Those of you who have read my earlier posts about my breasts will know that for most of my life I have had a rocky relationship with my body. Remember ‘Men in Black’? The bit where the alien ‘borrows’ the body of a hapless human? He can’t get the body to fit right, and spends half the film trying to hitch it round into a comfortable position. That’s a pretty good metaphor for how I have always felt about my body. Discomfort, and that nagging feeling that something ‘wasn’t quite right’. Clothes never felt good, and I was never happy with how I felt or looked. In short, I was uncomfortable in my own skin.

It’s been 5 months since I had chest contouring surgery. Over the course of a few hours on September 12th 2011, my D-cup was transformed into a chest suitable for a man. I’m not flat as a pancake – as my surgeon pointed out with a wry smile, what man my age and weight has a flat chest? Instead, I have a chest that feels and looks right for me.

I have been left with long welts of scars, stretching from my armpits to nearly the centre of my torso on both sides. They’re not pretty, but I don’t care, and I know they’ll fade. What’s far more important than a couple of scars is that the stress, discomfort and horror I used to feel looking at my own body is also beginning to fade. It’s not an overnight process – you can’t just miraculously disappear issues years old – but it’s happening.

I can run now. Not fast, or with any diginity, but without automatically folding my arms across my chest to a) stop people seeing my flying boobs b) avoid doing myself a damage and causing pain. I still occasionally catch myself clutching my chest, to run up the stairs, then realise half way up that it’s no longer necessary. The feeling I get at those moments is enough to make me want to cry. Happily, in relief, and huge gratitude to myself that I’ve made the decisions I have.

Before my surgery, I knew how desperately I wanted to rid myself of my breasts, and anticipated I’d feel better for doing so. I could have had no idea what a dramatic longer-term effect my surgery would have on my self-esteem and body-image. It’s mind-blowing. My posture still isn’t all it should be (I’m a huncher) but it’s improving, and damn…I look and feel good! (Ironically, as I type this, the radio is playing ‘Sexy and I Know It’…well, I’m working on that)

With my surgery 5 months behind me, and nearly a year into testosterone therapy, I am starting to feel comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. The feeling is beyond compare.

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