And, we’re totally on board!
Dr. Thanuki Idangodage is a force to be reckoned with. She’s an entrepreneur, a doctor and a fitness guru all rolled into one. Talk about star power! She’s the Founder and Managing Director of Body Doc, the largest medically oriented gym in Sri Lanka.
Q/ How did your journey begin and what inspired you to become a content creator/influencer?
A/ I didn’t realise I was an influencer initially, but my journey began with the ‘Body Doc’ Fit Fam: a fitness movement to educate the public of the medical benefits of exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle. I’m a medical practitioner by profession, so it made sense to combine my career with my passion for fitness. Thus, Body Doc was formed! This is what motivated me to become an influencer.
Q/ What’s the biggest takeaway your followers can learn?
A/ The importance of physical activity and fitness in maintaining a good lifestyle is what I mainly hope that my followers learn from me. Stigmatising topics like depression and suicide are continuously increasing in Sri Lanka especially among youngsters, and exercise is a great natural anti-depressant! Working out isn’t just about looking good, losing weight or building muscles, it’s also essential to taking control over your health, wellbeing and mood. Regular exercise makes you stronger: mentally, physically and emotionally.
Q/ Juggling a personal and professional life is no easy task, how do you do it?
A/ I start my day with a workout every morning before I get to my other duties. My priorities are fitness and family. So to do what I do, you need pure passion and energy. I don’t feel like I’m working a single day because I’m doing what I love and with all my heart, which is why people think that Body Doc is an extraordinary creation.
Q/ What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced on social media so far?
A/ Due to the cultural restrictions in Sri Lanka, people have set expectations of the ideal doctor in their minds. So when I came along as not just a doctor, but also a fitness enthusiast creating content online, I’m often met with criticism. Women, men, and even my friends have said, “You’re a doctor, you’re not supposed to do this”. Their negative comments affected me initially, but I’m a non-conformist and I love being myself. I have many roles and being a doctor, although very empowering, is just one of them. Sometimes being yourself has its drawbacks, but I remind myself that I’m creating positive change not only for myself but for society, too.
Q/ What have some of the standout moments been like for you on social media?
A/ Witnessing people transforming themselves, losing weight and improving their health and, at times, even salvaging their lives because of Body Doc is the most treasured part of this journey. I also get to observe and share success stories of many to educate society in order to create a positive change.
Q/ Who inspires you and why?
A/ Oprah Winfrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Priyanka Chopra: their success was building their faith in themselves. Just like them, I believe that if you follow your passion and work hard, nothing is impossible!
Q/ Do you think you’ll expand your content to other platforms?
A/ Yes, definitely. In addition to being a doctor, I’m also a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist (American Council on Exercise) and I have a special interest in educating people on cancer prevention and controlling the illness through exercise. I’m currently working on becoming a cancer exercise specialist as well to guide more patients to improve their quality of life. I also plan to get on mainstream media and YouTube, too!
This article was originally published as “Breaking Stereotypes With Dr. Thanuki Idangodage” in the August 2019 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For more inspo, grab a copy of our latest magazine or subscribe online.
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