Meet the Members: Meeting (and Exceeding) Goals is Possible!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
As I told you a couple of weeks ago, one of my goals for this second year of the dailySpark is to get more of your stories published on the blog this year. In addition to your Success Stories, food reviews and tales of Spreading the Spark, I'm also going to be sharing your best tips.

Here is another round of tips and stories from some of our "Spark" preorder prize winners. These SparkPeople members won our daily T-shirt giveaways, and now they're Spreading the Spark in return by sharing their best tips.

Meet Judy, Lori and Jeff:

Judy, aka DAISYLADY lives in Collins, Ohio, and has been active in her local team. She even met some other Buckeye State SparkPeople in June at a SparkRally in Columbus. She's been a member since 2006, but she got serious about getting healthy this year--and it has paid off, she says.

What goal is SparkPeople helping you achieve? My goal is not so much to lose the weight, although I want that too, but I want to be more flexible and healthier and achieve a more balanced lifestyle.

What are your top 3 tips to stay on track? To stay on track, I 1. track all my foods in the nutrition tracker, 2. get my exercise in and 3. mingle with all those great (members) for tips and hints.

How do you stay motivated? Staying motivated is a hard thing to do for me but the wonderful (members) really help with this. My grandchildren are my biggest motivators to get fit.

What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started on a healthy lifestyle journey? Be a sponge and soak up all the information and tips you can here on SparkPeople and really pay attention to what you eat and use the great tools on SparkPeople.

What SparkPeople feature is the most helpful to you? I think the nutrition tracker is the most helpful for me. I used to think I was eating plenty of food, and when I first came to SparkPeople I found I was eating about 750 calories a day so I was starving my body.

Lori, aka LORIKB of Fort Wayne, Ind., has lost more than 130 pounds using SparkPeople. (Can I get a WooHoo?) She joined in September 2008, and she wants to be able to keep up with her teenage daughter.

What goal is SparkPeople helping you achieve? It is helping me to try to live a healthier life.

What are your top 3 tips to stay on track? How do you stay motivated? 1. Support from teams, 2. tracking nutrition, 3. reading articles and blogs

What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started on a healthy lifestyle journey? Take advantage of all SparkPeople has to offer

Another Ohioan, Jeff , aka JEFALLEN has only been a member of SparkPeople for nine months, but he has already exceeded his initial goal--and set another. He had lost 88 pounds three years ago, but then he threw out his shoulder and the weight crept back on. Now down more than 55 pounds, he's just seven pounds away from his new goal: 188 pounds.

What goal is SparkPeople helping you achieve? My first goal was to get to 195 pounds, down from 250 pounds, which I achieved August 30. I am now working on a second goal to lose 7 more pounds to get to 188. Becoming more physically active, although not a real goal, was an excellent side benefit!

What are your top 3 tips to stay on track? How do you stay motivated? 1. I use a list of "whys": why I want to lose weight and get physically fit. When you have a big list of "whys," the "how to" gets a whole lot easier. I refer to the list often and find that from time to time I can even add more whys. When I fall the list helps me get back up.

2. Use Spark People. There is a wealth of information on this site. Find some very active teams and get involved. Involvement helps keep your goals of weight loss and fitness firmly in your mind. The support a good team or group can give you is priceless.

3. Tracking and Reflection. Track your calories, track your exercise. At the end of the day or week reflect on what you did in pursuit of your goals. Review your successes and your mistakes. Resolve to make the next day better if needed. If you fall down get up immediately.

What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started on a healthy lifestyle journey? Just do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow. The problem with waiting until tomorrow is that eventually tomorrow becomes today. Today always has a tomorrow. Remember the lyrics from this old Christmas cartoon:

“Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking 'cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door”

What SparkPeople feature is the most helpful to you? That one is easy. It is not any of the trackers although I use them, It is the support that is the most important feature to me. I am involved in a BSG (buddy support group) through the SP Class of Jan 4-10. It really helps in accountability and sharing common goals with other people. I really cannot thank that group enough.

Thanks for sharing your stories with the dailySpark! I love reading about how real people use the site and transform their lives.

What tips did you find most helpful?

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I hope all of these success stories have kept the pounds off. Report
I can't say that there's just one that's the most helpful. The food/exercise tracker is extremely helpful, so are the articles and the motivational pages. It's all great! Report
Keep up all the great work :-)

Glenda Report
great going Report
What a great post. Very inspirational! Report
Hi! I just joined this group today. Im serious, I relly need some help. I just weighed myself on the scale today and wanted to cry. I weigh 199 lbs. I use to be 170 lbs. and would like to get back down to that size so I can wear my clothes again. Report
Wow lots of inspiration in Jeff's article, whoo hoo!! to all Report
WooHoo!!! Way to go all of you it encourages me to keep goin, im a newbie. Report
Thanks for sharing all of those success stories and congrats to all of them. This really motivates. Report
You go GIRL! Report
I met Judy at the Ohio get together and she's a great person. I'm glad to see her win along with the others.

WooHoo! Report
Woo Hoo!!! It is a pleasure knowing Lori!!! She is an inspiration to us all!!! Report
Great rewards for following your planned goals. I really think the food tracking is the most important although I use a pad at home because of the time it takes at the library when you only have an hour to use a computer. I used to utilize the tracker when my own computer was working. The support of all the Spark Members are a blessing too. I do what I can to get over here (the library) so I can get some more wisdom from those who have made it happen and the ones who are making it happen. Congratulations to you all!!! Report
Congrats to all 3. I agree tracking food is so important Report
Congrats to all and thank you for the inspiration. I learned something from everyone of you to help me keep going. Thank you Jeff, I will be puting alot of what you said into action TODAY. Report

Way to go! Thank you for the wonderful stories...... way to go on your success........ Report
I think I can... I think I can... I want to be fit and healthy and IS THE WAY!

These members show what can be done. Congrats.

I like Jeff's tip to have a list of "why's" to refer to, and I plan to start a list of my own today. Sharon Report
Your all doing so Great!
Keep up the good work, and enjoy your prizes! Report
congrats to all the winners you have don a great job !!!! Report
I love hearing success stories. They really help me stay on track. Report
All the tips are good. Congrats to each and every one of you! SP is the BEST! Report
WooHoo! Congrats all three of you on your continued successes and thank you for all that advise. For me, Jeff is my biggest Motivator, he is always so positive and constantly reminds me I can do it, I just have to start. WTG you three! Report
WOO..HOO!!! to all three of you. Quite the inspiration & motives me to achieve my goals.
Therese Report
Congrats to Judy, Lori, and Jeff on reaching their goals and for their helpful tips. I like Jeff's list idea best - I am a list-maker! :) Report
Thank you for the inspiring blog! I have joined since August and I am really enjoying "soaking" up all the information I can. There are so many excellent sources that SparkPeople has available to all members. What a great place! Report
Like, Jeff, I have a small support group from my starting Spark Team. We help keep each other motivated and on the right track. When I was a Sparker last year, I wasn't involved with other members, and I think this has made a big difference in my slow, steady progress. Report
I LOVE that song, sing it all the time... like in the middle of a snowstorm trying to do a job, or when I have to tackle something big.

This series of blogs is great... I love hearing about everyone's successes. Report
WooHoo, I'm happy to see my friend Lori featured here! She is an inspiration to the rest of us who are striving to lose the weight and be healthy! Report
Tracking food ( the if you bite it write it principle) has been my first layer of glue. I am going to take Jeff's idea of making a "Why I want to lose weight/be healthy" list and use that to motivate myself. I think that on those days when it gets tough that will really give the boost I need.
Thanks so much for sharing. Report
WOO HOO!! Great to see my friend Lori featured. She is such an inspiration to me!!

Hugs Lori!

Dee Report
thank you for sharing
you are an inspiration Report
Excellent post - let's hear more! You're all an inspiration. Report
Way to go Lori. She is on of my dearest friends and I always wish her well. Congrats on being in the daily spark blog Lori. You deserve it. Report
So great to see my dear friend Lori featured here today! She is an amazing woman and great leader how inspires so many of us to do our best each day! So proud of you girlfriend! You so deserve this honour! Report
It is inspiring to hear from other Spark members and their successes. Report
Before I joined the Spark, my life was such a mess. I'm divorced, disparate, and fat. I lived in denial. When I joined you guys, my whole life changed. You helped me to learn a lot about everything I put in my mouth. I just like you have become a workout freak. Within one year I lost all the excess weight and the gym has become my best friend. The only thing that still worries me is chocolate. I love it and can't stop thinking of it. But as long as you are my role model, I think I'll overcome this addiction and be committed just like you. Any way I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Doesn't this worth celebrating? THANK YOU for all the tips and beautiful experiences. Report
Thank you all for sharing your success stories. Report
Great blog. I agree with them. The support, and trackers really help. I am so looking forward to reading the book. Report
Jeff, You are the glue that holds our BSG together through thick and thin you have been there for each and everyone of us. Congratulations, you deserve this, and you've earned it.

Carla Report
Seeing others accomplishments help me to stay motivated myself. I can do it just like they did. Report
Thanks for the great blog! These Sparkers are really inspiring! Report
I think they all had good tips which are some I keep for myself. Although I've run into some obstacles this past 2 years I found myself keeping stabalized and eating better. The one who said tracking the nutrition and exercise and water is so true. Report
Thanks for sharing and congratulations on winning the t-shirt and losing weight. Way to go. Report
Yay! Everyone has such great success stories! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and offering your advise! Report
This blog was great. Each of these members has done wonderful things. Report
Woohoo! Lori is my dearest Spark friend and she is a true inspiration to me! She has helped me to believe in myself. She is a great team leader and a true motivation to others. She cares about all her team mates and in shows every day!

Lori I love your picture but you should smile, cuz you're beautiful! Report
Sound advice is always welcome. For those looking for tips from a 74-year-old runner in Salt Lake City, check out this Q+A on the blog:
/ Report
Reading other members' stories is really inspirational - thanks for sharing!
I enjoyed this post very much, thanks for sharing! Report
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