NBGNO: Strength is Beauty & Oak Square YMCA “Oaktoberfest” 5K Discount Code

Good morning! TGIF, right?! This week has been hella busy- anyone else? I wanted to pop in with a few quick fitness related updates and events because, although I’ve got wedding planning on the brain, this IS a fitness blog ;)


I’ve talked about the New Balance Girls Night Out events before, but in case you’re new to B2B, here are those recaps:

My first New Balance Girls Night Out event
NBGNO Event- How to stay fit while on the road
2015’s First NBGNO Event
Shaking Things Up w/NBGNO

Last week the theme of the NBGNO was “Strength is Beauty”, which is something that I am so passionate about! I have participated in a few challenges focusing on positive body image (#bikinirebellion was my all time favorite) and follow so many empowering, strong, fantastic women who embody all of the wonderful things behind the notion of “strength is beauty”. I love New Balance because they are all for empowering women and their NBGNO events and new “NB Women” line are just two ways they do this.


This was the biggest NBGNO event ever and over 50 cities also participated in the same event, which is really cool! Per usual, the night had 2 workouts to choose from: a run or a bootcamp workout with Paula Fonseca in Copley Square. I usually end up doing the run, but this time I was able to take the class. We used only our own bodyweight and a band but Paula really challenged us with the format and exercises! I really thought she was a fantastic instructor and not only did she do a great job of motivating us and keeping the energy up, she was really good at showing various levels so that the workout was doable for everyone- a very important quality in an instructor! Besides the tough workout, working out IN Copley Square was a pretty cool experience! We did solo stuff at first and ended with partner work- here are some photos I got from the NBGNO website:

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Such a fun workout- thank you Paula!

After the workout, we headed in for some food and drinks (they always do such a great job with this!), but sadly I didn’t take any photos!

Fellow Boston Blogger, Sherri hosted the event again- she’s a pro at hosting! She talked about what “Strength is Beauty” means to her and that there are 2 parts: mental/emotion and the physical. What I loved most was that she didn’t talk about being “skinny” or “too muscular” and she didn’t put a label on any physical appearance. Rather, she talked about how GOOD it feels to be strong and to look in the mirror and appreciate all that your body can do for you. I’ve talked about it before, but all too often we tend to look at ourselves and pick out all of our “flaws” instead of looking at those same things as GOOD things that make you who you are. I am so happy that I have made the MENTAL switch with regards to body image and that I now rarely look at myself and pick out my “flaws”. Instead, I look and notice my muscles and my strong body- and I am so proud of that! You should check out Sherri’s post for more inspiration on strength is beauty: Strength is Beauty

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New Balance is hosting ANOTHER event next Thursday, October 18th and it’s a breast cancer awareness event which is going to be really powerful. You can register here, but hurry! These events fill up fast!

Oak Square YMCA “Oaktoberfest” 5K

I wanted to share another event with you: the Oak Square YMCA Oaktoberfest 5K. I haven’t been able to run this race for a few years, but it is such a great, local event. I HOPE to be able to run it this year, but we will be on the Cape for Oysterfest so it may not happen. If I get up and leave at 8 I should be fine to get back in time to run it- fingers crossed! BUT, even if I don’t run it, the YMCA has asked me to create a “Burpees to Bubbly” team and I would love to have you join it! You can sign up here, just make sure to choose the “adult individual entry or join a team” and join Burpees to Bubbly. What’s even better? If you use the code BRIGHTON you get $5 off your race entry fee :) Hope you sign up!

Questions for you: When’s the last time you had a girls night out? Do they usually involve working out or just wine? What does “Strength is Beauty” mean to you? Do you like to run 5K’s?

Wednesday Workout: Bodyweight Total Body Workout (30 mins or less!)

Good morning! As I mentioned yesterday, I did a great bodyweight workout when I was home at my parents last weekend. I haven’t been lifting many weights these days, but when I woke up on Saturday I just didn’t want to get packed up and head to the gym so another bodyweight workout it was! Even though I wasn’t going to be lifting weights, I still wanted a tough workout so I decided to load up on reps.

This workout isn’t anything fancy, but it did leave me with a nice burn during the workout and a little bit of the “I worked out yesterday” feeling, so I’ll chalk it up as a solid workout! The way it works is you do the first combo move for 12 reps (each side, if there’s an option) and then the second exercise for 10 reps. Complete a total of 3 rounds before doing the cardio tabata round, which will be 2 different cardio exercises (complete each 4 times), usually complementing the strength exercises.

Bodyweight Total Body Workout

A few explanations to help you out…

  • Lunge/squat combo: lunge back with the right leg and return to center and complete a squat, then lunge back with the left leg and back to center. For the tabata round, you’ll do the same format of the exercises, you’ll just add in the jumping factor ;)
  • Triceps dips & toe taps: Perform a triceps dip (hands and feet on the ground) and then reach opposite hand to opposite foot, while engaging the core. Dip and then repeat on the other side.
  • Superman pulls- While laying on your stomach with your arms extended out in front of you. Engage the core and lift your chest off the ground. Once in this position, pull your elbows back to your ribcage, squeezing your shoulder blades together and going through the motion like you have weights in your hand.
  • Curtsy lunge & knee crunch- Start by standing on the left leg. Bring the right leg back and instead of placing it straight back, bring it back to an angle so that it crosses behind your left leg- great move for the outer glutes! After your lunge back, ensure you have your balance and bring your right knee up to your right elbow, engaging your obliques. After 12 reps on one side, repeat on the other.
  • Downdog push-ups- In downward facing dog position, drop your head downwards to the ground & press back up.

As an extra finisher, I completed the following:

  • 45 seconds jump rope, 10 hand release push-ups
  • 45 seconds jump rope, 8 hand release push-ups
  • 45 seconds jump rope, 6 hand release push-ups
  • 45 seconds jump rope, 4 hand release push-ups
  • 45 seconds jump rope, 2 hand release push-ups

This was killer at the end!

If you’re looking for a quick, but efficient workout to do at your house or at a hotel, this is one to try!

Questions for you: Do you like to lift heavy weights or do more bodyweight style workouts?

Babies & Bling: A Weekend in Maine

Good morning! I had planned a trip to Maine prior to our engagement, so it worked out perfectly that we ended up getting engaged right before that. Friday morning, RM and I went down to RI to get my ring sized- he had no idea what size to get so the jeweler told him a 6 is average… I’ve got long, skinny fingers so he had to cut it to a 4.75! Luckily, it fits perfectly now and feels so much better!


After a quick afternoon in the office, I headed up to Maine and met my mom and a few of her friends at the Back Street Grill- their local Friday night hang out. After a drink, we headed home to see my dad, who was very excited to see me and my new ring! He had made a fish dinner which was delicious.

Saturday I woke up and had breakfast and went to the library to get our new book club book- has anyone read this?


I busted out a great workout, which I will probably share with you tomorrow, and then helped my dad start building his raised bed gardens for his veggies next year.


On Saturday afternoon I met up with some of my high school friends, which we don’t do nearly enough these days. All 3 of them have kids and live in Maine/NH so between that and my busy schedule here, it’s hard to align our schedules. We had a delicious lunch at Mill 67 and I was able to have some serious baby snuggle time!

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Eloise is Caitlin’s baby girl and Sam is Rachel’s baby boy. Sara left Zeke at home, but he did come to my parents with her later that day when we had people over to celebrate the engagement. We had champagne and snacks and I got to snuggle another baby- sweet little Paige who is just 2 months old!


We had such a great time!

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After everyone left, we made a delicious dinner of pork, tomatoes, zucchini and Kale and mashed sweet potatoes. So healthy!

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On Sunday, mom and I got up and went to church and then came home and I continued helping my dad with the raised beds. It was a big job so I was happy I was able to help- plus I love manual labor! I offered to fill the pails with rocks and carry them (farmer’s carry!) and omg it was so heavy. Solid upper body workout ;)

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After lunch we headed out to the “pumpkin patch” that randomly started growing from a loam pile in the back yard. My mom had thrown old pumpkins there last year and this year they were pleasantly surprised with a large pumpkin harvest- 27, to be exact!

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It was really very cool- and saved me a bunch of money ;) Our front steps are looking festive!


The rest of my Sunday night was filled with lots of cleaning and blogging before calling it a night. Although it was a busy weekend, it was really fun celebrating with so many great people! Oh, and did you know ice cream helps with stress?! ;)


Questions for you: What did you do over the weekend? Have you decorated for the fall? Did you go apple picking? Do you get together with your friends from home often?

How My Workouts Will Change to Get “Wedding Ready”

Got ya! If you guys know me, you probably know that I’m not likely to adopt some crazy workout routine or diet to get “wedding ready”. In fact, I don’t really think there’s such a thing as “wedding ready”. If RM and I were to get married tomorrow, I would be perfectly happy with how I look and feel, but that’s because each day I strive to workout and eat in ways that make me feel good. That’s always the ultimate goal. Why? Because it’s achievable and sustainable. It’s a doable thing every day that has just become a part of me.

I have a hard time when people go on crazy diets and workout routines in order to prepare for something: wedding, vacation, reunion, birthday, etc. While they may get the results they want for the specific event they were working for, the chances of those results lasting after the event has come and gone are not very likely. Why? Because what they’ve been following was probably very strict and a huge change from how they were living prior to that so it was probably a hard adjustment. They likely got through it because they had an end date in mind, which is where I struggle with any of those diets or workout routines that last 14 days or 30 days or something like that. If you know you only have to do something for X amount of time, what’s likely getting you through that time is knowing you can go back to “normal” once that timeframe is over. Right? I know that’s how it would be for me if I ever did something like the Whole30 or something else like that.

Rather, I believe in lifestyle changes. Starting with small, achievable changes that you can sustain for a long as you want to. Once you master that, you pick something else to change and soon enough, you will have made lifestyle changes that don’t have an end date. You learn to appreciate the way you feel and look and learn to really love fueling your body with real foods and working out in ways that make you feel strong and powerful.

With that said, it’s safe to assume I am going to carry on with “business as usual” when it comes to my diet and exercise in preparation for the wedding. Because, again, I’m not “preparing” for the wedding. I am very happy with how I look and feel as a result of my current “diet” (by diet, I mean what I eat on a day to day basis) and workout routine. Sure, we’ve been eating out a lot more and eating things we don’t normally eat (hello, moving and not having a fully functioning kitchen for so long!), but that’s only temporary. Last week we had time to do lots of meal prep and had a fridge stocked with various cooked veggies and meats all week, making it easy to make healthy choices.

On the workout front, I have been teaching a lot more lately which means my own workouts have fallen a bit by the wayside. I haven’t been going to the gym for my own workouts and let me tell you- I miss lifting heavy things!! But again, I know that I will get back to that soon enough, so I am trying to focus on embracing all of the newness of our engagement and celebrations right now. I’m always looking to try new workouts and formats, so just as I usually do, throughout the next year I’m sure I’ll be trying lots of new things- taking you all along for the ride. I may do some “wedding-themed” workouts here and there, but I can assure you I will not be doing anything drastically different on the workout OR diet front leading up to the wedding!


I’d love to hear from you guys, though! Do you like to follow “quick fix” diet or workout plans or do you prefer to make lifestyle changes? Did you do a crazy diet or workout plan before your wedding or another big event? When do you feel your best?


“Make Tomorrow Suck”

Say, what?! Who would ever want to do that, right? That was my first thought as I walked into the BSC I teach at and saw this on the digital board in the entry way:


There are so many things that make me upset about this ad and message, so I apologize if my thoughts aren’t entirely organized or if I ramble ;)

  1. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want any day to suck. #notinterested
  2. I never go into my workouts hoping to be so sore the next day that I am miserable. Again, #notinterested
  3. How is this even supposed to be inspiring?! Personally, I don’t like being abnormally sore the day after a workout. Sure, I like to feel like I’ve worked out and challenged myself, but to be so sore it hurts to sit down to go to the bathroom or wash my hair is just not something I strive for when I’m working out.
  4. On top of that, having “tomorrow suck” because of a hard workout the day before can be just the thing that throws people who are just getting back into the groove off their game. They may have been on a roll with getting to the gym X days a week and then BAM, they do an incredibly hard workout and are so sore they have to skip a few days… next thing they know a week has gone by, they are no longer sore and yet they haven’t been back to the gym. Workouts should be a sustainable activity and not leave you to a point of miserable soreness, time after time.
  5. Where is the fun in that mentality or your workouts?! Let’s face it- working out to the point of “making tomorrow suck” means you’re probably working REALLY hard and while that may be fine once and a while, that isn’t going to last- nor should it! Trust me, I don’t want to go to the gym and have easy workouts that don’t challenge me (unless it’s a day where I’m just looking to zone out), but I also don’t want to live day to day being extremely sore. Nothing about that sounds fun to me. On top of that, you should really be varying the intensity of your workouts from day to day- some days harder, some days lighter- that way your body has a chance to recover and build more muscle!
  6. It’s just an intimidating comment. There’s nothing friendly or inviting with that statement and while it may make some people pumped up and motivated to get to the gym,  I think the vast majority of gym goers- especially newer ones- would look at that and feel maybe like they’re making the wrong decision. It is always my goal to make people feel welcomed and comfortable… to make them feel like they are wanted at the gym and that no matter what level they’re working at, that they are doing enough for themselves that day. They are there, they are trying and they sure as hell are doing a LOT more than if they skipped out on the gym all together!

I know the media has specific reasons behind everything they do in terms of marketing things, but I just think sometimes they get it all wrong. The front of Cosmo, Women’s Health, Shape, etc. are always full of “how to lost fat faster!”, “how to get toned abs in 7 days”, “how to get a bikini body in 2 weeks!”, etc., along with airbrushed, half dressed women looking “flawless” (or at least that’s the thought behind the photo). The thing is, none of that stuff is really attainable. Why can’t they put REAL women on the cover- who are strong, not just skinny? And, on the same topic, why do workout brands need to make everything look so extreme and intense? Everyone in their ads are always super toned and thin and muscular, wearing matching clothes and “glistening” instead of sweating. I’m sure you can all agree that that’s just not realistic ;)

 I’d love to hear your thoughts, though- do you get motivated by “tough” statements like “Make Tomorrow Suck”? Or do you prefer getting excited because you’re doing something physical that you like and enjoy? Do you change up the intensity of your workouts from day to day or do you tend to do more high intensity or low intensity workouts?



sweat your butt off, literally.