Tell me a little about yourself and your background.
I am a 25-year-old Vietnamese-American woman. Growing up in an Asian family, it’s common to hear my family call me fat. Their theory is to make me feel so bad that I’ll lose weight. However, I kept gaining. They even hid the food from me and told me I’m not allowed to eat.
I love dancing, but it wasn’t always that way. I remember when I was younger, the only thing I loved to do was watch Asian dramas/TV series while eating delicious food. It got to a point where I was close to 200lbs in middle school. In middle school, I discovered DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), which was the start of my weight loss…
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
Like I said, I love dancing. When I dance, I feel like I can express myself however I want with my body. Also, when I dance, I feel like I’m a different person. It’s very stress relieving. And obviously to lose weight, look extra good in clothes, and show off to people that I can do it.
How long have you been into fitness?
I would say…around 17 years now. But it’s really on and off. I started losing weight because of DDR and from there I looked into other fun activities like hiking, hip-hop, ballet, and I even joined a few dance crews in college. After college, I began training at a professional dance studio where I would be dancing for at least 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week. I have moments where I slack off for a couple of months but then I would never give up and get back on track.
How did you get into fitness?
I mentioned it before, but it’s all because of DDR. And also, I lost a lot of weight during my trip to Vietnam in 2010, right after I graduated high school. I think I lost around 25-30lbs on that trip.
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
Definitely, when I start becoming more serious with dancing in college. To be able to perform at my best, I needed to have an endurance that can last a long time. Therefore, I wanted to become healthier.
How has fitness impacted your life?
My confidence increased tremendously after I lost weight. I feel healthier and more energetic. I’m not afraid to try new fashion or take lots and lots of selfie. And, I got a boyfriend who also likes to stay fit and hit the gym.
What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
I would advise you to find an activity that you love to do and excel at it. If you focus more on becoming better at an activity rather than focusing on just losing weight, you will be surprised how fast the weight sheds. Most importantly, set a goal for yourself. Eat healthy and sweat. If you don’t know how, start off easy. For example, running 20 mins a day and then increase that every week. Once you got your cardio down, maybe try some weight lifting. Take a dance class or start rocking climbing or go hiking. Always keep yourself busy and entertained. And don’t forget, it’s not a race, it’s a marathon. No one can draw a perfect circle and remember there’s always room for improvement no matter who you talk to. Good Luck!