“I have always been active,” says Rei Tee, a Celebrity Fitness Zumba instructor. Her love affair with sports began at seven, the year she started playing badminton and basketball. When she was 13, Rei Tee picked up volleyball and was soon promoted to the school team, representing her alma mater (SMK Convent Kajang) in major tournaments.
THE ‘SITTING DISASTER’
After graduating from school, Rei Tee entered the workforce as an accountant in 2003 and was forced to switch priorities, trading daily volleyball practice sessions for long hours at her desk.
“I felt really tired and did not have the energy to exercise, but I would pamper myself with plenty of good food once I got home,” she recalls. Over time, this drastic change in Rei Tee’s lifestyle caused her to pack on 10kg. In 2011, with a height of 160cm, she weighed 70kg.
HER FITNESS FIX
Despite the alarming weight gain, Rei Tee was not compelled to make any changes to her lifestyle until September 2012 when a friend, who had just signed up with Celebrity Fitness, asked Rei Tee to join her at gym. She agreed and was soon heading regularly to Zumba classes with a group of friends. Eventually though, they dropped out of Zumba due to a lack of interest on their part and Rei Tee, who didn’t like attending classes alone, followed their lead. Soon, she stopped going to the gym altogether.
In February 2013, Rei Tee got the wake-up call she needed when at the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations, after days of feasting, she became grossly uncomfortable with her weight. She decided to jump right back into Zumba and this time, wasn’t deterred by the fact that she did not know anyone in class.
“I started attending classes four times a week, and I really love it! Zumba’s fun, simple, effective and meant for everybody,” she enthuses. To complement her new fitness routine, Rei Tee also cracked down on carbs and meat, adding more fruits and veggies to her diet while turning to non meat-based sources of protein such as eggs and protein powder.
PASSION FOR ZUMBA
Over the next three month, Rei Tee shed 14kg, slimming down to 56kg. Two months later, her love for dance and fitness led Rei Tee to pursue certification as a Zumba instructor, and in July 2014, her hard work paid off when she became a certified instructor. Since then, Rei Tee has started her very own Zumba studio and takes immense pleasure in teaching and inspiring others to pick up healthy habits. While she still maintains her routine that led to her weight loss, Rei Tee now adds Body Combat and yoga classes to the mix. “Fitness isn’t just about losing weight, but rather the fulfilment and satisfaction you get from being fit,” she says.