Glasgow-based fitness instructor Ceza Ouzounian explains the importance of health and wellbeing, and how fitness and sport have helped her mental wellbeing.
“I’m a fitness and energy coach,” Ceza explains, “so I work in health and fitness which I do in two ways so the fitness side which is Pilates and Burlexercise, I teach classes. Then I do something called energy alignment method mentoring, which I’m aiming towards confidence mentoring especially for women – body confidence, feeling good, feeling like your true self without having to hide who you are from the world.”
“The energy alignment method is mentoring. You use kinesthesiology so you’re getting answers from the subconscious rather than the conscious mind.” Ceza goes on to explain how energy alignment, and a change in perspective can be beneficial to your health and wellbeing:
“So with fitness goals you can identify what’s stopping you, because you might set yourself a goal but you keep failing. So it might be that in the back of your mind you keep telling yourself that you’ll never be fit, so if that’s going around in your subconscious you’re never going to achieve your fitness goal because you’re gonna sabotage it somehow.”
Ceza’s work also includes a focus on empowering women and improving their confidence. “The confidence thing is, well I went to an all-girls school, so you grow up with every girl feeling crappy about her body, and a lot of my friends were either on diets or we weren’t happy. We were teenagers we shouldn’t be giving a crap, so there’s that aspect.
When I’m teaching Pilates because I used to teach a men’s only class and usually the classes are mostly women, you just see the different dynamic of the way they think. With women there’s a lot of ‘oh I can’t do that’ or ‘I’m not sure I can kind of thing’ even though they can do it. Whereas with the men they moan they don’t wanna do it because it’s hard but there’s never that ‘oh I can’t do it’ kind of mentality so that’s part of the confidence thing.
I guess in the world we live in at the moment as women we’re growing up being told how our bodies need to look and how we need to behave and you know what’s right, what’s wrong. There’s a lot of contradictory information, and I basically would like to help get rid of that. Obviously I can’t help the whole world but I want women to feel good in their body no matter what stage their at, because if you don’t accept it for what it is, it’s not gonna change.”
Her fitness journey has taken Ceza many places and lead her to take on many different challenges, including a 2.5KM swim-a-thon. But now Ceza is taking on an even bigger challenge: 5.8KM open water swim along Loch Lubnaig.
“I wanted to do the 5K because it’s a bigger challenge and then I thought well I’m in Scotland, there’s lots of lochs around, and so I thought about doing an open water swim. Then I met, at a networking event, someone whose company ran open water swims, and I thought this is clearly a sign from the universe that’s what I should do.”
After signing up came the difficult decision of picking a charity to fundraise for, and that’s where Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) came in:
“Once I signed up I was like okay let me find a charity. I met Emma (SSF Development Manager) and Angela (SSF Finance Manager) and I like the sound of what you guys do because I think sports is so important, especially for kids as they’re growing up, a community of friends, and you know feeling good in your body and getting moving so that’s why I chose SSF.”
She also explains what she’s doing to prepare for the challenge:
“Basically I’m swimming and doing other exercises to improve my core, I have a shoulder injury from when I used to do aerial hoop so it felt like it over stretched so I’m just strengthening it. And because I teach Burlexercise I do a lot of cardio exercise as well, oh and then I’m eating properly as well, otherwise I feel dead!”
“This is my first open water swim, but at least when you’re with other people you’ve got that extra push to keep going.”
To support Ceza in her first ever open water swim, head over to her Just Giving page
For more information on Ceza’s work check out her website ceza.co.uk