Category Archives: Faves

One Of A Kind Fitness Boutique Opening In Pittsburgh

This post is sponsored by Chelsea Collective and Vocal Point. All opinions are my own. 

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Calling all fit girls in the Southwestern Pennsylvania area!

A one of a kind fitness boutique for women is opening in Pittsburgh this weekend and I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek inside before the grand opening!

Chelsea Collective is a brand of Dick’s Sporting Goods that focuses on helping women find comfortable and fashionable attire for the gym and everywhere in between! It currently has just two locations and of them is opening at Ross Park Mall on Sunday!

Chelsea Collective carries all of the must have fitness apparel and accessories from brands like Nike, Spiritual Gangster and Calia by Carrie Underwood, all in one convenient and friendly atmosphere.

The store layout has a clean feel which makes it really easy to navigate through and it’s organized by the different brands. There is also an entire section just for sports bras and another just for footwear.

Plus, there is a treadmill in the dressing room so you can really test out the gear and make sure it will be the perfect fit for when you hit the gym!

On top of that, the store also features a restroom, couches and charging stations for your cell phone.

Did I mention this store is designed for women? 

There wasn’t an item in the store that I wouldn’t love to have in my closet and I was a especially fond of the specialty brands that are harder to come by like Lorna Jane, which is based out of Australia.

I was lucky enough to go home with a bag of goodies which included a Nike gym bag, must have fitness essentials and a gift card for the store that I’m looking forward to going shopping with soon!

My customized Swag Bag included a Nike gym bag, Nike headbands, a Purivida bracelet, a Zobha water bottle and a Chelsea Collective towel and gift card for the store.

My customized Swag Bag included a Nike gym bag, Nike headbands, a Purivida bracelet, a Zobha water bottle and a Chelsea Collective towel and gift card for the store.

If you love working out and looking stylish while doing it, then Chelsea Collective is the store for you!

The grand opening is on August 22nd and 23rd and you don’t want to miss out on all of the awesome giveaways and other perks like express massages, fitness classes and bra fittings, just to name a few.

More information on the Grand Opening can be found at ChelseaCollective.com.

XOXO – Abbey

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

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Exciting Sponsorship News!

I’m excited to announce that I have accepted an offer to be a 1st Phorm Sponsored Athlete! 1st Phorm is a supplement company that not only makes the best supplements in the business but it’s also a company that is making huge changes in the industry. 1st Phorm promotes encouraging and inspiring others instead of knocking them down, and I couldn’t be more proud to be affiliated with such a great company!

Beyond excited to announce that I've accepted an offer to be a @1stphorm Sponsored Athlete! #1stPhorm not only makes the highest quality supplements for all types of athletes but this company actually cares about all of it's customers and is making huge changes in the industry. I couldn't be more proud to represent a brand that actually shares my own beliefs and prides itself in picking others up instead of knocking them down. We are all in this together! We are the #LegionOfBoom 💙💙💙 Thank you for this opportunity @andyfrisella @mrfrisella @jasoncaine @cody__klein @_legionofboom @teachbrian @mai_ty_ler and everyone else at @1stphorm 😊😊 I'm also now a brand ambassador and you can order all of your supplements from my direct link Abbey.1stPhorm.com 👈👈👈 NEVER GIVE UP. WORK HARD. NEVER SETTLE. #Iam1stPhorm #NeverSettle **This opportunity is separate from the athlete search but I'm grateful for the experience of participating in the search and making so many great new friends through it all. ✌💙

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1st Phorm makes the best tasting, best mixing and highest quality protein that will help you achieve all of your fitness goals at the fastest possible rate! I only use 1st Phorm protein and supplements and you can too! For free shipping use my link, Abbey.1stPhorm.com.

My favorite flavor is Loop D Fruit. For an awesome smoothie that tastes like fruit loops check out my healthy recipe:

 

NEVER SETTLE!

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XOXO – Abbey

 

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

 

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Concussion Recovery Series: Good And Bad News

I’m at the 16 week mark since the day of the car accident and it’s been just about 4 weeks since I’ve been released to start working out. Every day I feel myself getting stronger physically and my brain is slowly getting better as well. Although I’m getting better I still have  a lot of recovery ahead of me and I’m dealing with daily headaches/migraines.

The most exciting news since the last update is that I got my “Thinking Speed” on the Impact test up to 23% from 13%. 23% is not great but it is certainly better than 13%. I’m also going to physical therapy 3 days a week for my neck, back and shoulders and 1 day a week for my concussion exertion therapy.

For all the updates and a look into what I’ve been doing for the past 3 weeks watch the video below!

As always please share this series with young athletes who need to be more educated about concussions! I wish I knew then what I know now about brain injuries, especially sports related ones.

Bad things happen to everybody. Don't let the bad things be what defines you. It's the way you respond to the bad things that are really important. Today was day 4 of working out again and it feels amazing. The good feelings that come from working out with all I've got over powers the pains that come with a concussion. It's going to take a week or so just to get used to lifting again but I know I'm going to come back even stronger than I was before. Every day I wake up with so much motivation to do better than I did yesterday. Sometimes it takes life punching you in the face to realize how much you really need something. I always knew I couldn't live without fitness but now I know how real that statement was to me.

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XOXO – Abbey

 

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

 

Follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page!

 

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Concussion Recovery Series: 1st Week Back To Working Out!

Check out Episode 2 of my Concussion Recovery Series to see what all I did in my first week back to working out after 3 months of rest!

Technically this is 2 weeks behind from the time it was filmed…I’m still really slow to get things done mentally. I will have a lot more to update in the next one which I promise will actually be posted the same day it’s filmed! But the good news is I’m continuing to get a little better every day!

Today is your day. Make it fabulous!

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Please share this series with anyone you know dealing with a concussion and especially young athletes who need to learn more about concussions.

XOXO – Abbey

 

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

 

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Concussion Recovery Series: My Story – 5 Concussions Later

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On May 15th I was rear ended by a car going 35 mph while I was at a complete stop in Pittsburgh and as a result I suffered my 5th concussion. For 13 weeks I was not allowed to work out and I was eventually pulled from work after a few weeks of trying to work after the accident.

Some of my major symptoms for the first 13 weeks were headaches, memory loss, trouble speaking, loss of balance, light and sound sensitivity, trouble sleeping, tiredness during the day and trouble concentrating. I am also still dealing with neck, back and shoulder injuries as well.

I’ve been prescribed several different drugs that are supposed to help with concussions and do physical and vestibular therapy. I’ve also done Yoga on my own which helps with calming my mind and reducing head and neck pain. Also, it provided me with a way to exercise while I was not allowed to workout.

After 13 weeks of resting I saw a new doctor who is the head of the Concussion Clinic at UPMC and he released me to start working out. After 1 week of working out I felt ten times better and was sleeping better too. Although it helped me feel a lot better overall I was still getting headaches and feel slowed down.

I'm having a rough week with my concussion symptoms. It's been more than 11 weeks since I suffered my 5th concussion when I was rear ended in a car accident. And just as I thought I was getting better it seems like I've taken 10 steps back. I try to stay positive and work to get better each day with a smile but the reality is while I may not look sick in pictures I actually have a serious brain injury. It's been months since I've worked out and weeks since I've been to work. I can't remember people's names I've known for years, I have trouble finding the right words to use when speaking and I have difficulty concentrating. I get dizzy, I have neck/back pain, trouble sleeping and have balance issues. I share the good things 99% of the time because I want to continue to try and inspire people to live a happy and healthy life no matter what. But I also realize that by doing so I'm creating a false reality of what life is really like with a brain injury. I feel like I need to speak out about the severity of concussions and just how dangerous and life changing they really are. My first 2 were back to back in Jr. High resulting in me having a seizure on the basketball court and lying unconscious. Today I tried to ride a stationary bike and stretch. By the end of it I had a severe headache. It's extremely difficult to judge exactly how far I can push myself physically and mentally because one day I will be able to do something and the next day it causes symptoms that have even sent me to the emergency room. I'm hoping to start a YouTube series next week about my progress and to help spread awareness about concussions and create a platform for people who are suffering from brain injuries to share their stories. The hardest part of recovery is to not push yourself too hard, especially if you are athlete. I've always had the mentality that I'll never come out of a game unless in being carried off the court, but unfortunately that's not the way it works with brain injuries. Every day I'm 1 day closer. ***Let me know if you think the video series would be a good idea! ✌💕

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**Technically it has taken me over a week to film and post this video/blog post. Because of the concussion I’m still having a lot of trouble working on things at the speed I used to. What would normally take me a day to do now takes me about a week to finish. I am going to get the second post up as soon as possible and hopefully the third will be posted on the actual date that I film the video so everything will be up to date.

As of now I am still not allowed to go back to work but I see the doctor again on August 28th and I’m feeling hopeful that I will get the OK to at least try and do a few days. Each doctor visit I have slightly improved all of my levels on the Impact test except for the “Thinking Speed” section. While I’ve gotten all of my other scores up to 80-90% by thinking speed is only at 13%.

The main goal of this series is to spread awareness about concussions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “It’s just a concussion.” That sentence is just wrong on so many different levels and I hope this series helps people realize that concussions can do serious damage that can last a lifetime. I got my 1st concussion in Junior High and had 4 by my freshman year of college. I wish I knew then what I know now about concussions. Not only have I learned a lot by first hand experience but the research on concussions has come a very long way since my 1st major hit to the head.

Please share this with anyone you know that has suffered from a concussion or other brain injury or just anyone that you think could benefit from learning more, especially young athletes.

Please leave comments or questions below! I would love to hear from other people dealing with concussions or other brain injuries. Let’s help each other get back to life before our injuries!

XOXO – Abbey

 

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

 

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Flashback Friday: 6th Grade Basketball Funny Videos

I watched some old videos of my basketball games from 6th grade and thought they were too funny not to share, especially with my former teammates! One of my favorite athletic memories was being chosen to play on the Boys Travel All-Star Team from the Connnellsville rec league. And from the looks of these videos it appears I wasn’t afraid of the boys at all, in fact in one game I even pushed a boy and got a technical foul. Ha! Check it out:

And for all my friends on the boy’s team here is a video with some closer face shots of everyone.

But I didn’t just play with the boys I also played on a girl’s team of course, on the same tape there was a game with my Roadrunners travel team with kids mostly from Mount Pleasant. This game was so funny because we made an incredible comeback for 6th grade girls. We were down by 3 with just 1 minute left but managed to somehow come back and win. My teammate Vanessa even made a foul shot with just seconds left but she stepped over the line and they didn’t count it, plus I got to shoot foul shots as a result of a technical foul. Talk about drama!

 

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6 Steps to Instant Happiness

We’ve all been there. That moment when you just can’t take it anymore because you are having, you know, literally, the worst day ever! Well, I know I mostly post about healthy recipes and workouts but in case you forgot or missed it, this is my motto:

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And the whole have fun thing means BE HAPPY! Because you can’t have fun and not be happy, you just can’t. But if you are having the worst day ever, sitting in traffic, stepping in mud puddles, spilling salsa on your white shirt, whatever it is, it’s fixable. I don’t live my life being super duper happy every single day but I try my hardest to be happy. I can’t even tell you how many times my mom has said to me, “Abbey all you want to do is have fun.” Well you know what, so what if I do? I think the most important thing in life is being happy and if that means always wanting to have fun and make the most of everything, is it really such a bad thing?  Here are my secrets to instant happiness.

 

1. Smile

This one is easy. We all know how, even if you don’t feel like it just try! We smile because we are happy but smiling even when we aren’t can make us feel happy, it’s true! Psychological researches found compelling evidence that smiling causes people to feel happy, regardless of how they felt at first.

2. Laugh

Go online and watch some funny Youtube videos, watch your favorite comedy show or movie or call up the funniest person you know and laugh until it hurts! Laughing triggers an increase in endorphins, the brain chemicals known for their feel-good effect.  Try to belly laugh every single day, it will make you happy and you will get a little ab workout too! Laughing until you cry is my favorite tho, that’s how you know you are really, really happy.

3. Talk To Someone Who Is Happy

This goes right along with laughing. Call or talk face to face with someone who is already happy. Whether they are funny or not it will make you feel better to talk to someone who has something nice to say and help you take your mind off of whatever it is that was bothering you in the first place. Plus if you feel like you need to vent, a happy person should make a good listener and help you release some tension. And if you can’t think of anyone to talk to, just watch Grandma Betty on Instagram! She reminds me so much of my Mommom and it makes me really happy to watch her videos on Instagram!

4. Sing At The Top Of Your Lungs

This is probably my number one favorite and most effective method, especially while driving. Yup, remember that show Motor Mouth, where people were caught on secret cameras singing in their cars? Well I could easily be a Youtube sensation if I ever get caught! I do this all of the time and trust me, I can’t carry a note, at all. But who cares? Turn up your favorite 90s pop song and sing it baby! Because you know you know every single word and who doesn’t love the 90s? Whatever your jam is, just go somewhere like in your shower, your car or even have a dance party in your house all by yourself because I promise you, you will forget so fast whatever made you stressed and you will be happy in no time. But remember, unless you are Beyonce, you should probably keep it to yourself.

5. Sweat Sweat Sweat

As if I haven’t already quoted Elle Woods from Legally Blonde before, here I go again! Her advice is just so brilliant, can you blame me?

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t!” – Elle Woods

Exercising is also tied at my number one way to instant happiness. There is nothing better than just sweating away all your problems. No matter what, an all out workout will always make you feel better.

6. Focus On The Positives

OK here’s the thing, I know you could possibly be having, “the worst day ever,” again. But, there has to be something good about it. So instead of thinking about your ruined shirt, or how you are 20 minutes late and you are going to get fail your exam, be happy that you simply woke up and have another chance at having the best  day ever, even if it feels like the worst. Every single day is a gift so try and live it like it could be your last.

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Original Photo Credit: Kassie Jackson Photography

These are just 6 things that work for me. The only other piece of advice I have is just do whatever it is that makes you happiest. For me it’s definitely basketball. I’m the happiest with a basketball in my hands and no matter how bad I’m feeling I know a good old game of basketball will make me feel better! So go after whatever “that thing” is for you and just do it!

I would love to hear what your tips to happiness are so leave a comment below or let me know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

 

XOXO – Abbey

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

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10 Reasons Women Should Lift

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I hear it all the time from girl friends, I don’t wan’t to lift because I will look like a man, I’ll gain weight and it’s dangerous….blah, blah, blah. It’s not true. And here are 10 reasons why women should be in the gym lifting heavy stuff.

1. Burns More Fat

Strength training allows your body to burn fat not only during exercise but after you are done lifting as well. After an intense strength training session your body continues to consume additional oxygen for hours and even days after your workout, also known as post-exercise oxygen consumption. A study from the University of Alabama in Birmingham showed that dieters who lifted heavy weights lost the same amount of weight as dieters who did just cardio, but the dieters who lifted weights lost more fat. In fact, the dieters who did just cardio, lost a lot of muscle. Why would anyone want to LOSE muscle? (See reason 2.)

2.  More Muscle = More Calories Burned

1 pound of muscle burns seven to 10 calories per day, while 1 pound of fat burns only 2 to 3 calories, according to the American Council on Exercise. This may not sound like a lot but if you think about it, it adds up over time, especially if you put on more than just one pound of muscle. The more muscle you have the more you increase your resting metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy you need to stay alive while your body is at rest. This is why you are able to burn calories even while you sleep.

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3.  Increases Bone Health

It’s no secret that post-menopausal women have a significant risk for Osteoporosis because their bodies stop secreting estrogen. Studies found that women who weight train can decrease their risks, and the sooner you start, the better your chances are of maintaining bone health later in life. According to a study at McMaster University, postmenopausal women increased spinal bone mass by 9 percent after one year of weight training.

4.  Builds Strength

Lifting lighter weights for more reps is great, but instead of increasing your strength, it will improve muscle endurance. The key to getting stronger is putting more weight on the bar. After a few weeks of lifting and increasing your weights, you will be amazed at how much stronger you become over time.   There will be no more having to call your boyfriend to open up the pickle jar.

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5. It’s Empowering

This goes along with the pickle jar situation. Don’t you want to be able to do things on your own that people think you aren’t capable of just because you are a girl? There is something about saying,”No sir, I don’t need help carrying this giant heavy box to my car,” that just makes you feel good. Or just simply knowing you can squat more than a typical 18-year old boy. Lifting does more than just improve your physical appearance it can be a huge self-esteem booster as well. In addition weight lifting is the type of exercise format where you can actually see results and watching your numbers go up week after week is a rewarding feeling as well.

6.Creates Hot Bodies

The idea that lifting will make you look like a guy is just silly. Unless you are taking anabolic steroids, trust me girl, you are never going to get huge. When you just do cardio, you lose weight in the form of both fat and muscle tissue but strength training can hep you create those feminine curves and toned muscles by adding strong muscle and losing fat. Yes, it’s true you may get to the point where you gain weight after you have slimmed down to a point where you have very little body fat and are primarily adding muscle mass. But, there are plenty of before and after photos out there where you can see that the number on the scale does not matter.  For example, a 135 pound girl can look significantly smaller than she did when she weighed 10 pounds lighter. Think about it, what would you rather be, 150 pounds of fat or 150 pounds of muscle? The number on the scale can be deceiving.

7. Helps You Lose The Belly Pooch

Who doesn’t want a flat stomach? Pumping iron can help you blast the belly fat which is a problem area for a lot of women. According to a study from the University of Alabama, women who lifted weights lost more intra-abdominal fat than those who just did cardio.

8. Prevents Injury

Another fear I hear often from friends who are scared of lifting weights is, the fear of getting injured. Weight lifting like any other skill or sport requires technique and correct form to achieve desired results. As long as you are using correct form and a weight that you are comfortable with, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, weight lifting actually helps prevent injury by building the muscles around joints which helps you maintain a strong frame. If you are new to weight lifting, be sure to consult a doctor before you begin, seek the help of a trainer and/or watch instructional videos online to ensure you are using correct form.

9. Improves Heart Health 

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women today and lifting weights can help prevent it. A study in the journal of Strength and Conditioning found that those who lift weights are less likely to have heart disease risk factors such as a large waist circumference, elevated blood pressure and and glucose levels.

10. Stress Relief 

Let’s face it, everyone has stress at least every once in a while. Some suffer from it daily. Stress is no joke and it can cause your cells to age faster leading to lower immunity levels and diseases. But did you know exercise, including weight lifting, can reduce stress levels? Scientists at the University of California San Francisco reported in May 2010 that as little as 42 minutes of exercise over three days could protect cells from premature aging.

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When I think about stress and exercise my mind goes right to this quote from Elle Woods in Legally Blonde:

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t. – Elle Woods

So true, we can always rely on Elle Woods for great advice! But seriously ladies, don’t be afraid to get in the gym and move around some heavy weights. It may seem intimidating and the non-cardio side of the gym may be over run by dudes, but don’t be scared because you deserve to be in there just as much as they do! And I’m not saying throw your cardio out the window but what I am suggesting is that you add weight training into your workout routine. I can tell you from experience, you will feel a lot better if you just give it a chance and you will like the changes in your body.

Maybe it’s just me but I think this me:

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Looks a lot better than this me:

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Obviously these are photos of me pole vaulting, but I don’t just see a stronger and faster athlete but I also see a girl that looks a lot healthier. There is such thing as being too skinny and in high school before I really started lifting heavier weights and paying more attention to my diet, I was definitely too skinny. Not only did getting into resistance training make me a better athlete but it made me a healthier person.

I would love to hear what you think about this and if you have any other benefits of weight lifting you have experienced that I did not mention. So feel free to leave a comment on here or on my Facebook page or Twitter!

XOXO – Abbey

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

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*****I am not a doctor. This is all based on research, studies and personal experience. Please consult a doctor before beginning a weight training program.*****

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Workout Wednesday: Give It 100

Watch this video and try to tell me you are not inspired.

I know I’m not the only one that saw this and didn’t want to try to do something for 100 days straight. It’s easy to create these great ideas but it is a whole other thing to actually go through with them. But GiveIt100.com makes the process so much easier! The creators of the site have provided us all with a place to go to upload our progress in the form of a 10 second video every day for 100 days and interact, follow and encourage others who have the same or even different goals. I created an account about 20 days ago with the game plan to attempt a muscle up for 100 days. The fact that I signed up (For FREE) and made the commitment keeps me focused on my goal simply just because I don’t want to miss a day because I chose to be a part of something so awesome! It’s simple, pick something you have always wanted to try or something you just want to get better at and do it! I put together this 15 second video of all of my muscle up attempts so far over the past 18 days:

Obviously I put this video in fast forward to make it shorter but if you want to see all of my 10 second video clips just go to my Give It 100 profile. I can’t say enough how much I highly recommend doing the Give It 100 challenge. Not only is it a great way to keep yourself in check and motivated but it gives you an excuse to not make an excuse. If you check out my full profile you will see a video where I had to go out in the snow on the chin up bar in my yard because I didn’t go to the gym that day, but no excuses, I had to attempt that muscle up! Remember, don’t just wish for it, work for it.

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What would you like to do for 100 days? Please sign up at Giveit100.com and connect with me on there so I can follow your journey!

XOXO – Abbey

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

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How To Turn Boiling Water Into Snow

The temperatures in Western Pennsylvania last night and today have been below zero! It’s been so long since it’s been this cold that I can’t even remember it, but I do remember people claiming that when it is extremely cold outside you can turn boiling water into snow in mid-air. So I had to put it to the test!

If you try it out share your videos with me on  Facebook and Twitter!

XOXO – Abbey

http://abbeyway.yolasite.com/

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