28 January 2015

Something I've been wanting to do for a while now...

Today was a good day. :-)

This is not a wig. I finally got my hair dyed. Properly.

The last time I tried to get it dyed, the local hairdresser that I went to talked me into only having foils, and I wasn't happy either with the colour, which I thought was too red, or the fact that I knew that the ends were damaged but she didn't see the damage and therefore didn't remove it. Back then I found split ends almost straight after it had been cut.

After that experience, I tried a DIY semi-permanent colour that only really created subtle highlights, and I had it trimmed a few times by a different local hairdresser, who subsequently moved away.

This time, I trekked to the other side of town to Hair by Sophie, who came highly recommended, and not just because Sophie works part time at Miskonduct Klothing. ;-) Sophie is an award winning colourist, and it shows in her work. I showed her a childhood school photo on my phone, and she got the colour just right.

I think that it's the first time that I've ever been completely happy with my hair when I've left a hairdresser, and still been happy with it when I've looked at it after I got home!

It wasn't until after the dye was done that I realised how close the colour is to the "flame red" wigs that I used to wear. Both the wigs and the dye colour were chosen based on aiming for the colour that my hair was in childhood, so it makes sense that they'd be similar...

It'll be interesting to see how people react, since it will obviously also be this colour in boy mode, too. :-)

PS the odd little wrinkle in my hair is because I had it tied up while I was eating dinner. It wasn't like that when Sophie finished it. The before and after photos on her Facebook page are much better than my photo!

13 January 2015

Taped toes

I've struggled for a long time with wearing the red Siren stilettos that go so well with most of my red retro outfits. As I've mentioned before, they simply aren't as comfortable as the many pairs of Tony Bianco heels that I have.

Someone posted a link on Facebook recently about how to be more comfortable in heels, and aside from the obvious things like wearing shoes that fit properly, one of the surprise suggestions was to tape the third and fourth toes together. There is a nerve that runs down the foot and splits between those toes. Apparently wearing heels tends to aggravate that nerve, but taping the toes together prevents that aggravation.

Today, I decided to try it. Using 1.25cm (0.5") Leukoflex plastic medical tape, I taped the toes together so that they were firm but not tight. I could feel the tape while my feet were bare, but it was loose enough that I could easily ignore it. With shoes on, I wasn't even aware that the tape was there. I wore the shoes for several hours including walking around the house quite a bit, which was far more than I've ever been able to do before.

I wore the tape for about ten hours, including about an hour gardening in heavy socks and boots, with no real discomfort.

Mind you, this post includes a photo that I never thought that I would post. I've always been unhappy with how my feet look, particularly as the fourth toe on each foot curls under the third toe. They've been like that since childhood, probably due to wearing shoes that were too small. Apparently it could have been fixed easily in childhood, but now it would require surgery that has a lot of potential complications. It's not painful, so I have no intention of doing anything about it except wearing closed toe shoes! On top of that, the photo was taken shortly after taking off the high heeled shoes, so there are several unsightly pressure marks.

06 January 2015

A step in the right direction

Over the past few days, I've been trying to work out how to address my weight gain and screwed up sleep pattern.

Yesterday, I saw a link to this article about depression. It's an interesting read. The basic theory is that depression may in fact be an allergic reaction causing inflammation of the brain.

One of the things that can contribute is body fat, particularly around the belly. So, if I can get the weight down, not only will the depression ease due to actually getting out, but it may also be reduced directly by getting rod of belly fat. That's a win-win solution.

So how do I start?

As it turns out, I actually realised what part of my problem was yesterday. For the past few days, I've been noticing that my stomach seemed to be unusually large ~ a food baby. So I started to consciously think about how much I was eating and drinking and when.

First, I realised that while I'm eating a reasonably healthy cereal for breakfast, I'd been gradually increasing the amount that I put in the bowl each morning. Okay, reset the quantity of cereal.

Then, during the day, I'd have a cup of tea around lunch time. Except that it's a rather large cup... As in 600mL (a pint). Not only is that a fairly large volume to put into the stomach in a fairly short period, but it is also quite a bit of caffeine. I've been drinking cups of tea this large for a long time ~ I had been for some time before I even started this blog, but recently, it had increased from one around lunch time to another after dinner and often one in the afternoon.

Clearly, Ibuprofen isn't the only addiction that I'm struggling with! Aside from that, tea is a diuretic and may be the cause of needing to get up in the middle of the night. So I made the conscious decision to cut out the tea for a while, and drink more water instead.

I still got to bed after 2am last night, but slept through to about 10am. It's a small step, but it seems to at least be a step in the right direction.

05 January 2015

A stupid habit

I've mentioned my screwed up sleep patterns quite a few times before. It, depression and my weight are three of the things that most interfere with my going out en femme. I've lost count of the number of times when I simply haven't got to bed early enough to get up early enough to get my hair and makeup done to go out.

Over the past ten years or so, I've gone from not needing to get up during the night, to needing to get up after about five to six hours sleep to pee. I'm not sure if it's an age related thing, but it has progressed from once in a while to basically every night.

That wasn't a big issue until I did something really stupid in the morning on new years day.

Instead of simply going to the toilet and straight back to bed, I stopped at the computer on the way past. Check Facebook, email, blog, etc., then back to bed. Except that I was at the computer for over an hour, and consequently got up that much later when I got up again.

I did the same thing every day since.

You know that it's a problem when you're getting to bed after 3am, up for an hour and a quarter at about 9:30, then back to bed, and finally getting up at noon.

Ideally, I'd like to be getting to bed by about 10pm, up at 6am and going for a walk most mornings. Unfortunately, I can't find a way of doing that.

04 January 2015

My other project

I mentioned way back in July that some of the non-crossdressing things that I've been doing have implications for outings in the future. I just realised that I never explained what I was talking about.

Progress is slow because I spend so much of my time working, or collapsing in a heap due to exhaustion from working, as I did just before Christmas, but I've embarked upon a project to restore and modify a seventy seven year old Oldsmobile. When I finally complete it, it will complement my retro outfits at events such as the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival. :-)

I'm contemplating naming it Mary, as a play on the old advertising slogan "Merry Oldsmobile", but most people have been less than enthusiastic about that idea.

03 January 2015

Subtly unsubtle

It's now only two day until the fourth anniversary of when I started having acrylic, gel and colour on my nails.

While I initially got them done every 3 weeks, I found that I was simply too rough on them and changed to getting them done every two weeks, usually on Wednesdays.

This year my nail appointments worked well around Christmas. One was in the week before Christmas, when I got them done red and gold, and the next one was new year's eve.

It may appear that I returned to the usual solid red nails, but appearances can be deceiving... I've decided to get glitter in the acrylic from now on, meaning that in low light, you'll still only see the solid red, but in brighter light, the glitter reflects through the red. The inspiration came from the gold glitter that was on the red nails, some of which sank through the red before it dried.

Being only an infill, only a relatively small fraction of the acrylic contains glitter so far, but over the next few appointments, there will be gradually more and more until there is glitter all over all of the nails.

Of course, being relatively little glitter in the nails, getting a good photo is very difficult!

02 January 2015

What do you get when you cross...

What do you get when you cross stress related comfort eating with an elimination diet aimed at addressing irritable bowel syndrome, while trying to gradually lose weight?

The answer, it seems, is a fairly rapid weight gain of around 5kg (11lbs).

Worse, that was before Christmas, so the rapid increase from 86kg to 91kg was exacerbated by the excess that is Christmas day. Fortunately, Christmas last year probably involved the least over eating of any Christmas in at least the last 15 years, so I peaked at 91.5kg.

I'm not sure whether I should take comfort from the fact that the heaviest that I know I've been in the past is 92.5kg, or be dismayed that I haven't been this heavy in almost 20 years!

Unfortunately, this weight gain has had the effect of putting a stop to my outings. Aside from the effect that all that weight has on my feet when wearing heels, the dress that I wore last time I went out is the only pinup style dress that I've got that will fit my present shape, and I'm not keen to wear the same thing over and over.

To top it off, while trying to be polite, I ate something on New Years Eve that I knew that I shouldn't have. I've been too sick to exercise since, and expect it to take another couple of days to settle down.

01 January 2015

A disappointing trend

Inspired by a recent post by Meg at Call me Meg, I plotted a graph of my frequency of outings en femme over the past few years. Sadly, my graph tells a much different story to Meg's.

I haven't gone back any further than 2008, because the count was taken from photos that are arranged by date, and before 2008, it wasn't unusual for me to dress and take photos without going out. To get accurate figures further back, I'd have to dig out my old diaries and check each photo date to work out whether I went out or not.

Of course, one might argue that aside from a couple of days when I had no colour on my nails, I've been out en femme every time I've gone anywhere since early 2011, but it's not really the same thing...