My Fit Journey

Hey there, Fit Fam!

It’s Lisa, still Aaron’s favorite sister. It has been almost a year since I introduced you to my journey, and Aaron thought it would be a good idea to check in again. So, a quick recap! I was overweight, unfit, not exercising much, and tossing around the idea of running a half-marathon (sounds logical, right?). In an effort to prepare for the run, Aaron and Christine (generously) invited my girls and me to come stay with them for a week, work out at Fit, and learn from their healthy lifestyle. After the week of “enlightenment”, my husband and I changed our family to a mostly whole foods diet, we enforced stricter technology rules, and I started training on my own.  

So, are you curious about the marathon? Do you think my family was able to keep up the dietary changes? Are you wondering if I’m better or worse off than I was a year ago? Read on for the answer to those questions and much, much more. (If you are not curious, honestly, at this point you might as well give me a courtesy read.  I mean, you are almost ⅓ of the way through...)

How did the half marathon go?  

I trained as best I could through the summer, but once the school year started (I’m a 9th grade spanish teacher), my training slowed down significantly (and my sanity waned). (Perhaps you noticed, but, like someone else you may know, I tend to toss myself into challenges and give it all I have got. So, parenting and teaching pretty much get all I’ve got.) Nevertheless, I ran that sucker and lived to tell the tale. I wouldn’t say I ran at a competitive level, but I did run most of the 13.1 miles and I finished in the top half of the herd. As an added bonus, (and thanks to much foam rolling) I was mobile the following day. For me, it was a huge win and, as cheesy as it sounds, you guys were with me the whole way.

What about the changes to our family?  

Well, we still maintain a mostly whole foods diet*, although my husband and youngest daughter stray from the plan at lunch occasionally. I am much more strict with my diet and that of my eldest daughter (we both have ADHD). Despite challenges early on, the change was totally worth it! My daughter had a very successful school year (her first year of middle school) and her personality is shining through (when not overshadowed by preteen angst). My mental well being has been pretty solid (I’m nuts! There’s only so much that modern science can do!) and I have had minimal issues with my IBS. So, we are still going strong!

*You probably noticed that I said, “mostly whole foods diet”. Well, for me to expect my 10 and 12 year old daughters to go from a steady diet of (chemical-laden) goldfish to absolutely no goldfish crackers at all, is unreasonable and just plain mean. So, last week, for the first time since last June (yes, I’m that mean), I bought some single serving baggies of the salty, orange things. The girls were so excited, you would have thought that I had installed an inground pool with live, trained dolphins in our backyard. (World’s Okayest Mother at your service.) To my surprise, the girls didn’t scarf down the goldfish in one sitting, but instead the goldfish lasted the week. Upon this miraculous event, I realized something important. Like Aaron has mentioned in a previous blog post, moderation is a good thing. (Don’t tell him that he was right about something. It will go straight to his head.) What I know for certain is that the per child consumption of goldfish crackers in the Sobotka household in the past year has significantly decreased compared to the number of goldfish consumed in the previous years. The same can be said of the multitude of unhealthy snacks eaten by my family. That, my friends, is progress!

What about me?

Well, the good news is that I’m less of a hot mess (maybe luke warm at times?). I eat protein and veggies at every meal (it is still not weird to eat carrots for breakfast, people). I eat some fruit and nuts for snacks. I love to cook and bake and I have enjoyed the challenge of finding gluten free snacks, meals and desserts to make and enjoy. This summer I am sharing the membership of a CSA for the added challenge of using whatever (fresh and local) produce they send my way to feed my family. On the diet front, I am better than ever. (Just don’t ask me to give up the occasional popcorn feast! I tried! It’s not going to happen!) So, with the end of winter I was surprised to learn that none of my spring clothes actually fit me anymore. Due to the drastic change in diet, the pounds and inches have continued to melt away. I am proud to report that I am the fittest I have ever been in my adult life! This summer, I decided to take my fitness to a new level and I joined a gym in Des Moines (I literally flipped giant tires yesterday). My gym in Iowa reminds me of Fit somewhat (although, nowhere I have been really captures the amaziness of Fit).

So, that’s the story. Thanks for hanging in there with me! I am currently looking forward to Week of Enlightenment: The Sequel! That’s right! Aaron and Christine were kind (crazy) enough to invite us back for another week of crazy cousin bonding this summer and I will be back to sweat with you at Fit next week, June 25th to the 29th. If you see me in the gym, please come over,  introduce yourself and tell me about your journey! For added entertainment, I am still more than happy to offer embarrassing stories of Aaron as a young lad growing up in Iowa!