Here’s some interesting data on detransitioning and the importance of recognising someone’s gender identity. If you have heard that GIC’s push people down the path of transitioning, or transgender people encouraging others to transition, you have been grossly misinformed please can people stop “warning” me about this. When I talk to my trans friends they are the most comfortable people with themselves and most introspective individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting, who else has been so true to themselves that they have faced huge amounts of stigma, simply to be themselves. They encourage me only to do whatever is right for me. They don’t care if I am trans or I change my mind. The unanimous advice I recieved from people at the LGBT foundation and trans friends was to be honest at my GIC appointment. If you think we could do this on a whim then you should consider what we have to go through whenever we leave the house. Why am I happy to run through the woods at midnight on ice but scared to use a public toilet.
All of the hallmarks of the homophobic campaigns of the past are being dragged out missing nary a beat. An MP David Davies has encouraged people to listen to transphobic hate groups such as transgender trend. Mumsnet has become a breeding ground of transphobia where conversations of parents of trans children are shut down and organised efforts have potentially caused trans children charity Mermaids to lose lottery funding. This charity’s CEO talks of how she kept suicide watch over her daughter and didn’t want any other parents to go through the same. The funding was to be used to set up support groups and coffee mornings for parents of trans and questioning children to meet. The people who signed that petition prefer trans children to commit suicide rather than be trans. These groups are also buddied up with anti LGBT far right groups in the US. Being LGBT is not “trendy” it isn’t a choice. Good luck bullying someone into being LGBT.
Scratch a transphobe find a racist.
All I am asking is that people be aware that this is going on. It is playing out on the BBC and in the media. It clearly has affected people I know. There is a lot of gaslighting happening people with “concerns” who are constantly on the media saying how much they are silenced by a “powerful transgender lobby”.
Soon in the US it looks like transgender soldiers are going to lose their jobs, this is happening. We are a currently wedge issue for the far right agenda.
I want to tell the story of my C25K experience, including how much I weighed the routes I used and how I felt during and after. Fortunately I recorded most of this using GPS and forum posts so I can look back and see what was going on at the time.
To start with, I am 5’11” and weighed well over 105 kg when I started C25K, I was incredibly unfit. I point this out because so many people see me and say I must have always been a runner or fit. That’s a compliment and fine but I feel like a lot of people try to rule themselves out of running by mentally editing my history. And I feel like I worked hard back then so I’m not going to let people forget. Even my family who knew me as unhealthy most of my life say I have always been fit, well this is a photo of me in 2016.
I was working at the Manchester Royal infirmary at the time, I had the best job in the world, which is one that you want to do. I was a research assistant on a project hacking the Kinect, a gaming device, to make it track breathing rates of patients in the hospital. A proof of concept type of study and as a physicist into medicine I loved it. It was strange then that I was suffering from depression, and it was getting worse.
I used to walk the 4 kilometers into work everyday, and enjoyed it whilst listening to a podcast or audiobook. But the depression made this difficult, I would rather stay in bed for 20 more minutes and get a bus. This was one change that seemed to happen without me noticing, and when I did it forced me to think about things. Another was finding it harder to put my shoes on because my belly was just in the way making it hard to breathe. Walking up stairs to my flat left me breathless and sweaty. I kept having to buy larger clothes to stay comfortable. I remember deciding to walk home one day and finding it had become much more difficult, to the extent that I was shaking. Looking in the mirror I would see someone else looking back, this wasn’t me, it wasn’t fair.
I remember sometimes coming home and seeing females running past and becoming sad and depressed. “I will never be like that” I thought and I meant it in two ways. I meant it in the way that I will never be a runner again. I also meant it in the way that I wish I was born female. At the time I focussed on the running aspect, I honestly believed all men wished they were born female, it never crossed my mind that I could be transgender because all I knew about that was that you are born in the wrong body. Well, I was in for a surprise on that front and so was everyone who knew me, but that was for later. I had become resigned to being unfit and unhappy, I had tasted the world and didn’t want anymore of it, I wanted things to be simple, I wanted to be drunk. I was the loneliest person on the planet.
This carried on until the end of March 2016, I found myself in a mental health ward. It was an observation ward, with 4 of us to a room. I think I had gone to A&E because I was feeling suicidal, I had started to self harm again, cutting my arms but after 2 days they let me go, it was on April fools day, haha.. I had to make the decision between ending everything, or trying to get better mentally. With the stakes so high, I thought I have to at least try something, I might aswell right? The main thing I wanted to do at this time was to stop drinking, It had become a crutch to cope with life but I knew if I could ditch that I could make other changes too, drastic changes, but ditching alcohol would also mean facing my thoughts.
Stopping drinking was very hard, I had no brakes because I was suicidal. When you are only thinking a day, week or maybe month ahead you don’t really care about alcoholism. Contrary, actually I just wanted something to come along and kill me. I would drink most nights, I didn’t get drunk on nights before work and could do drink free days but it was getting harder. I had also began self harming again by cutting my arms. If you wanted to find me those days, my hobby was getting blackout drunk in the pub, reading comics. Somehow just by being surrounded by people in the pub I felt less lonely, even if I never talked to anyone.
I could see many benefits of not drinking, I was spending a fortune on alcohol for one thing. It would mean saving a lot of money, I was spending £50 some nights on alcohol. Dieting and losing weight, I was consuming 1,000s of calories through alcohol alone, and even more via obligatory kebabs. Along with this, I could be more active instead of drinking, I could go out for a walk instead of being hungover, burning calories, instead of consuming them.
Once I was free again I looked on-line for a way to start running, there I found the Couch to 5k programme and a lovely community of people who had completed it or were on their own journey through it. And so, about a week before my 28th birthday in April 2016, I ditched the drink and started Couch to 5k. This isn’t a complete success story, I did finish and I did lose a lot of weight, but the alcohol came back. The transformation that happened during these few weeks were incredible however, and it gave me the base fitness to start running again when I once again found myself deeper into a mental hospital almost 8 months later.
This is a brief section of my life, it wasn’t the first time I had tried to get into running, but It was a big lesson for me, and at that time the longest time I managed to stay off alcohol since I was 18.
In future posts I will tell you the details I put on the C25K forum and some of the notes I took on how my dieting was going along with how I remember it. As you can see below, eventually through running I found myself, I am still finding pieces here and there.
I am doing this in the hopes that it encourages others to try C25K as you can tell I really enjoyed doing it, and even though I fell off the wagon, it really helped me start running with just the knowledge that I could still do it. As a very large person, it gave me a lot of self confidence, along with being an overweight runner I also had plenty of scars along my arms that I was extremely self conscious about.
I have seen people in their 60 and 70’s starting and loving C25K, falling in love with running in the process, ant they all believed they were never able to run. If you are thinking of starting it, then why not join in?
It was extremely nice to be back with the Didsbury Runners on Monday. It has been 9 weeks since I last made it, due to my injury and being in Skipton/running the Bolton Abbey half. No wonder I missed it so much. I was unsure what group to join but went back into the fast long run group and was glad I did as it felt very manageable. Running there and back as well totalled 15.5k, so a nice long run.
On Tuesday I met a friend in town and say my fist tattoo being done. I also picked up some calligraphy stuff and have been trying that out.
On Wednesday I went on another longish run of 13.2k. This was up-river on a route I used to do a lot. I feel like it has been a long time since I did that route too so it was nice to see all those familiar sights. Speed wise I went a little too fast, but I felt great. I need to slow down a little this week on these long runs as I am feeling it in my legs. At this stage coming back from an injury, slow and steady is the way to go. I have a lot of easy gains as my fitness comes back while pushing too hard only increases my risk of injury.
On Thursday and Friday I ran to the gym and did 1 hour on the cross trainer. I am glad I have that resource to be able to do cardio whilst not pounding my legs. I really want to try and get into cycling for this reason.
On Saturday I was feeling super low, there had been another attack on transgender people by the press. I managed to get out of bed and go to Fletcher Moss parkrun though. This time I wasn’t late. I jogged 2.5k there as a warmup and then went for it. It has been a while since I went for a PB at parkrun but this was one of those times. My watch was just over 21minutes but the official time was 20:59. I am very happy with that as it is a slower course with a hill that you do twice. I was speaking to someone after who said it was about 50 seconds slower for him than South Manchester parkrun so I am nearly on PB shape to get a sub 20 minute 5k. Really feels like the rest and x-mas eating has done me good.
I spoke to people after and then just cried on the way home. When transphobic things like that happen in the press I feel like someone has poured boiling water over me in the city centre, and nobody thinks there is anything wrong with it. It is a traumatic event. It then brings up all the previous times it has happened and just plays around in my mind. I need to start doing mindfulness exercises again as I have lapsed on that front.
I managed to get to Trans Mcr at the LGBT Foundation after parkrun which was helpful and emotional. If transphobic people were witness to the struggles that people go through then they would quickly change their minds. Of course the true phsychopaths would still want to enjoy themselves on twitter or line their pockets by creating a controversy, and as they are cowards there is nothing like punching down. My human rights are not controversial. I did not choose to be trans.
If you don’t know by now, I am raising money for the wonderful LGBT Foundation by running the London Marathon, the training of which I am banging on about here. (See I can be just like Shakespeare) Check out my donation page:
Thank you to everyone who has donated I love you!!!!
Yesterday (Sunday) I could feel some pain in my left leg. It isn’t an injury but I need to back down a bit. So I ran to the gym again (0.5k each way) and did an hour on the crosstrainer. The pain is probably because I haven’t been stretching and foam rolling enough. Primarily because my flat is so cold so the first thing I want to do is shower and wrap up. So I will probably skip Didsbury runners today and go to the gym. I then want to get a sports massage this week, just being proactive. You do learn a lot about listening to your body when you start running for me by going through the full process of getting and injury. This time I can tell that shin splints are likely if I don’t loosen my muscles.
So almost 40k in week 2, I will try to hold at 40k for week 3 slowing down a tad on the easy runs. Still no official plan, sorry, but don’t panic. I need to figure out my limits in this human host body (sarcasm). I am not really from out of space you know….
I have my first appointment at the GIC tomorrow so wish me luck, it has been a long wait. I have been coming across doubt’s analyzing them and overcoming them, which has been nice. The hardest parts are really society and my depression.
An update on my training during week 1. Had an amazing meeting last week with Virgin Money Lounge and the LGBT foundation and hopefully will have some good news for you. Running has been going well too, nice to be back running the routes in Manchester this weekend, and doing park-runs. Wow this one turned out long!
I am now in training for the London Marathon, to raise money for the LGBT foundation. It has been a tough few weeks before the new year as I had a foot injury which stopped me from running. I am glad to say this seems to have improved a lot now. I did parkrun yesterday and haven’t had any aches where the injury was, so things are looking good for training to begin in earnest. In the meantime last year I joined the gym and did a lot of crosstrainer exercise, spending an hour at a time and using that instead of running. This seems to have paid off, I don’t think I have lost a lot speed wise despite putting over 2kg on over christmas 🙂
So I have to admit, I don’t yet have a training plan…. Mainly because of the injury it is hard to tell how long I had until that was sorted out. So next week I hope to let you all know what the plan is! For my first marathon I chose a plan that did 2 quality long runs per week, this time I am going to tone that down a little and only have one quality long run per week. I was really pushing myself on the last plan and the most important thing this time is to get across the finish line in one piece. If I don’t get an injury and only work up distance I am guaranteed to beat my last time (4:11:11) depending on my transition. Leading me on to…
I have my first appointment with the Gender Identity Clinic coming up in the next few weeks, this is very exciting. I am unsure what will happen as everyone seems to have different experiences. Depending the hormones I go on, it could effect my running speed quite quickly but I think there’s not much point worrying now exactly what will happen at the GIC. I will just go and see. I think it’s insane that it takes almost 2 years before you even get to talk to a professional about this. The support from the LGBT foundation during this time has been invaluable. If you haven’t checked out my donation page yet please consider it and thank you very much to everyone who has donated 🙂
Also I now have my passport back and am officially Sofie Enyo Lewis, I also have an F as my gender which is good too and on top of that, I can travel abroad I guess. Although in a few countries I might be illegal, I will have to check that one out but that just makes me somewhat of a badass.
This week I also had my beard lasered again! I am paying to have my hair follicles burned out so I want it to be painful in a way and the pain is easier to handle. Saying all that, its really not so painfull. If you are looking I really suggest looking on groupon, you pay a fraction of the full price.
Weight after Christmas Update
I was at 70.2kg on Friday 04/01, that is about 3-4 kg more than I was last year, I didn’t put all of that on over Christmas though. But I will be losing weight over the next few months, changing my eating habits to something more healthy and getting a calorie deficit going. Nothing as crazy as 2 years ago. But I will keep you updated. I have already lost 1kg of that down to 69.3 on the 06/01, this was probably because I had a salty meal (eating out) and the salt leaves your body over the next 2 days along with a lot of water, I typically experience a 1-2kg up down shift due to this so don’t worry if you notice that yourself.
This week I managed to do 3 parkruns, 2 of which were quite hilly on new years day Tuesday when I did the unthinkable, getting out of bed early and getting the train from Skipton to Bingley to do Myrtle parkrun at 9:00 and then from Bingley to Keighley to do Cliffe Castle at 10:30. It was my first time at either and they are quite new parkruns, last year I would’ve had to travel a lot further from Skipton to do a new years double.
From Bingley train station it isn’t far at all to Myrtle park so of course I almost got lost. Seeing someone in running gear and following them worked like a charm. Waited till close to the start and took my coat off and went. Myrtle park was nice, everyone was lovely. I think it is the shortest route I have done as it was a 4 lapper, I did say thanks to all the marshals every time! There was a policeman there with the marshals which was good to see. Even though it was a four lapper the undulations broke it up well. Afterwords I grabbed my coat and headed for the train station.
I got to Cliffe Castle with about 40 minutes to spare. The last time I ran in this place I was in secondary school someone was throwing rocks at me, one of the few times I ran in my early life. I have to say the park is very nice now I wondered around and looked at the birds and animals, they all looked at me and that carried on for a while… They did all appear to be very well looked after. Everything was well manicured in the park and there was a huge fountain that I don’t recall from before. A lot of the marshals were wearing fancy dress and when they asked if this was anyone’s second parkrun that day a lot of hands went up.
Cliffe Castle parkrun is a 2 and a bit lapper, with the steepest hill I have done in a parkrun. I am ashamed to say I was too tired to say thank you to all the marshals on this one. Finishing Myrtle in 22:12 and Cliffe Castle in 22:22 I was happy.
I also managed Lancaster Parkrun on 29/12/18 but it was a bit of a disaster. This was a also a very hilly one, along with getting there late and starting 600m into the run (which I tried to make up for at the end), I forgot my barcode so didn’t even get it as an official run 😦 Still counts to my training however 🙂 I will have to try it again sometime, I think it is a great course, similar amount of climb to Cliffe Castle but spread of more smaller hills.
That turned out longer than expected, I doubt anyone will make it this far but thankyou for reading and hope you have a lovely week 2! Or happy new year or something! :p Lots of love to you all!!!!!
In a complete surprise, I recently got into the London Marathon, I still can’t believe it. I will be running to raise money for the LGBT foundation, please consider donating on my virginmoney giving page:
It has been a huge blessing as it is something constructive to work on, and also to use all the negative energy I get for being trans in a positive way. It is also a huge honour to run for the LGBT foundation.
All the times I go on twitter, all the times I walk down the street and people look at me and then down with a look of disgust on their face, as if to say, “I am not impressed, look at what you are wearing” all the times people whisper to their partner when they see me coming and I hear them laughing at me as I walk past, all the crap on the news… Fuel for the fire!!!!!
I keep saying it is a surprise and it really is. To show how popular the London Marathon has become, this year 21 members of Didsbury Runners, including myself, entered the ballot. Out of 21 of us, 0 got in, nought, zero!
So how did this happen? I attend events at the LGBT foundation for transgender and nonbinary and questioning people, it has helped a lot even before I had come out, and it helps a lot now to meet people and be somewhere with people who understand, to get advice and friendship. People who know me know I don’t leave the house under any circumstances, unless its a run, and I will get my shopping on the way back from a run if I am particularly low. So the fact I go to these events shows they are useful. At the end of October I was very down, due to all the transphobic media around trans people and the GRA consultation, by the way, the media never let up since then unfortunately. I read an article published by the LGBT foundation, called the harm of trans misrepresentation.
I was so happy that somebody somewhere was on our side. I was feeling annoyed, depressed and powerless at the time and wanted to help in any way I could so I wrote an email to the LGBT foundation to ask if they had any charity places. I expected not and indeed they had all been assigned.
But a few weeks later I got an email saying that Virgin Money Manchester Lounge had organised extra places for the LGBT foundation, and would I still like to run for them? It can take me years to send an email or reply to text messages but it didn’t take long for this one.
I have also been contacted by Virgin Money Manchester Lounge and they are going to help me with fund raising in the new year.
It is all good news, I thank you everyone who has already donated and please donate if you can, the LGBT foundation are kick ass!!!!
I am thinking of things to do, should I do training runs in a costume to help raise money? I will look for a unicorn running outfit 😀
I am still doing crosstrainer world records at the gym, it turns out that I may indeed have broken one of the machines, as it has no resistance any more, hence why I could so 1470 calories. But yesterday I was on it, burning up a lot of hate from the streets and the internet, kicking ass, and doing it for the LGBT foundation and managed to get 1396 calories in 60 minutes, so I am tantalisingly close to getting 1400. It was extremely hard! I am running it on max resistance and If you really step on the gas you can add about 1 to 1.5 cal per minute, so something in me is getting fitter since I have gone from 20 cal/min average to 23.3 cal/min average for 1 hour.
As for running………
My foot is feeling a lot better! It is still sore at times but after doing the crosstrainer world record, I did a run!!! My first one in 4 weeks and 2 days. It was only for 600m, I did it carefully on the treadmill and my foot held up. Everything feels unusual but it wont take long to get back in the rhythm. My Strava training log is very bare looking 😦 it barely even registers as a blob! I have been doing a lot of crosstrainer world records in the mean time!
Because I only found out about the London Marathon whilst injured, All my runs this side of the injury will count as training. So my total mileage is currently 600m, many more to come but slow and steady.
I will keep you all updated regarding mileage, hope to get a nice total before the race. The key I have realised is not to get injured before the marathon!! :p
I have had other nice things happen which I hope to share soon.
As womens hour continued to pour poison into public discourse around transgender people this morning. I went into town for a makeover. Unsurprisingly to people who know me I know absolutely nothing about putting makeup on, so yesterday with Mum and Pauline, I booked for a session at Debinghams in Picadilly gardens.
They could tell I was a bit stressed and asked if I was OK, I had been up till 5:30 AM upset about what I had heard on Womens Hour yesterday. They were extremely kind and said not to take any notice of it. I got a lesson in how to do makeup and a free makeover which was extremely helpful, I feel like I know enough to start learning more on youtube e.t.c. now. They even got together and put a list of the staffs favourite youtube channels together for me.
I took advantage of it and also got my passport photos re done in one of those booths they still fortunately have at post offices. I look a heck of a lot better, or at least feel better about the photo, even though I may still be a radical and dangerous gender ideology. A threat to some minorities very existance! Even despite the fact they really don’t think so. Keep your children away, and today people have been told I want to cheat at sport, which must be true, just don’t look at any of the scientific studies various sporting bodies have used to allow or deny transgender athletes to participate. OK I am getting side-tracked, I haven’t listened to today’s vitriol, probably best not to lest I end up a made up statistic constructed to silence all the screaming crowds on the media.
SOOOOOOO…. haha, it has been almost a week since I used the GYM, I had to take 2 days off for DOMS, then my injury got quite bad over the weekend, and I had no time yesterday. So got back on the crosstrainer today. This was the dodgy crosstrainer from last time that turned off (the one nearest entrance, for those who know). Short story long, there’s only 2 and someone was on the other so I had to use it again. It felt very easy today. I managed to smash my previous record of 1,354 cal in 60 minutes, getting 1’460 today. It could be possible, I was increasing at over 100 cal per week and this is week 2 and a bit, I was well rested and had peak mental fuel to take out on it, even if I had no sleep. But I definitely want to check on the other machine next time. I will let you know. Putting questions of my own over this one!
By the way, if you are comparing calories burned to this then be careful, on other machines I can do about 900 as a PB for example. The calories burned are individual to each model and make, I do feel I get a good burn on this machine but it makes no sense to compare these values between makes and models. Manufacturers will try and sell more machines by saying it burns more calories, it doesn’t actually mean anything, so don’t move from your bike or rowing machine or whatever other crosstrainer to this to burn more, you might not be in the end. I like it as a way of comparing when you are on the same model though. Lets you track progress.
I have something I am really excited about to tell everyone, I have taken too long already and will try tomorrow, there are some things I want to get ready beforehand.
By the way, It is really telling that so many people are accepting of transgender people. Even despite the media barrage. I will keep bringing it up though because it genuinely upsets me, and I talk about my mental health issues. I think it is important for people to know what is going on with this attack too, otherwise people thing everything is OK and nothing needs to change, there is so much further to go, even if you don’t need to change. I hope that makes sense. Try and replace the word “transgender” with any other minority, disability or religion or majority and you will see why it is personally upsetting and why it is fuelling hatred. Try it in this question the host of womens hour asked, (I am going off memory) “do you think transgender people are a threat to the existence of lesbians”. Or what the transphobic guest told everyone in the debate “Transgender women are forcing lesbians to sleep with them”. How would you feel if on radio 4 people were suggesting you personally were a threat to lesbians, or you were a rapist because of your gender identity, or any other attribute? I have to live in the atmosphere they create. I know someone who lost her family, and job and became homeless as a result of coming out, and due to the abuse she is getting is considering de-transitioning. Consider the rate amongst transgender people attempting suicide at almost 50%. We are humans just like everyone else and when I get pushed into thinking about suicide I can believe they have blood on their hands. They have a responsibility for what they are saying. But it gets an audience.
Much love to everyone
I REALLLY TRIED NOT TO RANT THERE!!!!!!!! 😀 I am staying positive, I chose me middle name well and am relying on that. Look forwards to getting new Passport soon and then driving license.
Was thinking of putting a photo up but guess I am shy! 🙂
Also I am not intending to attack anyone or group of people with this. The people doing bad things are the people doing bad things. Let me know what you think.