23 January 2012

Weight and sleep

My weight and sleep problems have been recurring themes in my blog posts. Both affect my crossdressing, albeit in different ways. Both also influence my depression.

My weight affects not only what clothes will fit and how I look, but how I feel about myself. The fact that my fat distribution tends to be a typically male pattern, particularly a spare tyre around the waist, means that the heavier I am, the less feminine I feel and the more likely I am to be depressed.

To really complicate things, I tend to comfort eat when depressed or stressed, leading to weight gain that pushes me into a downward spiral of depression that makes me less inclined to go out en femme because I feel fat. The downward spiral is worsened by the fact that getting out en femme is something that I need to do, and not doing it makes my depression worse. At the end of a depression cycle, I usually find myself heavier than I was before it started, and wondering how I'm going to fix it.

While my weight and depression have been problems that I've been aware of for decades and have mentioned since my early blog posts, it was only around mid 2010 that I acknowledged that I had a sleep problem. It sneaked up on me over a a few years, and the real issue is not the time that I get to bed or the time that I get up, but the time I spend asleep. When I get less than 4 hours sleep, I end up trying to balance it out by getting more than 8 hours on another night by getting up late.

I've been off work since before Christmas and I've been getting more sleep than usual. After getting up around noon for a few days, I realised that I really needed to do something. I was feeling better because of the extra sleep, but was so late getting up that I wasn't getting anything done. I also realised rather suddenly that I wasn't depressed.

So a couple of days ago, I decided to make a major change to try to address both my sleep pattern and weight. I don't know whether I'll be able to keep it going, but I've got to try. To start with, I am aiming to get to bed before midnight consistently, and get up about 8 hours later. I hope to gradually move to getting to bed before 11pm. I'd love to get to bed by 10pm and get up at 6am consistently, but I seriously doubt that that will happen.

To work on my weight, I'm not only trying to remind myself that everything extra that I eat works against my weight loss goal, but I've started walking again. This time, instead of walking an hour circuit each night, I'm using a walking machine that I picked up through freecycle. I can set it up so that I can watch TV or videos on a computer, and for the past few days I've been doing two separate 30-minute sessions, walking fast enough to work up a sweat each time. One in the early afternoon and the other just before having a shower and going to bed. Once I go back to work, the daytime session will either stop, or will have to be in the morning when my wife is presently in bed asleep. Fortunately, she now acknowledges that her sleep patterns also need to change.

Time will tell whether I manage to keep both the sleep cycle adjustment and the exercise going, but I have to try, and the walking machine overcomes the biggest problem that I had before, which was stopping because of the rain and not starting again.


  1. Alice, I think it's great that you've taken steps to address several things that have been troubling you. I know getting started on new habits can be difficult, but getting started is at least half the battle. Best of luck with your new program and please keep us informed of how you're doing.

    All the best.


  2. I also suffer the spare tire ... or as I like to call it, the spare ire! I'm a biological male and share your concerns regarding being able to look as feminine as possible but, thankfully, I don't have bouts of depression to exacerbate my weight situation.

    I wish you all the best in 2012!