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My birthday! In 2020 I celebrated ten years of Sparking!

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Our family: Nebraska-Purdue Football Game, 2018

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KANSASROSE67 is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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Hi! My name is Leah. I'm 54, married for 32 years, and mom to two great kids, a 28-year-old son (James) and 25-year-old daughter (Juliana). James is married to Haileigh and Juliana is married to Jeremy.

Three years ago I left my 27-year job as director of our local library to pastor a Lutheran church in Blue Hill, Nebraska. I'm currently in my last semester of classes toward my Master's of Divinity. My husband, Rick, and I have moved to the farmhouse where I grew up and where four previous generations of my family have lived. We're busy renovating the house and trying to bring the gardens back to life. Each week, my Bernese Mountain Dog, Nellie, and I travel back and forth between the parsonage and the farm. My background pic is of some of the roses in my garden. I love all flowers, but especially roses.

Update, January 2021

Wow! So much has happened and I just skipped right over my 2020 update. (Lots of us would probably like to skip 2020, to be honest!) In 2020 I reached my highest regain weight since joining Spark: 159 pounds. I have been sidelined from running and even much walking for two years due to hip pain, and also more sedentary because of my career change. I had also gotten lax about tracking my food. I knew I needed to lose weight before my hip replacement surgery and also just to feel better and fit into my clothes better. There is no way I ever wanted to see the 160s again on the scale! I worked pretty hard to track my food and eat all things in moderation, and I did lots of circuit training and riding the stationary bike. By the time of my surgery, I hit 148 and felt good about that.

Three weeks after the hip replacement, I ended up with COVID-19! It was like a bad flu, but with effects that lasted much longer, especially the fatigue. A good way to lose weight, however, is not being able to taste or smell food! I briefly dropped down to 143, but headed back up as I began to feel better and eat real food again. Currently, I'm at 151. I'm walking pretty well and back on the bike. Looking forward to getting back to my goal of 142 this year and can't wait for spring!

Update, September 2019

Looking at last year's September update, I am forced to admit I haven't met my goal. Not only am I not back to my goal weight range, but I have been hovering a little higher still, around 155 pounds, for several months. Next September will be my 10-year anniversary of reaching my weight-loss goal on Spark, and I really do intend to celebrate that milestone by being back in my goal range.

Update, September, 2018

I have had a year of upheaval and change, along with hip problems that have sidelined my running. I miss it terribly and haven't found a way to burn the significant calories that running does. I've also let my tracking slide and gotten lax in my eating, all of which has led to some weight gain. I've been hovering around 152 pounds for a while. When I celebrate next year's September maintenance anniversary, I intend to be back where I belong!

Update, September, 2015

I'm still maintaining at 145 (5 years now!) and working (though not very hard) at getting down to 137. I'm not sure if I'm willing to eat as carefully as I would need to do for that, but we'll see. I still track everything I eat, every single day. It works! Still running, biking and circuit training too, 6 days a week.

Update, September, 2014

I've been maintaining around 145, which is not easy, but doable. I will always need to be careful about how much I eat, and I see tracking as a permanent part of my life. But it's worth it! I'm still running at least 12 miles a week, and doing circuit training and biking as well.

Update, September, 2013:

Since reaching my goal weight one year ago, I've struggled a bit to stay there. It's fairly easy for me to hang out around 150 pounds, but 142 is a challenge. Part of the trouble is that my clothes still fit and it's not that obvious whether I'm at the higher or lower end of the range. I would like to maintain around 145 if possible, and I'm working to get back there.

Update, September, 2012

I've been on Spark People for 2 1/2 years now and have reached my goal weight of 142 pounds, but truthfully this journey to health, confidence and acceptance of my body has taken 30 years. Along the way, I've become a runner, achieved a streak of 1000+ monthly fitness minutes for 26 months in a row, changed my family's eating habits, and made some of the best friends ever here on Spark.

What I wrote at the the beginning of this life-changing experience is still true today:

"I have so many great things going on in my life, and I want the outer me to match the inner me. I want to be the person I'm supposed to be, and be healthy and strong to make the most of this one life God has given me. Thank you for being part of this journey!"

If you'd like to read more about my 30-year struggle with my weight, here's the blog that tells the story:


Goals for 2021:

~Get back to goal weight of 142 pounds.

~Get down to 137 pounds and see if that's a reasonable new maintenance weight for me.

~Since I am no longer able to run, find new fitness activities I enjoy.

~Daily prayer time with my husband.

~Play the piano at least twice a month.

~Design and plant a rose garden.

~Do something social with friends once a month.

~Do something social as a couple once a month.

Reminder to me (a giver and a perfectionist):

~Set reasonable limits on your time and energy;
~Identify your frustrated yearnings and find new ways to take care of yourself besides eating,
~Vent unpleasant emotions - in a journal or in the mirror - to diffuse them faster than food,
~Progress, not perfection!


I'm striving hard to practice moderation and mindfulness in my eating. One of the tools I'm using is the Hunger Scale. For anyone who's interested, here's the Hunger Scale from www.hungerscale.com:

Hunger Scale Explained

0: Starving. Ignoring body messages, eating disorder.

1: Weak and light-headed. My stomach acid is churning.

2: Very uncomfortable. I am irritable and unable to concentrate.

3: Uncomfortably hungry. Your stomach is rumbling.

4: Slightly uncomfortable. I am beginning to feel signs of hunger.

5: Comfortable. I am more or less satisfied, but could eat a little more.

6: Perfectly comfortable. You feel satisfied.

7: Full. A little bit uncomfortable.

8: Uncomfortably full. You feel bloated.

9: Very uncomfortably full. You need to loosen your clothes.

10: Stuffed. You are so full you feel nauseous.

STARTING WEIGHT: 182 pounds.


160 pounds (met 3/22/10)

155 pounds (met 4/17/10)

150 (met 6/14/10)

145 pounds (met 7/23/10)

Completing One Hour Runner (met 9/29/10)

Goals after getting new scale and resetting my weight:

Maintaining my running over the cold winter months: (met 3/1/11)

145 pounds: (met 3/11/11)

A perfect two week eating streak: (met 5/20/11)

Running at least 624 miles in 2011: (Met 12/31/11...I actually ran 700 miles.)

Getting back to 145 pounds: (met 5/23/12)

142 pounds: (met 9/1/12)

Getting back to 145 pounds: (met 5/20/14)

Getting back to 142 pounds: (met 6/30/16)

Getting back to 145 pounds again:

Getting back to 142 pounds again:

Getting down to 139 pounds:

Getting down to 137 pounds:

Member Since: 1/27/2010

Fitness Minutes: 152,915

My Goals:
~Less joint and muscle pain. DONE!

~Fit into smaller jeans. DONE!

~Feel good in my clothes. DONE!

~Be full of energy and life. DONE!

~Be my best self!

My Program:
~Eat at least 5 fruit and vegetable servings daily

~Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily

~Track everything I eat and stay within ranges

~Burn 2700-3000 calories each week through exercise

~Run 3 days a week, 12-15 miles per week

~Circuit train 2-3 days a week

~Cross-train 2-3 days a week

~Get 8 hours of sleep nightly

"Hunger is not an emergency: it's a signal that I'm really going to enjoy my next meal."

"If the problem isn't hunger, then the solution isn't going to be found in the refrigerator." ~SUSIEMILO

"Don't do anything to lose weight that you wouldn't do to maintain that weight loss. It won't be sustainable if you can't do it forever." ~TEACHINMOM

Don't ask, "What will taste the best?" Ask, "What is the healthiest thing I can eat?"

Personal Information:
I am 5'5" tall.

I love:

~My family!

~Gardening, especially growing roses, lots of flowers, and our own delicious fruits and vegetables.


~Being outdoors enjoying God's awesome creation.



~Running and hiking.

Other Information:
Miles Run:

2011: 700
2012: 791
2013: 653
2014: 523
2015: 573


Run For Tomorrow 5K-- 9/25/10--32:18.

SparkPeople Virtual 5K-- 4/11/11--30:11.

Deshler Daze 5K--6/18/11--32:44.

Buffalo Run 5 Mile--9/11/11--52:56.

Monster Dash 5K--10/15/11--34:17.

Spark Trick-or-Treat Trot Virtual 5K--11/3/11--31:51.

Monster Dash 5K--10/20/12--33:00.

Spark Trick-or-Treat Trot 10K--10/27/12--67:00.

Read More About KANSASROSE67 - Profile Information moved here. (Updated February 26)

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    I would be honored to be part of Juliana's new beginning. One reason we made the choice we did - to strip back to nothing but hand tools, grit and ingenuity was to see what was the minimum we could have and be happy. We found that in 1978 we could survive on $40 a month and be happy - no - wildly rich on $100 a week. that's about $400 a week in today's economy and honestly! That's $20K a year.

    LOL - admittedly, my happiness threshold is not very high, but once I knew what I could surVIVE on - I realized I never had to worry about a job. any job would give me what I needed so I could always have the job that brought with it other rewards.

    hugs to you sweetie. thanks for the bloglove
    46 days ago
    Hey sweetie. Aren't I a blessed one to have a forest like this? Especially the cascading tunnels of blooming mountain laurel. My breath is taken away every May. I'm so glad you could "walk with me". Thanks for the bloglove
    66 days ago
  • v THOMS1
    Thank You for your comments on my blog Our Journey to the cover of WWM. emoticon
    103 days ago
    Thank you for reading my blog “April 6, 1917” and for your kind words.
    Each new life is hope for the future. Each one creates a thread which combines with so many others to weave a shared, ever stronger tapestry with intersecting patterns never imagined at birth.

    114 days ago
    Thank you for reading my blog “Rest and Come Back Stronger.
    3 family members who had Covid also got the shots.
    They said it was nothing compared to the virus itself.
    Hope you have a similar result.
    We were back paddling our canoe 3 days later. The temporary discomfort was well worth it for increased peace of mind.

    121 days ago
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