This introvert thinks her need for a break is making her fat!


The following was submitted by Jody, a 31 year old paralegal, who used to be quite active but now is spending more and more of her time indoors because she enjoys it so much.

When I was in high school and college and even after that I used to run at least 2k a day. I loved doing it and was almost addicted to the feeling. But an injury then a long spell of bad weather gave me a little holiday from the running. At first I was depressed at all the condition I must be losing but soon I started having a grand time every day when I’d get home from work just doing nothing.

Now when I come home I pour myself some juice, watch the news, and generally piddle around the house doing whatever I want until time to fix dinner. I DON’T want to go out and run. It’s not that I’m afraid to leave the house. I run errands on weekends and even go places with friends. But on work days I spend 11 hours away from home so once I get home I want to spend several hours all alone doing exactly what I please. The only problem now is that I’ve gained 20 pounds sitting on this couch and I think more will keep creeping up! What do other introverts do when the solitude is calling but you need to get your butt in gear?

Photo credit: Tumbleweed:-)



  1. I have an exercise bicycle in my office (at home). Plenty of solitude there! Another option: I often visit the gym when it opens (at 5 am) and people at 5 am tend to be pretty focused on working out and NOT socializing.

    I also find that when I go to the gym that early in the morning, my exercise is half done before I wake up and realize where I am….then it’s too late to quit, so I finish, and my exercise is done for the day!

    Seriously, though…if you really don’t want to be out and about after getting home from work (I SO get that), then just do your exercise at home. I bought my exercycle used at a sports-recycle shop.
    gharkness┬┤s last post ..Adventures in Border Crossing, part I

  2. I bike commute, which means by the time I get home from work my workout is done. Two of them, in fact. I tell people I’m lazy – I dislike going to the gym, so I bike commute instead. This also helps me deal with people at work better, so it’s got lots of benefits for me.

    My other advice would be to get a treadmill / stationary bike (or a trainer – if you happen to already have a bike) or to get some exercise videos. A friend has gotten really into the P90X workouts, and has had good results. They’re *hard*, be warned! But mix it up – try yoga, belly dancing, whatever suits your fancy. Doing something you enjoy means you’ll keep doing it. There is plenty you can do without having to leave your own living room!

  3. One of the best things you can do at home to lose unwanted body weight as well as maintain an ideal body weight and desirable body figure is to spend 1 hour of your time for dancing exercises. If you want you can use video exercises for this or play a song that will make you dance. It’s fun and at the same time it can help you to lose some of your weight.
    Hazel @ Travel Wisconsin┬┤s last post ..tactical gear

  4. It sounds like you need a treadmill so you can walk and/or run on it. If you get bored, you can switch things up by doing a workout dvd. I used to use my bike on a trainer and for awhile I enjoyed watching movies while I was on the trainer, but I got bored with it.

  5. Don’t beat yourself up for not wanting to leave the house after working full-time! That is a perfectly normal reaction. But the home-exercise option is a good one if it makes you feel better. I have one of those cheap stair-stepper gizmos, and let me tell you, they are a workout! I use it in front of my TV. Best wishes to you.

  6. I’ve found that solitude isn’t just in the house. I ride my bike all around town and am deliciously alone as I do it. There are ways to exercise outside that don’t involve other people.
    Which is also not to say that you have to go out of the house to exercise, as the comments above have made it clear. It just seemed like your love for running might make you want to. I’ve found that even when I don’t want to force myself out of the house, once I do and get into whatever it is I’m doing, I am usually glad I did. Maybe you could take up running again on one of the days you have completely off, rather than trying to force it on yourself after eleven hours of work. If you don’t think you have the internal impetus to do it, you could get a friend to force you out of the house (but not necessarily to go with you!), or you could deny yourself some favorite thing until you get out and do it. Given how much you used to love running, you probably won’t regret taking it up again.

  7. I found this marvelous article that tells about how different kinds of personalities engage in exercise. I really fall under either the INP or the INJ descriptions. If you don’t know anything about the MBTI, you can still read through the descriptions and find what fits your exercise personality. Then you can find the kinds of exercise that fit into that. As the article says, there are many kinds of exercise that we don’t necessarily think of as exercise. I will never set foot in a gym, but I love figure skating, and that’s my exercise.

  8. I got myself a treadmill recently, since rainy days always visit our place almost everyday, so there is no excuse I can’t have my exercise. Beside, I feel sloppy when I have not stretch for a day.
    yayebangz┬┤s last post ..LESSON NO.1: SAVING MONEY

  9. For me i always set a goal and be motivated in doing my exercise once in a while i give reward to my self but after that just a piece of bread…Yeah it’s sounds punish to my self but the benefits and the people say wow is sound great to me…
    Jessica┬┤s last post ..angry birds online

  10. i just have a question, how would you know that you are an introvert? anyways, i think that you don’t just have to sit there in the coach, maybe you could do some other stuffs that won’t let you gain weight, may be a walk in the park or a walk in a mall..
    mimi┬┤s last post angry birds

    • The way to find out if you’re an introvert or extravert is to look at what energizes you. Do you get excited and filled with energy by being with people, or do people make you exhausted and you have to get away by yourself to recharge? If being with people energizes you, you’re an extravert, and if being by yourself restores your energy, you’re an introvert.

  11. While all of the above is good advice, I sense there is something more behind your lack of exercise. You need to look inside to see what that might be.

    You used to love running. It is a solitary activity unless you did it with friends. So I don’t accept that it is the desire for solitude that is keeping you inside. You remember Loving the feeling you got from running that it was almost an “addiction”. What else has changed in your life? Is your job more stressful? Did you have a breakup?

    You seem to be emotionally drained. I suggest you seek counseling, not because you gained 20 pounds, but because you obviously are not liking yourself right now.

  12. Miguella Parks on

    Hahahaha MiMi if walk in the mall i don’t think that’s a good idea because walking in the mall too may temptation what i mean is you can see a lot of food chain that you can stop and eat right?i suggest walk up t the hill or at the park would be better.introvert just wasting time for me.
    Miguella Parks┬┤s last post ..Friendship Issues

  13. Hey,
    This problem doesn’t sound like a problem associated with the characteristics of being an introvert but rather just laziness (or lack of time/being overworked).
    I am extremely lazy and have much expertise in the area.
    Going for a run is a way of recharging for the introvert. It’s time where all there is is you, no interruptions just you running. I experience this when surfing, it’s just me and the waves no one else and it’s blissful (but physically exhausting).

    I think if you tried forcing yourself back in to a routine of running, after a while you would grow to love it again. It will help you see that you do really love to run you just have been feeling lazy of late. Of course if you force yourself to run for a while but never come around to liking it again then you should move on and find a different physical activity you can participate in to stay fit and have fun..

  14. i really want to gain weight but nothing is happening, i already had a checkup but there’s nothings wrong with me…about being an extrovert or introvert, i always get excited alone or not.. ‘HYPER’.. i always look for something to do ­čÖé
    sydney┬┤s last post angry birds game

  15. Thank you to everyone who answered! Some really great suggestions here. I promise I’ll get off my couch and get moving!

  16. Hi,
    It happened to me this last year that I lost my job. I started to become a hermit. I just don’t feel like going out. But this can be just a phase. Also if you want to exercise a bit why don’t you try some yoga DVD’s. Yoga is very relaxing and it doesn’t feel like exercise but it can help you lose weight. Also, something that is helping me a lot is that I joined a gym with my brother, because I go with him it feels fun and that motivates me.
    Good luck!
    Gabby Martinez┬┤s last post ..Neighbors Helping Neighbors

  17. I guess this is not really a problem with introversion. But I guess this is somewhat one of the problems that most people have today. Self improvement needs to be done all the time to make yourself more confident.

  18. You can still do aerobics indoors. There are many cardio exercise to keep yourself fit even if you’re not going out. Don’t you have any friend you can tag along to run with you? Like Tina said, I think this has nothing to do with being an introvert.

  19. I find exercise to be very compatible with my introverted tendencies.
    I ride my bike everywhere, and it’s very enjoyable and relaxing to be alone on my bike.
    Also, when I lived near a hiking trail, I used to do a short hihke alone on a regular basis. I find it gives me a lot of alone time and is quite refreshing.
    If you can’t get outside at all, you could try yoga. It’s a contemplative practice, and I find that an hour or two of yoga is worth double in recharge power than what I get being alone otherwise. Some of the more rigorous forms, like ashtanga, can be very good exercise and help you lose weight if you need to.

  20. I COMPLETELY relate to you! I used to work in restaurants, I was on my feet my whole shift – which was good for my waistline and my social life, I was always interacting with people. I have always liked my alone time and been a bit of an introvert so working in this type of business was good for me, but I didn’t want to make a career out of it. So I recently got a job in a small, 5 person office. I like my co-workers but I rarely see my friends since they all still work in service industry, and when I get off work I just want to watch tv and relax, not go running like I should. I have been trying to get more motivated lately though, and it’s hard most days, but sometimes I just tell myself to suck it up and that a 20 minute run is better than nothing. And I always feel better after I do it. ­čÖé

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