Living and Loving as an Introvert

Introverts Unite!!


good advice

*stands up*

*shuffles nervously*

*clears throat*

Hello. My name’s Ruth and I am an introvert.

Would you believe that it has taken me 31 years to say that?

Most of those years have been taken up with saying other things. No, I’m not anti-social. No, I’m not shy. No, it’s not that I hate people, or that I hate you, or that I’m a badly brought up Awkward Annie.

I’m just an introvert.

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It has always been weird for me when people I haven’t seen for quite some time or people I am not particularly close to greet me with something like “Tumaba ka, ah. (You got fat.)” I have never known how to properly respond to this and just go to my default reaction of smiling then trying to change the subject. I find this insulting and it makes me wonder if these people have any sense of basic good manners (aside from the fat comments I also have to contend with questions of why I am not married yet but this is a different matter altogether and would require several pages of indignant ranting on my part). Most people would not even have the decency to open the conversation with a polite “Kamusta ka na? (How are you?)” and would just go straight to pointing out that I got fat.

For the record, I am 59 kg (130 lbs), 5’3 ft (161.54 cm) and my BMI is 23 (normal BMI is 18.5-24.9) and this has been the highest on the BMI scale that I have ever been. Considering that I have passed my recent PFTs and have not been sick for quite some time, I could say that I am a healthy individual. Most mornings, I would look in the mirror and like what I see, curves and all. But people chose to focus on my weight as if it is something negative. Honestly, the comments started to get to me.

When I was a cadet, my BMI went as low as 18 since I only weighed 47 kg. But those were cadet days. I could eat anything and everything I wanted, how much and when I wanted without gaining a pound because of all the physical activities we had to do. My life is so much different now. My metabolism is not the same as it was 6 years ago. It made me wonder if people really want me to look like an emaciated twig. I have no ambition of being a model or a movie star so why am I being subjected to the same twisted standards that the shallow public holds for their shallow celebrities? Do I have to live up to other people’s standards?

On March 11, 2014, I posted a Facebook status: “People, if I need you opinion about my career, my love life, or even my weight, I will ask you. Otherwise, shut your traps and shove your opinions up your ass.” I just got fed up already. I am so done.

Let me clarify that I do not condone being fat. I strongly believe that it is an individual responsibility to stay fit and healthy. My profession requires that I maintain a certain standard of fitness. I swim and scuba dive because I love the feeling of being in the water. I run and walk my dogs because I know the importance of staying active. I sometimes do my Turbo workouts because they are fun even though my best friend calls it my “chicken dance”. I do yoga because it is my constant reminder to just keep breathing and it is ok if you cannot touch your toes.

I will exercise because I love to eat. That is the truth and I am not ashamed to say it. Food has always been central to my family and it would always be that way for me even if I left our home more than 10 years ago. I always try to eat healthy but I will not beat myself up for eating junk foods. I believe that ice cream is a food group. As is lechon. I will never be willing to give up rice and bread. Wine and beer makes me happy. How Nigella Lawson looks at 50 is the only proof I need that I have nothing to be afraid of when I eat midnight snacks. I would rather be happy.

I remember a conversation with a guy and he was giving me advise that I should lose weight since men start looking for “someone else” when their girlfriends or wives start to get fat. It was a really an awkward conversation for me. I felt insulted because he is basically saying that women are only acceptable if we are stick thin. I pity him for being shallow, but I pity his wife even more for being with a guy like him.

I am NOT fat. I am much more than that word which you chose to describe me. I have done so much with my life already to allow anybody to demean me. I can tell you so much about myself and my adventures if you can be a decent person and see beyond my “weight gain”. I can tell you about the books I have read and the movies I have seen. I can tell you about how I survived cadet training and being in the Army. I can tell you the mountains I have climbed and the seas that I have scuba dived in. I can tell you about how I opened a business from scratch without any experience or background whatsoever. I can tell you about the beauty and extreme poverty in some of the places I have been to and how gratifying it is to be able to do something for the people living there. I can tell you about my family, my friends and the people that have influenced me along the way. I have my mind and my heart and my soul. I refuse to be called fat just as I refuse to demean anyone by labeling them as “fat”.

My weight, if it does not offend you or negatively affect you in any way, should be none of your business.




Camera shy


Beautiful corrals


Observing the divers observing him


With my dive buddy and a bunch of fishies




Loading the tanks and gears

Diving at V. Sagun, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines. One of my favorite places to dive because of the laidback atmosphere,  clear and calm waters and abundance and variety of marine life.