Outside the Box with Ottumwa, Iowa obé Member Lesley VanNess

by team obé

A bit about Lesley:

After several years living in Des Moines, Iowa, I moved to Ottumwa where he helped fulfill my dream of being in the restaurant business. We bought a bagel shop that I ran for 7 years. I’m SO thankful for it and miss all my regulars (and the ability to bake 20 dozen cookies at once!), but 7 years was plenty. I now work at the dealership and I love being able to work alongside Josh and the flexibility my job allows me. He is fourth generation owner and I love that we are helping to grow his family business that was started in 1934.

What inspired you to join the obé fam?

Seeing Katie Lee’s Instagram posts intrigued me. My husband and I love to travel (and love to eat!). We don’t have any kids and live in a small town so we hit the road as often as possible. When I was at home a workout routine was easy, I have always loved going to classes but, I struggled keeping up my exercise routine when we were on the road. We try to be compact travelers and if the trip is under 5 days we carry on …so I would take my workout gear…and somehow never managed to get to the gym.

So slowly I decided to save room and ditch the workout gear. That then turned into me starting to skip classes at home. Honestly, I was also bored with the classes…it was the same each week and the instructors never challenged us. I used to be a runner, but I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. I just started feeling down and my clothing was snug. I didn’t want to go places because I didn’t like the way I looked, that’s when I knew something had to change.

My husband is very sweet and loving, but also to the point and he always would say you don’t have the right to complain about something if you aren’t willing to put in the time and change it. I was ready for action and so glad that I found obé! 

What’s your favorite thing about obé? 

You mean favorites things!

I love that I can always get a workout in, no matter where I am. The classes are SO fun and there is a great variety. I can’t believe how great of a workout you can get at home with minimal space, equipment and in just 28 minutes! It’s amazing how fast a class goes and how great of a burn you get!

Everyone is so positive, motivating and kind. They take time to answer your questions and listen to requests. Hello all band class by Tiffani and inner/outer thigh Madelaine class! Tiffani has answered so many questions for me, I even sent her a Christmas card this year to thank her! Time is so precious and for her to take time out of her busy day and share her expertise is so significant to me.

The shouts are SO awesome! When I first joined, I didn’t plan to do many live classes but now, 90% of the classes I take are live. It helps keep me accountable and I love hearing my friends in class like Leslee (my obé twin!), Alicia, Kissy, Joan, Jenna, Antonella, Sarah, to name a few!

What are your fitness goals and what motivates you to stick to them?

To be the best possible version of myself!! More and more I realize that health is my greatest wealth and I want to kept getting stronger and never take it for granted. Sarah G. always asks us, “what is your why?” – she emphasizes that you have the ability to do this class and to be thankful that you can move. 

I also write down my goals & workouts on the Strive for Five Sheet (thank you Joan for posting about it!). I simply took a 3-ring binder and put the Strive for Five sheets in it. When I am feeling less than inclined to do a class I reach for the binder and look for a class I really liked (maybe even one with a shout out!) or I write down suggestions from the obé facebook group (I search the FB group a lot for recommendations)

It also has been so motivating to have IRL friends join because they have seen my posts and progress and want in! Once you try obé you are addicted! I can’t imagine a day without it.

What’s something you’re currently obséssed with? 

Gosh it’s a LONG list!

I love all the cute workout outfits I see on obé and am thrilled to have discovered new/flattering brands Outdoor Voices for sure is a favorite and I just discovered Montiel because of Tiffani posting about it. It’s so wonderful having nice, new workout gear – I totally believe in, “look good, feel good”. Treat yourself to new gear and it’s amazing how much better you will feel and perform!

With that…. The laundry loads have increased and I am still obsessed with The Laundress brand of products. I have been using them for over 7 years…you literally can wash anything (even if it says dry clean only!)! Its eco-friendly, super concentrated so a little goes a LONG way. You can text/email them with questions (even pictures of your stain!) The sport detergent rocks! Visit their SOHO location if you are in NYC.

I have huge feet (size 11) so comfortable shoes when I travel are a must. I always have a pair of Ferragamo My Joy flats with me. They are comfy, fold up and I am always adding to my collection when I spy a new color.

Dior lip glow in berry, I always have a tube on hand.

Zoodles! I can not get enough..I got this Japanese spiralizer forever ago before it was all the rage and it’s THE best!

Compagnie de Provence Liquid Marseille Soap the best hand soap-its smells amazing and a bottle lasts a long time.

 Which class are we most likely to hear your name?

I am absolutely a regular with the 6am crew (5am central!). Madelaine’s classes are so fun and a burn! I LOVE sculpt (especially working my arms) Morning workouts give me so much energy and I feel so accomplished being done with my workout by 6am. 

I am trying to incorporate more cardio and do HIIT with Tiffani, Melody and Kat. Really love Power and lifting heavier weights. Adam is also awesome; he always has great music and moves. Issac’s classes are a great booty burn and love his arm work (having a moment with that towel arm workout-perfect for travel) Sarah G. is inspirational and the perfect perk if I need some zip! There are so many incredible instructors – clearly, it can be hard to pick!

Anything else the obé fam should know about you

I am SO not a morning person! When Josh and I owned the bagel shop there were days I was making dough at 3AM. It without question helped me become a morning person…if you are not a morning person give it time and you can be!

How I see it…obé really is my alarm clock! I always look at the class schedule the night before and if Madelaine is on at 5am I am up at 4:52am!  It’s so helpful on vacation when I am feeling lazy and just want to sleep longer. It gets me up and a class in before my husband is even ready for the day.

I also have a goal of getting to work out with all the instructors IRL. I have already gone to a class with Kat, Tiffani and Madelaine..so Melody you may be next on my list-Bear and Burpee City!

Follow Lesley obé journey on Instagram at @lesleyvan

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