Hiding behind a mask

I don’t like wearing masks.

No, not the masks that we’ve got to wear because of the pandemic (Although I hate them too, they are only there for our safety! So please wear one!) A mask that we can hide behind because in our heads the real us isn’t good enough or we are too self-conscious or shy to open up to people. Everyone has insecurities and I think its more common than we think that we put on a strong, happy and confident face when in reality a lot of us aren’t as positive as we seem.

The mask I used to put on was someone who is ALWAYS really confident and happy with themselves. Someone that was happy with their life and the decisions she was making when in reality I’ve never had a clue about what I’m doing with my life. I just take things as they come and go with the flow I guess. I was someone who was visually “happy” with what was happening around her and would go along and agree with it regardless of how she truly felt about it. She would just smile and let people walk all over her and act like she was okay with it. When inside she was screaming at herself to say something different.

I am trying to become more authentic, more real and open with my feelings and emotions to people around me who i wouldn’t usually. I am a lot more confident now than I was a year ago! Or even 6 months ago! A combination of removing people out of my life who were bringing nothing but negativity tinto it, being able to notice when someone isnt good for me and bringing more positivity into my life with my actions, the people surrounding me and the way i think about myself. I am more confident in the peorson ive become i am happier i am more open and i am trusting (which although with all the negativity people have put onto me i still am which is a good thing). I just know when people are only doing so for personal gain.

On social media such as Instagram I come across as someone really confident in their body and more recently that is the case but before I doubted myself with every post like and comment I relied on peoples opinions and what other people thought of me rather than doing it for myself. I became super obsessed with the number of likes I got on my posts. This mindset is super unhealthy and often causes a lot of issues in someones mental health and how they perceive different things. It’s like an obsession. You can’t see past it and focus on anything but the performance of your social media and what people think of you.

Having a mask isn’t always a bad thing… Being able to hide behind it every now and again has been actually very helpful at certain rough points in my life and it isn’t bad, depending on the situation of course. Sometimes keeping quiet and going along with things is the easiest route and sometimes doing so has helped me through a lot of things. It also has helped me to get to where I am today. When I began snowboarding I wasn’t the biggest fan I wasn’t picking it up quickly enough and I was frustrated but I used to just smile and go along to my lessons and just nod to get through it and look where I am now! In these situations I think as long as you aren’t getting pushed to the side, ignored, disrespected or mistreated then it can be okay.

Smiling to get through a rough day is alright. We all have moments where you just think if one more person asks if your okay you might cry. During these moments as long as you can let these strong emotions out at a later time then just holding back for the benefit of others or yourself can be good. But you have to have the ability to come to terms with how you are feeling rather than pushing it to the back of your mind to slowly build-up

You should NEVER be forced into anything. If you really believe something or think something should be different or you disagree don’t feel afraid to speak out! Being the rebel in the room isn’t always bad (again depending on the situation). Speaking your mind, your thoughts and feelings is a sign that you are growing as a person, and that you are confident enough to speak out loud. Be confident, Be strong, Speak your version of the truth. Cause minimal offence and be polite of course but be honest.

Use your masks wisely and properly.

When you are trying to figure if using this ability is good or not think about this.

“when you are saying ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself” – Paulo Coelho

Put yourself first. Look after your body and mind.

Stay strong

Cerys Allen

XOX

Explaining yourself

I had a conversation (a short one) with a guy who had found me online and wanted to take me out and recently I’ve been unsure of what I want out of a relationship and if I even want one at all right now.

I have always been a relationship person since I was 13 I think I have been in and out of relationships with boys. I have never really given myself a break to look after myself. During my last break up, I was on a total low in terms of confidence in myself. I had felt so underappreciated for so long I just needed time to work on that. Since then I have felt like, even though I have had attention from men online constantly asking to take me out every single day, something has been missing. And I think that is self-love and self-appreciation. I have to learn to love myself and fully appreciate myself before I can let anyone in again.

So back to this conversation this guy has been asking me out every day for a week and we haven’t met before and haven’t messaged a lot. I’d maybe reply every now and again because I wasn’t really interested but I’m too nice to just ignore people which is my first flaw. The other day we got into a small chat conversation again before he turns around and asks “do you think I can take you out for a drink some time”. Nothing wrong with asking good on him for doing so, but the conversation that followed was what made me mad. I told him I was unsure of what I wanted at this moment in time and that I didn’t particularly want a relationship or to date. He asked what I was looking for I told him “as cringey as it sounds I want to love myself first before I get into another relationship” (honestly I have had this exact conversation at least 4 or 5 times at this point and I was fully sick of explaining my story and why I am how I am). He proceeded to ask if I wanted something casual or just a f**k buddy.

What is it with people thinking that this is what I want just because I say that I don’t want a relationship. Honestly, I get asked things like this every single day and it’s pretty gross to take from the idea that I want to love myself to that I just want easy sex makes me sick.

At this point, I think I sort of just lost my cool and had a go at him. But he just couldn’t take no for an answer. Every conversation I have like this no-one seems to think that me saying ‘no I don’t want to’ is enough and they seem to think that they can change my mind. I told him I wanted something real and genuine and that happens naturally because I’m so sick of meeting people online and it not going how I want it to.

HE STILL COULDNT TAKE A HINT!

My only response to this was “take some advice when a girl says no, she means no, she hasn’t got to explain herself to you” in reply I got the big old middle finger and a quick unfriending.

I have gotten to a point so many times now where I’ve already said no at least 3 times and they are still asking questions trying to make me explain why I don’t want to do something.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN YOURSELF TO ANYBODY!

No means no and that is where it should end!

Telling someone your entire life story as to why you have come to the conclusion that you don’t want to go to someone’s place or you don’t want to go for a drink or that your not ready for a relationship at this point in your life should not be necessary. If anything it just puts you off of them 100 times more than if they had just taken the first 6 hints you had given them leading up to this point.

I have a conversation along these lines with random people every single week. I feel flattered yes that you want to take me out but at the same time, you HAVE to know where the line is drawn. When she says no just accept it because honestly your just letting yourself down.

I have come to the point where I’m just ignoring most messages that start with do you want to meet up to try to avoid having this conversation over and over with people. But I’m far too nice of a person sometimes so I often either leave people on read unfortunately which brings up a whole new discussion, or have a really short conversation just to end it.

Don’t feel like you have to satisfy everyone. I have only very recently started doing that. because it’s such a draining thing to do every single day trying to make every single person I speak to happy. It is a task and a half and its not really possible. The majority would only be satisfied when I’m either sat across a table from them getting drunk or naked in their bed.

Neither of which are going to happen so why am I wasting the energy?!

Other peoples comments and concerns do not matter you’ve got to do what’s best for you and if that is time for yourself you shouldn’t feel like you aren’t allowed to take it just because one person feels like you shouldn’t.

You are the main character in your story without you there is no story to be told so focus on yourself every now and again.

Stay strong

Cerys

XOX

Getting into freestyle and snowboarding competitions!

(Please enjoy these pictures through the years of my competing by the way!)

I have competed in freestyle snowboarding events since I was 10. just a year after I took my first lessons I was onto the stage of competing. My parents have always been the reason behind my competitiveness since I came onto the scene I am so competitive and I have so much drive to succeed in things. I know that going into your first competitions can be super intimidating. But I promise when you start you will fall In love just like I did.

Firstly you need to find which discipline you want to get into. There are 4 kinds of snowboard competition freestyle events like big air and Slopestyle or others like boardercross and halfpipe. If you live in the UK as I do there’s definitely no halfpipes here so its a less likely option for you unless you are willing to move or travel a lot to train. There are however lots of freestyle facilities available to us. Most domes and snowsports facilities have designated evenings on which you can go and all of their freestyle equipment is out for you to use. Some places also offer boardercross training but you would have to look into this more as it is not that common.

I chose freestyle when I was younger as it was easily accessible and I naturally seemed to be drawn to the freestyle side of things. This post is written from my personal experiences so is focused on freestyle but can be applied elsewhere. As soon as I finished my lessons learning how to snowboard I pretty much went straight into freestyle. I joined a kids club at my local dome called the breakfast club which introduced me into freestyle. So this would be my step one. Find yourself a club or take lessons to introduce you into freestyle most facilities have freestyle nights and have freestyle coaches available for you to use. You can also go to outside companies after I joined breakfast club a lot of my friends were going to more training sessions with outsider camps which I quickly joined onto as I got better. Definition freestyle camps were my first sponsor and I have worked with them for years and now sometimes take lessons for them which is really cool.

Once you have been introduced into freestyle it’s basically just confidence building you have to keep going back to sessions to build your trick list and your knowledge.

Freestyle isn’t just for kids! you can get involved at any age and still be rad at it! I know so many older shredders who are truly badass at what they do!

My teaching list for beginners is to start on the flat actually we would go over lots of ‘flatland’ tricks such as ollies, pops, nollies, spins and all sorts this gives you more edge control and prepares you for later on. Your flat land tricks are where everything else grows from. You also want to be super confident in riding switch. If you learn to spin a 180 for example at some point you’re going to be going the opposite way than you are used to so just make sure you are comfortable and confident in riding that way all the way down the slope.

Your first features would probably be boxes starting with 50-50s which is just going straight over. I teach them to do this on different shapes of boxes some are flat some are curved some are round pipes etc. This allows you to feel what it’s like to be on a variety of different surfaces and so you know how to adapt your riding to suit the shape of the feature. Next up would be tail presses and nose presses so you can begin shifting your weight backwards and forwards over your nose and tail this is your first proper trick! (yay!) it helps you find your balance point and helps you to gain confidence with movement over your board. Finally, I would usually teach people how to boardslide so starting to go sideways on the boxes. This tends to be where a lot of the falls start happening because without the right technique being taught it can go wrong (but I guess that’s the same for everything in snowboarding) I’m not going to go into a full lesson right now on how to do everything but this is the list of basics.

After boxes I would move onto jumps or kickers is the proper snowboarding term. Similarly with the boxes from before I would start with teaching people to pop (with the correct techniques) and just going straight over. You are going to be leaving the ground now so it’s a little intimidating. But with proper support and help its something you can quickly get used to. Next would be a variety of grabs you can do in the air continuing onto spins.

Every trick that you learn in freestyle is a stepping stone that will help you later on in your journey so you want to make sure you are getting every single trick in your bag before moving on else it can cause problems sooner than you would want. You want to walk before you run so be sure to complete every step before you move on. For example, make sure you are comfortable and confident doing 180s before moving on to 360s.

There is not really a correct time to start competing its more about your confidence. So once you feel like you have a solid array of tricks and are confident hitting a variety of features it is probably time. You want to make sure you are able to hit lots of different features as not every contest you go to will have the box you like or one size jump there is likely to be a wide variety for all different levels from beginner to advanced.

Something you want to make sure you are able to do is be able to come up with lines down the course so if there is a box and then a jump you want to be able to hit the box and then the jump so you aren’t wasting runs. Also if you come off a feature switch (or backwards) you have to be able to ride into the next feature that direction so this is where your switch riding comes in handy! Judges will take points away from your score if you “revert” or change direction from riding switch to normal or normal to switch! Come up with some combinations of tricks you can string together in a run (particularly if you do slopestyle events).

Although your first contest will obviously be the scariest, it’s the same as going over a box or a jump for the first time. It gets easier the more you do it. I always travelled everywhere with my dad. We spent sooooo much time in the car together travelling all over Europe taking me to different contests every weekend. Definitely go with someone you know as its an intimidating environment at first but once you realise everyone is super friendly and welcoming you’ll love it!

There are so many competitions around the UK that you can go to I would look at any sort of jam session will do perfectly, to be honest, this helps you feel the vibe of competition atmosphere and doesn’t put too much pressure on you PLUS at most jam sessions they throw out free prizes for doing great tricks so make sure you’re pulling every trick you can do! The atmosphere at competitions changes with the seriousness Jam sessions and small contests such as Farmer’s jam, Air attack, and K jam are all very chilled out contests everyone there is looking to enjoy themselves and just have a good time!

As you get more serious events such as the English championships, Scottish championships, and the Brits both indoors and on-mountain, these tend to be a little more serious they are much more formatted like a proper competition and a lot of higher-level athletes go here to defend or win titles. However, this is skiing and snowboarding at the end of the day and everyone wants to have fun at the same time. Like I said before, go with a friend or a group of people who are at a similar level as you or who have experience and know-how these things go but at the same time BE SOCIAL! Everyone at these events is super friendly and welcoming and if you have questions don’t be afraid to ask the organizers or other competitors. The UK snow scene is basically one massive family and when you travel around for contests more and more you meet people from all over the country so you can have shred buddies no matter where in the country you are!

Once you start going regularly to contests and start getting on the podium more often you can even get noticed by sponsors! Make sure you are constantly promoting online your wins and what brands you are using and promote brands that you find which you love! Eventually, you can pick up sponsors who will help you out!

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is just to have fun! That’s what snowboarding is about! Don’t worry about where you finish or winning or getting sponsors it’s all about gaining experience and making friends and being a better snowboarder! You will learn so so much from competing from ideas of tricks.

You will never know your full potential until you take that first step so get out on your board as much as possible enjoy it and once you feel ready just take a leap! It’s not about winning it’s about taking part as cringey as that is. You will gain experience, friends and free stuff along the way!

What is your favourite thing about snowboarding? Comment below!

Stay strong

Cerys

XOX

Things instructors want to know if you want to learn to snowboard

Looking at taking that first step into the snowboarding world? It’s daunting! What equipment do I need? What clothing should I wear? Where should I go to learn? Will it hurt when a fall? (short answer, probably yes). I’ve come up with a few things to help you come fully prepared for your first lesson!

THE NUMBER 1 THING I CAN RECOMMEND TO YOU IS TO TAKE ACTUAL LESSONS! So many people get their friends to teach them or they try and learn on their own and trust me this will only result in either 1. You’re most likely to get injured 2. You will develop really bad techniques that will hinder you in the future or 3. you not enjoying yourself. It doesn’t take a lot to take your first few lessons with an instructor they will make sure you are learning safety and give you all the correct techniques so that later on you won’t be struggling so much!

Also when you do take lessons make sure you arrive on time! It sounds like we’re at school again and no you won’t get detention but there is nothing worse than having to wait around for ages because YOU are running late! Lessons are short an hour or 2 usually and we don’t want to spend 15 minutes at the start stood waiting because you aren’t on time. Get to the venue AT LEAST an hour early if not MORE to allow yourself time to get through rentals which can get super confusing and chaotic, get your lift passes etc. and have time to talk to your instructor when they arrive to prepare you so once you get on the slope you are 100% ready and focused! This helps not only us be less stressed about the number of clients, our lesson planning and our focus. It allows you and the rest of your group maximal time on your snowboards which you will definitely want!

Where should I learn?

If you are like me living in the U.K. your first thought Is probably that you have to fly to a European resort to learn to snowboard which definitely isn’t the case! although we don’t have mountains we do have facilities across the country where you can get your fix of the snow! Firstly there are the original, dry slopes, honestly, people who learn to snowboard on this stuff can pretty much ride just about anything. The easiest way to explain what ‘dry slope’ is that it’s pretty similar to astroturf. its made of plastic on top and metal underneath to hold it all together when it gets wet from sprinklers it can run quite quickly! there are various different types of dry slope too, there’s Dendix which is the ‘OG’ its diamond-shaped and it runs quite fast compared to the others however when you fall make sure you tuck in as the most common injury is snapped thumbs from people falling with their arms out as a natural reflex and them getting caught in the gaps (ouch right?). Then there is snow flex and permasnow which are super similar to astroturf, they are large squares of the matting with no gaps so no broken thumbs, it’s soft and usually has some sort of foam underneath to help cushion your fall slightly (definitely does not stop the pain, however). Then there’s Pro-slope which is probably my favourite out of the lot. It’s almost a combination of Dendix and snow flex, its diamond exterior shape keeps it fast however they are also filled in so it’s not quite as daunting and injury-prone. We do also have indoor facilities! They have real snow that you can enjoy and they give you a much more realistic experience to a mountain than dry slope. However, nothing beats the real mountains!

What should i wear?

NOT JEANS, TRACKSUIT PANTS OR ANYTHING THAT WILL JUST ABSORB WATER! As obvious as it sounds have seen so many people show up to lessons in inappropriate clothing and end up freezing cold, soaking wet and not very happy. My advice is to either invest in or use the rentals available. Waterproof trousers, Waterproof jacket, Gloves, A helmet are all essential in my mind for clothing If you are learning on a mountain get some goggles if you don’t want to be blind after 20 minutes. Think layers; thermals, mid-layer and then outer layer if you get too hot then you can always take layers off, it’s much harder to magic them out of thin air when you are cold. If you are looking to buy your own clothing make sure it’s going to last it’s worth spending more on something that will last you a long time the something that’s going to just fall apart after a few lessons. Also, you only need one pair of socks don’t layer upon the feet as it takes away your sensitivity to control the board and makes your boots really uncomfortable. I suggest going into a snowsports shop and asking for some help because they will be able to point you in the right direction.

What equipment do I need?

If you are taking your first lesson I suggest using the rental equipment they have for hire. I’ve had so many people come to lessons with either the newest high tech snowboard or something their parents owned before they were even born. Technology changes over time and it is worth keeping up to date once you know how to control your board. Some snowboards are made for specific parts of the mountain, like the park or powder or racing and showing up to your first lesson with a swallowtail powder board isn’t going to help you fall in love with the sport. Most hire boards are designed to be simple they have enough technology to keep you upright but not so much that you’ll be out of control the moment you start moving.

What will I learn in my first lesson?

How to snowboard I hope? You’ll always start on the flat and learn all of the basics, the parts of your snowboard, how to attach yourself to it, basically everything you need to know before you even get onto the slope. The first time you strap in your lesson will be based around gaining control of your speed, the main thing is you want to know how to stop. Anyone can just throw themselves down a hill on a snowboard but unless you know how to stop you’ll probably end up getting hurt or worse hurting someone else. Your instructor will help guide you all the way up to being able to turn down the hill. everyone learns at different paces, some people pick it up super quickly and easily, some people take a few more lessons before they are comfortable.

How else can I prepare?

Exercise! get your fitness levels up before your first lesson as you will be way way way more tired than you would expect. You will be using muscles you didn’t even know you had. I will be posting a few exercises that I recommend doing leading up to your lessons which will make it a whole lot easier! Plus it’s not just in your legs you end up using your core and your arms more than you would expect! so make sure your fit and strong all over your body. As an instructor, we spend a lot of time just running up and down the hill helping people to get back up so having core and arm strength and balance will definitely not only help you out but will help us out too!

At the end of the day, snowboarding is a lot of fun! Learning can be stressful if you don’t pick it up straight away but its all personal progression so try not to compare yourself to the other people in your lessons. You can always book private lessons if you want more 1 on 1 time with an instructor to help you progress quicker. Try to be patient with us instructors too especially if you are part of a larger group because there is a lot going on and we have to help everybody out individually. Pretty much the only way to get good at snowboarding or at anything really is to just keep doing it you have to keep going back and learning more and every time you go you will progress just a little bit more. As your muscles build and develop and your muscle memory improves and you will be able to do things much easier!

Just be patient, listen to your instructor because they do know what they are on about, and enjoy yourself! You are learning something new and these lessons will allow you to have a skill you can use for life!

Before you know it you’ll be on the big slopes in no time!

When was/is your first lesson?

Let me know how it goes!

Stay strong

Cerys

XOX

Women in male dominant sports and fitness

Gender equality in sports has always been a controversial topic. Even the founder of the modern day Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, in 1896 said, “No matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks.”

In America 40% of sports people are women but only 8% of sports media coverage is dedicated to them. In the 4 major US newspapers only 3.5% of sports stories are women-only. Male athletes receive $179 million more in athletic scholarships each year than females do. Colleges only spend 24% of their athletic operating budgets, 16% of recruiting budgets and 33% of scholarship budgets on female athletes and sports.

A common argument behind this is that womens sports are just not “interesting enough”. And although the popularity of women’s sports has continued to grow and expand over the years, the medias coverage and sports funding haven’t followed through and gender equality continues to be an issue.

I’ve always been an active kid. Before I began snowboarding I was a horserider, a gymnast and a swimmer and was always trying new sports at school. When you are younger through it’s considerd normal, everyone did a variety of sports. I could do whatever I wanted and I could play games with everyone and noone would think twice.

But when I got into snowboarding things were different. Snowboarding is and always has been a male dominant sport. As the years have gone on all of the girls I learned to ride with when I was 11, 12, 13 don’t do it anymore, they all moved onto different things in life. This is totally fine and it’s your life do whatever you want, but sometimes it feels like its just me, the men and a bunch of kids. I do love riding with the kids they can be such an inspiration and seeing the stoke on their face when they land a trick they have been learning for the fist time, or when they win their first medal or prize at a contest it brings back so many memories of when i was learning and i love to think i can be a part of their journey of learning something new. I am always helping them to improve and hopefully helping to inspire them to keep pushing and working hard to get to the goals they want to. I want them all to have fun but there is definitely a divide between the genders.

In my experience there has always been 2 groups. It’s the boys and then the girls and I often hated riding with the guys when i was away on training camps when I was younger because they didn’t like that. They got frustrated becasue they ‘HAD’ to ride with a girl and they ‘HAD’ to hang out with me. But its just how It was, once the rest of the girls stopped coming, I was the only girl riding at my level and for a lot of my competitive career which meant I had to spend a lot of time on my own. I was always travelling alone, I was always the only girl and not only that I was the only English girl a lot of the time. I couldn’t ride with the guys because usually just took the piss and a lot of the girls either weren’t at the same level as me or i didnt get on with so it held me back a lot.

During smaller competitions in the UK I often entered the mens contests as the feild was always a lot bigger and the standard of riding was more difficult. It has always pushed me to ride amongst the other guys who would let me because they were often better than me. Being able to keep up with them always shocked them because “she’s a girl” and I always loved proving people wrong.

I think the reason why I love teaching now so much is because I can help people feel less like i did, alone, afraid, like they are being constantly judged and help then to just enjoy their time spent on snow. They never have to worry about being the best like i did they always just come along looking to enjoy themselves and improve their own riding where there is no pressure. I want to create environments during my lessons where people can learn at their own pace and dont feel as if they are holding everyone else in the lesson back or that they are not good enough to be in that lesson. I often have women who show up to a lesson and are apologetic that they wont pick it up as fast as the men which is almost always not the case! What tends to happen is the men throw themselves into it too fast and end up crashing all ove the place or if they do get it its was the worst posture imaginable meaning they will be on the learner hill for a while, the women on the other hand listen more closely and begin more cautiously but once htey get the feel for it they pick it up fast!

Coming away from snowboarding i’m a “gym bunny” I love the feeling of making progress on my body and I spend a lot of time in the weight sections of the gym rather than on the cardio equpiment where people often expect women to be. I often get a LOT of funny looks from men but I don’t usually care or notice as i have my headphones in and i’m way too in the zone.

Whilst dating i’ve had a lot of comments from men saying that “it’s really cool that a girl could be into that kind of thing”. I’ve had a lot of negative comments also however saying that “women shouldn’t be lifting heavy weights because its not “lady like” and I will get too bulky and muscly!” That annoys me. If I want to be massive get a 12 pack and be bigger than half the guys int he gym I will! It should be none of your concern what i want to do with my body and my inner strength (it’s safe to say that that conversation didn’t last very long). I have also been chatted up countless times by males at the gym, or by men that see i go to the gym on social media and they try to turn what i am aiming to do into something else. I go to the gym because i consider it to be an inspiring space, I am improving myself on the outside to help fall in love with how i am on the inside. They change that into that i am ‘begging’ for attention and only doing it to improve my ass so im better in bed for male pleasure. Which is far from the case and it makes me physically sick that people can think that.

I like to think that peoples comments don’t get into my head but they often do.

It is having the ability to block out these comments being thrown at you are realising that as long as what you are doing is something that you genuinely enjoy and love. It is noone elses issue it doesn’t really matter what anyone else says or thinks.

I am happy and enjoying myself and i will continue to inspire other women to persue their passions in whatever feild they aspire to be a part of because they deserve to feel valued and feel like they are making a difference in the world. You as a woman are more than amazing and capable enough to do what you want and once you set your mind to something you must keep powering forward and reminding yourself of why you do this.

If I ever was to have a daughter I would encourage her to try out a wide variety of sports as a kid and if she every decided she wanted to get serious about one of them that she would have the exact same opportunities as her male counterparts. I hope that eventually there will be no gender gap in terms of funding, and opportunities and that women will stop being sexualised for doing something they love.

I know this is a long read but I hope that it brings some more light to the situation.

Just remember…

you are special, you are capable and you are worthy of so much more.

Stay strong

Cerys

XOX

10 Instagram profiles you should be following

Instagram and social media is such a massive part of our lives now! Everything seems to revolve around it and it’s an incredible way to connect with people we wouldn’t usually. Whether what brings you together and connects you is your cultural differences or your similarities in your interests it’s an incredible space for us to all share. I want to share some positivity to all of your feeds so here are some of my favourite profiles that I think you should be scrolling through right now.

The Female Lead

Ahh, gender equality. It really shouldn’t be but it is still an issue to this day. This page is for anyone who believes in the equality of the sexes. I wish that every little girl could scroll through this page so they can see exactly what they are capable of doing with their lives and the incredible community that has been built around females. They will introduce you to some of the most inspiring women to ever live and make you want to make a difference in the world.

Chnge

Just a page highlighting the honest truth on how messed up the world can be sometimes and how we NEED to make a change to what is happening right now in front of us. They are also raising money to help support the #BLM movement.

View this post on Instagram

Speaks for itself. via @jojo_green7

A post shared by CHNGE ™ (@chnge) on

Why don’t we discuss

This page works on highlighting taboo topics some of which I didn’t even know existed! Some people dislike talking about these kinds of subjects usually because they are either under-informed or find it to be a “touchy subject”. This page is a full-on reality check, they bring up topics that really do need more attention because they are important.

Educate yourself!

Good news movement

If you want to add some positivity to your feed and if you want something to smile about then this page is for you. Sharing some of the most wonderful positive stories and posts from around the world. With all the negativity that exists, I think everyone can do with a little bit of good news in their lives.

Aidan the Wizard

Aidan has one of the most genuine and lovely souls I have ever come across. He Is full of wisdom and wise words and every time I speak to him he has something positive to say and knows exactly how to change my perspective on just about anything into something I can go away with, think about, and come out of it a better person. Behind the scenes, he is incredibly hard-working, alongside the work he puts into his job he is constantly putting work into improving his mindset to help improve his lifestyle and the lives of the people around him. He is a massive inspiration to me and I hope that everyone could just be a little like him so the world could be a better place. Also, HE’S A FRICKING WIZARD! He has an amazing presence while performing so if you ever get an opportunity to see him on stage take it with both hands. If that’s not convincing enough, he’s got some HUGE projects in the works so stay tuned!

Guusje van Geel

This girl right here is my fitness inspiration! Just look at her first of all she looks amazing her aesthetics are incredible! She also posts some really good workouts on her page that you should totally try out! Every time I see this girl pop up on my feed it makes me want to go to the gym and workout till I can’t move the next day (it’s a love-hate feeling really if you know how it feels you know what I mean). But seriously if you need some fitness motivation just take a look at this girl!

You look like a man

This page is trying to battle the comments that women who lift weights receive. I am going to write a post about women in male-dominant sports going into this much further as it is something i’m passionate about. This page just highlights and humiliates the stupidity of some people trying to stereotype women for doing what they love.

Jerry of the day

If you snowboard or ski you’ve probably heard the term “jerry” being thrown around and this page just about sums it up. It is all of the cringe worthey pain moments your heart could desire and every time I see a new video you can’t help but watch. Just don’t try this at home okay.

Doughnut Time

Hungry? well if you weren’t you will be after seeing this page! Some of the yummiest snacks around! if you like aesthetics and satisfying food pages just take a look and try not to drool!

Kuma Samoyed

Who doesn’t like cute puppy pictures and videos?! Well if you don’t then we’re gonna have an issue. But if you love them as much as I do this page is for you! Funny, cute and sweet puppies pictures and videos! Nothing much more to add!

(Someone get me a samoyed please!)

There’s a combination between serious and light-hearted pages here but I hope there’s something for just about everyone on this list!

Stay strong

Cerys

XOX

Follow me on instagram too! @cerys.allen

12 self love quotes you should hear at least once!

How many hours have you spent laying in bed or staring in the mirror thinking to yourself “I will never be good enough” or “I hate myself” or “I wish i was different”.

Self love is never easy its a journey we are all on every single day. You will have your low days where you “underachieve” and therefore hate yourself for it. It happens to everyone at some point.

Here are 12 self love quotes that will hopefully inspire you to pick yourself up again and keep moving forwards on your path!

(All of the photos behind the quotes are taken by me on my many travels around the globe! I hope you like them!)

Check out my Instagram for more pictures!

https://www.instagram.com/cerys.allen/

You yourself, as much as anyone else in the entire universe, deserve love and affection – Buddha

Be proud of who you are, and not ashamed of how someone else sees you – Unknown

Real beauty isn’t about symmetry, weight or makeup: it’s about looking life right in the face and seeing all it’s magnificence reflected in your own -Valerie Monroe

Did you know that butterflies are colourblind? They will never see how beautiful they are in everyone else’s eyes.

Growth begins when we start to accept our own weaknesses – Jean Vanier

A flower does not think about competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms – Zen Shin

Making yourself a priority once in a while is not selfish. It’s necessary

If you are searching for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror

You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticise yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away. – C JoyBell C.

When we give ourselves compassion, we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives – Kristin Neff

I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don’t have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else? – Shailene Woodley

Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her. – Lao Tzu

Loving yourself is such a major thing in our lives having the ability to not only love how we are on the outside but truly loving and accepting ourself for who we are as a person is essential for our health and well being. Keep making steps, keep moving forwards. I beleive in you.

What are your favourite self love quotes? I’d love to hear them!

Stay strong

Cerys XOX

How to motivate yourself

I am awful at motivating myself, to be honest, I could quite easily sit on my butt all day look at the time its 9pm and I haven’t done anything all day. I am always looking for someone else to motivate me and to get me to do something when in reality the only person who will ever help you get anything done, is yourself. You have to be the one to get yourself up in the morning, go to work, work out, get today’s tasks over and done with. I have written below just a few things I do that help me get motivated.

1. Take breaks

Give yourself a little bit of time between tasks to just scroll through social media play a pointless game on your phone, have a cup of tea or a snack let yourself have that time to unwind a little. You just have to know when to stop. If I sit staring at a task for too long I will never progress because I’ve sat and overthought it and eventually my mind drifts off I get up, leave and don’t come back for a week. As soon as you feel yourself losing focus just reset yourself, take a minute do something to help refocus your mind try breathing exercises, just stretch for a minute walk around, stroke your dog, go in the garden and get some fresh air, drink some water, however you feel is the best way to just push that restart button on your brain so you can refocus at the task at hand.

2. Reward yourself

When you succeed reward yourself! Obviously depending on what you have achieved has effects on the reward. If I work out for the day I let myself relax for a while. If I finish writing a blog post or finish a section of work that I’ve been struggling with for a while I reward myself by eating a snack I’ve been craving or by going to see a friend or something to let your mind relax and associate the end result with positive outcomes.

3. Just get started.

It’s the same as everything the first time you do something it’s terrifying and you don’t want to do it but once you get into it it just flows naturally and you find it easier to do as you keep going. If you struggle to just throw yourself in start with small tasks and work your way up like tidy your desk before you start work or organise the space around you so you are ready to begin.

4. Remind yourself on why you are doing this

Often I procrastinate with working out at home so I find when I am filming myself I find it way easier as I know that it is going out to help people improve themselves. I also remind myself that I’m doing it because I want to improve myself and I know that once I have finished it I will feel better about myself. If it’s for work remember who it is your helping and how this will benefit them. If you need to save up money remember why. Etc. everyone has their own individual reasons why they do what they do but whatever it is it’s worth it!

5. Mix things up

Try something new. It’s like when you’re training if you do the same workouts every day not only will you not see any improvements unless you change it up you will get so so bored of doing the same thing over and over. Add things in work in a new space. Write in a new font or with a new pen (yes things like that actually do refocus my mind weird I know) whatever works for you and help keep things interesting therefore keeping your mind focused on the task at hand.

At the end of the day, motivation can only come from you. You’re reading this so definitely have the ability to motivate yourself! you just need to find what works for you, everyone functions differently my advice is to keep things fun, don’t tire yourself out with unbearable amounts of work and effort and reward yourself.

Stay strong

Cerys XO

Learning to love myself

Since I came back from Canada so many things have happened, within the last 2/3 months I’ve been trying to learn to love myself and it’s not easy. I’ve been reading various blog posts and things about how to love yourself and have found some information that may be able to help your on your self-love journey too so I hope this helps.

What makes loving yourself so dam difficult is a combination between ‘Negativity Bias’ and ‘Attentional filters’

Negativity bias is when there are 2 equally charged stimuli you are more naturally attracted to the negative one.

Let’s say 2 newspapers write articles about you, one is really positive saying how wonderful, beautiful, creative, smart and how you are gods gift to humanity they praise your work massively. The other negative saying you are an idiot and ugly and that you don’t deserve to be a part of this world and they totally dismiss your hard work.

Which of the two are you most likely to fixate on?

If you are anything like me the negative would be far more impactful than the positive one. But this is actually quite normal. It is the effect of negativity bias.

In the past, the negativity bias was a useful adaptive response. In today’s world, it only makes you pay attention to what’s wrong with you and the world around you.

Let’s say that you are a hunter/gatherer out looking for food in the wild. And all of a sudden a deadly poisonous snake comes up to you and at the same time, wild boar that would feed your family for weeks runs past. Your mind has only milliseconds to make a decision.

If you choose to catch the boar you will be vulnerable to the snake and most likely get bitten and die. If you choose to defend yourself from the snake, you will avoid getting bitten, but the boar will definitely get away. Our ancestors who naturally went after the boar (the positive) all died out because they were unable to identify the threats (negatives) around them.

Attentional filters are when your mind can “filter out” any information that is not necessary so your mind can function and concentrate. There are so many things
(stimulations) going on around us every moment and our minds are constantly filtering it all out so you are able to read this right now. For example, your mind isn’t probably focused on how your toes feel in your socks but now your attention has been called to it you are thinking about it. That is the attentional filter in action.

A side effect of attentional filtering is that often the world ends up looking like whatever it is you’re focused on.

So how does this affect us? Minds aren’t very good at processing reality. Firstly, your mind is much more likely to pay attention to what’s wrong, than to what’s right (the negativity bias). Secondly, your mind is constantly filtering out almost all stimulations in every given moment (attentional filters).

This causes your mind to view yourself as someone who is much less intelligent, capable, good looking, and worthy of love than you actually are. 

The media always tends to make you fearful almost that you are not good enough and that you are small and useless unless you are completely up to date with all of the latest trends and sterotypes. 

In short, if you find yourself unable to love yourself, there is nothing wrong with you. It’s a side effect of evolution and modern times.

I was always taught to put others before myself and I am someone who is constantly trying to make everyone I meet happy. I honestly hate upsetting people and it has its consequences. I often end up suffering a lot and being really upset because even though I know that I am unhappy in a situation I can’t help but think about how making changes, or how my actions will affect other peoples lives and who it may hurt. I’ve never been someone who takes care of myself at the expense of others because I am a “people pleaser” I guess you could say.

To be able to love yourself you need to be able to realise how important you are.

You are the centre of your world. No, the world doesn’t revolve around you but you are what matters the most at the end of the day. And you need to be able to realise that and start talking to yourself like you matter.

Let’s try this, look at yourself in the mirror. What do you think of yourself? What do you see in yourself? Were your answers positive or negative? So now keep what you said to yourself in your mind. Now imagine yourself as a young child, very impressionable, vulnerable to feedback, takes things often to heart. Now tell that to that little kid. Doesn’t feel right, does it?

Imagine if you spoke to your friends and family the way you speak to yourself in your head, would you have any friends left? Probably not off your answers weren’t that great.

You have to be able to treat yourself like someone that you love. I have spent so long criticising myself telling myself that I don’t make my family proud because of my mistakes and that no one truly loves me because they all just feel sorry for me so they stick around. I often fail to forgive myself for the mistakes I make (even though its only part of being human). I’ve spent so much time stood in the mirror in my underwear just staring at myself and my body picking apart every single thing I dislike about myself like my thighs being too big, my tummy getting rolls when I sit down and leaving lines when I sit for too long, the fat on my back, the fact I have no triceps, the way my hair falls naturally honestly the list goes on and even though everyone would tell me there’s nothing wrong with me id still see it no matter what anyone said.

I know all that sounds really dramatic but its genuinely what I thought of myself and i’m still battling those things to this day.

Everyone wants to be the best version of themselves and the only way we can do so is to stop bashing ourselves like this and beating ourselves up over everything we do and to learn that we are just human at the end of the day. We all mess up and do stupid things and we all have people who hate us for whatever reason. But you cant tunnel vision your mind to focus only on the negatives. There’s so much more to yourself than what you’re looking at right now you have to just broaden your vision and see the potential you have.

It makes me feel physically sick putting myself out there like this but I feel that it’s important that someone reading this could connect with what pain I have felt and could come out stronger.

Think of this ‘journey’ coming in 4 different parts

  1. Treating yourself as someone who is important and deserves to be loved.

Our behaviour and how we feel work hand in hand. If we treat ourselves badly we feel rubbish. If you treat yourself well then you feel good. The things you do every day can affect how you feel about yourself. Making changes to your routine can help positively impact your mindset:

  • Prioritise sleep: this helps you to wake up feeling refreshed and productive every day. Try going to sleep when your tired but waking up and getting up at the same time every day.
  • Look at yourself in the mirror: Do it every day and look at the things that you do love about yourself and add to that to your love list. Your body is always changing and you will see your confidence develop and you grow and develop as a person.
  • Exercise: spend at least 30 minutes a day 3 times a week getting some exercise. Whether its; jogging, yoga, weightlifting, snowboarding, at-home workouts as long as you get moving.
  • Eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet: lockdown snacks aren’t helpful and don’t beat yourself up if you struggle to keep to a diet I definitely do, just keep it basic and keep your meals fairly clean.
  • Remove toxic people from your life: surround yourself with people who love and care about you and want you in their lives, people who will encourage you to pursue your dreams and chase your career.
  • Play!: have you been setting aside enough time every day for you to just relax and enjoy yourself if not make sure you do. if its spending time with friends, playing with your dog, learn something you have always wanted to.
  • Treat yourself: Give yourself small treats throughout the day. have that chocolate bar your craving. Watch funny dog videos with no guilt. Go for a walk. Wear your favourite outfit. Giving yourself small gifts throughout the day signals to yourself that you’re an awesome person worthy of a nice life.

If you act like someone who loves themselves, you will start to feel like you do.

2. Be able to cope with the bad days as well as you do with the good.

Not every single day of your life is going to be a ‘good day’. You have to have some lows to make the highs good else your life is just mediocre and you will never fully appreciate things when they are good.

Even the oldest most stunning forests can get hit by lightning and burn to the ground, and even though this may seem tragic and just pointless destruction its not. It’s the cycle of life (definitely wasn’t singing this as if I’m in the lion king). The fire destroys the trees in the forest which turns into ashes which feed the soil, the soil provides a stronger, more nurturing environment to allow more trees to grow making the forest grow back even more beautiful than before.

As a human on this journey you must learn to accept that suffering is inevitable we alongside everyone we have ever met, loved or hated will die and will suffer. This is just a part of life and we must learn to accept this to be able to appreciate everything fully. (pretty dark I know)

Being able to accept you’re having a bad day or that you are sad, terrified, angry eat and being able to admit that you’re not okay at that moment is a big step its a way of showing you are comfortable with your emotions. You have to be able to embrace and be honest with yourself and the people around you about who you are and that you have a darker side.

Here are some steps you can take to help yourself get there

  • Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Like I said before, YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING NOT A COMPUTER! Every single one of us messes up and makes mistakes and does things that we regret it’s exactly what makes us human. I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason or that our mistakes and things that happen to us in the past shape us into the person we are today. You need to release yourself from this weight on your shoulders. Accept you are human and that you are flawed. If this is hard then begin by forgiving others around you.
  • Realise that its okay to cope with your feeling in different ways. Humans are gross, we are lazy and disgusting, aggressive and jealous and that is okay. As long as you are able to cope with these emotions in a safe way without harming yourself or others. Throw a tantrum eat 3 tubs of ice cream and cry, watch sad films, go and work out, take a boxing class whatever works for you. The worst thing you can do is bottle up your emotions and not let them out because trust me they will find their way out and chances are it’ll hurt the people around you more than they would have in the first place.
  • Spend time alone. Noone lives in silence anymore, people like to fill that space with music, TV, podcasts, gossip, social media, the internet the list goes on. People don’t often like being in their own company because its scary. We are usually afraid of what we might find if we are undistracted and just in our own heads. You need to dedicate a little time each day to silence, get rid of the devices and just sit in silence with your own thoughts. It helps you to work out who you truly are.

Allowing yourself to free some space in your mind may surprise you and you actually might find some part of you which enjoys some nothingness. It could bring a little piece of you out that you have been holding back in your subconscious

3. Removing the walls around your heart

I have my walls up. I’m so afraid to let someone new into my life and let them love me again. I’m afraid of getting hurt again or not being fully appreciated in the ways I should be. I’m afraid of leaving someone behind when I travel because I’ve done it 100 times before and I hate it.

To remove these walls you have to dig deep into your past and into your life story, you need to be able to express freely your thoughts and feeling you can try writing things down or speaking out loud to yourself. You need to tell your story.

Look for things like:

  • Times where you were being cruel to yourself in a way you wouldn’t bet to someone you love.
  • Times where you may have suffered abuse from people you loved. Often abuse and times of trauma are hidden and confused with love and care. Often you don’t always see abuse when you have a relationship with someone and often you don’t see it until you are out of the situation.
  • Recurring themes, feelings, and situations particularly during emotional parts of your life.

These things are horrible and I promise you its not your fault if you have experienced something like this. You can learn to love yourself though. Stop hating yourself for something that someone else did to you or something that happened that affected you. It is not a reflection of how worthy you are, how strong you are and your abilities as a human. You have come out a strong person you are here, you are alive and you are loved. As you learn to accept these things as a part of the past and stop letting them hold you back from your future you will begin to love again. Your walls will come down and you will slowly let people into your life again.

4. Accepting yourself and share the positivity

Being human is difficult it’s finding a combination between loving yourself but being able to accept criticism and using as a building block to become the best version of yourself, dealing with the good times and the bad equally and learning from both experiences, having a heart of gold and being able to love again even after getting beaten into the ground emotionally.

As a human there:

Will be times in your life where working on the difficult things seems easy. take those opportunities and work hard.

Will be times when you’ll accept your darker side and your routine will be on point.

Will be times when you’ll step fully into your power and embrace every part of yourself. 

Will be times when everything feels good and you’ll be happy and sunny and love yourself

However there will also be:

Times when you are stressed and everything around you that would normally soothe you makes you angry.

Times when you lose someone you love and you’ll feel a piece of you is gone for months. 

Times where you wish you could take a break from being human. 

It’s okay.

Everyone has days where things get thrown our way it’s hard to navigate around them to find a positive outcome. Where you want to just curl up into a ball and let it all go by and only come out when it’s over. It’s okay to feel like that. You need to learn to accept it.

But every one of us will see days where you walk around and everything you smile at smiles back, there will be sun and rainbows and happiness and positivity. Use these days for good.

To love yourself you need to love every day how it is, use the good days to make progress and push forward but use the tough days to self improve and be gentle on yourself.

As you learn feel yourself becoming stronger, more powerful more stunningly beautiful both inside and out and use this feeling to help everyone else around you. Spread the kindness and help be a part of someone else’s journey when they need you.

I hope this makes a bit of sense to some of you and I hope that you can relate at least a little bit. You are all amazing feel free to leave comments below or message me I am here for you all any day.

Stay strong

Cerys

XOX

Things you should definitely invest in for home and travelling workouts

As somebody who’s life pretty much revolves around being fit and active whether its on my snowboard or in the gym. Over the years I have come across a few things that have seriously benefited me for the long run when it comes to working out and staying active. Particularly when im travelling around the world and i dont have acces to a gym.

Fabric resistance band

Resistance bands, in general, are the best thing every for anyone who likes to add some weight in their workouts. I’m sure everyone who has had one before knows how painful, both physically and mentally, those plastic rubber band like resistance bands are. Every workout you do all you can think about is how frustrating they are and how much they are digging into your leg and rolling all over the place rather thank actually focusing on the movements. These bands are a lifesaver! They are big, thick and made of a material that is not only super strong to make you work your booty off, they don’t roll or slip which gives you one less thing to worry about. They are also super lightweigtht so you can chuck them in your bag and take them with you wherever you go!

I have 3, my long ones are from ‘Fit Activator’ in the medium and heavy weights (you can use the code ‘CERYS.ALLEN’ and get 10 percent off your puchase on their site and i make a little bit of money too).

https://fitactivator.com/?ref=nxarwpyiofl

My short band is from ‘B_nd’ their products although they are good they are rarely in stock so you have to be on their website everyday and always be checking their socials for restocks to try and get anything.

https://b-ndstore.com/gb/

Yoga mat

This is a complete essential for me because theres nothing worse than trying to do a plank, mountain climbers or yoga on a hard floor and having your feet just constantly sliding away from you. Not only does it help me feel more stable in my exercise, every time I step onto my mat im in workout mode i become ‘in the zone’ is how i would describe it. These can be expensive but if you search enough you can find some good deals on amazon.

My mat is from ‘Starwood sports’ I have always hated foam mats where all the pieces constantly come off and they just fall apart after a while. I also hate the mat is all textured. This mat is made of TPE and is 6mm thick so you can’t really feel whats under the mat (grass, concrete ect).

https://uk.starwoodsports.com

Gymshark Clothing

I am so unbelievably obsessed with Gymshark clothing. In my opinion it totally lives up to and exceeds every expectations. If I could only wear one brand of clothing every day for the rest of my life it would be Gymshark. Their leggings are stretchy, comfortable, squat proof and not to mention they make your bum look super peachy and nice to squeeze!

My favourites right now are all of the seamless sets. The leggings in the picture are part of the ‘Camo’ Collection in black. The bra is part of the ‘Flex’ range in black

2 litre water bottle

As intimidating as this thing looks in size, it’s a total lifesaver. If you are like me and are awful and trying to keep track of how much you drink every day this thing is just what you need. Just fill it up once first thing in the morning and you are all set for the day. The ‘daily reccomended’ intake of water is approximately 2 liters. I know people will be thinking that its not correct but since ive been on top of it im more proactive, i dont get as many headaches and i generally feel more awake throughout the day. I do recommend tipping the water from this into a seperate glass especially if you are as clumsy as I am because its quite heavy first thing in the morning when your not fully awake and trust me you end up drenched in water. (it’s one way to wake up i guess).

I think mine was bought for me from somewhere but you can easily get them on amazon super cheap!

Apple Watch

So everything on this list has been pretty cheap so far. However, as pricey as it is, this thing has motivated me every single day to work out! Completing all 3 rings feels so rewarding and like i have ahceived something that day. If you are a runner and you buy the Nike series 5 it comes includes with the Nike run app (i’m not the runner type but im hoping one day i will get into it. It’s an awesome freature as you can track your miles and you can listen to guided runs to help you get through each one. The watch gives you all the technical stuff in an instant and it can connect straight up to your iPhone and airpodsso you have everything you need in a aworkout right in front of you.

Mine is the Nike series 5 all in black as I don’t want it to get dirty. Its got an exclusive strap and different faces that are nike design.

https://www.apple.com/apple-watch-nike/

Now of course im not telling you that you need to go out and spend all your money on something I like because I said I do but its just some recommendations that I have. Feel free to message me or comment below with any questions or if you need a recommendation for any particular product. I hope you have a fab week!

Stay strong

Cerys XOX