MRS_ROSS's SparkPeople Blog MRS_ROSS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My dog died today My dog, Neeko, passed away this afternoon. :( Missing her. <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 6 Oct 2015 22:24:19 EST Current Measurements I decided to post my current measurements so I can look back at the end of this challenge and see my results. This is a bit embarrassing but there is something to say about transparency. <BR> <BR> Weigh yourself - 158.5 <BR> <BR> Measure your Waist - 31.5 <BR> <BR> Measure your Hips - 39 <BR> <BR> Measure your Neck - 13 <BR> <BR> Measure your Waist to Hip Ratio - .79 <BR> <BR> Measure your Thigh - 16.5 <BR> <BR> Measure your Calf - 14 <BR> <BR> Measure your Upper Arm - 11.5 <BR> <BR... Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:57:53 EST Day One- Six Week Challenge Hi Friends, <BR> <BR> So today is day one. Of course I decide to start this six week challenge in the middle of potty training my stubborn toddler. :) I wonder where she gets that from. Haha. I am planning on getting some exercise during Lydia's nap. I think I am going to do a bit of Wii Fit exercises and then a video. Maybe one of the many Spark videos that I have. I am planning to get around 1,500 calorie today so I can at least feel full most of the day. I am also planning to get in at le... Thu, 24 Sep 2015 12:28:51 EST 6 week challenge <img src=""> I often read the blog Runs for Cookies. Katie, the author of the blog, does 6 week challenges to keep herself motivated and fit. She recently completed a 6 week calorie challenge and lost 11 pounds!! I need to lose around 15 pounds so 6 weeks would be a perfect amount of time to make a lot of progress. If I start tomorrow, the six weeks will be over on November 5th!! That does not seem very far away. ... Wed, 23 Sep 2015 21:34:56 EST 15 pounds- Why can't I focus and get rid of you! HEY! It has been way too long since I have blogged. Having a TWO year old around makes it difficult. Ken and I are getting ready to sell our house and buy a new one. My brother is getting married to two months. Oh and I need to lose 15 pounds before the wedding. I bought my dress a bit too small hoping it would motivate me. Well, we have two months to go and I still have 15 pounds to go. I am so frustrated with myself. Just get it over with. Currently, I am in a size 10 and a size medium. My ... Tue, 19 May 2015 23:30:04 EST 100 Pounds Check out! Katie from Runs for Cookies put together a Motivational Monday post with people who have lost 100+pounds. I am the the first one listed!<BR>/03/motivational-monday-100.html?m=1 Tue, 3 Mar 2015 01:21:24 EST Fitbit! Today I bought a Fitbit flex. I love it so far! I was going to buy the Charge Hr but I would chose the Flex. I wanted to be able to wear it while showering. I also read that the Charge Hr has to be worn higher on the arm to get an accurate reading. I hope it can motivate me to finally lose this pregnancy weight! I looked at the food tracking part of the website and it told me I could only eat 700 calories to reach my goal weight. LOL. Spark says I can eat 1200-1500. I think I'll trust Spark! ... Sun, 22 Feb 2015 15:44:40 EST Good Day! I have tracked all of my calories today! So far today i have eaten 1,100 calories. Something I did while I was losing the 100 pounds was to save room for a treat at the end of the day. If I have something to look forward to, I am less likely to splurge during the day and run out of calories. After dinner I can have 200-300 calories as a treat. I usually choose ice cream :) <BR> <BR> We had a really yummy dinner. Pork chops, rice pilaf and corn. Ken and Lydia had bread but I chose to pass on... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 20:37:23 EST New Goals- Not a Resolution! Hello SparkPeoples! <BR> <BR> Is it really 2015 already? It seems like we were celebrating 2014 just a few months ago! Happy New Year to all my Spark Friends! What did you do to celebrate? My husband, Lydia, and I went to a friend's house. They have a toddler as well. He happens to be Lydia's best friend :) They are so cute together. We played with the kiddos and put them down for bed. The adults played games and tried to stay up until midnight :) We succeeded! <BR> <BR> Now that it is 201... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 01:28:33 EST Motivator- Tips for newbies! (And you!) Wow! I was totally surprised to see several emails from Spark this morning. I am humbled to be today's Spark motivator today! A little about me... I started my journey at 235, I lost almost 100 pounds in less than a year, I love The Lord, I am married to a wonderful man, we lost our first daughter at 23 weeks, we are blessed with a 13 month little girl, I was a teacher but now I stay home. SparkPeople was the key to my weight loss. <BR> <BR> I noticed most of you checking out my page are pr... Sat, 15 Feb 2014 13:26:02 EST New Goals- SparkPeople will get me there! Last night my husband, daughter and I went shopping to find him new sandals. We were browsing around and I found a Dallas Cowboys shirt (we are huge fans) that I liked. I tried on the medium because it looked like it was running a bit small. Well the medium was too tight so I ended up getting the large. Now to some this may seem like it isn't a big deal but before my pregnancy I definitely could have fit into the medium and probably the small. I have only a couple pairs of jeans that fit me a... Fri, 4 Oct 2013 12:37:24 EST Boo Congestion! We had a busy September! Traveling most weekends and seeing friends and family. I was looking forward to a restful week! On Monday Lydia and I both came down with a cold. I still have a bit of congestion and Lydia's nose is still running but we are getting over it. Hopefully next week I can get back on track with diet and exercise. I haven't been eating too poorly, I just need to track my calories! <BR> <BR> I hope your October is off to a good start. Its going to start cooling down this wee... Thu, 3 Oct 2013 18:38:25 EST WOOHOO I DID IT!! And you can too! Well.... It looks like you all keep me accountable worked! I'm sitting here covered in sweat, heart rate up, feeling pretty proud. I could be upset that I had to stop several times or that I'm basically starting over with my fitness but I'm not!!! I took the first step which was scary and I was intimidated by failure but one step would have been a success. That first step is sooo important. If you can take that first step you are a success story. Maybe tomorrow you can take two or even 20 ste... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:54:58 EST New Pics+MUST EXERCISE Hi Sparkers, <BR> <BR> I hope you are all doing well and reaching your goals. I wish I could say I am reaching my goals. I still have 15 pounds to get back to me pre-pregnancy weight. I am setting a goal for tomorrow to get on the elliptical for at least 15 minutes. I think if I just do it, it will get easier. Here is a bit of depressing news... I haven't exercised since Lydia was born besides walking. Keep me accountable! <BR> <BR> Otherwise we are doing really well. Lydia is such a sweet... Tue, 24 Sep 2013 23:56:41 EST Missing Hi All, <BR> <BR> I have received many emails, goodies and messages from all of you. Yes, I have gone missing but this little one of mine keeps me very busy! I do miss you all and am planning a longer blog that I can *hopefully* write tomorrow. My diet is so so and I've just started tracking again. Exercise has been a real challenge. Hoping to get it under control! I am around 10 pounds from my goal weight. <BR> <BR> I'll leave you with a few photos. More tomorrow! <BR> <BR> At the Henry ... Thu, 15 Aug 2013 17:46:39 EST The Spark Solution is Out Today! I received my copy in the mail yesterday! Its even better than I expected!! Tue, 7 May 2013 15:52:31 EST Book Review: The Spark Solution...... Hey guys! <BR> <BR> Today I will be reviewing SparkPeople’s new book, “The Spark Solution: A Complete Two-Week Diet Program to Fast-Track Weight Loss and Total Body Health” by Becky Hand, R.D. and Stepfanie Romine. Chef Meg Galvin created the recipes and Coach Nicole Nichols designed the workouts. Chris “SparkGuy” Downie wrote the introduction. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Oh my goodness! What a wonderful, comprehensive book that ... Thu, 11 Apr 2013 13:22:53 EST Lots of new friends... Tell me about yourself! I've noticed since I've come back after pregnancy that I seem to have a lot of new friends. I'd love to learn more about you! What are your goals? Why Spark? What are some of your woohoos moments? Friends I've known awhile, what's new? <BR> <BR> You CAN accomplish your goals! <BR> <BR> Here are some of my blogs that I go back and read for inspiration. <BR> <BR> Obese to Normal <BR><BR>_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4590017 <BR> <BR> Secrets to Su... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 17:22:57 EST Back after Baby Seven weeks after baby and I am back on SparkPeople! WooHoo!! So excited! After I returned home from the hospital I weighed 185. More than when I was pregnant. They had pumped me with tons of fluids due to my blood pressure tanking after my epidural. Two weeks later I was down to 160. I was so excited! My body knew what to do! Its so funny how my mind thinks. Two years after I started SparkPeople, I still doubted my body's capabilities but it did not fail me. Again, my body knew what to do! R... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 13:01:23 EST Lydia 'Talking' She is such a joy! Thu, 24 Jan 2013 18:24:52 EST Pictures of Lydia Grace! +Update Lydia turned two weeks old yesterday! Motherhood is everything I ever dreamed of and more. Lydia is the most beautiful baby (I'm not biased or anything) :) We feel so very blessed to have this most amazing gift. She is a very content baby, only fussing when she is hungry or needs a diaper change. She sleeps 4-5 hours at night, only waking to feed. <BR> <BR> We have had issues with her gaining weight. She was born at 6 lbs 6 oz and went home from the hospital at 5 lbs 11 oz. We had a series ... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 23:58:00 EST Lydia Grace Ross Lydia Grace Ross was born on December 19th at 3:38am. She weighs 6lb6oz and is 19 inches long. She is absolutely beautiful! Pics coming soon! Sun, 23 Dec 2012 16:23:42 EST Update: 2 Weeks to go! We are almost there! A little more than two weeks until our due date! Hooray! <BR> <BR> I'm sorry I've been MIA for so long! School has been really crazy this year (in a good way) and I have been sooo tired! When I spend a lot of time on Spark it is really hard for me to not track my calories. My doctor does NOT want me counting calories or stressing over weight gain. So I have been on Spark sporadically. I have gained a very healthy 38 pounds and my doctor is pleased. I am definitely all b... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 09:25:54 EST All of Me While I'm not focusing on losing weight (or even maintaining my weight) right now, I am still trying to find balance in my diet. My doctor wants me to eat around 2,400 calories a day and gain around 35 pounds during my pregnancy. I have been trying my hardest to eat that much food (its a lot!) while still making healthy choices. I've added more cheese to my diet along with whole grain foods that are higher in calories. I eat yogurt daily and have also started making fruit and veggie smoothies... Thu, 21 Jun 2012 12:06:13 EST It's true... I'm PREGNANT! Hi friends! Many of you guessed this but I have the most wonderful news to share. I.AM.PREGNANT!!! I honestly have never been more excited about anything in my life. Ever. I am 10 weeks along and am feeling pretty good! Baby is due December 16th. <BR> <BR> About 5 weeks ago, I was working out and I was sweating profusely and had only been at it for 10 minutes. I just felt off. My brother asked me if I was okay and I commented on not feeling well and stopped working out. After he went to bed... Mon, 21 May 2012 10:06:46 EST My Beautiful Breakfast <img src=""> <BR> I just can't think of anything tastier! Wed, 11 Apr 2012 11:42:10 EST Hi Self... You are freaking amazing... Just thought I'd tell you The letter I wish I could give my former self. <BR> <BR> Dear Elicia at 235 Pounds, <BR> <BR> Hello! Its just me from the future letting you know how freaking awesome you are. You are so gorgeous and strong. I wish you could see it. Someday you will look back and realize how awesome you really are. Try to see it now. God has blessed you in so many ways. <BR> <BR> First of all, I want to let you know how proud I am of you. You are so brave and courageous for having the willingness to start ... Thu, 22 Mar 2012 16:59:36 EST Guess what?!?! I used to HATE running and now I'm running a 5K! I know I already posted a blog today but I really wanted to talk a bit about running. I started running in the fall. I bought some awesome running shoes and socks (who knew socks could make SUCH a difference?!?!?!) I was able to run about 4 miles without stopping and felt great! Winter came and I just couldn't motivate myself to run outside in the cold. The weather has drastically changed in the last few weeks and we are experiencing summer like conditions in March. I decided to find a 5K and... Fri, 16 Mar 2012 13:11:25 EST Perinatologist Update!! Ken and I have been super busy the past couple weeks. The busyness is schedule to continue at least through the second week of April, which thinking about is exhausting, however, I am actually really looking forward to it. <BR> <BR> I'm going to rewind a bit and go back to our perinatologist appointment on March 2nd. I was very nervous going into the appointment. I wasn't nervous about anything being wrong with me or getting any terrible news. I was mostly nervous that I wouldn't be classif... Fri, 16 Mar 2012 12:43:09 EST Perinatologist Tomorrow... A few weeks ago I finally gained the courage to call my perinatologist's office and setup our preconception appointment. I had been putting it off and putting if off because I am just so nervous to get pregnant again. I know it is in the Lord's hands but I can't help but relive our last experience every time I think about being pregnant again. I am healthier and fitter than I have EVER been so that has helped alleviate so of my fears but it is just sooo scary! <BR> <BR> Our appointment is ... Thu, 1 Mar 2012 16:13:12 EST Healthy Meals One of my favorite things to do on Mondays is make our healthy menu for the week. I look forward to hunting down new, healthy recipes and making a list of all the goodies I will need to purchase at the grocery store. I have heard some friends comment on how much they loath planning and preparing meals but I get so much joy out of it! <BR> <BR> Pinterest has really given me some great new ideas and I love having the ability to organize all my ideas in one spot and to share my findings with my... Mon, 27 Feb 2012 11:14:14 EST Plan for Lent I grew up Catholic, so giving up something for Lent was engrained into my brain. As a child, I wanted to give up something that would be easy and wouldn't take much sacrifice. As my faith has grown, along with my understanding of the reason for sacrificing during Lent, I have found that giving up something that will cause struggle and sacrifice will bring a greater result. During Lent, I want a constant reminder of the sacrifice Christ made when he died for our sins on the cross and the love ... Wed, 22 Feb 2012 12:34:19 EST Organic One thing I have yet to understand is how someone could be against organic food. Now, I do not buy all organic produce or even all all-natural products. However, we are looking to start TTC in a month or so, so i have started to make the switch to all organic produce, milk, etc. I have read too many studies about the health effects of pesticides and antibiotics on the unborn baby and I am just not willing to take that risk. If I choose to eat chemicals, that's my choice, but I will not feed t... Thu, 16 Feb 2012 16:27:07 EST 80 Healthy Recipe Substitutions I stumbled across this on Pinterest and thought I'd share :) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>pe-substitutions/ </link> Wed, 1 Feb 2012 11:48:50 EST TobyMac Pics For my husband's Christmas present, I scored front row seats to TobyMac Unplugged. He LOVES TobyMac and I almost couldn't keep the secret because I was soooo excited! Front row?!?! I love giving 'memories' gifts rather than material gifts because it is just another thing we can add to our experiences together. The concert wasn't until January 21st so we waited anxiously for the day to come. The day FINALLY came and we made our way to Sioux City, IA, about a 90 minute drive. <BR> <BR> We ar... Sat, 28 Jan 2012 18:36:54 EST 28 Day Boot Camp Review Part 2 Hey Guys!! <BR> <BR> Here is review #2 of 28 Day Boot Camp!! I did the 30 minute total body workout and let me tell ya, it was intense! A few things that I loved were the timer at the bottom, three levels of intensity and the challenges! One thing the video doesn't say is that this video made me sore for TWO days!! Like it hurts to simply sit down sore :) I must have used muscles that hadn't been used much before and they let me know it! Watch the video for more details but it is definitely ... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 12:11:12 EST The Hardest Part of the Journey I have been on my weight loss journey for 13 months now and have learned so much along the way. I still make mistakes and try to learn from my mistakes. I still have to plan out my meals and schedule times to get my workouts in. I still have to track my food and have better success if I track all my food at the beginning of the day. I am still tempted to overindulge in my favorite foods. And honestly, some days I would much rather curl up on the couch after work than workout. I still make the... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 11:52:44 EST The Hardest Part of the Journey I have been on my weight loss journey for 13 months now and have learned so much along the way. I still make mistakes and try to learn from my mistakes. I still have to plan out my meals and schedule times to get my workouts in. I still have to track my food and have better success if I track all my food at the beginning of the day. I am still tempted to overindulge in my favorite foods. And honestly, some days I would much rather curl up on the couch after work than workout. I still make the... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 11:51:06 EST Baked Oatmeal Here is my version of baked oatmeal. The original recipe called for ripe bananas and I didn't have any ripe enough so I subbed apples. It is soooo good! I can't wait to try it again with bananas. You could do pretty much any combination of fruit. After I try the banana/blueberry mix, I think I will try cherry/blueberry. <BR> <BR> Ingredients: <BR> 2 medium apples, sliced and skinned <BR> 1 1/2 cup blueberries <BR> 1/4 cup honey <BR> 1 cup oats <BR> 1/2 tsp baking powder <BR> 3/4 tsp cinnamo... Tue, 17 Jan 2012 21:17:07 EST 28 Day Bootcamp Review Part 1 I plan to post a few blogs with my honest opinion of Coach Nicole's 28 Day Bootcamp. Here is what you can expect!! <BR> <BR> Want your own copy?? (You know you do!) Find it exclusively at Target but be sure to check out to receive $3 off and 250 SparkPoints! <BR> <BR> I received this DVD for free from SparkPeople and did not receive any form of payment for my review. Sat, 14 Jan 2012 18:42:03 EST SparkFriend Request: Plateaus Many of you have asked questions via blog comments and it is so hard to get back to all of you, even though I read every single comment. So last month I asked if anyone had any topics they wanted me to talk about in a blog. One specific topic was plateaus. Have I ever plateaued? How did I get through them?? If they get any easier??? <BR> <BR> I have gone through 2 major plateaus in my 13 month weight loss journey. The first was about 4-5 months in and it lasted 3-4 weeks. At that point I was... Fri, 6 Jan 2012 16:13:36 EST 2012 Goals 2011 was such an incredible year. While 2010 was one of the most trying and hard years of my life, we were able to learn from our trials and truly savor every moment of 2011. We look to 2012 with excitement and anticipation. We know that God has a perfect plan for our lives and we can't wait to see what a new year will bring. With that said, I have been thinking a lot about the goals I will have for the new year. <BR> <BR> I don't like the word resolution. I'm looking at my goals as someth... Sat, 31 Dec 2011 16:51:28 EST Christmas + Never Before Seen "Before" Photos Christmas is such an amazing time of year for my family. Ken and I both have at least 10 days off (I have 14!) and we can enjoy each other and see, literally, everyone in our family. It is so incredible! <BR> <BR> This Christmas season did not disappoint! I made it my goal to maintain my weight (which I accomplished!) and follow my typical workout schedule (which I also accomplished!!) We had a holiday celebration every day from Wednesday-Sunday. <BR> <BR> Wednesday was our annual Youth G... Tue, 27 Dec 2011 19:44:42 EST "You've Changed" When someone says that you've changed, this is a positive way to think about it... Live for you and do what is right for YOU! It's your life! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 19:29:05 EST The Holiday Season has Arrived... in Full Force! Sigh... The week of Christmas has finally arrived. Sugar cookies, fudge and candies fill our dreams as we plan our holiday menu. The grocery store has special displays of all the holiday goodness that is really just too tempting to pass up on. In fact, there is SO much food around the holidays, we might as well plan or attend a dozen or more celebrations! We wouldn't want to miss out on Aunt Sally's glorious ham and cheesy potatoes! And who could forget Grandma's Velveeta fudge! These things ... Mon, 19 Dec 2011 11:51:54 EST You earned it! Happy Sunday Friends! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 18 Dec 2011 15:38:09 EST Check it Out! A work in progress!! <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Fri, 16 Dec 2011 19:20:56 EST Living My Dream When I started SparkPeople I was so encouraged by SparkMotivators. I told myself that when I accomplished my goals I, too, would inspire people to get healthy. The day I became a SparkMotivator I cried with joy. Not because I had been recognized but because I realized that more people may be inspired by the simple girl from Nebraska. <BR> <BR> Hearing that one of my blogs made the Best of 2011 email brought tears to my eyes. Thank you guys so much for all of your love and encouragement. It... Wed, 14 Dec 2011 14:29:07 EST These are a few of my favorite things People often ask me what my favorite foods are now or what my go-to snacks are. I still love food but my taste buds have definitely changed throughout my journey. Natural sugar is so sweet to me! I go through weird cycles where I can eat a food every day for weeks and then I won't eat it again for months. Even though I go through these phases I still have foods that I just love! I decided I would just write a blog about some of my favorite things to answer these questions. <BR> <BR> 1. Hone... Tue, 13 Dec 2011 12:04:17 EST Weekend Food Overload I wanted to reflect on this weekend to see what went wrong. I noticed that I let myself get too hungry which led to overeating. Every. Single. Day. I also did not drink nearly enough water! Now that I know the trend that leads to overeating hopefully I can learn from it for the future. Here are the details of my weekend food overload: <BR> <BR> Friday: The day went great! I had Subway and an apple for lunch, came home and had a snack (Orville SmartPop) and then decided to make peanut popcorn... Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:58:56 EST