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[personal profile] inherent_discord posting in [community profile] ftm
In a really long series of events, I am unable to eat at the galley (military cafeteria) and must cook my own food. I can't cook worth a shit, and to be honest, I've no drive to learn how to cook considering that in August, I will be forced to eat at the gallery, so there's really no point in learning right now.

That aside, I've always wanted to go organic. So I figured that since I couldn't eat crap anymore, I may as well take the opportunity to do what I had always wanted and eat super healthy. This lasted for about two weeks. I was very happy with myself. Then I became hungry all the time but still felt full, had absolutely no energy, and my body began acting weird. For lack of better description, I felt like I was more "womanly", like my hormones were unbalanced and I'd lost a lot of testosterone (or what I perceived to be as testosterone. I can never know for sure, but I always felt I had more than the average female).

Completely by accident, I stumbled over a little news article saying that cutting fat out of your diet reduces testosterone and can mess with men's libidos. After that, a little mental epiphany happened and I decided to forego eating healthy. I started eating a bunch of junk- Taco bell, chocolates, whatever was cheap and I felt like pigging out on at the time. I went back to "normal" which for me was shaving my face every two or three days because, yes, I do get that much facial hair (is that normal for a female? Who knows.)

Everything was great until I realized that whoa, I am spending way too much money on this junk food, and I need to eat a lot more of it to be "healthy" (especially if I want to exercise).


So I decided to get a multivitamin. Except that didn't work out too well because what I chose was an assortment of huge pills. Now I don't know about you, but I have a very hard time swallowing pills, let alone five huge ones every night. So I went back to GNC and asked for a liquid multivitamin, something akin to a meal replacement but not meant for losing weight. They only had one, and guess what it was? Women's Ultra Mega Active.

I've talked to other transguys in the past, they all say they are overcome with such huge grief when buying supplements and the like because they don't want to buy something for women. I used to feel exactly the same way. I went out of my way to find something not proclaiming gender or just buy the men's. I couldn't fathom what made our bodies so different that it warranted different ingredients. I always thought it was some marketing scheme set otu to genderize psuedo-pharmaceutical products.

I was with a co-worker at the time and in a revealing [female] uniform so I was't passing as male at all (plus i was on base). I didn't feel like getting the men's version because, well, I am not technically "a man" so without thinking I just bought what the GNC rep gave me.

I mean, I needed this afterall. I am suffering from exhaustion all the time currently and I can't up my PT(physical training) schedule without doing something about my pitiful nutrient intake first.

While a part of me sees this gigantic bottle of women's multivitamin on the counter and dies inside a bit, I can't also help but think. "I am a female. This is what my body needs to get better. Right?"
Does it?

I guess we'll see if the 30 bucks was worth it. And hey, I've got 4 years left in my contract. If it "feminizes" me then maybe I won't have to shave as much. That'd be something to look forward to, right? It's not like I need to worry about passing in the military.

Date: 2010-07-07 11:01 pm (UTC)
pitseleh: cowboy beep boop. (books = holmes + crazy eyes.)
From: [personal profile] pitseleh
The reason things are targeted 'for men' and 'for women' are marketing reasons, almost always. Statistically, a lot of companies think that instead of having gender neutral options, their products will do better if they have the same product dressed up in two different packages, one with lighter colors and fancier font for ladies and one with blocky font and dark color for dudes. It has to do with the fact that, at the end of the day, people like buying things that are specialized for them. I know I'd jump at buying something 'for FtMs', and I've gone out of my way to buy 'for men' products in the past, when I know I'd get the same exact thing if I bought 'for women' stuff. Because if you can tell me how this is different from a loofa (besides the color), you win money.

So in all likelihood your 'for women' vitamins are probably the same exact formula that's in the 'for men' vitamins, only the color of the box is different, probably. And I only say 'probably' because I haven't seen the box.

Date: 2010-07-08 12:00 am (UTC)
mercurychaos: Aubrey Beardsley in profile. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mercurychaos
So in all likelihood your 'for women' vitamins are probably the same exact formula that's in the 'for men' vitamins, only the color of the box is different, probably.

This is actually one case where it's not just marketing. Vitamins "for women" typically have things like extra iron in them, because menstruating people need more iron. Vitamins "for men" typically have little or no iron in them.

OP, I'd suggest you do a little comparison shopping. Drugstore.com has all the labeling information for the vitamins they sell, so you can look at what vitamins they have and see how they compare to the bottle you have. You might be able to take a men's vitamin plus an extra iron supplement. In the future, when you're talking to GNC salepeople you should ask them for something with no extra iron in it.

Date: 2010-07-08 12:07 am (UTC)
pitseleh: cowboy beep boop. (books = holmes + crazy eyes.)
From: [personal profile] pitseleh
Hahaha, yeah. I probably should have included a 'I'm no doctor, but...' in there. Thanks for the info! I obviously know nothing about medicine.

Date: 2010-07-08 12:57 am (UTC)
pitseleh: cowboy beep boop. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pitseleh
Yeah, that kind of stuff was mostly the information I was going with. I'm sorry if I told you things you already knew! I'd hate to sound condescending.

Date: 2010-07-08 12:10 am (UTC)
mercurychaos: Aubrey Beardsley in profile. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mercurychaos
Completely by accident, I stumbled over a little news article saying that cutting fat out of your diet reduces testosterone and can mess with men's libidos. After that, a little mental epiphany happened and I decided to forego eating healthy.

Cutting fat out of your diet is not synonymous with healthy eating, and in fact you do need a certain amount of fat in order to be healthy.

I'm not sure what advice to give you because I can't discern much about your situation other than the military stuff. I think you should look into seeing a doctor if it's feasible for you to do so, to get some advice about nutrition if nothing else. I'd also suggest checking around online instead of getting your vitamins at GNC, if you can, because the stuff they sell is waaaay overpriced — there are other brands that are just as good and half the cost (the ones I buy are 120 pills instead of the 60 that GNC sells you for the same $30, if not less.)

Date: 2010-07-08 06:16 am (UTC)
mercurychaos: Aubrey Beardsley in profile. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mercurychaos
Eating healthy can be a bit tricky and requires a bit of planning, but you don't necessarily have to buy all organic stuff — organic foods are good for other reasons, but if they're beyond your budget then regular stuff will do just fine. The food pyramid is good as a general guideline, but it's not hard and fast — it would almost certainly be okay to eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer of other things. It's also not necessary to have meat with every meal, or even every day. If you want to know more about specific things you should ask a doctor or do your own research, but a good general rule is to just make sure you're eating a variety of foods from different "groups", and cut back on sugar and highly-processed stuff as much as you can.

That's the brand I used to get before I started T, only mine were the pills you took twice a day. I hated the packaging too, but as long as I was having a period I needed the extra iron. Now I take Rainbow Light men's, and they also make a non-gendered iron-free kind. I don't know if they make powders or liquid vitamins, but the pills are reasonably-sized and you only need one a day, which makes it easier. I say this as someone who's been swallowing pills since I was a small child, but my roommate really hates swallowing pills and he takes this same brand with few issues.

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