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.
Please check out the SparkTeams - I think you will find a lot of others 'just like you' there. You can choose SparkTeams by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location or several other ways - some of the teams you might like 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!!
In my experience, SparkPeople is like a in some ways - it's lots of fun and easy to make friends because we're all in this together. I like the way a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is emphasized instead of a 'quick fix wonder diet' so it's good for people wanting to lose weight, maintain a previous loss, get healthier, improve fitness and many other goals - it's about waaaaaay more than 'just' losing weight so you have definitely come to the right place!
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.
If you haven't already discovered The Spark book and/or the SparkDiet linked at the bottom of the START page, check them out - the program is simple but extremely effective. There is a TON of information on this site - so much it might even seem overwhelming but fortunately we don't have to 'digest' everything at once! The FastBreak program is a good way to start.
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 do - it teaches us how to make positive lifetime changes because that's the only thing that will work over time!
This is an awesome site with so much to offer. A good way to sample what's available is to go to your upper left and click on MY TOOLS. Then click on MY SPARKPOINTS in the dropdown menu. All those different ways of earning points each day will expose you to so much like
1) articles 2) fitness videos (I love the 10 minute kickboxing cardio one) 3) tips on how to use the site (insider) 4) secrets from other sparkers 5) healthy recipes (try the unchained lasagna) 6) teams/support groups (use the search tool there to find a favorite topic) 7) trivia (great learning tool) and more!
Take advantage of as much as you can. I highly recommend you join a few teams/challenge groups. Click on COMMUNITY on the upper tab then SPARK TEAMS. In the right corner is a wizard to help find the right team for you. That is the best way to make friends. Also, read lots of user blogs. People have great insights on this whole process from personal experience. You can start with my "50 Tips for 50 pounds"
Losing weight and/or getting fit is a journey of many steps. These days before we go on a journey we always turn on the GPS. So turn on YOUR GPS for the journey:
G - Good Nutrition P - Personal Fitness S- Sparkpeople Involvement
If you have any questions feel free to ask. Also, drop by my sparkpage and check out my blogs for lots of tips. I'll be happy to show you around.
Fitness Minutes: (12,789)
1,659 2/26/11 8:07 A
Welcome to spark :)
Fitness Minutes: (218,338)
58,136 2/26/11 7:57 A
Welcome to Spark People. There is so much information available to you here. There are teams that you can join that offer support, inspiration and motivation with members of pretty much any interest that you may seek. The food & fitness trackers are invaluable sources at your disposal. There are articles that cover pretty much any topic that you can imagine. Spark people members share blogs that offer you a glimpse at their experience, strength and hope and gives you a look at their perspective. There are health articles and a vast health encyclopedia, if you will, to help you with all manner of physical health issues. There are even games to help you get involved and meet new friends. This is a wonderful positive community of people, like yourself, who want to work their "weigh down" the scale on the path to better health and happiness. Jump in and get involved. I find that the more active I am, the more I get out of it for myself. It's sort of like "paying it forward" and reaping benefits from the backwash! I am so happy that you are here. Bright blessings to you my friend. Dawn
Hi Kathryn and welcome to Spark People where you will find lots of information and tons of support and encouragement from all our members. You will find that we also have fun along the way. Drink your 8-8oz glasses of water a day (If you only drink one now, add to as you are able until you are drinking your 8 cups or more a day), watch your portion control (measure everything in the beginning... guaranteed it will get easier) and walk, dance or do any exercise you enjoy (start with 10 minutes a day or several times a day and add to it as you are able or have time) or do any other exercise you enjoy. Use your fitness and nutrition tracker daily (guaranteed to work if you use them consistently and honestly). Pick one thing to change...one thing at a time. Don't try to change to many things at once as that can be very overwhelming. Just try to take one step, one minute, one hour, one day, one week at a time. They honestly will all add up to the bigger numbers. These tips will definitely help in lowering your numbers and increasing you ability to enjoy life. Don't expect miracles right away...this is a lifestyle change not a diet. You will be much healthier in the long run. Post any concerns, comments or questions you may have and someone will respond quickly. Start each day with a positive thought just for that day. Reading and reflecting on an inspirational thought or message before you start your day can put you in a positive frame of mind. Your thoughts determine whether you have a good day or a bad day. Fill your mind with positive ideas, suggestions, and thoughts. You will find it will change your attitude and changing your attitude can change your life. Sometimes just reading an inspirational quote or a short paragraph helps one see the positive in a situation. Sometimes as your day progresses you just need to take a break…Take a mental break and read or think about a message of inspiration. Never underestimate your power to change and improve! You are a good person, with wonderful qualities, and you can reach your goals! If I can be of any help to you, please let me know with a spark mail or a comment on my page. I am here for you. God bless you on your journey to a healthier you. Hugs, Helen
Fitness Minutes: (205,032)
52,114 2/26/11 3:39 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 *~
Fitness Minutes: (172,832)
5,376 2/26/11 3:28 A
Welcome to sparkpeople where it's a way of life and not a diet. Good luck on your weight loss journey. Feel free to email me or add me as a buddy if ya need any help.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
1 2/26/11 2:48 A
My name is Kathryn and I am trying to lose weight (obviously) lol and get healthy. I have a lot of medical problems and I have low energy all the time and I am on a lot of meds. I am just getting over the flu, so I can't really workout this week, but hopefully I can next week. I am looking for a buddy that wants to offer support.
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