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Mar 7 17 12:35 AM

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Interesting article on transgender and eating disorders:

Sarah Jacoby writes:In fact, according to recent research, the rate of eating disorders among transgender people is much higher than among cisgender people. And experts are only just beginning to understand why. ... 
"We found that transgender people were much more likely to say that they had received a diagnosis of an eating disorder in the past year," explains Alexis Duncan, MPH, Phd, senior author on the study.

Indeed, almost 16% of transgender participants reported being diagnosed with an eating disorder within the last year, compared to 1.85% of cisgender heterosexual women and 0.55% of cisgender heterosexual men. 

Transgender participants were also more likely to report those compensatory behaviors, suggesting that their increased rate of diagnosis isn't simply due to them seeing health professionals more often than cisgender people — they actually are suffering from the symptoms of these disorders more frequently. ...

 One potential explanation for these drastically higher rates is that transgender people are more likely to have higher rates of body dysphoria, explains [Elizabeth] Diemer. "This [could result] in a generalized body discomfort," she says. "They then start to engage in disordered eating behaviors to try to alleviate body discomfort or conform their body to what we socially conceive of as appropriate for a female or male body."... 

Another hypothesis, known as the minority stress model, suggests that those who belong to gender, sexual, or other types of minorities tend to feel more stress overall. That puts them at a higher risk for all kinds of health conditions, including eating disorders and other mental health issues.

=17pxBut there are many=17px other factors which determine whether or not you develop an eating disorder, says Dr. Duncan. Genetics, a history of trauma, bullying, other mental illnesses, and environmental factors (e.g. how your parents treated you) all play a role. "We're so new as a field that it’s hard for us to say that we have any factors that are really established [causes]," Diemer says.


In my own case intense dysphoria may lead to comfort eating, as if the bodymind tries to satisfy a hunger that cannot be satisfied.

What about you?
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#1 [url]

Mar 7 17 1:59 AM

Well I've kind of a theory that it's like the brain has a subconscious self-image goal state that it's constantly trying to reach. 
So the FTMs subconsciously want their boobs to just disappear and want to be lean and muscular, so they are constantly subconsciously fighting with themselves and on the surface level that produces anorexia, where no matter how thin they are in practice the subconscious still just isn't satisfied with what they look like.

With some of us MTFs it works the other way around, we want to be curvier and subconsciously are trying to reach the rather unfashionable 'mother goddess' gynemorphic type body shape to be seen as fertile and ready to reproduce, but due to our bodies running with male hormones the fat ends up sitting in all the wrong places, and again we can never be satisfied with our self-image no matter what we do. 

Both sides are really a matter of overcompensating for the mind-body mismatch, but while it's still mostly submerged in the subconscious it just appears as a really compulsive pattern of behaviour which is as much a mystery to the doctors as it is to us. 

I've seen quite a lot of comments in various places from FTMs who had inexplicable severe anorexia through their teens and 20s which only began to resolve itself when they started on testosterone.

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#2 [url]

Mar 8 17 3:09 AM

@Xora,

I guess what you say relates to the kind of relief so many FTM trans men feel when they have their top surgery. Their joy and pride over a flat chest is expressed over and over again, as is the MTF trans women's pride in growing breasts.

Whether this body dysphporia is caused  by them intepreting these sexual sex characteristics as symbolic for being a man or a woman, or whether it is caused by a mismatch with an internal, neurological, body map doesn't really matter that much, does it? (I am open to both alternatives).

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#3 [url]

Mar 8 17 4:51 AM

I have never thought that I have an eating disorder, but thinking about my eating habits, is this related to my dysphoria and body image.
I do the cooking in my house and pile the plates high of food for the wife and kids and they normally polish this all off, but for me I always only eat about a quarter/half of what is in front of me and throw the rest away, always been the same. I feel as though silently my mind whats me to keep thin, I can feel hunger for hours before I will need to eat.

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#4 [url]

Mar 8 17 5:47 AM

I've seen apparent FTMers who are obese.  They'd wear bow ties, men's shirts and pants, and very very short haircuts.  I think the reason for carrying on the mass may be to even out the breasts with the rest of the body if they do not wish to consider top surgery. 

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#5 [url]

May 14 17 2:52 PM

I'm not sure my experience fits the description of the article but I would like to share it nevertheless. I had an eating disorder for 10 years or more, starting in early adolescence, which has fucked up my development and life pretty badly, I guess. Anorexia I knew to tune so well that it never reached the point where somebody forced me into a hospital; navigating the 16.5-17.5 body mass index range almost all the time.
It might have had to do with:
- Trying to purge the crossdreaming guilt/shame.
- The wish to get rid of gynecomastia, which made me feel vulnerable, not a real boy physically (the mere presence of gland tissue was) and constantly terrified by the possibility of being discovered. Subconsciously this might have been irrationally perceived as some sort of "curse" brought upon me by my crossdreaming.
- Fear of growing up, as well as a certain disgust towards becoming thick and muscular; I think a mix of stubbornness (being too attached to the idea of myself as skinny young boy) and fear of responsibility/relationships (this is my family's theory). Maybe there was a bit of gender dysphoria in disguise there; this seems to be in contradiction with the second point, but I'm no longer sure about anything.

Or maybe it is just that I felt totally overwhelmed by life during all those years (I still am) and I just had to have something I could control. Sorry, that was a bit whiny.

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#6 [url]

Another hypothesis, known as the minority stress model, suggests that those who belong to gender, sexual, or other types of minorities tend to feel more stress overall. That puts them at a higher risk for all kinds of health conditions, including eating disorders and other mental health issues.

This interface is bullshyster whacked --

Medical establishment would like to view "gender inverts" as pathological. This mostly because we don't fit the hetero-normative paradigm.

Identity politics asserts that members of minority groups engage in specific behaviors related to one's identity. But then we all engage in behaviors related to our identities. Minority identification is likely more stressful because it is a minority population and accordingly at odds in some crucial way with the majority orientation.

I have higher than average stress levels. And so I would ask, are these higher stress levels a cause or a result of minority identity? Historically the medical community classifies gender minorities as "pathological" These pathological groups are consequently in need of some sort of "medical intervention" which the medical community can manage, and whose medical objective is to "normalize" orientation into a sort of "smooth compliance" with the gender dyad of cis-M and cis-F.

I'm not pathological.



 

Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance
http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/

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#7 [url]

I am not pathological in and of myself for being rather feminine in basic constitution, but I do have some pathological behaviors I would like some help to eliminate if possible, as they are limiting to my wellbeing and quality of life.

When I went on a ketogenic diet for a few months, and when I went on a high does of PM, (and also briefly possibly on fluoxetine once in 2002), I felt so much better in myself that I no longer felt the need to overeat. Particularly on PM it felt like my body was telling me both what I needed to eat, and when I was fully sated, even if I'd only finished half the serving, something that had never worked for me before. So I found it really easy to lose weight quickly, as I was no longer eating for comfort etc.

I don't really see why you have so much against possible medical intervention, and no one is forcing it on you. Perhaps things that lots of people put down to pure 'will power' are not in fact 'will power' after all, and if you can get a bit of help to feel better, then why would you not accept it? I feel like I've wasted decades feeling generally miserable, perhaps for no good reason, just because I was too scared of the consequences of speaking up, or when I did speak up I wasn't easily believed or taken seriously.

I mean, one of the big points of disagreement between the right-wing people and the left-wing people is this concept of 'personal responsibility' vs. 'nanny-state'.
I always felt like I tried to take a lot of personal responsibility, but forces seemingly beyond my self-control and 'will power' continually pushed me downhill.
I don't want to be one of those people who continually says 'you really need to help me, because I can't help myself', but maybe not everything is that easily controllable.

Well, maybe my 'personal responsibility' is to finally actually accept provably effective help when I need it, instead of being too scared and ashamed of admitting to any weakness. People readily accept help to go 'cold-turkey' on gambling and drugs and so forth, maybe some of us need help to go cold-turkey on well, turkey I guess.
image

I sang this tonight in the little choir I'm a part of, perhaps it's time I followed his advice..

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#9 [url]

I like Xora's theory of the brain having a certain ideal self image it's always subconsciously trying to reach, as well compensation for never feeling entirely at home in your body - a slight discomfort leading to over eating without ever really being aware of it. Isn't it that ostrogen itself also leads to a buildup of fat, at least in males? At least my testosterone levels when measured were shockingly low.

Good! Now I have another lifelong condition I can simply blame on the misfortune of not having been born a girl. smiley: tongue

Been overweight since age 6, with only repeated instances of managing to lose weight down to almost normal levels after a lot of self imposed starvation and suffering. But you always bounce up again in a year or two, so by now I've simply given in, admitted I'm too weak for this and no longer give a shit. Oh well, what to do...

It's not like I'm going to get laid for a year or two anyway. Or in the next few decades, actually.

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique . Edited 4 times.

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#10 [url]

Monique wrote:
I like Xora's theory of the brain having a certain ideal self image it's always subconsciously trying to reach, as well compensation for never feeling entirely at home in your body - a slight discomfort leading to over eating without ever really being aware of it. Isn't it that ostrogen itself also leads to a buildup of fat, at least in males? At least my testosterone levels when measured were shockingly low.

Good! Now I have another lifelong condition I can simply blame on the misfortune of not having been born a girl. image

Been overweight since age 6, with only repeated instances of managing to lose weight down to almost normal levels after a lot of self imposed starvation and suffering. But you always bounce up again in a year or two, so by now I've simply given in, admitted I'm too weak for this and no longer give a shit. Oh well, what to do...

It's not like I'm going to get laid for a year or two anyway. Or in the next few decades, actually.

 
I like this part: 
Been overweight since age 6, with only repeated instances of managing to lose weight down to almost normal levels after a lot of self imposed starvation and suffering. But you always bounce up again in a year or two

Women......wait, wait...wait......FEMALES have more fat than males do because females have more estrogen than males do.  Now, tell me something: when you were able to bring down your weight to "almost normal levels" for a man, no.....male, did you crossdream less about wanting to be a woman? Did reducing fat reduce crossdreaming as well? 

On your weight bouncing up again in a year or two: try eating more fruits and vegetables at every meal, every day.  You won't be starving yourself.  Bananas and apples are filling.  Then jog in place at home or jog in the park, every day preferably.  Men.....no, males can burn their fat much faster than females can......I think. 

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#11 [url]

Jen wrote: "Women......wait, wait...wait......FEMALES have more fat than males do because females have more estrogen than males do.  Now, tell me something: when you were able to bring down your weight to "almost normal levels" for a man, no.....male, did you crossdream less about wanting to be a woman? Did reducing fat reduce crossdreaming as well? "


I wouldn't actually know, but yes, it's a possibility. One clear example of such a case would be when I managed to lose weight in my early 20's. That whole bout was in fact initiated by a serious plan to possibly transition. Initially, I wanted to see what my face looked like with a thin body, cause I had realized, or so I thought, that my facial features were actually quite feminine, and I wanted to know how pretty I could become without all of that extra flab and roundeur. The fact that it was my most successful and longest lasting attempt to date speaks to the power of proper motivation.

However, at some point when I had reached normal weight levels, I made the decision not to pursue the path of transition any further, and instead try to establish a workable and lasting male identity. It was the kind of pragmatic life decision you sometimes make when you think you've realized that the previous dream was inherently unstable and built upon immaturity; a wholesale disregard for reality and potential consequences, both to yourself and the world around you. Also, for the first time in my life I had actually had a girlfriend. Not that we were together for long, but something I had thought was a complete impossibility since the age of 12, quite surprisingly and unexpectedly came to pass. In retrospect, that probably mattered a lot in terms of a personal change in perspective. So did the weight loss (and improved testosterone flows?) play a role in "giving up my dreams of being a rockstar"? smiley: tongue Who knows.

On the other hand, when I took the 'plunge & bounce' again around 2004, no such feelings or motivations could be discerned, neither here nor there. I was deeply in a male, heterosexual, and in fact, physicalist-atheist myth about myself and the world at the time.


"On your weight bouncing up again in a year or two: try eating more fruits and vegetables at every meal, every day.  You won't be starving yourself.  Bananas and apples are filling.  Then jog in place at home or jog in the park, every day preferably.  Men.....no, males can burn their fat much faster than females can......I think."


Well, it's not in the cards at the moment, but thanks for the advice all the same. Hm, but fruit? Isn't fruit actually shock full of sugar - and fructos at that - which readily gets translated into fat reserves before you can say "Saskatchewan"?

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique . Edited 14 times.

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#12 [url]

for the first time in my life I had actually had a girlfriend. Not that we were together for long, but something I had thought was a complete impossibility since the age of 12, quite surprisingly and unexpectedly came to pass. In retrospect, that probably mattered a lot in terms of a personal change in perspective. So did the weight loss (and improved testosterone flows?) play a role in "giving up my dreams of being a rockstar"? image Who knows.
 

I'm sure it did, my Northern friend, I'm sure it did. 

Well, it's not in the cards at the moment, but thanks for the advice all the same. Hm, but fruit? Isn't fruit actually shock full of sugar - and fructos at that - which readily gets translated into fat reserves before you can say "Saskatchewan"?
 


No, Big Foot, no.  The sugar and fructos in fruit are natural for much needed energy, not like artificial sweenter that will stick inside of you.  Citrus is good too.  Don't forget about filling 3/4 of your plate with dark, branchy, leafy veggies! 

Why isn't any of this in the cards right now? Don't you want your legs to fit into leather (which you love) to get a man, if not a woman?
 

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#13 [url]

lal2828 wrote:
for the first time in my life I had actually had a girlfriend. Not that we were together for long, but something I had thought was a complete impossibility since the age of 12, quite surprisingly and unexpectedly came to pass. In retrospect, that probably mattered a lot in terms of a personal change in perspective. So did the weight loss (and improved testosterone flows?) play a role in "giving up my dreams of being a rockstar"? image Who knows.
 

I'm sure it did, my Northern friend, I'm sure it did. 

Well, it's not in the cards at the moment, but thanks for the advice all the same. Hm, but fruit? Isn't fruit actually shock full of sugar - and fructos at that - which readily gets translated into fat reserves before you can say "Saskatchewan"?
 


No, Big Foot, no.  The sugar and fructos in fruit are natural for much needed energy, not like artificial sweenter that will stick inside of you.  Citrus is good too.  Don't forget about filling 3/4 of your plate with dark, branchy, leafy veggies! 

Why isn't any of this in the cards right now? Don't you want your legs to fit into leather (which you love) to get a man, if not a woman?
 
Sounds wonderful, but it's not like I'm not trying desperately just to keep my own life in some semblance of order. I'm already stretched to the limit. Hell, I don't even have the energy to keep up old friendships, let alone manufacturing some brand new boxes for private life compartmentalization. Welcome to the 21st century, where the choices are stressed out exhaustion or stressed out abject poverty! And then there is the trouble of finding someone you're actually compatible with. My experience is that people today have pornified brains. Their idea of lovemaking is shallow and indoctrinated according to the genitalicentric dramaturgy of pornography, and I was never into that.

But nevertheless, the thought has occurred to me. For instance, it would be nice to be able to wear the high heels I already own without damaging my legs. smiley: tongue

So you never know. Maybe the priorities are in for another turn around? smiley: smile

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique . Edited 1 time.

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#14 [url]

Well I just had my second hormone appointment today, and come back with a new prescription for another batch of the same kind of patches but at twice the dose. Blood pressure was lower, and I'd also lost some weight, though not that dramatically, maybe about 2% of my weight from last time around. He said from the test results my T levels were lower, despite only being on estrodiol, and my estrogen levels weren't actually much higher, but that might have been due to them taking the blood tests on the 4th day of wearing that particular patch. 

So yes, I'd say it makes a difference, and quite a dramatic one in terms of level of wellbeing if not so far in appearance. 

But no, I said I don't want to socially transition until I've lost about another 3 stone, cos I'm not interested in buying any female clothes for my current size, it would be pointless.

I'm neither old enough or rich enough not to care what I look like as a female, and I don't want to be a Jennifer Pritzker type, I'm sorry, but I'm aiming more like Stephanie Hirst, and I will win...
image

 

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