I'm in a rather weird situation here. I've been doing weights for about a year; it's been going well due to a good trainer (my brother), good attitude and suchlike. I've been able to keep going 4 days a week with very few hitches other than intense work periods such as examinations. I do my whole body, chest & arms, legs, shoulders, back, over the week. For brevity purposes, I normally do about 8-10 reps of whatever exercise, and i have definitely gotten stronger - for instance, going from ~40kg to about 70kg on bench over the past few months. Tone has increased, pectorals now visible, adonis' belt, toned legs etc. It's going well... Or rather, has been up until recently.
The truth is that I've been having some gender issues for quite a while. They've been skulking in the background since a few years ago, but they've really snowballed this year (since around July 2013), even more so in the past couple of months. I started my weight training in September last year. It's helped considerably with my depression; I've always wanted to be able to train, but when i was younger i had massive psychological trouble doing it, and now it's easy for me. However, despite my growing desire to look like a girl, I've kept up the upper-body exercises which don't exactly help with that (I'm not terribly girly naturally), because:
I don't want to undo my hard work, even though I'm not sure if I want it any more... Strength is helpful (I do other sports like boxing and fencing), and even though it's not how i want to look now, it does look good on a guy, and I was definitely proud of it. I'm aware this is probably a good example of sunk cost fallacy, but still, it's interfering with my decision making.
It's only been recently (i.e. within the past couple of months) that I've really felt a very strong dissatisfaction with my body. Last year, I wanted to feel girly, but I didn't mind my arms as much. I just liked dressing in girl's clothing and using makeup and things like that. I didn't really think about trying to pass as much as now, since I still very much thought of myself as a guy, and I wasn't sure if this was just a phase or if I was serious about this or whether I was going to be more serious about this in the future; I did plan on getting a corset so my waist would be narrower, but I didn't dare consider dropping my arm workout because I was already in a very good - but rigid - routine, and I felt it didn't affect my appearance that much anyway (compared to other things). However, now I keep looking at photographs of myself and getting upset at how my upper body looks; my arms look bulky, chest too large, it just doesn't look girly at all. And that's even before I think about my face, but that's another issue entirely.
I'm also currently training with my brother (he wasn't here for most of the year, but he's back now), and I don't want to drop half my workout entirely in front of him; I wouldn't want him to feel disappointed or something.
This is starting to become really stressful for me, partially because it involves such a hard decision, as one can see above. As time goes on, any sort of transition will become harder, other things may come up, and in any case there will be more progress wasted if i do stop it (the upper body workout that is) entirely. I'd rather start making progress towards my preferred look as soon as possible, but it's deadlocked by this indecision.
However, further research has shown me that muscle strength without increasing bulk is possible (low reps, high weight). Personally I think this would be a good compromise for now; I wouldn't feel as if I'd lost progress if I kept up my strength, and I need my arms to be in good shape anyway (for boxing). I've asked around and apparently if i were to start going for entirely strength building - i.e. building muscle itself rather than sarcoplasm, which is what increases the size iirc - my exterior would simply cease to grow, rather than becoming smaller... Which is of course undesirable.
I should also point out that I will probably be going on hormonal treatment at some time in the future which will of course inhibit muscle growth (reducing testosterone), but I'm not sure what effect it'll have on current muscles.
Does my idea about reducing size while retaining some strength hold water? Are there any other ways of reducing size while keeping some progress? Am I going about this the complete wrong way? Do I need to just stop everything entirely? Am I just another victim of sunk cost fallacy? Please help, I am getting very stressed about this and I really don't know enough about the ins-and-outs of this to make a decision in a timeframe I'd like, especially since it's a rather quaint situation created by rapid change of circumstances.