FITNESS

Weekender

THE sale of apparel and hair and beauty services for women is flooding Facebook.
The eruption of SMEs on PNG’s most popular social media platform has grown to a point where you cannot miss a post that entices you to buy something.
But recently there has been a rise in catering and fitness training services as SMEs identify the need for not only traditional and contemporary PNG styled dishes, but also to keep fit and stay healthy.
One SME owner who specialises in fitness and catering is Cecilia Kanawi. She has utilised Facebook by targeting females who want to live a holistic healthy lifestyle.
With her savvy business skills she combines her Break a Sweat Fitness and QBee Catering services to meet the demands of her female cliental.
Kanawi says she is inspired to help other women as she knows what it is like to be unfit and unhealthy both mentally and physically.
“I started Break a Sweat Fitness because I knew exactly how it felt as a Papua New Guinean woman and a mum, to walk into a public gym and feel self-conscious of my body. As you enter the gym you start wondering if your t-shirt is long enough, if your sports leggings aren’t too tight, and you know all the perfect bodied people will be there,” said the 34-year-old single mother.
“Another factor that women also face at the gym is the lack of knowledge on how to operate the machines and equipment. You can have gym attendees present but unless they approach you in a manner you feel comfortable with, would you even ask or admit to needing assistance? For me it took forever to rid that mindset. But I give credit where it is due – to another woman trainer who helped me through that gym fright stage,” said Cecilia.
Being a certified trainer and a traditional cuisine caterer, Cecilia prefers to be referred to as a motivator.
“My small team and I are women who just love to motivate collectively and challenge other women to push on through. We make fitness fun but while some stretches and workout put the body in positions that seem taboo for a Papua New Guinean woman to do, we find humour in them, and encourage the participants to do it correctly with zero body shame as it is beneficial for them. My other business, Qbee Catering is focused on traditional cuisine and has worked well for Break a Sweat as we often do healthy meal preparations for the working class women who have little to no time to prepare healthy meals for themselves.”
Cecilia sought motivation from her late mother Josepha Kanawi who was passionate about women empowerment when it came to gender equality.
“I would define women empowerment as boosting another sister’s confidence, collaborating, supporting and encouraging them. I am a liberal feminist and I always use the phrase “motivate me to motivate you” with my Break a Sweat divas. To me there is nothing more satisfying than seeing women from different walks of life come together, throw their stresses aside to ‘break a sweat’. We offer nothing but good vibes. I feel that if I can connect you to another woman of influence when you come break a sweat, my job is done,” said Cecilia.
Although having two successful businesses, Cecilia still desires to complete law school and to follow in her late mother’s footsteps.
“In 10 years’ time I still see myself being an entrepreneur mum, a motivator and still reading law,” said the ambitious millennial.

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