Thoughts for Thursday (26) - #SummerSlimdown with Books with Cass

Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday! This feature is our outlet to talk with you about whatever we currently have on our minds. It might be bookish, it might not! Now for this week's thought:

#SummerSlimdown with Books with Cass

Cassie over at Books with Cass started this great feature, #SummerSlimdown, to focus on getting healthy and fit this summer. She, and anyone who wants to join her, will share recipes, workouts, progress updates, etc., to stay motivated and on track. As a bit of a fitness enthusiast myself, I thought this was a great idea and I really wanted to support Cassie, and this feature. 

I started paying attention to my health and fitness since I was in High School and it's been a journey of ups and downs since then. I haven't always had the healthiest of habits, or the healthiest of attitudes, but I am finally learning to accept my body the way it is and just focus on being healthy and happy. I've learned some important lessons over the years and I wanted to share them with you, along with my favorite workouts and a new favorite recipe! 

Lessons Learned/Advice

1. The key is eating right AND working out. Ever hear of the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym”? It’s true. Just exercising or just eating healthy will only take you so far. To see the best results you have to do both.

2. Don’t try to do too much too fast. Not only is it not sustainable, but you can hurt yourself.

3. Set realistic goals. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. "Strive for progress not perfection"

3. Find what works for you. If you aren’t a runner, you don’t have to run. Tailor your workouts to things you like (or the things you hate the least). Same with eating healthy. 

4. Make it a habit. Schedule your workouts and don't allow yourself to miss one. Soon enough it will be part of your normal routine and you won't question whether or not you should work out. "Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going"

5. Switch it up. Switch up your workouts every now and again. Not only will it keep you from getting bored but 1) your muscles can actually get used to the activity you’re doing and you can hit a plateau, and 2) your body may need a break. Trust me, I've suffered from exercise fatigue before.

6. Listen to your body. Your body will tell you when something is wrong with it. Listen to it. There is a difference between muscle soreness and actual pain. If you experience pain, don’t ignore it. Rest, ice it and see if it goes away. If it doesn't, talk to your doctor. 

7. Do it for the right reasons. Do it for YOU because YOU want to. Not for anybody else. It's the only reason that is good enough and will last. 

9. It's all about balance. As with anything in life, health and fitness should just be a part of it. These are lifestyle changes, care , but don't obsess over it. 

Favorite Workouts

I love workout videos because I never have to worry about weather or the time of day that I'm working out. And I am a HUGE Beachbody fan. I own Insanity, T25, and P90X3. I've done the entire Instanity program a few times now and it's still my favorite but if you are pressed for time T25 and P90X3 are great alternatives. And I love having all three programs. I've gotten in the habit of mixing and matching depending on how I felt that day, how much time I had and what area of my body I wanted to focus on. 

But i'll always be a runner at heart so every now and then I'll go back to running. Like lately, i've  started running again, mostly doing speed work but now that I have a break from school i'll start increasing my mileage. I've also started incorporating yoga into my weekly routine. I'm a newbie to yoga but i'll be a fan for life. I love the stretch it gives me and the total body strength building. Anddd, I love the really cool poses! :) 

Favorite Recipe

I recently discovered Wegmans Red Quinoa-Avocado Salad this recipe from a coworker and I am obsessed. It takes a little prep work but I made a bunch on a Sunday night and ate it for lunch throughout the week. It's nice and light and fresh. Perfect for summer!

You can find the recipe here.

Here's all of the ingredients prepped and ready to combine:

And here's the final product!

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