Friday, 29 June 2012

Couch to 5K - Week 1 Day 3

Yesterday I went into town and had my gait analysed at the local sports fitness store. The computer said I need support shoes (I have collapsed arches in my feet) so I went ahead and bought a pair while I was there.

Today's run was done this evening instead of this morning as I went on a day trip to St Helen's with a friend as soon as Paul left for school. I wore my new shoes while I was out to help "break them in".

The run went well, though the pace was slower than the previous two runs. I think it was due partly to having new shoes and not being used to running in them and partly because I changed the time I ran. Normally, I run around 10am. Today I started at about 6:30pm. The good part is that during the run, my ankles didn't hurt at all and at the moment, they seem to be in good shape. Hopefully this means that the shoes are doing their job properly.

I'm resting the entire weekend from running, although I'll probably get some walking and weight training/resistance bands in at some point.

Week 2 starts Monday!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Couch to 5K - Week 1 Day 2

My run today went rather well. Once again, I managed to run for the allotted eight minutes and walk the rest without too much difficulty. Although, I did have to mentally spur myself on for the second to last run. Again, I did three miles in about 40 minutes.

After I had rested for a while though, I noticed that my feet have developed blisters! There are two blisters on my left foot (one on my third toe and a big one on the outside of my heel) and a popped one on the fourth toe of my right foot. Also, my ankles are really bothering me.

Problems with my ankles isn't really that surprising, as I've had weak ankles for the last 20 years, but I wasn't expecting them to hurt this much! I've put plasters on the blisters, slathered my feet in lotion and put some Voltarol spray on my ankles. That will have to do for now. When I go into town tomorrow, I will buy some ankle supports, more painkiller spray, and whatever else looks like it might help (perhaps some cooling plasters, if I can find them).

I'm not giving up though.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Couch to 5K - Week 1 Day 1

Today I started the "Couch to 5K" fitness plan as detailed on NHS Choices. Each workout takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. You do the workout three days a week. The first week entails five minutes of a warm up walk, followed by eight stints of running for sixty seconds and walking for ninety seconds, then finally a cool down walk lasting another five minutes.

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I would last the entire 30 minutes the first time through. I haven't done any serious running since high school - nearly 20 years ago. But I managed to finish it and even walked longer than the five minute cool down. In total, I walked and ran nearly three miles today - that's three laps around the housing estate in which I live - in about 40 minutes.

This first time wasn't super difficult, but neither was it a walk in the park. By the time I got back home, I was panting, covered in sweat and my calves and ankles were aching. My next workout day is Wednesday, so I'll be changing the scenery a bit and doing the workout on my way to the Fresh Start class. Here's to Wednesday!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Sponsored Walk - Planning Stages

I went into the Halton Link today to enquire about legalities of having a sponsored walk to raise awareness of Halton PCT (and other PCTs in the UK) denying treatment and medicine for transgender people. Any money raised will go towards my top surgery and any left over will be given to another trans person who is in the same situation I am.

The woman I spoke with said that as long as I don't collect money on the streets, I'll be fine and to make sure I come by the Halton Link when I start asking businesses to sponsor me!

I'm hoping to do the walk on my 35th birthday which will also be exactly one year since I came out to all my friends and family. This week I'll be figuring out the route I want to take (I know I'll be walking from Widnes town centre, across the Widnes/Runcorn bridge, back across and head home to Hough Green) and designing and printing out sponsorship forms. Next week I'll go around to local businesses, asking them to sponsor me. The week after, I'll contact local media (radio, papers) and tell them about it.

It's my hope that doing this will raise awareness in the general population about transgender rights pertaining to medical treatment and the situations we often find ourselves in when we try to get funding for surgeries and hormones that will greatly increase our quality of life.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Funding Setbacks

First, let me update you so you won't be completely lost. Two months ago my GP put in a funding request to my Primary Care Trust for my testosterone prescription. They denied the funding on the grounds that because I had gone to a private gender specialist, I had gone off their "approved transgender care pathway".

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Fitness Update - 5 weeks on Fresh Start

On the 2nd of May 2012, I went to my first Fresh Start fitness course. At that time, I weighed 71.9 kilograms and my waist was 36 inches.

Fresh Start is a free weekly fitness course in Halton which combines exercise with learning about food and portions. The one I attend is taught by three wonderful people - Sophie the dietician, Paul the fitness instructor, and Steve who helps with the fitness and weighs us every week.

I really love the fitness part. Paul does a fantastic job of tailoring the circuits (or whatever we're doing in a given week) to each person and he doesn't hesitate to challenge us to reach just a bit further.

Last Wednesday, the 6th of June, was the half way point in the 10 week course. My measurements were 70 kilograms in weight and 34 inches around my waist. Not a huge difference, but I wasn't expecting too much as I'm on testosterone which has a tendency to put the weight on. To be honest, I would have been happy had my weight just stayed put from the first week.

We have another four weeks left of the course and I will make another fitness update at that time. Until then, happy exercising!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

International LGBT Pride Month

June marks International LGBT Pride month all over the world. No matter where you live, chances are there are people celebrating sexual and gender diversity somewhere nearby. From Pride parades, to vigils, to street parties, to wearing t-shirts or emblems, there's something for everyone. 

Why do LGBT people celebrate Pride, you may ask? It's simply a way, for most of us, to gather together and celebrate who we are and to remind those who wish we would go away, that we're here to stay!

No matter who you are, no matter what you do this month, stay safe and have fun!

Edit: Prints are available for this painting. 

6x4 - £3
7x5 - £4
8x6 - £5
10x8 - £7
12x8 - £10
20x16 - £25 
30x20 - £30

Prices include postage and packing. 
To order, click on the donate button and leave a note saying which size you want along with your mailing address. 
All proceeds from this print will go towards my FTM transition costs.


Friday, 8 June 2012

Wichita Town Hall

A painting of the town hall in Wichita, Kansas.

Done in ArtRage using the gloop pen as part of my 2012 Projects:

This took me 2 weeks to complete. I am never drawing a building as the focal point of a painting ever again. And definitely not in this much detail!

~Fact about me: I lived in Wichita for about 2 years when I was a teenager. My senior year of high school was at Wichita Heights High and I attended Friends University for 1 year.~

>Photo used as reference for this painting<

Friday, 1 June 2012

New Fund Raising Total

Fund raising for my FTM top surgery has been, so far, slow going. I'm not going to let that deter me, however. Not being well known in the trans corners of the internet and with the world economy being as it is, to expect to reach my goal in 6-9 months is most probably an unobtainable goal. It is a goal that is important to me though, so I shall keep striving towards it.

This surgery is very important to me. Not only will it help to drastically cut down on my physical dysphoria, it will also allow me to do mundane things such as go swimming without feeling self conscious (most men don't wear a two-piece bathing suit). Having this surgery will also ensure that I don't get any binder related injuries. (Wearing a binder can result in damage to your ribs if it's worn over an extended period of time.)

Believing that if you want something bad enough, you'll try everything you can to get it, I have been quite busy trying to raise money offline as well as online. Some (but not all) of the things I have been doing in the last two months consist of selling clothing that no longer fits me, selling video games and DVDs and CDs as well as saving all of my spare change and putting it towards my top surgery fund.

I am also offering art prints as donation incentives. For more information on that, please click this link: Fundraising For Top Surgery 

As of today, the 1st of June, 2012, my total is £2623 out of £6000.

Please, if you can spare £5 or even just £1, it would really help me out a lot. You can find my donate button at the top of all of my blog entries as well as on my home page. Simply click it, sign into Paypal, and fill in how much you would like to donate. Don't forget, if you fulfil one (or more) of the incentive deals to include a note letting me know your choices in prints.

A big thank you in advance to all who help me out either by donating or sharing the link!