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Do You Feel Trapped by Your Weight & Introversion?

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

Freedom from Fat...and More

Bodyweight. Self-Image.

Most people, especially in the western world, struggle with these issues.

Pudgy. Husky. Fat. Obese.

Many of us have these labels burnt into us from others since our teens.

Guilt. Embarrassment. Shame. Failure.

And we deal with these emotions for decades if not all of our lives.

Like many of you, I've suffered this same journey.

Freedom from Our Nemesis

I was told to clear my plate as a kid and was offered chocolate 5-ways during family TV time. Then I was dragged along to Weight Watchers as a young teen, with my parents offering themselves as a glimpse into my unhealthy, unchangeable adulthood.

Self-image due to weight was almost as traumatic as my self-image when my reserved, quiet childhood was deemed "not normal." This combination haunts me to this day.

As an adult, I tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, other fad diets, and tricks to motivate me and boost my willpower to choose good over bad, healthy over unhealthy, normal over not normal.

As a result, I lost 20-40 pounds more times than I can recall, only to gain it back and more every time. Finally, my body and mind became exhausted by my incessant failures.

The shame oozed into my whole life. My self-talk was ultra-negative. My confidence in all facets of my life was shattered.

Finally, a few years ago, drained, I reached out to a therapist to help me rid the word "failure" from my brain. My therapist calmed my mind, dispelled cultural norms around weight and common diet programs, and helped me find my true self. She guided me onto the road of repair - a road I've only recently realized was different from the one I'd initially sought.

My therapist was awesome - a great listener, inquisitor, and supporter. But she could not achieve my objectives alone.

That same month that I sat in her office for the first time, as my retirement approached, I began to rekindle my teenage passion for writing to cobble together my personal stories into a memoir. I began to realize a common lifelong thread of introversion which had also subjected me to the same emotions:

Guilt. Embarrassment. Shame. Failure.

As I put these stories together, I learned about introversion. At the same time, I was starting to change my relationship with food and diet, I began to realize my low-key, introspective nature was not a curse but a blessing. I discovered my own strengths and that my dreams were possible without being someone I was not.

Intertwined Journeys

Three years ago these two lines of self-discovery became intertwined in my psyche. My life was changing.

But this process did not leave me a svelte 160 pounds. What it did do is leave me with a lot more self-confidence. I was finding freedom from fat, not by being thin, but by learning about myself, discovering my strengths, respecting my choices, and finding a bit of freedom from societal norms.

Since that initial transformation in 2018, I've continued an introspective journey as an introvert advocate, an avid journaler, and a student of self-discovery. I've taken classes on Authenticity and Mindfulness and recently completed a provocative one-month journaling exercise by Mari McCarthy and CreateWriteNow.

All have combined to help me put my self over food. I still love carbs and chocolate, but I'm aiming to listen to my body (am I hungry? what does my body want?) and be more mindful of how my choices align with my body's needs. I journal abo