Utah Lee is not just your average fitness trainer – she is a creative soul at heart. Having started her career as a fashion designer, she ended up working at a gym by chance and fell in love with fitness – making it a fun and fulfilling career in her own way. Currently she wears many hats: fitness trainer, mother of two, fashion stylist – what can she not do? We caught up with Utah recently to talk fitness tips, New Year’s resolutions and fantasy jobs.
What do you love about your job?
Getting paid for yelling at and pushing people to do things that they thought they can’t do? Getting paid to train? What’s not to love?!
What got you into fitness training?
I started dancing since I was 6 years old… I wasn’t really into sports when I was in school though. But after being a fashion designer for about 6 years, I switched to work in a gym by chance. Then I was a fitness trainer since 1998.
What is your motivation to train every day?
I am very lucky with my job as a fitness trainer. I get to train while I teach. I’m that kind of trainer who moves with my clients and train with them, giving them the motivation to train harder.
If you were only allowed to pick one type pf sports/fitness activity, what would that be?
I would dance! Dancing makes me happy – it makes everybody happy. Plus, you get a boost on your cardiovascular system, muscle strength, flexibility, balance training and body coordination. Dancing is the best!
What is your average day like?
I usually wake up at 6:45am, get the kids ready for school. Then I’ll do computer stuff if I don’t have to train in the morning. I teach at lunch and after-school hours. Sometimes, I teach at night. Then I’ll have dinner with my family, or attend events sometimes. I try not to work on Sundays though!
What is your New Year’s resolution?
Spend more time with my family and inspire more people to live healthy and happy lifestyles.
Do you have a special diet or health tip (apart from fitness) you can share?
I never ask my clients to be on diet and I never get on a diet. I believe a balanced diet is what everybody needs. Meaning: eat ‘relatively’ healthy and in moderation. It’s okay to eat junk food once in a while; it’s OK to drink wine and it’s absolutely okay to eat chips, just in moderation.
A lot of people forget mental health. Spend some time on doing mindfulness (mediation) each day would help clear and reset your mind. And don’t forget to find time to reflect – being grateful and nice to people would benefit your mind and wellbeing.
Hong Kong seems a little behind fitness-wise and has a bigger emphasis on being skinny, what are your views on that?
Sports and training are not in our culture for sure. But in the last 4/5 years, the number of people joining fitness training and running is definitely increasing. Being skinny doesn’t equate being healthy – we need to train to be active and healthy for ourselves and for our families.
What super power would you like to have?
I would like to feel no pain, be super strong and move very fast so I can help people in danger. Like Superman or Spiderman.
Who are your favourite fashion designer, fashion brand and why?
I really like Alessandro Michele for Gucci. I love the vintage glamour, sequins and jewels.
If you were not doing what you do now, what would be your ultimate ‘fantasy job’?
I am a creative person and I used to design clothes and fashion jewellery – I would really love to pick it up again! I’m interested in anything creative!
What is your favourite quote of all times?
‘Try before you say no’ – in reference to fitness training. People shut down doing exercise/training before they even try.
Jacket: Utah’s own
Describe your personality in 3 words.
Artistic, loyal, emotionally strong.
Which female icon do you most admire and why?
I love J.Lo because she is clear that she is her own boss. She acts, sings, dances… She is a total superwoman!