Friday, March 22, 2013

Again For The First Time: The Game

I have recently found myself doing things I never imagined I would ever be doing.


...but for the first time.

As myself.

I know I posted me out on the ski slopes last year.

Yet recently I found myself attending something in person, in over three years.

There I was sitting in the stands, my BF next to me(it was his idea and treat to take me), jersey on(yes, always when at a live game), when the thought struck me of where I was.

And that I was doing it as me.

So I snapped this picture right before the opening face off.

I had a blast. I love live hockey and seeing my home town team skating again great!

Yes, I know it is a huge clue as to where I live but hey, it isn't like I have posted what I look like these days...

...or my actual name.

...or where I work.

Still is it is a profound moment when you realize how much life has changed. Yet still is the same.

In addition how great it feels to be living your live freely.

Monday, March 18, 2013

An Interesting Anomaly

I have noticed something rather interesting lately.

I am getting smaller.

For reals!

Before I explain this a little back story.

In early 2008 after I had lost a lot of my extra weight I settled into wearing sized 8/10 and medium/large in women's fashions.

In the following years as I finished losing the rest of my extra weight and started hormones I noticed a few more changes. I even posted some of them for curiosity's sake.

I noticed even more after the second year of hormones, but about all that changed was I settled into size 8 and mediums a little more and not much else. Really I remained there for the next two years.

Which is where I thought I would stay.

Until recently.

Since late last summer I noticed a shift.

A rather significant one at that.

First during the summer I found myself finding mediums or size 8 shirts to be too large. Causing me to try on a size smaller.

Initially this fact did not cause any suspicion to be aroused. I know brands and designers "sizes" differ a little between them. There is always some fluctuation to be found.

What I was clueless about at the time, was the fact that I was doing this more and more frequently. I was rather oblivious about it. Mostly because I wasn't doing a ton of shopping that summer.

It wasn't until I was visiting my best friend Laura for Thanksgiving and we did some serious mall walking that weekend. Hehe true story we even did some midnight Black Friday shopping. Mostly just to view the insanity, but ended up scoring a few things for ourselves once the mob scene quieted down.

The crazy part was I was grabbing mediums find them too big and going to smalls, and in more than few cases an extra small. I bought exactly no mediums. I would say I got 70% smalls and 30% extra smalls.

I also noticed any dresses that were tried on I was favoring a 6 over an 8. Even fitting best into a few 4s.

I was shocked.

As I mentioned I understand designers can fluctuate their sizes between them. Yet this was too big a change to often for me to say it was that.

Once I got home I put it to the test by grabbing some of my old shirts and sweaters that I had in my closet that were not that old.

I was swimming in most of them. Especially if they were supposed to be a bit more figure fitting. Anything that was meant to be over sized and baggy was even more enormous and baggy.

This fact had me pretty astounded since my size and shape had largely gone unchanged in the last three years. Even stranger since my weight has hardly budged in the last five years.

Now I should make you aware that all of this was in relation to my upper body, below the waist I still a 6 or an 8. (I favor a 6 for skirts and 8s for jeans.)

Seriously no change there.


Everything else has.

I know this because all of that was not the most telling signs.


It was my feet.


I kid you not. I had noticed that I had been favoring a size 8 over 8.5(which was my typical size.)

Yet it was not my daily shoes or heels that made me take notice.

It was my ski boots.

A little background for those of you who are not skiers.

Ski boots are all sized the same. The length of your foot is measured in centimeters and that is where they start sizing a shell for you.

See the idea is the shell is designed not to be too much bigger than your foot. So that when it is buckled shut it compresses the softer inner foam liner around your foot. This fills in any gaps that might exist and the whole shebang becomes an extension of your lower leg.

Any gaps will cause you to have less control over your skis and often become uncomfortable as your foot moves around too much under the stresses of skiing.

The only differences between a men and women's boot is mens boots start and end at larger sizes. They are stiffer and a bit wider than a womens.

Meaning there is no difference when it come to sizing, you stand on a universal measurement device. Get your foot measured and they start trying shells on your foot to see how close you are to what they measured(Sometimes they have to go up a half size depending on the length of your foot).

This means a 27cm boot is the same in either gender. I know this because I know a few girls who are accomplished skiers and prefer the stiffness a men's boot has to offer for performance reasons.

The tricky part is if they will fit, because you start test fitting shells until you find what you are looking for then you clamp your foot in with the liner and start moving around walking, leaning, crouching in them to look for any spots that are pinching or causing discomfort.

This tells you if the boot will be comfortable or not as you ski.

[Word of advise for those would be skiers a good fitter will have you try on several pairs if they can find enough close to your foot size and always try getting fitted at more than one retailer.]

Well I had noticed my old boots were feeling off last year. They were about five years old so I was about due for replacing them.

Now this is where the shock comes in. My old boots were a size 27. Yes of course they were mens, but I knew that really didn't make too big a difference. Other than they were now feeling too loose. I ended up at that size because my foot measured somewhere between 26.5 and 27 back then.

Imagine my surprise when I got to one of my favorite ski shop, sat down with their fitter, pulled my boots and socks off, pulled on a pair of winter socks, and measured my foot.

I was just short of 25cm.

Double O_O

My foot had shrunk somewhere between 1.5 and 2 centimeters. Give or take.

I was trying on 25 and 25.5 boots. This was a huge change from my old ones. Had my foot really changed that much?

Maybe....but something else occurred to me.

I can tell you I always had a hard time fitting mens ski boots, I would try on a lot of pairs, and I do mean a lot until I found something that was really snug yet comfortable.

It never occurred to my why this was until now.

I also have a narrow foot.

As mentioned a ski boot is to very closely follow the shape of your foot. Men's boots were difficult for me because my foot never felt like it was ever being fully pressed in on all sides.

Putting a high end girls boot on(I am an accomplished skier, so I do want a full four buckle and rather stiff boot) shocked me as for once I felt it grab and hold my entire foot. Toes to heel, side to side.

It was a world of difference. My foot was no longer able to twist inside the boot. It felt completely snug but not uncomfortably so. Granted I did try on eight pairs total. Fussing with buckle settings and tossing out ones that might have pinched or pressed too hard in one spot. Enough to notice it anyway.

Settling on the ones pictured here.

[Total bonus on the color, as you do not get to pick it. Ever. Really I had a white and blue pair I liked along with a pair of Fischers that were bright yellow. Not to mention I tried on things that were orange, lime green, aqua and so on. Everything I wear has black, white, purple or some combination there off in it. So I totally lucked out on these.]

In the end though I am still in awe of the changes that have occurred. Even more surprised by the continued change. I certainly did not expect this since I started HRT at the age of 34..

Part of me does wonder, seeing that I was never very big to begin with, if I do have a smaller bone structure and it was simply weight and muscle mass making me appear larger. Now that more of it has disappeared or reduced my smaller frame is becoming more apparent.

Who knows really.

I will tell anyone who is trans that changes can and will happen, the younger you are the truer I think this is. Your personal results will vary and they will take time. I have personally experienced more changes in the time after I passed the twenty-four month mark than I did prior to that.

Crazy when I consider where I started and where I am today.