The SparkPeople Blog

All Entries For spread the spark

Watch HSN April 10 to save $15 on a SparkPeople Fitness Bundle!

Update (4/10/14, 12:45 p.m.): Thanks to everyone who tuned in to watch today! Because live TV programming is subject to change, we wanted to let you know right away about a scheduling change. The planned 4 p.m. segment will not be airing today. We apologize for the inconvenience. However, you can still take advantage of this exclusive deal at HSN's website while inventory lasts! (P.S. If you missed my special announcement, click here for the news!)

Original Story: Hey everyone!

I'm very excited to announce that I will be appearing on HSN this Thursday, April 10! This is going to be a big milestone for SparkPeople—a chance for us to get in front of many new potential members. And it's also a great opportunity for you, as we are offering an exclusive deal on a fitness bundle that you won't want to miss!
Posted 4/7/2014  11:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 12 comments   9,394 views
Read More ›

Get Your Daily Dose of Motivation from the DailySpark!

Good afternoon!

At SparkPeople, we are committed to helping our members and readers reach their goals in health and fitness—and in life. We know how hard it can be to stay motivated—especially with so many negative stories spreading around these days.
This is why we are particularly excited about launching the new feature that launched today: DailySpark. DailySpark features uplifting, positive and inspiring stories and videos from around the web, curated by our editors and experts. It's something you can look at each day for just a few minutes to reset your outlook and your motivation. Here are a few of my favorite DailySpark videos at the moment:
Posted 1/17/2014  4:00:00 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 7 comments   10,180 views
Read More ›

'Pin' SparkPeople Content, Get SparkPoints!

You might have already known that by "liking" a SparkPeople article or tweeting it, you could get up to three points per day. Now, we are offering the option of "pinning" for those points. If you click the "Pin It" button on any piece of SparkPeople content (still up to three per day), you will be awarded one SparkPoint. (See all eligible SparkPoints tasks here.) To receive your points, be sure to click the "Pin It" button on the share bar at the left of any page.

We think that sharing your favorite SparkPeople content on social media is one of the best ways to "Spread the Spark" and help us help you get healthy for free!
Thanks for your support, and let's start pinning! (And don't forget that the healthy living inspiration doesn't stop here--join us on Pinterest for more free support and inspiration!)
Posted 9/25/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 7 comments   5,974 views
Read More ›

VIDEO: Coach Nicole Answers Fitness Questions on Google+

UPDATE 8/13/13 5:00 p.m.: The live online hangout we first announced is now complete but you can access the video anytime by clicking the link above. We have also embedded a recorded video of this event in the blog post below. Questions discussed and answered by Coach Nicole and the panel of fitness experts included:

- Is Crossfit safe for the average person?
- What should you eat before a long run or race?
- Is water the best way to hydrate during a workout?
- What is best for weight loss: intermittent fasting or eating more frequent meals?
- Is long endurance exercise better for weight loss than shorter, high intensity exercise?
- Why is cross-training important and how should I do it?
- And so much more!

Posted 8/11/2013  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 4 comments   8,043 views
Read More ›

Follow SparkPeople on Instagram

Are you looking for a new way to stay motivated and connect with SparkPeople? You're in luck! We're now on Instagram, the photo and video sharing app! We love how easy Instagram is to use and that it allows us to share fun, healthy tidbits from behind the scenes at SparkPeople every day. While we do love writing about healthy living, it's true that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's proof:


Come find us on Instagram (and read the stories behind the photos). Tag your photos #sparkpeople to give us permission to repost them, and start following us to get the inside scoop on healthy living. Recently, we've shared pics showing how SparkPeople's experts stay fit (while having fun), snapshots into what really goes on at our offices, and our favorite words of wisdom.

Please share your Instagram username in the comments below, or follow us and we'll follow you back. Help us spread the word that #healthyliving is all about living! (Don't forget to give us a shoutout and use the hashtag #sparkpeople!)

If you don’t have an Instagram account, take a sneak peek at our feed here.

Are you on Instagram? What types of photos would you like us to share?
Posted 7/15/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 33 comments   12,967 views
Read More ›

How a Roller Coaster Led Erin to Lose 117 Pounds

Meet Erin. She's 30 and lives in Florida. Happily engaged and recently promoted at work, she loves her life. She wakes up feeling great, rarely stops moving throughout her waking hours, and goes to sleep each night with a smile on her face. Life isn't perfect, but every day feels better than the last, she says.
Erin is so committed to this life that it's hard for her to remember what it was like before, when she weighed almost twice what she does now. When she had little energy to stay awake after work and all she wanted to do on her days off was sleep. When she was in excruciating pain from even the smallest physical efforts and walking around the block seemed like torture. When she looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the woman she'd become and didn't know how to change her life.
She wanted to marry the love of her life, raise babies together, and do all the fun things she could only watch from afar. When she moved to Florida from New Jersey, she was excited about the year-round sun, access to the beach, and all the theme parks and outdoor festivals. But most of the time, she stayed inside or came home early because she was tired and in pain. Life was passing her by, and she felt helpless. Looking back now on the day she decided to change everything, it feels like a dream—a nightmare—but she's grateful for it. Looking back, the worst day of her life was also among the best, because it was the first day of the rest of her life.
The harness was stuck. No matter what she did, Erin couldn't fasten the safety belt around her middle. She held her breath, sucked in her stomach, and tried wiggling in her seat. Her fiancé, JT, then tried, but to no avail. People were laughing and pointing, and the line was backing up. The roller-coaster operator came over to see what was wrong.
It was the day after Erin's longtime boyfriend had proposed to her, and they were at a Florida theme park to celebrate. The joy that hadn't left her face since he got down on one knee was replaced by fear and panic. Finally, it clasped.
Her humiliation turned to relief and then terror as the ride began. Was the harness secure? Would it hold her weight, or would she plummet to her death on what should have been a day of celebration? The ride lasted a mere three minutes, but every moment felt like an eternity. She held her breath, gripped her fiancé's hand, and prayed for it to be over. It soon was, and her giddiness returned, until they picked up the photos taken on the ride. Her stomach dropped as she looked at the woman in the photo. She knew she had gained weight, but really? That was what she looked like?
I look like a pillow stuffed into a wastebasket, she thought. Right then and there, she knew something had to change. She and JT wanted to start a family, but Erin asked herself, How can I take care of kids if I can't take care of myself?

At Sea World, the site of the fateful roller-coaster ride
After years of trying maple-syrup cleanses, all-meat fad diets, and every diet pill in the pharmacy, she was ready to lose the weight for good. No more quick fixes or searches for an instant cure.
This is it, she told herself. It has to be the right way. Nothing ever worked before because I didn't do it the right way.
"How to live a healthy life," she typed into her browser; she was not going to look into diets. popped up in her search results and she joined immediately. She got started on her new life and never looked back.
Posted 5/17/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 35 comments   8,890 views
Read More ›

Great News: The Spark Solution is Now in Stores! (Help Us Spread the Word)

Today is a pretty big day here at SparkPeople. Our new book, The Spark Solution: A Comprehensive Two-Week Diet Program to Fast Track Weight Loss and Total Body Health, is officially available. WooHoo!

This isn’t our first book, but this is a major first for us: For the first time ever, we have published the very best advice, tips and tricks from our "Success Stories"--more than 100 members who've lost weight and kept it off using to accomplish their goals. These members know that how you start to lose weight is the most important indicator of long-term weight loss. They shared their struggles and successes so that you can learn from their experiences and remove the guesswork from weight loss.

To celebrate the release of The Spark Solution in stores, we're giving the first 1,000 people who buy the book in a store a special BONUS gift. Why are we asking you to buy in a store? We think this book has serious potential to change lives, but to do that we are asking for your help to reach the best-sellers list. When people buy our book in a store, we have a better chance of getting on the best-sellers list, and impacting even more people!
Posted 5/9/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Chris "SparkGuy" Downie : 41 comments   68,878 views
Read More ›

SparkPeople on HuffPo Live Tonight at 5 EST

UPDATE: If you missed Stepfanie, you can watch the interview here.

Hi, SparkPeople! I wanted to give you a heads-up that I will be on Huffington Post Live today at 5 p.m. EST.

Tune in to watch me talk about how to break the bad habit of complaining--and why unleashing your negativity is actually bad for your brain.

I will speak with three other panelists for approximately 25-30 minutes.  Click here to listen/watch.

Posted 5/9/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 2 comments   2,422 views
Read More ›

Behind the Scenes on 'The Spark Solution' Recipe Photo Shoot

One of my favorite parts about writing a book for SparkPeople is the recipe photo shoots. Those days start early and end late, with nary a moment to rest, but it's some of the best fun I've ever had while "working."

Today I want to take you behind the scenes of the photo session we did for The Spark Solution: A Complete Two-Week Program to Fast-Track Weight Loss and Total Body Health.  (Available for pre-order now!)

Talking to the team before the day got started. It was already hot under the lights!

The book contains 70 recipes, all created by Chef Meg, plus additional tips and swaps to vary those recipes based on what's in season and your personal preferences. And all the photos are in full color! The inspiration for the recipes, which we call "Spark Swaps" is the standard American diet--and all the comfort foods we love to eat. Ours are lower in calories and fat, and quite low in sugar and sodium. All of the meals were designed to fit into a 1,500-calorie meal plan, with no more than 2,300 mg sodium a day.

A delicious quesadilla in the making, with a delicious pesto in the background. We measured all the ingredients that went into every recipe to make sure they were true to the serving size.

Peek behind the scenes of the recipe photo shoot!
Posted 4/10/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 8 comments   7,526 views
Read More ›

Brittney Lost 100 Pounds and Improved Her Health

SparkPeople member Brittney (MISSB8604) is featured on Huffington Post this week after losing 100 pounds! Find out how this self-proclaimed theater diva did it.
Check out her story here. (And check out these red-carpet worthy pics of Brittney, too.)

Way to go, Brittney!
Posted 3/26/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 65 comments   18,464 views
Read More ›

Learn How Bonnie and Nancy Reached Their Goals

It's a great week for SparkPeople members! Two of our inspiring Success Stories are in the news for their incredible life changes.
Bonnie (FLYINGB16) lost 142 pounds, and now her story is featured on and in the latest issue of the magazine. Read part of her story here, and pick up the magazine (on newsstands now) to read more!
Nancy ( lost 49 pounds--and is a personal trainer who's had four kids. You can read her story at
Way to go, Bonnie and Nancy!
Posted 3/12/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 28 comments   25,678 views
Read More ›

Big News from SparkGuy: 'The Spark Solution' Available for Pre-Order

At SparkPeople, it's really hard to keep a secret. Our news is usually so good that we want to share it with you, our members, as soon as possible. But this secret is BIG and finally the time has come for me to share the news with you!
SparkPeople wrote another book!

The Spark Solution is a two-week diet program to jump-start weight loss and total body health. The idea behind it is simple: Why waste time experimenting with weight-loss tactics that don't work? With The Spark Solution, you could spend the next two weeks jump-starting your weight loss and setting yourself up for long-term success. Whether you want to lose 10, 50, or 100 pounds, this book will set you up for a lifetime of healthy living by helping change the way you think about weight loss and setting goals that you'll stick with.
With The Spark Solution, you'll get:
  • A three-part plan to make over your mindset and optimize your metabolism while building momentum that will allow you to reach your weight-loss goals
  • 14 days of 1,500-calorie eating plans, with three easy, delicious meals a day plus two snacks--packed with foods that will keep you satisfied  while helping you burn calories
  • A program based on research into what worked for our most successful members--and what didn't work for those who gave up early on
  • A custom workout plan from Coach Nicole that helps you maximize your efforts--without spending hours in the gym
  • Dozens of delicious and filling ALL-NEW SparkSwaps recipes (created by Chef Meg) that are ready in 30 minutes or less
  • Daily motivation to keep your enthusiasm high, tips from people who've lost weight and kept it off, plus the latest research in nutrition and goal setting distilled into simple actions that will help you reconsider how you think about healthy living
And it's from the SparkPeople experts you know and trust. The book was written by our head dietitian Becky Hand and editorial director Stepfanie Romine, but it was really a team effort. I wrote the introduction. Coach Nicole developed the workout plan. Chef Meg created the recipes. Coach Dean contributed to the motivation section. And all of you contributed in some way. We surveyed our most successful members to find out what worked and what didn't--and that became the basis of the program our experts created for the book. You are "The Spark Solution"!

The Spark Solution will be releasing on May 7 in both hardcover and e-book versions, but you can get over $45 in FREE gifts (including 500 SparkPoints) by pre-ordering your copy today!
Posted 3/1/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Chris "SparkGuy" Downie : 35 comments   14,647 views
Read More ›

Losing 178 Pounds 'Saved My Life'!

It's a great week for SparkPeople's Success Stories! Our members have been featured in two major magazines. First, we shared Megen's story, and today we have news about Pam Holmes (MAGGIEROSEBOWL), who started her weight loss journey at 328 pounds and 58 years old.  Just over a year later, she hit her goal of 160, then kept going.  Now she's at 150 pounds!

According to Pam, who has also been featured on the Today show, less is more.  She has much more energy and the freedom to do whatever she wants, including substitute teaching, which she previously shied away while obese from for fear of ridicule.  She did it all with the help of SparkPeople, which she calls "a lifesaver." 

You can read more about her journey in this week’s issue of Woman’s World, which will be on the newsstands through Wednesday, February 27!

Way to go, Pam!
Posted 2/22/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 85 comments   38,015 views
Read More ›

Help SparkPeople Win a Members' Choice Award

We have some great news, and it could lead to even better news if we can enlist your help! 
SparkPeople has been named a finalist in the OMMA Awards (Online Media, Marketing & Advertising).  Winning would bring great national exposure among key influencers in the media and therefore be a terrific way to Spread the Spark and help more people get healthy and happy and reach their goals.  
We are a finalist in the Website Excellence Group within the "Social Networking (excluding Facebook and MySpace)" category.  The winner of that category will be chosen by judges, but there’s a much bigger prize at stake that we hope will be chosen by YOU: a Members’ Choice Award, which is decided by voters who are fans of finalists’ sites. 
If SparkPeople is sparking YOU to lead a healthier, happier life and reach your goals, or generally brightening your days, we would love for you to express your support by voting to make SparkPeople a Members’ Choice Award winner!
Posted 9/22/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Chris "SparkGuy" Downie : 141 comments   16,567 views
Read More ›

A Peek Inside SparkPeople Members' Fridges

A few weeks ago, we asked you to let us into your fridges, freezers, pantries and even shopping carts. Many of you sent us photos and answered our questions.
Why did we want a sneak-peek into your food stashes? Not because we wanted to see who had the healthiest fridge, the most organized pantry, or the barest freezer (look, Ma, no ice cream!). Nope. We wanted to show the world that SparkPeople embraces moderation. Treats are OK. No one's "on a diet" here. We're all changing our lives, one meal, one day, one step at a time.

That's why SparkPeople has grown into the largest website of its kind in America--with more than 12 million members and counting--because we focus on the living aspect of healthy living.

Today we're sharing with you some of the entries we received. Two of those we chose will receive a Kindle Fire and e-copies of all of our books. The others whose photos we're sharing will get e-copies of the books. (If your photo was chosen, you'll be contacted via email.)

We chose to share photos that had interesting and even downright funny stories behind them. Are they the healthiest fridges in America? Who's judging?

Let's open the fridge and take a look.
Posted 4/16/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 31 comments   16,353 views
Read More ›

Read More Entries ›