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MIMISBEE SparkPoints: (25,153)
Fitness Minutes: (12,441)
Posts: 62
3/13/13 1:11 P

I find that simply getting on sparkpeople everyday and as often as I can really really helps! I will track my food, log my fitness and write in my journal. I ALWAYS lose more the more I am on here!

LAWLI56 Posts: 1,459
3/13/13 6:12 A

If you're losing weight alone in the real world a sparkbuddy is a good way to help you achieve your goals. You have someone to encourage you to reach your goals, discuss difficulties, share your successes with and you keep each other accountable. Plus it's fun to make new friends.


Edited by: LAWLI56 at: 3/13/2013 (06:13)
STARRPOWER1 SparkPoints: (4,944)
Fitness Minutes: (1,259)
Posts: 68
3/12/13 1:50 P

I love working with teams!

TCANNO SparkPoints: (214,875)
Fitness Minutes: (131,295)
Posts: 38,786
3/12/13 5:39 A

talk to people by using the forum but there are others
Write a blog each day help a lot as well

SWIMLOVER SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (23,689)
Posts: 12,292
3/12/13 1:37 A

Being on teams that are of interest to me and being active on those Teams. Also encouraging others and cheering others on because that give me the courage to continue on this Healthy journey!

KOALA_BEAR SparkPoints: (18,475)
Fitness Minutes: (1,207)
Posts: 1,172
3/12/13 1:32 A

WOW - where do I start? At different times, using the food tracker, reading the message boards & articles, trying & sharing recipes. Overall it really helps to have others available to give advice about what has worked for them - strategies, patience, motivation, ideas to improve stinkin' thinkin' as needed.

I get on SP at night when I'm home from work and being on the PC keeps my hands out of the grazing area. I can't stuff my face and type simultaneously. Plus 24/7 somebody somewhere in the world is always there and that makes the whole process less lonely and less challening 'cuz you know you've got support.

I also like being able to team up with another member for things like exercise - since that is still hard for me to do.

3/11/13 1:47 P

Don't be afraid to jump into Emergency Support if you need it. It can feel embarassing but it's worth it.

3/11/13 1:45 P

All great ideas!

RICHARJ SparkPoints: (4,619)
Fitness Minutes: (430)
Posts: 372
3/11/13 1:42 P

I love the most when I write a blog and I am really down on myself and my efforts how immediately, people respond to that with encouragment and good thoughts, but also those of us who relate and let me know that I am not alone cause they have been there too...some who have overcome and some who are still struggling as I am.

2nd.. I read about others' success...especiallly those people who just happened to sign on to the Spark after trying everything else and who stuck with it and wholla...they have lost over 100 pounds....This is sooooooo E N C O U R A G I N G....

3rd, I love having a subject such as this one that I can post my ideas, see other peoples ideas and some time just simply get something off my chest about a certain subject...and again know that I am not ALONE and realize that I truly have something to be thankful for bc I have changed a habit, like finally switching from one bread to wheat....FINALLY...

There's more, but I'll just post my top 3.

Edited by: RICHARJ at: 3/11/2013 (13:48)
DILLONNAN Posts: 563
3/11/13 1:17 P

Oh, SparkPeople how you help me... let me count the ways:

1) Feeling a part
2) Tracking
3) Reading success stories
4) Encouraging others
5) Educating myself
6) Playing games on msg boards
7) Teams
8) Spark Radio
9) Spark Recipes
10) Spark pages

GOLDENANGELFISH SparkPoints: (14,846)
Fitness Minutes: (1,338)
Posts: 3,569
3/10/13 7:31 P

I have found it helpful to be on a team with similar goals, and make spark friends that way. Oh yes - and the trackers - especially for foods...

Edited by: GOLDENANGELFISH at: 3/10/2013 (19:32)
SASSYBRUN Posts: 192
3/10/13 2:18 P

What is the coach all about? Emotional? Nutritional? The DVDs exercise?

Anyone use fitbit? Useful? Very useful?

R3DROBIN Posts: 1,389
3/10/13 11:33 A

i love love love SP...even when im not working on my weight loss i try to log in and write a blog or read some articles. i update my page with pretty pictures, give myself some goodies & pop around saying hello to others. besides weight loss i struggle with depression...people reach out to me here and i really appreciate it. SP is a great support system and i love it! emoticon

PAMLICO-DAZE SparkPoints: (46,810)
Fitness Minutes: (34,007)
Posts: 1,215
3/10/13 11:21 A

I just love the trackers.

NANDJMOMMY SparkPoints: (8,936)
Fitness Minutes: (6,326)
Posts: 106
3/10/13 11:11 A

I've noticed that people who have lost weight (a good amount) and people who have kept it off have lots of post...over 1,000. this seems to be a great way to stay in touch with your goals.

SALLYANNE0852 Posts: 870
3/10/13 8:34 A

i agree wit h diane the trackers! And my Spark Friends emoticon

DIANET2 Posts: 8,126
3/10/13 7:55 A

trackers and join a team, and be active on it

NICKYCRANE SparkPoints: (84,271)
Fitness Minutes: (45,297)
Posts: 1,317
3/10/13 6:24 A

If the Spark Coach offer for a year for $28, plus 2 free DVDs and some e-books is still going, go for that! It has, I think, 5 months worth of programmes, including a motivation programme and a plateau buster as well as the basic programme. But the fantastic feature that I find so helpful is that you can email a coach with a question once a week. For this alone it's worth the cost. If that offer's no longer going, then get the Spark Solutions book, which also gives you the 2 dvds etc and 3 months access to Spark Coach. I ddon't know how much it would cost if you wanted to continue with Spark Coach after that.
Lots of free exercise videos, many of which I have downloaded to my iPad. If you join the 10 minute exercise challenge, that should get you started with something you can keep up. Since I did the January Jumpstart exercise challenge, and exercised first thing because I didn't enjoy it and wanted to get it out of the way, I found myself looking forward to it. Now I don't exercise first thing, as I know I shall want to do it. I did actually get hooked on exercise and overdo it, so I have gone without for a few days, but am now easing gently back into it. Very helpful advice from Mail a Coach about this, and lots of helpful articles.
Incidentally since New Year's Eve I've lost about 5 kilos. Yesterday I was down to my goal weight, tho today a few ounces more. I'm now thinking weight maintenance! Last time I weighed this little must have been over 50 years ago when I was at school and still growing!!
Nutrition tracker I find is a must. I hope I shall eventually be able to stop tracking my food so religiously. Incidentally both my appetite and my tastes have changed this year. When I crave something sweet, it's normally fruit, or at least the craving is satisfied by an orange or a kiwi (or 2). I even pass on the marshmallows we give the children at the end of their meeting - I prefer my own cocoa peanut butter oatmeal squares - and don't feel obliged even to eat one of them instead of the marshmallow!
I also use fitness tracker every day.
Don't get discouraged if you can't finish an exercise video. Tho I had been following part of another video daily for months, it took me several weeks to be able to finish the 6 minute warmup to 28 day bootcamp video!!!! Now I find it easy. Take it gently. Exercise to live, don't live to exercise!

IRENE100 Posts: 20
3/10/13 4:42 A

I understand what you are saying about support. I feel that I need that as well. I did well
on weight watchers and then became frustrated when I hit a big plateau. I need some accountability and someone to check in with. I'm not sure if you have any ideas, but anyone that can offer any encouragement, that would be great.


DONNACFIT SparkPoints: (78,172)
Fitness Minutes: (87,958)
Posts: 1,747
3/9/13 9:49 P

The trackers, spark friends, teams and challenges are my fav's

MAXINOVA SparkPoints: (27,447)
Fitness Minutes: (15,054)
Posts: 870
3/9/13 3:51 P

Just being able to easily track my calories has been the best support I have ever gotten. Also reading other peoples stories and successes really helps keep me motivated.

DAISY*CHICK Posts: 380
3/9/13 3:46 P

Finding a good team that has enough people that are talking to one another and also success stories are my favorites.

FITMARY Posts: 7,632
3/9/13 2:11 P

The teams have helped me a lot! People in them may come and go as things get busy, but there's usually someone to comment and send you some inspiration. I also LOVE going to the Success Stories page (under Community). Some of the people there are just awesome. When I start to get downhearted, reading those stories usually cheers me right back up! Hang in there!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

CHERYLHURT Posts: 36,430
3/9/13 2:02 P

I spend more tome on SP than anywhere else. I get so much encouragement so I click on at least 4 times a day!

MIZZKINS Posts: 120
3/9/13 1:49 P

I tried a lot of ways mentioned, then I started clicking on interesting people's spark page links, reading their page, browsing teams they joined, and I've had good luck with that. Especially for finding unique teams and people with similar goals and interests!

CBLENS SparkPoints: (47,498)
Fitness Minutes: (16,557)
Posts: 1,220
3/9/13 12:32 P

I use so many of the tools, especially like the suggestions & comments from others!

GRACEMCC45 Posts: 1,134
3/9/13 11:40 A

Using teams and making a few close sparkfriends!

EARTHFIREFLY SparkPoints: (17,588)
Fitness Minutes: (11,546)
Posts: 41
3/9/13 8:56 A

Super inspiring to read everyone's suggestions here, esp. on a day when I feel a bit down and disconnected. Thank you all so much for sharing! ^_^

CHOCVAN SparkPoints: (8,673)
Fitness Minutes: (5,114)
Posts: 81
3/9/13 7:52 A

Get SparkCoach. It guides you all the way and you also become more able to use the site on your own.

3/8/13 7:17 P

Just stay with it! Use Spark People for all it offers. Log in, get your points, consider it a game. It becomes a habit. Use the Spark People videos, they are so awesome! On days when I just don't have the energy or desire, I try to use at least 1 or 2 Coach Nicole easy videos even if it's just the ones sitting. It makes you feel better and usually motivates me to go further. Try a team challenge. Log your food every day, it makes you realize what you are consuming, stick with it! emoticon emoticon

SPARKGIRL88 SparkPoints: (5,271)
Fitness Minutes: (674)
Posts: 35
3/8/13 3:42 P

Honestly, take advantage of the teams and the forums. Make sparkfriends. This is such a supportive website, no one puts anyone down and there's no drama *at least from what I've seen* If you can afford it, maybe try Sparkcoach? I just got 3 free months and am honestly looking forward to it. :)

FIRECOM SparkPoints: (107,673)
Fitness Minutes: (11,796)
Posts: 5,855
3/8/13 2:01 P

If your are not very active, GET ACTIVE.

I find the teams a great source for online support.

PUNKADOO Posts: 143
3/8/13 12:18 P

Checking in each day helps me -- and getting the encouragement from my spark friends. I check in the first thing each morning. It keeps me honest.

SASSYBRUN Posts: 192
3/7/13 11:42 P

Thank you all so much. It's wonderful to get feedback like this from others experiencing similar challenges.

JO88BAKO SparkPoints: (262,771)
Fitness Minutes: (145,968)
Posts: 11,204
3/7/13 11:05 P

Join a spark team that has interests that you have

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (64,623)
Fitness Minutes: (47,512)
Posts: 4,405
3/7/13 10:32 P

For me, one of the best things has been to join a challenge in which we track our fitness minutes each day. We just track the minutes -- it doesn't matter what type of activity is -- and we don't agonize over how many calories we burned that day. We just set a monthly goal for fitness minutes and track our progress towards that goal. I am not an exerciser by nature, and that challenge helps spur me on to accomplish my goal each month -- and that helps me stay on track with my healthier lifestyle.

I also benefit by tracking my weight and few other parameters each day. I like seeing the numbers on the graphs go down -- and seeing that progress over time helps me stay on track. Seeing my tracker every day reminds me of how far I have come -- and that helps me feel good about myself and to keep trying.

I have stumbled a few times and regained some of the weight I have lost. But staying with SparkPeople helps me to realize that most people have set backs at some point. That has helped me to forgive myself for those setbacks and helped me to start again.

Edited by: ONLINEASLLOU at: 3/7/2013 (22:35)
DAYSPRING-STAR SparkPoints: (33,709)
Fitness Minutes: (10,576)
Posts: 1,261
3/7/13 10:16 P

Explore, read, post, share, track, and most of all be yourself and be honest. No one is here to judge and your honesty may be rewarded with insights you could never have expected.

CIRANDELLA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (34,361)
Posts: 6,094
3/7/13 9:40 P

The best way, for me, is to keep poking around and investigating, because there's always something new and/or relevant to my needs at any given time. Let it work individually for you; I think it's even designed with that sort of maximum flexibility.

SHERYLDS Posts: 15,866
3/7/13 9:30 P

Join a Challenge
Join a few active groups
Commit to tracking both nutrition and exercise
Interact with people's blogs...(lots of supportive people here)
And read the articles....they are jammed with info from very reliable sources

QNINA1000 Posts: 99
3/7/13 6:38 P

The cool thing about Sparkpeople is the fact that there are support choices of all kinds. If you like being involved with groups or other individuals, you can connect. If you need professional guidance and motivation, they have that now too. For me, the tracker is the primary benefit and it works very well for me. I love being able to set up and track the exact nutrients that are important to me (rather than just calories like we used to do in the bad, old days). Working towards balancing all the nutrients keeps me so interested that I spend much less time thinking about snacking. Sometimes I read blogs or posts or articles and have discovered a few very cool things. In fact, I just noticed in somebody's post here the word Gastroparesis which I had not come across before, and having looked it up, I think that may be the answer to the digestive issues I've had for a very long time. Good, old sparkpeople - find something useful here more days than not. Good luck Sassy.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,410
3/7/13 5:33 P

I don't know if there is a "best" way - depends on what you like to do and how you prefer to interact.

I like reading the forums, and from there i like to explore people's individual sparkpages. From there, I often gain insight and inspiration or at least a sense of "someone else out there is in my position" by reading through various blogs. At first, I only read forums. I started to get to recognize some "regulars." I started to add-friend where people said something I connected with-- and now (if they have their feed enabled) i get to keep up with what they are doing via my friend-feed :)

I've only blogged a couple of times, and got responses (which - wow? someone actually read them!!!! gosh!!) which at first I didn't even realize how/where people *found* my blogs... but now i realize there's a "blog feed" for teams I have joined as well as "new blogs" listed in the main blog section. So it's a nice connected feeling to write and have people respond back.

The CRITICAL thing for me is to journal my food on the nutrition tracker. Not exactly "interactive" but it is what keeps me grounded in the process. It's the reason I joined Spark - I never expected to become part of a virtual community - that part has been a surprise benefit, and I am really enjoying it.

MOM2ACAT SparkPoints: (190,535)
Fitness Minutes: (41,579)
Posts: 30,457
3/7/13 4:18 P

I get the most support from blogging, and from teams. I have health conditions to deal with (cancer and gastroparesis), I get a lot of support from the teams I am in for people with my same health issues. I have also been with Spark since 2006, and I have rarely missed a day logging in, so I have had time to make some awesome friends here! Being dedicated and sticking with it has definitely helped me.

3/7/13 4:03 P

I use blogging and have got a pretty good support system through there.. but I know alot of people use the teams. Done being the fat girl (or Done Girl not sure which it is actually called) is a good one to use. Some teams have challenges that you can join in and then it will help keep you accountable because they require you to post your achievements by certain days.

VATRUCKER SparkPoints: (20,629)
Fitness Minutes: (36,922)
Posts: 526
3/7/13 3:52 P

I try to log in everyday and post my activity and food trackers as well as read the articles, play the trivia emoticon game and take a poll. emoticon

PAMLICO-DAZE SparkPoints: (46,810)
Fitness Minutes: (34,007)
Posts: 1,215
3/7/13 3:40 P

Log in each day, read, post, learn and connect with others.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,615
3/7/13 3:14 P

You have to stay connected to the site, if you don't log in, you don't get the benefit of "community" and all the othet stuff people said below.

3/7/13 11:42 A

Set up a reminder to log on every day.
Strive to get 50 points by reading articles and posting messages.
Buy the book "SPARK" great motivator!!
Read three articles a day...they are all inspiring!
Log in your food and water daily

This free site is awesome! Does way more that some of the paid sites! I recommend it to everyone I can!

Good luck!! Feel free to add me as a friend and/or read my blogs!!!

MYUTMOST4HIM Posts: 11,453
3/7/13 11:39 A

Join groups/teams. if you actually find one in your area then I hear they get together now and then.
Otherwise blogging and messaging other members are good ways of "putting yourself out there"

SASSYBRUN Posts: 192
3/7/13 11:36 A

I joined over a year ago, but only used the site 1x (I didn't follow up on my weightloss, and today I'm 3 lbs heavier than a year ago, and that's after a 9-12 lb loss, but I digress).

I am now tracking all I eat. Another key success factor in weight loss I keep reading about is having a support group. I'd love to join a real life meeting sometime, but I find that they ones in my area require payment (except for overeaters anonymous, however I want a weight loss support more than a 12 step program).

So I'm turning to sparkpeople, and I'm wondering what suggestions you may have for best use of the boards as a support system. Just answering and reading some threads has made me happier, but I wonder if there's a more focused way to achieve it. Is there anything like a online meeting?

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