly the UK’s largest independent outlet, we were initially underwhelmed by the selection until we realised that it wasn’t just one showroom but a random collection of outbuildings across the site each offering a different selection of bikes.

Being able to try the bikes before selecting one was a big plus.  This is the one I bought





Of course, I ordered it there and then despite specifically ‘only going for a look, I’m not buying anything today’.  Chris was no help she was supposed to save me from myself but ended up just egging me on!

We went back the day after to look at getting something for Chris.  Originally, she was going to have a go on mine first but then decided that it was just wasting time as the bikes would take a week to build before being ready to collect (not a problem because I then needed to get the boot lock repaired on the car which of course gave up the minute I wanted to get into it).

She was a bit nervous about trying the bikes in front of the guy there but he was really nice, taking the time to explain what features to look for and the differences between models.

One of the main differences is the saddle, women’s saddles are shorter and wider to support child-bearing anatomy.  It was at this point things got a bit weird.  Despite having chosen my bike the day before and being perfectly comfortable on it I decided I needed to try the ladies saddle ‘just in case’.  I asked the bloke if I could try it, he agreed but looked at me as if I was losing the plot.  It suddenly dawned on me that I was passing – he had no idea at all that I was assigned female at birth and therefore had no idea why on earth I’d be interested in trying a ladies saddle.  An awkward couple of minutes followed as I hastily mumbled/explained that I had child bearing anatomy down below and just wanted to make sure I had made the best choice between the two options.  I think we were both relieved when I determined that I had so we didn’t ever need speak of it again.

A little bit embarrassed but massively elated I went to the counter and finalised the order for Chris’ bike – she opted for the women’s version of my bike



Although we’ve only gone for entry level hybrids, I’ve never had a new bike before and I was super excited when we went to collect them earlier today.  I can’t wait to get out and about on them and of course it’s the perfect excuse to go shopping for cycling gear!