NBGNO: Knock Out Cancer

What a treat it was to have TWO NBGNO events in just a few weeks. In case you missed my last recap, you can find it here. Other recaps from prior girls night out events can be found here, here, here, and here. I can’t believe I’ve been lucky enough to attend so many of these events!

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The October NBGNO event was one of the best ones I’ve attended to date. Obviously I loved the workout since cardio kickboxing is my jam, but more than that I loved the total girl power radiating throughout everyone all night. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, the theme of the workout and night was to “knock out cancer”. Unfortunately, all too many of us have some sort of connection to cancer and events like this are just one more way to raise awareness for this terrible disease. New Balance has had a partnership with Susan G Komen for 26 years at this point and has raised MILLIONS of dollars for the Susan G Komen foundation, which is just incredible. After our workout, Dr. Priscilla Brastianos spoke about her work in the field of cancer and all that she has done over the years to try and cure cancer. Not only has breast cancer taken her grandmother’s life, but also her mother’s life, so she is channeling those feelings and losses into finding a cure.

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Sherri, from Fun Fit Flavor, was the emcee for the night and spoke of her sister, who was diagnosed with breast cancer over a year ago. I remember her talking about her sister last year and was so happy to hear about all of the wonderful and positive strides her sister has made over the past year.

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One of my biggest takeaways from both Dr. Brastianos  and Sherri’s talks was the role exercise and healthy living plays in cancer, treatment and recovery. Regular exercise & healthy eating reduces your risk of getting breast cancer by 20% (!!!), which is pretty amazing. And it doesn’t have to be anything crazy- making small, healthy changes is a great place to start, which is part of the reason why I love these NBGNO events so much. They are suitable for ALL ages, shapes, sizes and fitness abilities and truly leave you feeling so inspired to live a healthier life. You CAN workout AND have fun with your friends… and maybe refuel with a little bubbly afterwards 😉

Workouts for this event were lead by the fantastic Eliza Shirazi, creator of Kick It By Eliza®, and Susan Reardon of Reardon Wellness (Both teach at The Club by George Foreman III). Eliza and Susan each taught a quick 20 minute workout, allowing us to workout with both of them. I enjoyed both workouts, but I have to say Eliza’s was more my speed- her energy was contagious and it had the same type of intensity that I have in my classes, so I was totally in my element!

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It was REALLY cool kickin’ it in Copley Square! Post workout, we headed back into the New Balance store for some delicious apps and smoothies from Thirst Juice Co.. They always have a bar set up with seasonal cocktails as well as beer and wine, but I opted to just drink water and smoothies this time… I know, who am I?!

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It was great getting to catch up with blogger and gym friends, too!

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My sister was able to join me which was fun because we love fitness and food dates!

Per usual, we walked away with some awesome swag: little gym bag, awesome dry fit NB t-shirt and coupons. I wore the shirt on a run the next day and loved how comfortable it was, not to mention the bright pink color 😉 I see this quickly becoming a favorite!

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All in all, NBGNO events went out with a bang this year and I can’t wait for them to start back up next year!

Questions for you: How much exercise do you try to fit in per week? Do you do anything for breast cancer awareness month?

 

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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 😉

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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.

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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?

I’m Back! {catch-up notes}

Hi everyone! I’m back from an incredible 12 day trip throughout Italy! Did you enjoy the guest posts during my time away? I loved reading them! In case you missed them, here they are:

Guest Post: A Healthy Twist On Entertaining
Guest Post: 7 Tips to Help Your Strength Training Journey
Guest Post: How to Trust an Unexpected Journey
Guest Post: RM’s Review of the “Whole30″ Program
Guest Post: Back on the Running Wagon

Thanks again to everyone who contributed! And, I loved all of your comments on RM’s guest post- looks like I’m going to have to get him to write another one 😉

I have a number of recap posts to get together for you, but due to the craziness that comes along with getting back into the swing of things (and drafting some sponsored posts), they may not be up as soon as I would like. Hopefully you all follow me on Instagram and Facebook and were able to see some pics throughout my trip (revisiting them makes me want to go back!).

In the meantime, I wanted to share some happenings you may be interested in:

  • New Balance is hosting their next Girls Night Out event next Thursday, June 11th. I’m hoping to make it for some of the event, but I’ve already committed to running the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge which is on the same night 😦 If you’re interested in the NBGNO event, I suggest signing up now since they fill up quickly! The events are always so much fun and this one sounds great since it’s got a run OR a booty and arm workout, which will obviously be followed by cocktails and snacks!
  • B/Spoke is opening a “Pop-Up” location on the Cape this summer- how awesome, right?! It’s in Falmouth and they have a sale on packages- check here for more information.
  • I’ll be at the Lululemon Prudential Store location on SATURDAY from 3-4pm as a “window model”, which means I’ll be on display working out in their store front window for an hour- if you’re in the Boston area, I’d love to see your familiar faces 🙂

I think that’s it for now- hope all of you are well!

 

Shaking Things Up w/New Balance {NBGNO recap}

I know I sound like a broken record, but New Balance really does put on the BEST “girls night out” (NBGNO) events. To me, a GNO event that involves physical activity, followed by inspirational speakers and food & cocktails is a pretty awesome night. I love getting to surround myself with health and fitness loving people like myself while doing things we love (working out!), so I always jump at a chance to attend these events with New Balance reaches out to me.

Last week, the second NBGNO event of the season was held at the Boston New Balance location. It was hosted by local Boston Blogger Stephanie, who blogs over at I Train Therefore I Eat and New Balance brand ambassador Aly Raymer who is an indoor cycling instructor at B/Spoke.

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(Photo from the NBGNO gallery)

The topic for this NBGNO was one I’m really passionate about: shaking it up! Far too often I see people, day in and day out at the gym, pedaling along on the elliptical or running miles and miles on the treadmill or lifting those same 5lb weights, wondering why they aren’t seeing any changes. The thing is, if we only do the same things, we can only expect the same results, right? If we’re consistently lifting the same size weight, how are our muscles going to grow? If we are always running/ellipticalling at the same pace, how are we ever going to gain speed? We can really only expect to change if WE are activity changing things up. Shaking things up.

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a creature of habit in most aspects of my life. I don’t like change and it just doesn’t come naturally to me… expect at the gym or with regards to fitness. I get so bored if I do the same thing, day in and day out, which is why I always teach new things in my classes (even though most participants likely wouldn’t notice if I repeated things!) and am constantly trying new fitness studios in and around the Boston area. From running to spinning to weight lifting to zumba’ing to swimming, there are always ways to change things up and give your muscles a little shock, rather than them going into auto-pilot mode.

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Stephanie talked about how shaking up her workout routine was the best thing she could have done. She’s a lover of heavy lifting, but since she’s added in running and biking, she’s noticed a positive change in her body and her appreciation for its abilities. And, changing it up makes your workouts FUN because you’re not going to feel sick of whatever it is you’ve probably over-done.

For me, I’ve talked a lot about how I’ve changed up my workouts this year. I’ve started working out during lunch to free up my evenings. By doing this, I’ve drastically cut down on the time I’ve spent at the gym, but you know what? I love it! I’ve noticed some great changes- physically and mentally- because of my shortened workouts. I get in there, bust ass for 35-40 minutes and peace out. Since I know I’m short on time, I make every minute count. I’ve also been able to play around with different “toys” since the gym tends to be quieter when I go. I’m loving Kettlebells and TRX suspension and ball slams- my workouts are FUN and something I look forward to since they are always different. Another way I’m shaking it up? Lift Weights Faster 2– this program, created by the amazing Jen Sinkler, is fantastic. Every workout is different and challenging in its own way, and I love that the equipment needed, time required and formats are so varied. I plan on doing a full review of this training program soon, but in short- I LOVE it and have love how much it’s gotten me out of my comfort zone.

… Woops! That got a little longer than I had anticipated, but I’m just so passionate about changing things up that I get excited and can’t stop typing 😉 Before Stephanie and Aly spoke, we had a chance to run or spin. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there early enough to nab a spin bike, so a run it was! My friend Amanda joined m e and we had a blast running along the Charles and through Beacon Hill (ok, a blast with the exception of the Beacon Hill hills… those bad boys are no joke!). The weather was absolutely gorgeous so as long as I was outside I didn’t care what we were doing.

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My other friends are the event were able to spin and they said spinning in the common area in the Back Bay was SUPER cool and that Aly taught an incredible class. We all got a free class at B/spoke as part of the swag bags New Balance gave us, so I can’t wait to get back there. I love that studio!

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(Photo courtesy of the NGBNO gallery)

Per usual, the post workout snacks and drinks were awesome! Essentia water was available and smoothie samples from Thirst Juice Co were provided as well. I’m dying to get to Thirst Juice Co because everything I’ve tried from there has been so good! Luckily, there was a coupon in the swag bag so now I have no excuse not to go 🙂

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And, lastly, it was so fun getting to catch up with blogger and gym friends!

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Sarah & Stephanie

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Athena, Mary & Ashley

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(Photo courtesy of Athena)

If you haven’t checked out these events, I HIGHLY suggest doing so- they are always so fun and they’re free! what more could you ask for?! My other recaps can be found here:

My first New Balance Girls Night Out event
Wednesday Workout: NBGNO Event- How to Stay Fit While on the Road
2015’s First New Balance Girls Night Out (NBGNO) Event

Awesome job hosting, Stephanie and Aly- you girls ROCKED it!

Questions for you: Do you tend to shake it up often or are you a creature of habit? Have you been taking your workouts outside in this great weather? What’s your ideal girls night out?

2015’s First New Balance Girls Night Out (NBGNO) Event

In case you’re new to the New Balance Girls Night Out (NBGNO) events, let me give a little background on them: New Balance hosts these “girls night out” events about once a month as a way to get women together for a night of fitness, inspiration, empowerment and healthy eats and clean drinks. They range in topics and I’ve been to the #Laceup365 one in honor of breast cancer awareness month and the “healthy while on the road” one featuring the Westin’s fitness programs. Those recaps are here:

My first New Balance Girls Night Out event
NBGNO Event- How to Stay Fit While on the Road

This most recent 2015 kickoff event was something I was really looking forward to, not only because of the theme of the event, but because my gym/blog/in real life friend, Athena, was the host/emcee! The theme of the night was “Body Breakthrough” and as I’ve had a lot of discussions with Athena on this and ones she’s been having over the past couple of years, I knew she would do an absolutely fantastic job leading the event and sharing her story.

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Added bonus of the night? A bunch of our gym friends came!

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