Femme Fatales

July 21, 2015

Women will one day rule the world. That’s the feeling I get after interviewing with inimitable sisters Leona and Andrea. Only a few years apart the Hui sisters have many similar qualities. Both run their own businesses. Both have an active background in sports and they both have achieved successes in those areas.

When we came up with the theme of Femme Fatale our interpretation of a KITTED Femme Fatale is this - Women who kick ass and make it look good. These ladies have a seductive quality about them and although they look great it has nothing to do with looks. It has all to do with their will to overcome challenges in pursuit of their interests and milestones in their lives. They invariably draw people in with their ambition and their never say die attitudes.

Have Leona and Andrea always been this passionate about their fitness and training? Not really. At one point drinking, smoking, staying out late was the norm for the sisters. Leona, would be out drinking and smoking almost everyday. Andrea too would be out enjoying the typical life of a college student, partying, eating crappy foods on top of drinking and smoking.

The turning point came about 4 to 5 years back when Leona literally took a long hard look at herself and decided that she was sick of looking so unfit, flabby and soft. Andrea, despite being an athlete in her school days, couldn’t even last 10 mins on the treadmill. It was a paradigm shift.

Fast forward to present moment and you have Leona who just won a bronze medal for boxing at our recent SEA Games. Andrea, who is now a business owner of two gyms, took part in a physique fitness contest and came 3rd in her category. The fitness competition was for the whole of Victoria, Australia. Femme Fatales indeed.

Their lifestyles are nothing like before and what I got from Leona and Andrea is this; you have to want it more than just a momentary feeling of guilt for eating too much, more than just getting beach body ready for the holiday, more than being satisfied with having an ok, skinny body. You have to go beyond the quick fix and think about what you are doing now is going to be pay off 40 years down the road.

Having that long term vision and change in mindset everything falls into place. You plan your schedule and meetings around your workouts and training.  Leona was juggling between running her events company with training for the SEA Games. Andrea’s understanding is that everyone is busy and you will never ever have time to train unless you prioritise and fit your training into your work schedule where her training time becomes non-negotiable. As long as you keep it a part of your life it will remain a part of your life. Both sisters currently train and workout between 3 to 5 times a week.

So what’s the secret? Lots of people start with the right mindset, have long term goals but they invariably fall short. What can Leona and Andrea share with us so that we too can embark on this lifelong journey of being active and keeping fit and healthy?

Having fun at what you do helps a lot. Don’t start with having big grandiose goals. Leona didn’t start her boxing training with the intention of taking part in the SEA Games. She just wanted to get into a routine and get her fitness back. Andrea didn’t expect to join a competition. She just wanted to survive a session on the treadmill. Never give up that's the answer. It’s never easy the first few times but it does get easier as you do it more often. It's like the Nike slogan, Just Do It, but you got to keep doing it and doing it.

The problem is that as a society we are impatient and want that quick fix but don’t understand that although we can’t see the change externally after one session, internally our bodies have improved. We are in a much better place after a run than we were 45 mins ago before we started. Any step you take is a step in the right direction. You just got to keep taking those steps. So at the end of the day it really is as simple as saying, don’t give up. In Singapore, particularly, women here tend to be just happy with a skinny body. That’s a concern too. How you are now doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy and in 20 years this is how you will remain. You got to work it now.

Andrea believes that we have to make a deeper connection with ourselves to stay on course. Her motivation stems from being able to feel great and this translates to her doing her job well as she motivates and inspires others to do the same.

At the moment, Leona already has a plan in place to take part in the next SEA Games while Andrea is on track to open up a third fitness studio in Australia. 

“So what’s your favourite song you listen to as you workout?” I asked as we wrapped up the interview.
Work bitch by Britney Spears,” quips Leona, “Cos it feels like she’s scolding me to work it!”
Five Finger Death Punch,” says Andrea, “It’s heavy metal and it gets me psyched for my workouts.”

Attitude indeed. Anything you want to achieve you just got to work it.

Runs in the family - Andrea and Leona with their mom who exercises daily.

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