“You’ve been putting a lot of poison in yourself lately”
My partner spoke these words to me while we were sitting in the back of my pickup truck. I had a corn dog in one hand, a Monster in another, and a Milky Way bar softening in my pocket.
“Yeah…Well, I’ve just been stressed”, was my response. Which was kinda true. I’m a pretty busy person though not entirely a time efficient guy. I’ve been working on Buff Butch, trying to hustle up money, volunteering, and training myself as well. But I’m used to that. That’s been my entire athletic career. So what has really been stressing me out?
At first, I thought it was only my gender dysphoria. For me to admit that I’ve been experiencing anxiety over my body is difficult especially as I am launching a site about regaining control of your own body presentation. I’ve been a strong advocate for masculine presenting,female borne individuals throughout my boxing career. It has always irritated me when I hear blanket statements, often from female born people themselves, about how male born individuals are automatically stronger. I’m known for being a strong puncher in boxing and I’ve always been proud that it is the body I’ve been born in that generates such power.
Only recently have I allowed myself to vocalize my lack of identifying with not only the term woman, but female as well. I have struggled to find much femininity within myself. I had admitted to some that if I wasn’t boxing, I would have medically transitioned years ago. I started working a scenario in my head where in the next few years, I will have captured titles in my sport and then *BAM* surprise everyone by transitioning and moving on to pick up a few belts in the male division. This was the plan until I was sick for over a month and the anxiety became too much. I began to,quite frankly, freak out. The longer I was bedridden, the longer it would take me to get back into fighting shape, the longer it would be before I could become a champion and thus prolonging my transition. I’m sure my internalized stress wasn’t helping me get better. But then, it hit me.
“But wait…I’m already a champion.”
Sometimes I get a little stuck on all the things I want to do in life that I forget my past accomplishments. I’ve wanted to prove female bodied people can be strong and capable; I did that in my amateur boxing career in which I netted 5 national titles and participated in the first ever Women’s Olympic Trials. I had used the media platforms I had to give visibility to the masculine identified. I now need to embrace the progression of my own gender identity and no longer postpone my transitioning.
Initially, it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. I told my boxing team, family and friends and received amazing support. I did my research and started setting everything up to start. I was motivated and training again, but then…I fell off. I fell off and started treating my body as I had as a teenager. My training was half hearted and I filled myself with junk. But why? I consider myself a pretty introspective guy and I turned my focus inward to figure it out.
My problem is this: I have been an elite athlete for over 10 years. I have been out of competition for over a year and a half to rehab the shoulder injury that killed my olympic dreams. Before I can compete again after beginning HRT (hormone replacement therapy), two years will have passed. For a fighter, that’s a lifetime. I’m not used to training and eating right solely for the sake of doing it.I NEED a goal, something to shoot for. Knowing I would be out for so long depressed me and I beat myself up over it. The more crap I put in myself, the worse I felt about my body and it just exasperated my dysphoria.
I KNOW better than this. That is what is so frustrating, but I want to be honest and transparent with everyone. No one is perfect, even the experts. I know I will feel better, physically, emotionally and mentally, when I get myself back on track. I need to shift away my mindset from a competitive drive to a more sustaining motivation. I want to be fit, not for Pat the Fighter, but for Pat the Person.
I could do this quietly. I have enough muscle mass to make it look like I’m fit through my T-Shirts, but I want to show you exactly how it’s possible to shift your body composition And also for you other to understand there will be slip ups and sometimes we all need a little motivation to get us going.
I decided to start Sept. 2nd, when the other Buff Butch recruits are starting their boot camp. I will use the same system to hold myself accountable for the next 12 weeks. Just as I hope to hold participants accountable, they too will hold me accountable to my fitness goals. We’re going to help each become stronger and happier in our own skin.
If you’re interested in joining us, you have until Sept 1st to sign up HERE.
Here’s to a new chapter in my life and maybe to a new one in yours.
Let’s do this!
Your Brother in Arms,