Help me Help Myself

It’s the second week of April, which means we’re already three weeks into spring. Or at least, it is springtime in many parts of the world, except in the southern hemisphere, and well, here in many parts of Canada. In fact, in Toronto, we still have no solid confirmation that spring has indeed arrived, although the the temperature is a balmy 19°C today, we had been below freezing at night all of last week. But it’s enough to encourage me to pack in all my winter clothes, and get my spring clothes out of storage. It also means it’s time to think about losing my winter….deposits. It was fine when when I was all bundled up in thick jackets, but now that spring is here, but I really don’t want to look fat in my dresses this year. The other reason is that I’m a cyclist, and every pound I can lose translate to longer distances and faster speeds that I can sustain. (My “less important” reason related to cycling is that I have wanted to bike only wearing my sports bra and shorts, and I really, really don’t want my flabby guts.)

So, here’s my plan. Right now, I’m at 156lb—not hopeless for a girl who is 5’9” (175cm) tall—and I’m hoping to go down to 145lb by the end of May. Eventually, I want to be at 140lb, but not just 140lb, I want to be at a healthy 140lb. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be paying special attention to the food that I eat. That means more veggies and less meat (or just less food altogether), lower calories and less fat, more anti-oxidants and nutrients. I’ll also exercise very frequently, like cycling to work, lots of aerobics, and lots of abs exercises.

You can help me help myself by sending your kind encouragements to me, and I’ll in turn, post some “before and after” pictures on my blog.

Temporarily Unavailable

This morning I temporarily deleted a number of my posts on this blog.  The main reason has to do with recent harassment that I’ve received regarding some of the things I wrote about, so this is mainly just a precaution. Deleting anything from my blog is always disappointing, since I have spent a lot of time writing them, and then spending even more time translating them into Chinese.  Of course, the posts aren’t actually “deleted”, just marked “private” so that only I can see them.  I do hope to have some of the posts back online in the future, but as of now, I’m not holding my breath. I am indeed hoping that this will happen in the near future.

Kate

Is This Sexy Enough?

The result after using Photoshop for a few hours.

One thing that I’ve always dreamed about is to have a perfect female body, at least one that’s well proportioned enough so that I can look reasonably good walking along a beach wearing only a bikini swimsuit.  (I would be lying if I tell you that I’ve never imagined myself as a bride on my wedding day, walking down the aisle wearing just a veil, stockings and heels, but that’s a whole other story for another time.)  Which is why having this picture taken means a lot to me.  As you can imagine, being a transgender woman who is not on hormone treatment means that the shape of my body isn’t quite “right.”  But while I’m clothed, I can tuck and tug and pad and hide, and then choose appropriate clothes that gives the appearance of the female curves, once the clothes are off, and I’m wearing next to nothing, it’s not a very pretty sight.

Which brings me back to this picture.  I can honestly say that when I had this taken, I didn’t feel good about myself…at least not about the shape of my body.  But it turned out a lot better.  I was able to hide my narrower hips, the edges of the breastforms, my bulging…umm…gut, and my make up looked okay too.  And after a bit of digital retouching, even the flaws in my skin are gone too.

In case you are wondering, the picture was taken with the camera mounted on a tripod.  There was no one else with me.

Fighting Urges

Change Lingerie
Change Lingerie
Can you resist trying out all these bras?

I was driving towards downtown yesterday, and when I got to the Yonge and Eglinton area, I came across the storefront of Change (a relatively new lingerie chain here in Canada). As I looked at the mannequin, all of a sudden I had this urge to go inside and get myself some new lingerie. Except I knew that it was completely unreasonable: I have plenty, and I wasn’t planning on undressing in front of anyone either. Why then? Admittedly, all the bras and panties that I could see were all very pretty, and of course I want to wear all of them!

Thankfully, I was brought back to reality when I looked forward again, remember how cold the weather is in Toronto, and that sexy lingerie is pretty useless in this climate, thus sparing me from making a stupid purchase…

A Weighty Appendix

You may notice that I did not update my website at all in November, but I have also been absent from Facebook and other online presence at well.  Part of the reason for that is that I had been extremely busy at work: research work just doesn’t get done on its own. I had also taken time to visit my family in Hong Kong. But the most important reason is that I just had my appendix removed.  Ouch.

I went to the Toronto General Hospital a few weeks ago with acute appendicitis.  The previous morning, I had woken up with intense pain in my abdomen, but since it wasn’t localized, I didn’t relate that with any possibility of appendicitis, and after taking a single Advil, I actually felt good enough to bike to the library downtown…15km away.  (As an aside, a girl in full cycling clothes, riding a racing bicycle is hot, even if she’s riding in pain.)  It wasn’t until the next day that the pain had returned, and I was admitted to the hospital. Thankfully, it was a quiet night at the ER, and the blood test, the urine test, the ultrasound and the surgery itself only took a few hours, and I was able to return home in less than a day.

In the following week, my complete lack of appetite meant shedding an impressive 8 lbs.  Despite that though, my belly felt more swollen than ever.  A bit of explanation is necessary.  In order to do the surgery, the doctors had to pump some carbon dioxide gas into my abdomen, and there is always something left inside after the procedure.  Anyway, the swelling made it almost impossible for me to straighten my back.  Of course, being the outdoorsy girl that I am, instead of staying home and resting in bed, I walked everywhere with a cane.  A thought did come though: I really ought to pay attention to my weight.  As you can see in my recent summer photos, I had indeed been putting on some weight in my mid section.

See!

Fortunately, I found this iPhone app called “Lose It!” that keeps track of my weight.  And this little free app also contains nutritional information about a lot of supermarket and restaurant food so I can track my calorie intake.  And, it has guidelines on how much calories I can burn with a wide range of exercises.  For example, under “Music Playing”, it says that “conducting” a choir or orchestra burns you 108 calories/hour.  Not bad.  As for “Sexual Activity” though, “Active, vigorous” levels only burns 36 calories/hour.

So for the past few weeks, with this little app, I’ve actually kept the weight off.  The next step, is to step up with my winter exercises.  So hopefully, it’s bye bye gut, hello smaller dresses!

Kate is Going Bilingual

Notice the side bar, there is now a language selector.  Select “Chinese (Traditional)”, and you’ll get an almost empty version of my site.  Here’s what’s going on:

After my recent trip to Hong Kong—I’ll write about that later—I realized that there is an entire community of t-girls out there on the other side of the globe, beyond this small but growing group here in Toronto.  During this trip, I had the opportunity to correspond with a couple of girls in HK, and found out a few things about the goings-on there.  One of the things that I did was to sign up for a web-based forum for Hong Kong crossdressers and transgendered girls.  Well, as it turns out, most of the posts on the forum are in Chinese, and as it turns out, going back to writing in Chinese wasn’t so difficult after all these years of writing only in English.  So, as I flew back to Toronto, I decided that I am going to start posting in both Chinese and English, which will be a bit of an adventure.  The first post to be translate will be this one!

One day, when I can comfortably write in French, I hope to do that too.

This too

This came from that same website, Sexy Loser.  The comics on this site really is very perverted, and I’m not sure what the appeal is, other than the liberal amount of weird sex.  I did come across another strip that has a transgender overtone.  Although I’m glad to say that:

  1. my parents have not disowned me because I’m transgender,
  2. I have no suicidal tendencies,
  3. I’m not about to give someone a blow job.

Also I’m not sure why the guy in the red vest has to jump off a cliff himself at the end.

I found this somewhere

As an interesting segue from my last post:

I found this comic on the internet yesterday.  I can’t remember how I came across it originally—it may have been through browsing someone else’s website.  Nevertheless, I thought it was kind of funny.  The name of the website, Sexy Losers, was a bit unfortunate, and the website has a lot of graphic depiction of sex acts that are just perverted and gross.  This one is no less explicit, but I couldn’t helped by to wonder curiously, if I were a post-op, and my lover doesn’t know of my past, what would I have said?  That said, the reality is that this will never happen… Continue reading “I found this somewhere”

Gallery is UP!

I finally have a gallery installed on my website!  Perhaps in the future, I won’t have to rely so much on Flickr and other services, seeing that I actually have my own servers without serious limits on the number of pictures I am allowed to have!  You can click on “Gallery” on the website or go to gallery.katie-young.net.  Right now, the gallery works fine in Firefox, but when I look at it with Google Chrome, it has some problems displaying the thumbnails, so that’s something I hope to fix soon, if it is even possible. In the future, I’ll start working on customizing the look of the gallery, but for now, I’ll just start posting all my pictures.  Please take the time to comment and rate them!

Kate

Navigating Through Life as a T-Girl

This is originally an e-mail I wrote to a new friend online.  She is also a transgender woman in the west coast of USA with much the same struggles as I have, and after writing this, I feel compelled to expand on my original message, and to clarify some of my thoughts.  I asked for her permission to post this on my blog and she gave it to me.  Here’s the final product:

Hi [A],

There is much to be thankful for when you and your wife are close, and that you two spend a lot of time together. It is something to be cherished.  I too have to be thankful for that very reason.

Being open to my wife about this whole TG issue is no easy task.  At best, I can only offer you my personal experience of dealing with it.  While many t-girl friends will disagree, I hold the view that my being TG is my very own mental affliction, and that life would be considerably less complicated if it would “just go away”.  Unfortunately it is also something I cannot change.  And I have been very honest with my wife about that.  As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, when dealing with TG issues, I often turn to my Christian faith for guidance. There is a relevant passage in the Bible that has been a great comfort to me:

Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?  If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness….To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 11:29,30, 12:7-10)

God’s grace is sufficient, especially in my weaknesses. In light of that, my wife and I have been quite honest to each other about our struggles and confusions, and we particularly want to turn this situation of mine into something that can strengthen others, instead of focusing on whether I dress or not dress. (By the way, I did grow up in a family of theologians and preachers, so it should not be a surprise that I turn to Christianity.)

In that sense, faith took away the burden of having to worry about what is the best balance between time as Kate, “boy mode” and time with my wife. Right now, I am not focused on how frequently I should be Kate vs. boy mode. The choice for me, is whatever is more loving (biblically speaking of course) at the time; and what allows me to strengthen someone else. There was a time when I didn’t have to balance time I spent as Kate vs. boy mode. It was simple: it was whatever I felt like. I was working on my PhD and a lot of work was done at home, so I can be a boy or a girl as I pleased. I chose girl mode quite a lot more often but that’s besides the point. Now that I am married, and my job requires me to be at the office everyday, it’s more boy than girl. I too have found that in the past couple of years I haven’t been as eager to go into “girl mode” as I used to, and I’m completely okay with it too. I’m not sure if the balance will shift in the future, but I’m sure that it’s not something I’m worried about now.

One of the advantage of living in Toronto is that the trans community is quite large, and a person can quite easily find acceptance here. For my part, most of my friends who know me as Kate are themselves either crossdressers or transsexuals. I find most of my crossdresser friends start gathering together when they first go down this path, but then disperse a little bit once they gain some confidence. Only 3 of my friends who know me in my “boy mode” also know me as Kate. One of them went through a tough time because her younger sibling was preparing for gender reassignment, and I felt that I can help the situation if I had made Kate known to her. (She was a hippie girl at heart, and took it well.)  I can, however, see the difficulties with telling my existing friends about Kate, especially in light of some of the prejudices that they have, mostly relating being “transgender” to being “homosexual”, which is often far from the truth. Ironically, the people that have given me the most grieve are my fellow Christians, for whom I constantly apologize…

If there is to be any advice, I say that you should seek a TG support group/club in town where people can just hang out.  You can find TG-friendly bars and clubs, but it’s the company that’s important.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Love,
Kate