You have made such an important step to your life-changing journey just by checking the free online program out! So far, so good!
I wanted to let you know that sometimes, unfortunately, people sign up for Spark People and don't stay on the site very long.
This is SO devastating for me to see.
So I really want to encourage you to get involved in the community and make some friends!
Feel free to check out my SparkPage and add me as a friend. I also invite you join the ***MOTIVATORS*** Team that I am a co-leader of. This TEAM has been so great for me by helping me STICK to the program this time around.
To meet people who have the same interests, go to community, spark teams, and enter any of your interests, where you live, career, life problems, etc. I guarantee you will find a team of people who are like minded and very supportive.
Now, I'd like you to give the weight tracker, nutrition tracker, fitness tracker and "Other goals" tracker a chance. They work together to help you know why you AREN'T losing weight when you aren't. They help you know if you aren't eating enough and why. They help you see the totality of all you are doing to put good habits in place for the rest of your life.
Do you HAVE to do all of them? NO. But for my 2 cents, they are the most beneficial.
There are many other things available to involve yourself in besides these trackers and teams. Most of those type activities are listed on the spark point page. Things like reading articles, finding a recipe, reading member blogs, writing a blog of your own, posting to facebook, taking quizzes, listening to sparkpeople radio, following along with an exercise video, participating in polls, and more might not seem like they have anything to do with losing weight or getting healthy. But it's like getting a gold star in school when you do something that moves you toward your goal. And in this case, eating properly, being active, learning the best information about health, and supporting each other have all proven important while on this journey.
The general philosophy here is to make small changes and build on that. So, I say, pick one major tool, learn about it, how to use it, and what it will do for you, because is really is a tool to help you get there!!
Then you can decide if it's a keeper, and decide what you are going to add to it to keep your momentum going.
I have recently done the week trial for Spark Coach. This wasn't available when I started. I wish it had been. That one free week is very helpful to get you acclimated to everything that is Sparkable.
Welcome to SparkPeople! I would recommend tracking your food for a week. I had no clue how many calories I was eating a day when I was starting out! Knowing if you are eating in your calorie range each day can be really helpful.
The community here is really supportive. You can join SparkTeams to find users with similar interest and goals. You can build friendships with the people on your teams or through the message boards.
The site can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you start to figure out everything, it is a really great site.
You might also want to try SparkCoach since you are just starting out. It is the only aspect of SparkPeopke that requires you to pay for its service. You get a free 7 day trial, so maybe that'll help you figure out SparkPeople a little better!
Fitness Minutes: (22,617)
9,244 2/10/13 11:41 A
Hi Tammy! Welcome to Spark! I felt much the same way when I first started. I started with the steps suggested by Spark and by following those I found the tools that I liked. For me it ended up being the food tracker, which lets me track my nutrients (I watch my cholesterol and fiber intake) and the fitness tracker. I also joined a few fun as well as challenge teams. Those tend to keep you accountable because they give you a more structured plan, all the while supplying you with likeminded people to support you. So give it a bit of time, and ask anyone for advice. People here are great. We all have the same goal, and that makes life so much easier :)
Fitness Minutes: (106,143)
4,232 2/10/13 11:39 A
Hi Tammy!!! Welcome to SP! I can TOTALLY relate to the overwhelming feeling of getting used to this huge site/community. Part of the reason why it is so complex is that everyone has different needs along their journey. For instance, for me, tracking my food is an absolute MUST, but as you point out, it isn't for everybody! The things that will help you a lot might be things that I don't use myself.
My advice is just to play around with it until you find what works for you. Check out how the "points" system works, write a BLOG, join some TEAMS, post on the MESSAGE BOARDS, browse some user-created RECIPES, read some ARTICLES..... maybe even try tracking your food for a week (I thought I would hate it too, but it became intensely satisfying to try to meet all of my "goals").
If you still have trouble getting acclimated after a few days of trial and error, send me a PM - I'll try to help you out :-) Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (130)
12 2/10/13 10:47 A
I am still trying to figure out how to use all of the stuff on spark people. It is intimidating. I created my page. I would love some tips on how to make all of this a bit user friendly or maybe just what is the most important part of this site? I hate logging stuff. But I am in much need of some friends and support. I hope I can find that here? Tammy - Tamurai Warrior
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