Congrats on taking the next step to reaching a healthier you by getting active with SparkPeople - it's a great community, wonderful resources and fantastic support- it's also lots of fun and easy to make friends because we're all in this together.
Sometimes the best way to start is to just pick a small goal such as drinking 8 glasses of water a day or eating 5 fruits and veggies - whatever you pick, I like the way a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is emphasized here instead of a 'quick fix wonder diet' so it's good for people wanting to lose weight, but also to maintain a previous loss, get healthier, improve fitness and many other goals including gaining weight or saving money - it's about waaaaaay more than 'just' losing weight so you have definitely come to the right place! You're off to a great start already, just by posting here and I think you'll be at your goal before you know it!
Another nice thing about SparkPeople is that we have permission to be human - we don't have to change everything at once or be in a hurry to reach our goals. Take a few baby steps and then a few more and before you know it, you'll have completed a long journey - I hope you enjoy this community as much as I have - it teaches us how to make positive lifetime changes because that's the only thing that will work over time!
Please check out SparkTeams - you can choose them by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location or several other ways. I'd also like to invite you to join the Virtual Walk/Run/Cycle Thru the US @ exercise.lbl.gov SparkTeam - it's a really fun way to track your walking while you travel 'virtually' across America from Virginia to Oregon. Go to the SparkTeam page at www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_individ ual.asp?gid=19805 for more information.
Some of the other teams that are good for beginners include the Official 10-minute Daily Exercise Streak Challenge, Starting Over Weekly Mini-Challenge Team, 10k Steps A Day and Motivation & Positive Attitude Plan - but there are so many to choose from, you can have a great time looking for the ones that seem to fit you best! In fact, I suggest joining more than one group, post your intro there and write blogs as often as you can - you will find tons of friends and support that way, I promise!!
If you ever need any help using features of the site, there are tutorial videos under the HELP section that can show you how to use the features of the site. You can also find them on the START page and several other places on the site. It takes awhile to get the hang of the site but you can earn SparkPoints and Trophies while you explore and learn!
I wish you the best on your journey!!!
Lynda in Orange County, So Calif
God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!
Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden
"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."
Fitness Minutes: (215,060)
52,557 10/6/11 12:45 A
WELCOME TO SPARK!!! Congrats on taking the first step into changing your life to a more healthier one by joining the site. Spark is filled with amazing people that will motivate, support and encourage you on your journey. There is so much to learn and discover here, take this one day at a time.
A couple of things I would like to suggestion to make you Spark experience a great one.
1. Put together your own Spark page. This is a great way to communicate with other members and build relationships that will support and motivate you. You can do this by going to the START page and the green section has something about your Sparkpage.
2. Make goals for yourself. Each month I make a list of what I want to accomplish that month and break them down to smaller goals to work with week by week. This way the BIG picture doesn't seem so big.
3. Join Spark teams. There are tons of teams here and you will be able to find ones that fit to what you like or want in a team.
The key to success here is to be active and you've already started by joining. You will find that everyone is willing to help you out if you need it. Spark friends are here for support, motivation and encouragement. Good luck on your journey to a healthier lifestyle! Again, welcome to the SP family! *~ Paula *~
Paula in Denver, Colorado
"You were given life; it is your duty...to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight." (Elizabeth Gilbert)
"Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy." (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
"Think for a minute about what makes you fabulous and how you can celebrate it." (Laura Mercier)
Proud Team Leader of Determined Divas!
10/6/11 12:37 A
Hello & to spark, where you will find all the support you need. I for one am on that path to eat healthier & exercise daily. I wish you the best of luck on your journey..
I was 54 when I joined SparkPeople and 56 when I came back and started my Spark Program, starting with Stage One. This is a one day at a time program, but if you do the SparkPeople Program Steps, it really does work. I am terribly average, it's the SP program that is extraordinary.
I found logging my foods in the Nutrition Tracker helped me to lose 90 lbs in 16 months! I started at 210 and went to 120. I am 5'1.5" short, lol.
I hung clothing that was too small on my closet door and every time I would get discouraged I would try them on. Week by week they started fitting! That kept me motivated.
Welcome aboard, we really are all in the same boat! Sometimes we can sail right along but sometimes we have to be rowing like crazy!
You can make it happen! SparkPeople really does work!
I spent most of my 59 years in Obesityville - that is one town I never want to visit ever again! Slim City is way more fun!!
(((Sending you Skinny Vibes today!))) 10K Steps a Day Spirited Underdogs 5% Challenge - private team
Central Time Zone page 39 in The Spark
I went from 210-120 in 16 months with SparkPeople! My maintenance range is 120-125 lbs. In Maintenance since 8/11/09!!
Lifetime Spirited Underdog!
I didn't "make it happen" the first time, I "made it happen" the last time!
Fitness Minutes: (118,169)
10/5/11 4:43 A
Hi and congratulations on beginning your Spark journey!
There's so much here to help you along the way and excellent advice to setting and achieving healthy goals. With the thousands and thousands of fellow Sparkers you will always find someone you can connect with. I am always amazed how many lives have been changed for the better through the use of SparkPeople.
If you have not already done so, I suggest that you check out the videos in the "Healthy Lifestyle" section. Scroll down for the site orientation videos. That should point you in the right direction. I find that if you just start looking around Spark, you will quickly learn about the wonderful tools available for your use. After being a Sparker since 2007, I still find something new and very useful.
Fitness Minutes: (265)
10/5/11 12:32 A
Hello Everyone, Not sure how this works yet. Second day as member, first posting. If you have any insights that make this journey easier and enjoyable, please send them my way. I have suffered from obesity since my teen years. I have tried several things from yo-yo diets to pills to surgical procedures and the weight keeps coming back. I have not been too good with healthy eating although I am much better now. Exercise is still the hardest thing for me. I have been an honorary gym member for probably 10 years and keep hanging on to my membership and making monthly payments waiting for the day that I will finally have the motivation and energy to utilize it. I have a cheap elliptical at home since December last year. I have only used it about 4 times (yesterday was my first time after several months). I am hopeful that this time I can learn discipline and form life changing habits. Any helpful advise or cheering would be highly appreciated. Best Regards, Lubita
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