body image ddr

Summary: How I went from couch potato to exercise addict and learned to love my body and the rest of myself in the process.

No exaggeration, exercise truly saved my life.

I was an overweight couch potato most of my life. I weighed 50 pounds at 3 years old.

I was always told by my family to go out and walk/bike, and it always felt like a chore.

I loved food and didn’t understand the mixed messages I got with being told to exercise and that I’m too fat, and also being pushed to eat delicious food all the time (I know it’s a way to show love in Asian cultures, but it sure was confusing!)

Discovering Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), a video game with a dance mat/pad, at age 15 marked a huge turning point.

It was the first time I learned that exercise could be FUN. It played to my video game addiction and obsession with unlocking all the levels.


Since then, I’ve eagerly picked up almost any activity that involves body movement.

It’s all about finding what you enjoy, since you won’t stick with something you don’t.

I hate traditional running, biking, and workout routines. Though I know they’re good for me, I’ve accepted that as long as I move my body, that is good enough for my health.

It’s okay to trick your brain into exercising.

My favorites are racquet sports (badminton, tennis, racquetball), ultimate frisbee, and dancing, but I’ll try almost anything else once. Not a fan of contact sports such as rugby though.

Exercise has saved me in so many ways.

In addition to the endorphins that boost mood (as much as anti-depressants do for mild/moderate cases) and help with memory, it also helps me feel good about myself and my body.

That I’m taking care of myself, this temple which houses my soul.

And how it brings focus to what my body can DO, rather than how it looks.

I’ve inherited larger bone frames from my family, and used to curse my broad shoulders, round face, and wide feet.

Like many, I wanted to fit the typical societal standard of beauty I kept seeing in the media (the slim Barbie Doll look).

I even fell into unhealthy eating disorder territory when I tried severe dieting and exercise, though I never looked it.

I fluctuated, lost and regained the same 50 pounds over and over.


But when I stopped to focus on how exercise made me feel, rather than look, my whole world shifted.

I realized this recently, but the sports I enjoy (such as tennis and badminton) remind me that miracles are possible.

My body always surprises me when I make a shot I never could have imagined making.

It’s so much intuition and surrendering to instinct and however your body wants to move.

You get into this zone and only think about one thing — how to keep the ball’s rally going.

And you trust yourself fully in going after the shot.

Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but the intention and effort are the same each time–the best that I can offer.

It reminds me to take that approach to everything else in life too, my business, my relationships, everything really.


If I approached my mental and emotional capacities in this same trusting way as my physical capacities, what would happen?

We’d be able to create whatever we wanted, whatever dreams, careers, relationships, or realities we’ve been yearning for.

I truly believe we ALL have this power inside of us.


I’ve made headway in believing in my physical skills, but I’m still constantly battling the mental and emotional pieces.

So much self-doubt and fear spring up when I try to work on my business, especially since entrepreneurship is so new to me, as I had been on the structured path of doctor for so long.

But I remind myself I am capable of anything

If I was able to conquer my limiting beliefs in the loving my body realm and overcome what was such a huge challenge for me, why can’t I do that in another area?

Why can’t I learn to love my brain and my heart, with complete trust and faith that they know what to do?

I truly need to just surrender and get out of my own way.

What would you say is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your life thus far?

I’d love to hear! Please comment below or message me!

And if you’d like help with getting your butt off the couch, book a call with me anytime!

We can get you a $20 dance pad to set up DDR on your computer, or I can give you some free passes to my Zumba-style L.O.V.E. dance classes!


You got this!! I can be your biggest fan and Health/Wellness Coach! Book a call with me anytime!




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Who am I?
Hi! I'm Dr. Toni, a carTOONIst. I empower, educate and advocate for women and minorities through my art and coaching, while traveling nomadically. I help others also follow our hearts and live true to themselves, no matter what others say!
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