"Don't Complain."


I am confident that by the end of the month, I will have $7500 in the Fund. I'm $200 short of that right now, but I want to keep that in checking until the end of the month as a buffer. Typically these buffers carry over from month to month until I'm able to make a massive deposit -- such as today's $1000. This can be a bit frustrating as the total grows only in fits and starts, instead of a smooth timely progression.

Yesterday at the Y I hit a new low for weight: 272lbs. That's a pound and a half less than last week and precisely 22lbs over the minimum required for surgery. I have also apparently lost a dress size, as I'm wearing a skirt comfortably that was too tight to wear zipped up three weeks ago.

Despite all of this, I feel as if I'm making no progress at all.

Money is still a worry. While $7500 would meet a minimum requirement for Thailand, meeting the staunch weight restriction as well as other problems make it less attractive. There's a lot of expense that isn't on the price tag. Flights, a three week hotel stay (and three weeks off from work), and food for the entire trip. In addition, the ridiculous additional $2000 for a 230lbs weight limit feels like a scam.

My prospective Colorado-based surgeon seems much more enticing. The minimum, as I mentioned earlier, is 250lbs with a $500 additional charge. I can accept that as it sounds reasonable. The stay is 12 days and not two weeks. It also appears that I will not be staying in a hotel for that period. The total cost for the procedure would be around $19000 -- quite a bit more than Thailand, but she accepts credit for up to $12000 of that total. Yes, I can meed that today, but I'm adverse to the idea. I want to minimize the damage as much as possible.

This unfortunately, creates a great deal of stress. I can't go out to eat more than a couple times a week if at all. I can't buy new clothes (and I haven't for nearly a year). I can't simply replace anything broken; I need to repair it instead. And there has been quite a few repairs lately: A broken keyboard tray, a possible failing harddisk on the server, headphones with degrading cables, and a missing rivet in one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. I've managed to fix or patch everything so far, but it's a balancing act. Every time something breaks it's a contest between living with the failure, or the estimated cost of repair. I've even considered dusting off my sewing skills to prolong my wardrobe as my size drops.

Losing weight has not been a pleasant experience for me. I'm painfully sore every three days due to the rigorous strength training. An average session for me totals to 38500lbs lifted. The cardio workouts leave me continually dehydrated resulting in fatigue, fuzzy-mindedness, and migraines. The workouts themselves exacerbate the fatigue by draining my available energy.

My supply of energy is also in short demand. I've cut back my eating, and harshly cut to eliminated consumption of cola. I've long held cola as my last comfort food, as I've barred myself from the rest -- chocolate, pizza, and others I can no longer remember. Now I must eliminate that as well. I've tried to supplant my caffeine intake (as it's a stimulate and good for weight loss) with green tea. My efforts, however, have been less than successful. The reduced diet has also resulted in another difficult problem.

Hunger has resulted in a number of problems. While today I only rarely get nauseous from an empty stomach, I have trouble sleeping nearly every night. Not eating enough for dinner results in insomnia, leaving me even more fuzzy-minded and fatigued. I haven't had a solid night's rest in months now. The worst of it, however, is something I didn't expect.

Hunger results in severe depression in me. The fits start out calmly enough, but descend with a speed I had not known since before transition. If I were to make a scale of 0 being not depressed, and 9 being suicidally depressed, I would rate these episodes as an 8. If I can recognize it as a physical problem rather than emotional, I'm faced with the choice of eating something to stave off the feeling. Naturally, I don't want to do this as the extra caloric intake slows down the weight loss process. As a result, I often go into stubborn loops that only leave me more miserable. The sobbing results in even more dehydration, and thus more fatigue, fuzzy-mindedness and migraines.

As you might expect, this has a negative impact on doing anything creative. While I've produced a few sketches, my writing has stalled completely. There is simply no energy and even less motivation to support it. Unfortunately, drawing and writing is how I relax. It often feels now that I do little more than work and exercise every day. I've considered canceling Paper Girl and anything else I might attempt for the foreseeable future. I'm certainly not making any progress in the interim. As you might guess, this results in even more depression.

The grand irony is that I do look thinner. When I try to seek solace in others they take a look at the thinner me and say, "Don't complain." They don't understand what this is costing me, nor can I tell them without revealing my secret.