About 10 years ago I was really getting into riding my bicycle. I Bought an old Trek road bike to replace the department store special ... I started riding 10 miles, 20 miles, 60 miles at a time ... riding along the road rather than the bike path I was comfortable with ... finding online groups to seek advice.
I got advice.
"Shave your legs."
Ummmmm ... WTF?!?! Why?
"Because when (not if) you crash the abrasions will heal a bit more quickly and be a bit more comfortable because the hair will not get matted into the wound."
As I was a few hairs short of resembling some form of primate I realized that this may be a good idea. I didn't realize that I would ruin 2 razor blades
and nearly exsanguinate for my initial efforts.
After the multiple nicks eventually healed and the razor burn faded I realized I liked the feeling. Smooth legs are wonderful ... there is no annoying pulling when I'm walking or even just sitting still. The issue was I needed to shave 2 or 3 times per week to stay nearly smooth.
Eventually I started shaving my arms, then my torso ... Pam had to shave my back. We bought a Tria home laser, and it helped thin some areas, but it never totally rid the areas of hair. I was happy with the reducing hair.
This was not intended to be a way of sneaking into my transition, but it did ease my psyche a bit to see my body without all the hair.
With everything that has been going on recently I have not spent much time paying attention to my body other than the same several pounds that I manage to lose only to find them again a few weeks later.
I was a little shocked recently when I realized that the hair on my leg is practically non existent, even after more than a week without shaving. Between the Tria and the estrogen my lower legs
are very smooth and the little hair remaining on my upper leg are much finer and probably 80% gone.
I did an experiment. I stopped shaving my arms for a bit.
In the past if I went 2 days without shaving Pam would complain about the "pokey hairs." Right now, after nearly 2 weeks without shaving there is much less hair, and what is there is fine. Unfortunately the little that remains is still somewhat dark, but not nearly as noticeable as a few years ago.
I'll keep shaving them for a while.
I asked Pam what my back looks like. She says that most of the hair is gone. The areas near the flanks have the only hair of significance, but even that is very fine and thin. This alone amazes me as the layer of fur in that area was thick and dense.
It is a wonderful feeling to realize that the months of minor changes have added up to be a rather noticeable difference.
But I still wonder if the changes are obvious to others ... if the masculine features are diminishing ... how do people truly see me ... what has truly been changed?
I think over the past 18 months:
- Facial hair lasered off
- Thinning of eyebrows
- Begin hormone therapy
- Changing hair color
---> The point I came out at work
- Dress in completely feminine clothes
- Begin wearing makeup daily (rather than just while out)
This list does not seem very detailed ... Again, I wonder if it's enough.
In the past few weeks I may have been given an answer ...
I've been covering a route every day. In the afternoon I am picking up at a school where many of the staff has known me for years, but they also have not seen me in a while. After a few days I realized that every reference to me were female pronouns.
Last week a teacher who has known me for a few years asked my name and asked if I was a new driver.
When I started a new training class. One of the trainees worked for the old company many years ago. He worked with me ... driving routes to the same schools ... talking ... joking. He was a DJ at our company parties.
When class started we did the obligatory introductions. I told him I worked for the old company years ago. He stared at me and said, "You don't look familiar."
These were definitely confidence boosters, but the doubt lingers.
Why am I continually so self conscious? How can I get beyond this?
The changes are slow ... I tend to be impatient. This is not a good combination, but I am realizing that some things are so worth waiting for.