Spark is not the end-all-be-all - it is a TOOL that when used consistently, will provide you with information, support, accountability, and even small rewards (think SparkStreaks - when I saw I'd given up fast food for 325 days straight, I didn't want to order that pizza that day!!) to help you lose weight and keep it off!
It is an AMAZING tool, albeit not very user-friendly. BUT it worked for me when I joined originally in 2009 - by following Spark's meal plans and exercise day/time suggestions, tracking my food (accountability), and connecting with people through these message boards (support), I went from 159 pounds to 143 in 3 months. I maintained that for about 6 months, but then stopped with the accountability and stopped ALL EXERCISE and put it all back on plus 15 since mid-2010.
I'm back because I know it works, and I have a goal to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year, and develop habits that will allow me to maintain without having to use Spark as my crutch.
Spark works because it provides you with: * The tools and information to learn what it means to eat healthy - for YOU to eat healthy (not just anyone - YOU) * A support system of like-minded people that have the same problems and goals you do * Real-live people that can offer you advice and tips * A meal plan, if that's easier to follow than making up your own * Such a variety of exercises that you will always find what fits your time, your exercise ability, and so many that you will never get bored.
One last thing - Because of Spark, I learned how to cook - I learned I enjoy it, and am actually pretty good it! That's just one of the side benefits that I find to be a lot of fun :)
Fitness Minutes: (155,303)
47,041 12/31/12 4:09 A
yup I have lost 30 odd since July
Edited by: TCANNO at: 12/31/2012 (04:09)
Fitness Minutes: (11,796)
5,855 12/30/12 11:59 A
SPKRAUSE said it all very well. I, too, have had incredible (at least for me) success with SP. Any tool, not used or used without diligence is absolutely worthless.
SP is NOT a magic pill that will dissolve weight overnight. We must work at it every hour of every day. That being said, SP is one of those rare tools where one can consistently get more out of it that is put into it. That is synergism and it comes from the great support that each member gives to the others.
I have been on every diet imaginable and have had success in a few but NONE gave me the support system that is the hallmark of SP.
In the early 80's, I weighed at least 335 lb. and was a heart attack that was waiting to happen, Well, it did happen and I had my first bypass. Then in 1996 I was diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic and was put on the "Well lets try this med and see what happens" roller coaster.
I bounced between the high of 335 to a one time low of 200 and was back to 226 when I found SP. Now I am proud to say that I am at 164 this morning and my A1c is 5.7 and I have been declared diabetes free. Not cured mind you, just in total control and not taking any more meds for T2.
To me, it is a question of commitment. Like in a breakfast of bacon and eggs. The chicken makes a contribution, but the pig is all in with total commitment.
So it boils down to "If its to be, its up to me" doesn't it? That is what works for me.
 For me it's a tool, not the goal, not the cause.  To that end: it got me back to tracking my food (almost obsessively ... but at least *always honestly*), and that one little habit was probably the most important step.  It's nice having lots of resources in one place and the choice to do more or less.  Over the course of one year at SP I lost nearly 90lbs and am not looking to transition to (a) maintaining that and (b) perhaps adding back some muscle.
Fitness Minutes: (133,458)
17,316 12/30/12 10:58 A
You betcha! I have been with SPARKPEOPLE since late 2009 and it works. Very informative too.
Fitness Minutes: (155)
469 12/30/12 12:57 A
SparkPeople and the spark streaks help me. I have a great deal to lose. I have been a member for three years and have health problems. In the past I did Weight Watchers and didn't lose anything. Because I read The Spark and finally actually joined and paid attention to what Spark People really is about I have been losing. I have a way to go but it's all around the best thing ever.
12/29/12 6:56 P
Yes. I have been able to reach and maintain all of my goals.
Yes. My first time on Spark People, I lost about 30 pounds. I'm back to finish reaching my goal weight.
Fitness Minutes: (85,068)
3,415 12/29/12 5:16 P
Yes, I have: lost 13/14 lbs, given up diet soft drinks, increased my strength training on a regular basis, interact with lots of people daily, read many informative articles, learned an amazing amount of information, feel so much better everyday, increased my endurance for all day activities as well as my exercise routine, feel more confident about loosing more weight in the future and much less anxious about what I eat and have a much more versatle exercise routine.
I LOVE Spark PEOPLE!!
Edited by: BARBANNA at: 12/29/2012 (17:18)
Fitness Minutes: (122,983)
12/29/12 4:10 P
Yes, down 30lbs. and the sugar & cholesterol numbers are down in the healthy range for the first time in over 7 years. Eating better every day.
Fitness Minutes: (155,303)
47,041 12/29/12 1:48 P
12/29/12 11:19 A
If you follow the advice on sparkpeople.com and really commit to make a change you will be successful. I started on sparkpeople in the middle of October and it has TOTALLY changed my life. When I started, I was at a point in my life where I knew if I didn't do something drastic that I was literally going to die. When I would lie down at night I would wake up and couldn't breath, sometimes it took me a half hour or more to really catch my breath and be able to lay back down. I realized that if I didn't do something that there might come a time when I didn't wake up. I was terrified. When I started sparkpeople I went all out. I quit drinking sweet tea and soda and eating junk all day. I started drinking water constantly and keeping track of everything I put in my mouth. When I looked up the nutrition facts on some of the things I had been eating, I was horrified. I couldn't believe what was in the things I had been stuffing down my throat all these years! I started walking, at first I couldn't even walk 1/2 a mile without huffing and puffing and feeling like my heart was beating out of my chest. Now, 2 1/2 months later I can walk at least 3 1/2 to 4 miles at a time and feel good when I am done. I have lost over 40 lbs. So, I can absolutely say it works, but you will get out of it what you put into it. I wish you luck on your journey and if you ever need any encouragement, please let me know. Blessings, Penny
Fitness Minutes: (97,354)
12/28/12 10:29 P
YES! I've lost 60 lbs so far....but it takes work!!!
Fitness Minutes: (15,626)
82 12/28/12 8:01 P
If you actually do what they tell you and stick with it and stay motivated it totally works.
Fitness Minutes: (114,388)
41,974 12/28/12 5:15 P
yes but you have to work and put effort in to it its not like they say on the plans wher you buy the food in boxes and they claim the weight falls off that is not true i know from experience this plan works
Fitness Minutes: (122,983)
12/11/12 11:45 A
Absolutely. This is an awesome website. Read up on all the different health subjects.
I've had real, tangible success. I've lost 57 lbs in 7 months; have gone from sedentary to active: have finished 3 5K races and 4 challenges; am now happy. It's amazing what setting a weight loss goal can do!
Fitness Minutes: (63,088)
4,055 12/2/12 10:35 A
yes lots of info on this site. it is constandly upgrade the sign
Fitness Minutes: (4,187)
11/11/12 3:25 P
Because of the site, I have actually given up soda which I never thought possible.
Check out the challenges and work on obtaining your spark points (they are silly, but motivating)
Yes. Keep checking out the site. You get what you put into it.
Fitness Minutes: (155,303)
47,041 11/4/12 5:59 A
Yes they have. Go and check out the members blogs and start one of your own and see just how muck help and support you get, you will be amazed.
Follow you tracking but if you fail one day don't knock yourself out we all do from time to time.
11/4/12 3:14 A
Absolutely. Keep looking around and reading the success stories. You will soon be motivated!
Good luck to you!
Fitness Minutes: (193)
11/4/12 3:01 A
I just started on sparkpeople.com and with sparkcoach.com, I am wondering if any other members can offer me any help or advice as well as letting me know if they have honestly had success using this site? I think it's awesome so far, and I can't believe it's FREE!!! That is the best yet, especially when curves wanted me to pay $200.00 for this same thing except for doing a 30 minute workout in their building 3 times a week...I am so excited about this site and getting started on the road to re-gaining my life, losing weight, and getting back in shape for me, my son, and my family! Thanks for the help and I look forward to meeting new friends who can relate to what I am trying to accomplish and have went through with weight and fitness issues!!! :)
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