NBGNO + Self Expression Through Fitness

This is a really delayed event recap, but hey, that’s okay.

Do you guys remember how I went to pretty much the coolest fitness event ever back in June, courtesy of New Balance? For those of you who might have missed my first post, the gist is that New Balance has a campaign called Girls Night Out, and the main goal of the program is to offer women a different kind of happy hour. Basically, the events are fun nights filled not only with fitness, but with food, music, shopping, and meeting new people. Each event also has an inspiring theme. The event I attended in June was about how “excellent is strong,” and the one I attended in July was all about self-expression through fitness.

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

Rachel from the blog Healthy Chicks was our host for the night again, and she encouraged us to choose the form of fitness that works for us instead of worrying so much about how our choices stack up to everyone else’s. The takeaway was that our workouts should be something we ENJOY and not something we feel obligated to do just because everyone else is doing it. This is something I try to instill in fitness newbies early on. If you absolutely hate to run, don’t. If you love to dance, maybe Zumba is more up your alley. It doesn’t matter if you are a yogi, a CrossFitter, a lifter, a kayaker, or a spinner. What matters is that you are out there MOVING and doing something good for your body and for your health.

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

Rachel also talked a lot about how her fitness routines have changed a lot since college (spending hours on the elliptical to burn calories, doing the new Jennifer Aniston abs plan because it was the new hot thing) and now (spending time on the yoga mat because she truly enjoys it, trying new classes around town because they’re fun). Having been an elliptical junkie myself for many years, I found myself nodding throughout this whole section. Working out should not be about how many calories you burn and “getting skinny.” It’s about being fit, strong, and confident, and the feeling you get when doing healthy activities you truly enjoy doing.

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014[Photo cred: New Balance Back Bay]

In honor of the theme, New Balance offered three different workouts to choose from: an outdoor spin with Flywheel, a signature bootcamp class with Equinox, or a fun 3-mile run. I opted for Flywheel because I’ve tried lots of cycling and spinning classes before (one of my favorite forms of cardio), but never Flywheel. Plus, Christina was teaching the class. If you’ve never taken a class with Christina before, she ROCKS. She is truly inspiring, and she makes fitness fun. Even after a tough class, everyone was all smiles.

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

The class was awesome, and I must say that I felt pretty badass cycling away on Boylston Street as random passerby stopped to snap pictures or take videos. But let’s be honest, that was pretty much the extent of me feeling badass because it was so hot outside, and my legs seriously could not keep up with Christina’s cues for torque and RPMs. The 35 minutes I spent on the bike were no joke, but at least I got to struggle next to my blogger friend Steph!

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014[Photo cred: Steph’s blog]

After our sweat sesh was done, we headed back inside to meet up with the bootcamp and running groups, grab some snacks, and mingle. There were so many fun bloggers at this event, and I had a blast catching up with them! I was especially excited to chat with Whitney from Live Run Love Yoga. We have been virtual friends for SO LONG, and I can’t believe our paths hadn’t crossed until this NBGNO event. Whitney said it best, it was like we knew each other in person already!

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014I also really enjoyed hanging out with Sherri from Fun, Fit, Flavor. I think we had only been at one other New Balance event together before, but we didn’t get to talk much at that one. Turns out that she and the friends she brought to NBGNO grew up with a ton of my cousins. AND we have mutual friends (Jess and Brett!). It really is a small world. Check us out in our matching NB tops:

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

Finally, New Balance also gave everyone a fun swag bag filled with goodies, including a fitness towel that each of us could customize with various inspiring phrases like “girls run this town,” “a new kind of night on the town,” and my personal favorite, “footwear required, lipstick optional.”

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

We also got a thumb-drive loaded with a 30-minute running playlist, a headband, and some coupons. Here’s me and Steph, showing off our swag and cute totes!

New Balance Girls Night Out: July 2014

The Boston NBGNO took a little break in August, but word on the street is that it will be back this fall. I encourage you guys to download the GNO app to stay informed and join the party! For those not in the Boston area, you can find similar events in New York, Chicago, and more.

–Let’s chat–
Have you heard of New Balance Girls Night Out? How do you express yourself through health and fitness? How has fitness evolved for you over the years? How does fitness make you strong and confident?

For more NBGNO July event recaps, check out these posts from the bloggers I mentioned ahove:

Fitness & Feta Turns Three! {New Balance Giveaway}

Can you believe it was three years ago (from Saturday) that I shared my first blog post with you guys?

I certainly can’t.

I think most bloggers can relate to this, but I always cringe laugh when I look back at some of my past posts. The waaaay too wordy workout descriptions, the awful pictures, and just the way I wrote some things? Borderline embarrassing. No wonder only my mom and my roommates read at the time. <—because I forced them to.

But it’s all part of the learning process. Through this hobby of mine, I’ve definitely become a better writer. I’ve become more confident. Through healthy living blogging, I have become healthier. Stronger. And I’ve definitely expanded my network, established some awesome connections, and made some great virtual AND real life friends.

By far one of the best connections that I’ve established through blogging is my relationship with New Balance. I always say I love the brand and what it stands for, and it’s been great to work with them on different fitness events, product reviews and promotions, and more. Today I’m teaming up with New Balance again so that we can celebrate F&F’s third birthday with a really awesome giveaway.


One lucky F&F reader will win these two fabulous items:

Fresh Foam 822 Trainer
Inspired by our best-selling Fresh Foam running shoe, the Fresh Foam 822 women’s trainer bring the science of soft to the gym with a high-tech, high-comfort midsole and flexible yet supportive fit. The innovative midsole design helps provide lateral stability and cushioning during high-impact workouts — and foam pillows on the tongue and heel add even more plush comfort. And so you can move freely from studio to gym to boot camp, this women’s shoe flaunts flex grooves in the outsole that help your shoe and foot move as one.

Fresh Foam 822 Trainer

Wellness Tote
The New Balance Wellness Tote is the perfect bag to go from work to workout, accommodating your workout gear, laptop, files and more. Separate compartments for apparel and shoes keep you organized while a removable, washable cinch sack holds smaller items in place. The tote also features a padded laptop sleeve, cord organizer pockets, a document pocket, and straps to hold your jacket or yoga mat.

NB-6000 -D Wellness Tote

To enter the giveaway, you must do TWO things:

1. Leave a comment on this post answering either question A (what would you like to see more of on F&F in year four?) or question B (what is one of your favorite F&F posts from years past?).

2. Leave a second comment on this post after sharing the giveaway on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram). Example social share: I just entered to win some awesome fitness gear from @fitnessandfeta! Happy 3 years of blogging! http://wp.me/p1GYjo-3v2

This giveaway will be open until Friday 7/18 at 11:59 EST. The winner will be announced early in the week of 7/21, so make sure to check back and see if you won! A huge thank you to my friends at New Balance for donating these products for the giveaway.

Good luck!

For extra related reading material today, check out:

New Balance Girls Night Out

Last week I went to one of the funnest events I’ve had the chance to attend through F&F.

New Balance Girls Night Out

New Balance recently launched their Girls Night Out campaign, and the main goal of the program is to provide women in the Boston area with a different kind of happy hour. I unfortunately couldn’t attend the first event back in May, but you can catch some great recaps of the “Light Up the Night” theme on Steph’s blog, Sarah’s blog, and Caroline’s blog. This month’s theme was “Excellent is Strong,” and the entire night focused on how to empower women through fitness for not only physical benefits, but for emotional and mental strength as well. The more opportunities I have to work with New Balance, the more I fall in love with the brand and what it stands for. The Girls Night Out series was created to bring women together through kick-ass celebrations of fitness, food, and socializing, and the night was totally up my alley.

I arrived at the New Balance Experience Store on Boylston Street a few minutes early, and I spent a few minutes checking my bag, getting my workout group assignment, and snapping some pictures. Before I knew it, we were off to do the workout part of the evening. While last month’s event included a 3.5 mile run, this month’s fitness focus was three different bootcamp style circuit stations.

New Balance Girls Night Out

The workouts were led by various trainers, including celebrity fitness trainer Holly Perkins. Each group rotated between working out right in Copley Square, in the NB store itself, and at the Comm Ave mall. Here are some of the photos from the workouts. Can you spot me?

New Balance Girls Night Out[Photo credit: New Balance Boston Facebook page via Matthew Teuten]

After we got our sweat on, each group reconvened at the NB store for a little party time. New Balance kindly offered a 25% discount on in store apparel all night, you could hang out by the photo booth, and there was live music played by BrekOne. There were also lots of delicious snacks such as pita chips, veggies, homemade fruit and nut bars, and various types of smoothies.

New Balance Girls Night Out: Snacks

After munching on some post workout food, I also sipped on a glass of sangria while listening to inspirational talks by Holly Perkins and the blogger emcee of the night, Rachel from Healthy Chicks. Shape Magazine editor Laurel Leicht also spoke during the event. I loved hearing each of these women talk about what strength means to them, a topic that is very important to me.

New Balance Girls Night Out

Finally, one of my favorite parts of the night was just connecting with so many like-minded people. I was psyched to see my friend Caroline again, and we chatted throughout the workout and during the rest of the night. I also finally got to meet so many people in real life like Rachel from Healthy Chicks, Allie from Allie Wears, Elizabeth from Little Moments of Happiness, and Eliza from Kick It By Eliza.

New Balance Girls Night Out [Upper right photo cred to Rachel]

I left the event with a smile on my face and feeling in my happy place. We also got a sweet swag bag at the end that included the latest issue of Shape magazine, Holly Perkins’ baladea fitness and wellness system, some coupons, and a NBGNO headband. Can’t go wrong… thanks, New Balance!

If this type of event sounds up your alley, mark your calendars for the next New Balance Girls Night Out celebration on July 22nd! Registration hasn’t opened yet, but I’ll be sharing on the blog and on my social media channels for when it does. Another big part of the Girls Night Out initiative is the GNO MeetUp app, which allows women across the country to find group runs, create new running routes, discover new hangouts, and invite friends to meet up for fitness activities.

–Let’s chat–
Have you heard of New Balance Girls Night Out before? Have you checked out the GNO MeetUp app? What’s your ideal type of girls night?
If you could plan or host one fitness event, what would it be?

Hope everyone is gearing up for the 4th! If you are looking for any patriotic recipes, you may be interested in: