Health, Wellbeing, Happiness

Introvert / Extrovert …. Doesn’t Matter

We all know that the key to good health is exercise (also referred to as training), good nutrition and portion control, and being happy.  Today I’m talking about exercise and my experience with it.

I have never been a sportswoman and have never really been into sports.  At school, I hated PE (physical education) and would have done anything to get out of it.  There were, however, a few exceptions.  I didn’t mind playing netball (I played goal attack), and I quite enjoyed playing tennis and squash.  As a teenager, I even used to go to some aerobics classes.  One year during my high school years, for sport we left the school grounds once per week to go ten pin bowling which was fun, though I think the train trip and freedom from school was what most appealed!

I don’t have an athlete’s physique.  I’m a little vertically challenged – at just over 5ft I’m not long limbed and built for speed.  I do recall doing moderately well at cross-country, so I may not have been fast but at one point I was moderately good at endurance.

So we’ve established I will never be an elite athlete or sportsperson.  However, this does not mean that I can’t exercise.  I have to exercise if I don’t want to be pudgy, unfit and unhealthy!  It’s just a matter of finding something that I like to do so I can stick with it.

There was a time when exercise was not needed by me (or so I thought).  I was always tiny, never gaining any weight.  I was 43kg’s and a size 7-8 when I got married and hovered around that weight until I had children.

I have tried many things – some with great success and enjoyment, other things I have dragged myself along to but have not enjoyed.  As a stay at home mother when my kids were very little, I had some weight to shift.  I started walking 6km’s every day along the beautiful Wynnum/Manly waterfront when my husband got home from work.  I loved it!  It was time out from my mummy duties, time to myself, and great for my head – AND – best of all – it worked!  I lost all the baby weight and maintained a slim figure until………..I returned to work.  Working at a desk all day was such a sedentary way to spend my days and I was much more time poor, so my walks became an occasional weekend treat.

I have joined gyms in the past but they always required at least a 15-30 minute drive there and back and the busy life of a working mother always intervened and eventually my attendance dropped off and stopped.

Last year I joined the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation and participated in rounds 1, 2 and 3 which covered most of 2011.  Her program is AMAZING.  She has a facebook page and when you sign up you have access to the ‘online forum’ where you can chat with other members, access your meal and training plans, as well as enter your results and see your progress.  I went to two fantastic end of round parties – end of Round 1 party in Melbourne and end of Round 2 party here in Brisbane.  I didn’t go to the end of Round 3 party which was in Sydney.  I still live on 12wbt recipes which have become firm family favourites.  I lost quite a reasonable amount of weight, dropping two dress sizes, but never quite got to my goal.  I didn’t sign up this year – I thought I’d give it a go on my own.  I had the nutrition nailed … but the training and incredible athleticism and achievements of others overwhelmed me.  I needed to break away.  The 12wbt Queensland Crew are amazing, incredibly supportive and there are many who are very inspirational.  They organise all kind of group training activities like boot camps and special mini-milestone events and I did attend a boot camp every Saturday for a while and liked it (well some bits of it – not including the running parts!!)….but I was feeling overwhelmed.

Why?  Well whilst I can come across as quite an extrovert, I’m actually an introvert!  I draw my energy by having time out, time alone.

Extroverts on the other hand, re-energise by being around other people. Working full-time through the week and having training commitments with large groups of people coupled with my family responsibilities on the weekends left little time remaining for me to have alone time to re-energise for the working week ahead, hence becoming overwhelmed and drained.

Introvert/Extrovert … doesn’t matter!!  We all have to find our own way that works for us.

Does the saying “Introvert/Extrovert … doesn’t matter” remind you of anything?  Remember this guy that was on Xfactor last year.  He didn’t do so well on the show, but maybe he was onto something LOL

So, I have gained some weight back.  How much?  I’m not really sure but I’ve gone back up one dress size.  I have a new self-imposed policy of not letting the numbers on the scales define me.  In fact, I don’t get on the scales anymore.  It is how I feel and look that determines my sense of wellbeing.

Truth be told – I’m feeling fat a tad overweight and frumpy….so I have a plan.  I’ve learnt some things about myself.  I prefer to exercise alone.  Exercise I do like includes brisk walking, pilates, weights, boxing and some cardio.  I don’t like pushing my body beyond what it is capable of so that what I feel is painful and overly uncomfortable.  I don’t like committing to group workouts with other people and having the pressure of not letting them down.  I don’t like running though I did give it a go.  SO …

  • I’m going to start back at pilates (I used to go regularly once a week and I loved it)
  • do my lovely waterfront walks much more regularly…AND…
  • I have joined a gym – though it’s yet to open.  It’s a new local Snap Fitness opening sometime next month.  The gym being so close to home is fantastic as time is not lost on travel.  Snap Fitness is 24 hrs so I can go whenever suits me.  I can be set a routine and train alone so I get some time for just me.  I’m nervously but eagerly looking forward to it opening!

A 12wbt Queensland crew member wrote a blog post recently called ‘fitting in is not belonging’.  She spoke about how exhausting it is trying to fit in, to be what you think other people expect you to be so that you are accepted and have a sense of belonging, and how much easier it is to just be yourself   If you can be yourself and be accepted – that is belonging.  Spot on! That was what I was trying to do.  Now I’m listening to me and trying things my way (just gotta get the whip to the lazy beast within).  Wish me luck!


5 replies »

  1. Great post Min and I can relate to a lot of it!

    I eventually got a bit the same with the 12WBT training sessions – a bit too overwhelming and I didn’t really feel like I belonged in the ‘in’ crowd. I think your exercise plan sounds very feasible which for me is all-important.



    • Thanks Deb! I was definately overwhelmed by the 12wbt training sessions, the amount of time on weekends they devoted to them, the distances they would travel for a training session, the amazing athletic accomplishments of the members and the constant flow of all this info into my FB homepage. They are all such great people though and I’m happy for them that they love what they do, and that they achieve great things and reach their goals…but it wasn’t for me. As I said, I tried to ‘fit in’ but I never really did feel I belonged and it was draining me. It taught me heaps about myself though and I think I’m now on an ‘exercise’ path that will work for me 🙂


  2. I have just recently had the same ah ha moment. I was sick of people not having any understanding my back problems so I was going to the gym to the chiro and back again. So now …… I am going to go to Tao chi which I did years ago, walk along our beautiful foreshore and keep a “cheap” gym membership so I can use the walking machines if it is too wet, hot or cold. I will see how that goes.


    • I think your plan sounds fantastic Vicki! We must do a waterfront walk together some time! I don’t mind sharing my waterfront walks with another person sometimes. I often go with my sister on a Sunday afternoon 🙂