Not too much to report 40 days in. From what I've read from my research and fellow girls who have gone through this, the physical changes start about three months in, and are really developing six months in. I did have my hormone dosages increased, and my doctor might increase them again next month.
To answer a couple of questions I've been getting a lot. First, to address some debate of who I am into, I am happily bisexual. Secondly, and I'm surprised I've been asked this so much, my female name is Samantha. I'm still undecided on what my new middle name will be. I think it'll either start with 'J' (like it does now), or I'll change it to 'Fox'.
Now onto the main topic of this update: weight loss. While not technically part of the transitional process, it is a big part of it for a lot of people, including myself. I didn't even want to start until I got down to a reasonable weight, and I feel like this is something a lot of people are struggling with. I know what I'm doing after losing 60 pounds and working my butt off (literally), and I'm happy to share what I've learned. 1: Don't Give Up.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but this is seriously the most important thing I can tell you. The only thing that will stop you from losing weight is you. There will be setbacks, hard times, and disappointment along the way, but you can't let those stop you. I could of gave up after I didn't make any progress during one month, but I kept at it, and starting losing weight again. No matter how much weight you need to lose, it's never easy, but it will never happen if you give up. 2: Realistic Expectations.
This one ties into the first point. You've got to be realistic about how quickly (or slowly) you're going to lose weight. One person asked me "How do I lose 70 pounds in three months?", and the answer to that is that's a completely impossible pie-in-the-sky dream. Hell, it took me over eight months to lose 60 pounds, and I was determined and disciplined. A lot of people give up when they don't meet their dream goal quickly, even if they are actually losing weight at a good pace. I was dropping 8 to 3 pounds per month, which is a realistic and healthy pace, so plan on something along those lines. Even if you barely lose anything over a month, don't let that stop you. 3: You Must Diet AND Exercise.
Trust me, before I tried doing each of those separately, and I never had any success until I started doing both. Cut your calories, and work out four to two times per week. 4: There Is No Easy Way Out.
You will find a million and a half products or guides about how to lose fat fast! There's everything from diet plans, pills, exercise routines, supplements, inventions, and tons more. Don't be scammed by any of these snake oils because if there was a pill or something that made you lose weight with little to no effort, it would be the best selling drug in the world. Don't even trust it if it claims "supplements weight loss". The only way to lose weight is hard work and dedication. 5: Find Out How Many Calories You Need.
The best thing you can do for your diet is to find out how many calories you should be taking in per day. Personally, I was keeping between 1300 and 1600 calories, but that number can vary from person to person. I strongly recommend going to MyFitnessPal.com
and using their calculator to find out how many calories you should be taking in per day because that's where I found my numbers. It's important you never eat too eat calories, or else you'll do more harm than good. Never, ever go below 1200 calories. 6: Count Your Calories.
I'm not going to lie, this sucks because it takes time. However, I found that on weeks where I counted my calories, I lost over twice as much on average compared to weeks where I didn't count calories. It's absolutely worth doing, and again MyFitnessPal.com
is amazingly helpful in making this faster and easier (I'm not sponsored by them, I swear). You can look up the foods you ate in their database, enter how much you ate, and they will tally your calories for you. It's great to have a record of how much you've been eating. For more accurate numbers, I recommend getting a $10 food scale to measure how much you really did eat. 7: Building Muscle Is Important.
You don't need to turn into a huge body builder, but building muscle is very important to losing weight and, more importantly, keeping it off. For starters, someone will more muscle burns more calories than someone with less muscles from doing the same amount of work. It's like how a car with more horsepower uses more gas than a car with less horsepower. Muscles need more calories to function. Better yet, for every pound of muscle in your body, it burns 9 calories per hour, even if you're doing absolutely nothing. Cardio workouts can be good for short term results, but if you only do cardio with no strength training, you will be almost guaranteed to gain weight back once you stop doing cardio. Do a mix of cardio and strength training to lose more weight, and keep it off thanks to the calories muscle mass burns for you. 8: Fluctuating Weight Is Normal.
If you weight yourself everyday, and the scale goes up two or three pounds from the day before, that doesn't mean you're a fat slob and need to give up. Your weight fluctuates a lot from day to day based on when you last ate, how much water you have in your system, when you last used the bathroom, ect. Weight yourself at a consistent time as well, because your weight goes up and down during the day. I averaged my daily weigh ins for weekly and monthly intervals, and it gave me a clearer view into what I was really losing. 9: Be Accurate With Counting Calories.
It's easy to eat more calories than you think you are. Don't forget about the heaping pile of maple syrup or barbeque sauce you have with your meal. A lot of condiments are calories dense, so don't forget about them, and try not too have too much. Other common things to forget is: cheese, snacks, toppings, and drinks. 10: What NOT To Eat.
A big thing I highly recommend you remove from your diet is soda! There's tons of drinks out there that are loaded with calories, and they will not make you full at all. I mainly drink water, but you can find other drinks out there that are low in calories. Seriously, if you can give up soda, you will make things much easier on yourself. As another thing, I recommend staying away from per-prepared foods and stick with homemade food made from more natural ingredients. For example, fresh chicken you bake yourself will be much healthier than some frozen fried chicken you simply heat up. I've really gotten much better at cooking over the last year, and nowadays I hardly ever eat anything I didn't make myself. 11: What To Eat.
If you're only eating a certain number of calories per day, eat foods that will leave you full. For example, eating 400 calories of turkey will get you much further than 400 calories of candy. Foods high in protein is great, especially when you are trying to build muscles. Leans meats are simply the best. Fruits and veggies may not be the best, but well worth it if you find some that you enjoy. Reducing the amount of bread you have is good, and you don't need to completely get rid of it. Keep your eye on nutritional labels, and how big a 'serving size' actually is.