We are a SparkPeople Family

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When I joined SparkPeople over three years ago I could have never imagined the great friendships I have formed all via a computer, keyboard, internet provider, and this fantastic site we have all grown to depend on to help us learn to embrace a healthy lifestyle--SparkPeople.com.

This site is truly unlike any other site. While yes there is Facebook and MySpace, most of us only allow those we previously know into our inner circle. But SparkPeople is not like that. It allows complete strangers to form bonds which are many times much more meaningful than ones we formulate in the real world. We are able to connect with those who have walked in similar shoes--others who have shared our frustrations as well as our victories. While many of us may never meet face to face, the bonds are there for a lifetime.

When I ran my first half-marathon in February 2008, before I even picked up the phone to tell my family how I did, I logged onto SparkPeople to share my race report with all my Spark friends. I knew that they would be there for me each and every step of the way and I was not disappointed. Before the end of the day, I had received more than my share of accolades which could honestly make an old ladyís heart swell with pride.

When I visit the many SparkTeams, I am awestruck to see how SparkPeople is like one big family. We have grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers, wives and husbands, daughters and sons, and though we do not share common blood, we share a bond that goes far deeper than blood and that is SparkPeople.

There is the sage advice from the repeat marathoner, to the grandmother who has raised her six kids and knows the ins and outs of child rearing. We have the young man who has lost well over one hundred pounds who offers hope to others on the journey, to the young lady who is just beginning her own journey and is looking for direction. And trust me, there is nothing more humbling then to visit a memberís SparkPage and read how they overcame the obstacles of gaining their health, therefore their life. After all, this is what this journey called life is all about, connecting and sharing with others.

I believe that the true blessing is that by helping others, we truly learn to help ourselves. SparkPeople allows us all the opportunity to do just that. Being a part of this site has allowed us to be a family by CHOICE and for that I count my blessings to be part of such a great community. And donít think that your comments are for naught, I read each and every one. You all are teaching me more than you know!


I hope you will share your stories of how you developed a friendship(s) from joining SparkPeople. Have these individuals changed your life?

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So true - it's such a great community Report
I couldn't agree w/ you more. Report
thank u spark! Report
I love the support and inspirational stories. No matter what our situation, with SP we have a community surrounding us. Report
I am so glad that there is spark people, I have learned so much from reading all the posts, and meeting new people. One thing I have learned is people all over really do care and you do not have to starve yourself or take any drugs to lose weight.. I have learned the difference in the right foods to eat out and also to eat in,, So much to learn here Everyone keep up the good work and have a great day.. Report
Is this a picture of your real family?
Janet Report
I feel the same way. When i joined sparkpeople it was a change for the better i got advice and sparkpeople show you what to do to lose weigh and don't have to spend any money. The people here are just great i come and go through and read everyone comments and the are so inspirational and it makes me feel like i am not the only one who is having problem with weight or any problems and it can be done because sparkpeople told me and showed me . I love sparkpeople this is the best thing that has happen to me in a long time i have people i can talk to. Report
Count me in on addiction to sparkpeople. Lets go team Report
that really made my skin crawl.. so inspiring! Report
Amen! Report
My first day yet again on my 20th year of dieting. In one month I am going to post a comment if I have lost weight. For everyone who is like me I am expecting the same.

My tip for the day. Positive thoughts only and less wine at night.
from Christine Report
I've been on Spark since November, and I truly love and appreciate the support that I get from the people here! It is integral to my weight loss, no doubt about it. Report
I'm glad that there are families like yours that understand and from the friends here at sparkpeople as well. In which I glad to be a part of now, maybe one day I can share a story like yours and help others as you did in your story. I loved it so going . Report
I Love Sp! Report
I am new to Spark and after reading this article I feel I have truly made the right decision! Report
I love the camaraderie and the encouragement. My husband, who is super-thin, feels super-guilty when he snacks and I am saying, "no, thank you." Even though none of you are in the living room with us, I know I can always turn to you and just say. "AAARGH!!! I need help!" Report
Yep, I agree. The all round help that I receive from SP is really wonderful. Report
I am a new member and after reading about all this love . . . look forward to my future with sparks!! Report
I have made so many friends on Spark. I live in a tiny town without any friends or family and my friends here on spark are who I turn to whenever I need support or to brag about an accomplishment. I know that they are always here for me, just as I am always there for them. I would say that they aren't just my friends, they are my family!!

I love you guys!! Report
One of the tenets of successful weight loss, is support from family and friends. They tell you to "share your goals" with family and friends. Like others have said, I don't have that support with my family and have very few face-to-face friends. Sparkpeople has replaced that void in my life. I have lots of new friends here. It makes my day! Report
You expressed the essence of the Spark People community VERY well!
Thank you! Report
To read the encouragement on this site is a wonderful thing. I have only been a member for about 3 days, and I hope that I am willing and able to make such good friendships as those described in this article and in these comments.
Thanks to all!
Danny Report
I love Sparks and I love my teams and my many team members. I have several teams that I follow on a daily basis and others I look into at least once a week. I have been able to form some very healthy life style habits and all because of the motivation and things I learned from these pages. It is truely a gift to be able to belong to something so fantastic and the people at Sparks are truely Blessed by God for their Grace! Report
My Spark family has supported and encouraged me through every step of this journey. My Spark friends gave me the strength and belief to complete my first 5K, something I never would have tried without them. Nancy, thank you for sharing your knowledge and support with me. I'm very blessed to count you among my friends! Report
We love you too, Nancy! You have given me personally so much great advice, and are one of the reasons I am running today. I'm glad you're part of my Spark Family, and couldn't make it through my days or my journey to health without my wonderful second family - my Spark Family!!! Report
My ladies on my discussion board really have become an important part of my family. For over 2 years now we have had one big long running conversation where we share everything - the good, the bad, and whatever else. It never fails when I need a pick me up or fresh perspective they are there for me. Much more so than my "real" family. It kills me if something happens and I can't log in and see what everyone is doing that day!

It really is amazing at the friendships that can be formed over the internet. Report
I share exactly how she feels about Sparks. A wonderful Team Member & I just met today & 5 of her family with here all the way from IL to my home in TN! She answered my cry for help during a family crisis for the need of homes of my 2 Grand Puppies- whom I had no room for & could not find homes locally that would keep the 2 together as they are older dogs- we didn't want to add to their stress by seperating them. This wonderful member in an already pet crowded & large family of 8- decided to take my dogs into their hearts & home, at a great expense I'm sure- to travel this far to take them. My prayers are with them as they just left today at 9 pm my time on their way back- all by driving at that. Sparks has open doors, to my health, my heart & others in ways that I couldn't have imagined. Report
I love this site. Spark People are all so nice and supportive. Report
Haven't been with spark very long but it has helped with all the blogs and articles posted. Report
This blog is very true. I appreciate the support from everyone. Thanks! Report
This was a great Lifestyle Blog. My blood family tease me about spending time with my Spark friends but I have found such great bonds and support my day would not be the same if I didn't visit. Report
It is amazing as to how many friends I have gained on Spark and yes, they are like family! I've gone through some rough patches since joining and alot more before joining and it is funny how I am drawn to each of my different teams for different struggles.... I go to my Taking Back Control team for food and exercise struggles, I go to my Mixed Mutt Doghouse or All My children Fans teams when I need personal support, encouragement or even prayers! I go to my Diabetic related teams to seek support with my disease. I seek out Losing Weight And Disabled when I need to vent about a disability related problem or just want some companionship with those who "know". I feel I am addicted to Spark and often have to stop reading and posting to go do my work! It truly has been amazing! Report
Before my own family at home began to support my change in lifestyle, it was my Spark Family who was there right from the get go. I could not have reached my goals without the support from Spark People and my Spark Teams.
My at home family joined in with supporting me after about a month of being
"in the program" and now they have since joined me in their own quests to make their lives as healthy as possible. Although they didn't have weight to lose, they have learned some valuable lessons about healthy eating and fitness through Spark People and my many speeches of what I have learned here.
Yes, it is so true.....Spark People is our family too and they will always have a place in my heart, my prayers and my home.

Thanks to Chris (Spark Guy) this world has become so much nicer to live in with all of our new found friends/family. Report
Nancy hit the nail on the head. SparkPeople is such a great support group. The friendships here are so inspiring. It is a family that can lean on each other. Kudos to Spark Guy and all the staff. Thank you for making this possible. Report
Great blog... I couldn't have said it better myself! Report
My life is pretty much the same, DE~ANNA. I'm so glad I found Spark People. :)

- Josie Report
I don't receive much support from my family when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. So it is nice to come here and find so much concern, encouragement and support here. I LOVE SparkPeople!!!! Report
I love my Spark Family!!! My day would not be complete if I didn't log on to see my family!! Report
I love my Spark family. I joined boxing Day 2007 and was struggling with marriage breakdown and mainly depression as well as other things but since joining I have made so many friends from all over the world and I can say I am letting go of the past and with encouragement can look forward to a healthy future.
Thank you to all for embracing everyone(me Included).
I know exactly what you mean! I love my spark family/ friends! I joined spark on Feb 11-2008. Spark has changed my life. I started a team almost a year ago. Challenge + Motivation = Weight Loss. It has over 200 members. Its not just a team its so amazing. Everyone is so great. To have so many people to share in your accomplishments and sucess and to be there for you when your are having a bad day. When I first began I never would have believed how great this site really is. Its like God brought a bunch of us together to share the same experiences. I now could not imagine my life without spark. I, like you tell my spark family a lot of things before I tell my family. Actually a lot of things that I dont share with my friends and family! Spark is awesome! Report
I have only been on Spark People a week and already know that what you say about the people is true. I have been welcomed with open arms by perfect strangers, read touching stories, heard other people's struggles and how they overcame them. I am touched, motivated, and in awe of this site and the wonderful people on it! Report
Thanks so much for sharing your story. I can totally relate to what it means to be a member of the Spark People family! I've been a member for one year and usually log in to the SP site before I even check my email! The people here are so supportive. I'm struggling to get back to my goal weight, and my SP friends have been here with me every step of the way.

I tell everyone I know about SP. What a great resource...for FREE! Report
Just joined today, and am looking forward to new friends, support, ideas and just knowing there is other's out there wanting to be as healthy and fit as possible. Report
Yes. I love my SparkPeople Family!!!!!!
Instead of sabotaging my weight loss efforts, they are always there encouraging, supporting, sharing excellent information and advice. I too always look forward to welcoming new "family" members, encouraging others, sharing good jokes and "spreading the Spark."
What a blessing to have found this wonderful family. . . . and it is world-wide!
Our politicians could learn a lot from our SparkPeople Family.
How true - a day does not seem complete without visiting with my Spark friends.
Thanks Spark People Report
Ah, my SparkSister! Another great blog. I have had these sentiments for a long time now, and you've put them down in writing for me. I have met face-to-face one of my best spark buddies, and without SparkPeople, I have no idea how we ever would have met up otherwise. It is a great website when you need a kick in the butt, a hug, a reminder, or just about anything else.

I love SparkPeople! (both the site, and the actual people) Report
This site and the all my wonderful Sparkfriends have changed my life. Thanks Spark! Report
I agree with this article completely. I just joined in the first week of January 2009 but already feel I have made friends here to share our ups and downs with, and talk to aout the journey to being healthier and thinner I hope. The people here are begining to feel like family and the first place I go with questions now when it has to do with losing, excercise or sometimes about managing my diabetes or other things even some of them have been through it what ever it is it seems like. Report
I Love Sparks it has been a great help for me and with all the tools available, but most of all the wonderful people I have got to know. Report
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