Testosterone is well known for causing water retention, and boy, am I retaining water. I look down at what used to be delicate, well-honed ankles and…well, you can see from the picture how things are now. The Cankle Pixies have been at work, and swapped my lower legs with someone else’s. Somewhere out there, there is a fulsome, frumpy matriarch standing in Iceland, wondering how come she’s suddenly got svelte well-turned ankles instead of her old cushiony ones.

As well as my ankles, my face is showing signs of Hamster Bloat. I may never see my cheekbones again. I’m doing all that I should to prevent the Curse of the Cankle – Dandelion Tincture is my middle name, and if I drink any more water, I’ll need a commode permanently installed in every room. Bah bloody humbug.

Another threat to the visibility of my bone structure is The Hunger. I was warned. I nodded sagely, and privately thought that I would be fine, and would snack on a little dried fruit if peckish. But really, peckish doesn’t quite cover it. I am ravenous. I eat and eat and eat, until I couldn’t possibly eat more. Then I fit in a bit more. Poor Will keeps trying to steer me away from the fridge and handing me a banana. Sometimes it works, but more often the banana is just added to the list of food disappearing into the ever-open maw. And really I don’t want banana, I want cake. And biscuits. And nuts. And cereal. And porridge. And jam. Crisps. Crackers. Noodles. Marmite. Spaghetti. You get the picture. Thank goodness we don’t keep bread in the house or I’d be like one of those sad cases where the fire-brigade have to remove a window to winch me into a specially strengthened ambulance whilst the good people of Norwich look on in wondered disgust. I have become the Carb King, flirting too with anything with concentrated sugar or salt.

Don’t get me wrong. As a vegan I am still packing away a ton of fruit and veg, and I get plenty of protein and all the nutritional bits and pieces I need, but my love affair with the larder is getting a bit scary. I really don’t want to end up a fatty. I lost a stone before starting hormone therapy, trying to get into optimum health before putting my body through all these changes. So far I have put about 4 pounds back on. I know that’s not a lot, but unless I find a way to curb The Hunger, it’ll all go back on and more. As much as I’d like to think it’s all muscle, that’d be wishful thinking.

So with my body awash with retained fluid and an appetite to rival Elvis in his Deep-Fried Everything days, I need to sit down and do some serious thinking about my eating habits. Or buy a padlock for both the larder and the fridge.

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