It's 05:14, and I am awake.
I have had another great night's sleep. Six hours is 'par for the course' for me - with no interruptions for needing a 'wee in the night' - thanks to my genital surgery, HRT and in consequence a shrunken prostate. I am warm in bed; I dont want to get up - but I know I have too, it's exercise time. I slip on my stretchy top from Primark, my nics and pair of 60 denier tights (from M & S where else?) and look down at my figure.
My boobs are not big, but I always knew that would be the case. Trans women on hormones and after surgery normally get a cup size one size smaller than their mum - she was a B-C - I knew the best I could naturally reach was an A-B.
No matter, I am happy with that, my waist tappers in slightly, my hips spread - I see an hourglass, not a massive hourglass for sure, but almost an acceptable one. I am the same height as Tess Daly, but she weighs (apparently) 56kg, some 24kg lighter than me.
I dont mind that either as long as I "look good" in a size fourteen dress. I have probably seventy dresses. Some woman "do" shoes, handbags or tops. For me, it is dresses - I know I look good in them and get the right cut, it can hide my waist.
So this is why I must exercise - for vanity, to fit neatly inside a size fourteen dress. The average size of a woman in the UK is now a sixteen. As a tall size fourteen at 68 years of age, I know I look good.
Not a sixteen not a twelve - a fourteen, my dresses will be with me until I pass.
So to slog my guts out on an exercise bike for 30 minutes, do a two-mile power walk and not eat that much at all. On the bike, my heart rate reaches 148 at the peak, close to the maximum for someone my age.
But, I have one issue unlike a natal female - that surgery that I had, those hormones that I take, which make me "feel at peace as a woman," that give me boobs, hips, beautiful skin comes with a big price - weight gain around the belly.
And at yesterday's "weigh-in" - yes 80.1kg, a reduction, over the last four weeks or so I have lost about 4 pounds. All those hours of exercise, hunger, pain for just a slight weight loss. But it is a loss.
Welcome to life as a transexual woman.
And to the bike. Thirty minutes of sweat, to blaring music from Elgar and breathlessness - six days a week.