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. You're off to a great start already, just by posting here!
Please check out the SparkTeams - I think you will find a lot of others 'just like you' including many with the same challenges, circumstances and goals. You can choose SparkTeams by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location or several other ways.
Some of the teams I like and think 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 including gaining weight or saving money - 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.
Be sure to read and 'study' The Spark book because it outlines the overall program and is compatible with most types of eating plans. Right now there is a 'special offer' on Amazon to get it in electronic format for just $1.99 - you can download the free Kindle reader for your computer or read it on a smartphone so you don't have to actually own a Kindle device to take advantage of this generous offer - so check it out!!!
If you haven't already discovered the SparkDiet linked at the bottom of the START page, check it 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 have - it teaches us how to make positive lifetime changes because that's the only thing that will work over time!
Fitness Minutes: (36,814)
6/16/11 9:54 A
Welcome back to Spark People! Good luck on renewing your journey.
Fitness Minutes: (127,676)
6/16/11 9:46 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.
Welcome and best wishes!
Fitness Minutes: (337,685)
20,297 6/16/11 9:18 A
Welcome to SparkPeople! You'll find lots of support, information and inspiration here. All the best on achieving your goals!
Welcome to the team. We are glad you decided to join us.
Fitness Minutes: (305,595)
68,981 6/16/11 1:33 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
Fitness Minutes: (4,100)
9 6/16/11 1:27 A
I joined SparkPeople 7 months ago, and I've lost 8 pounds. Quite frankly, it took me four months of workouts to START losing weight! I was on a roll when I got distracted and derailed last month, and I'm trying not to kick myself for losing track of myself. I'm ready for a fresh start. I was feeling so strong, happy, energetic and confident when I was on my fitness program, and I'm ready to feel that way again! My best friend's wedding is this September - and I'll be feeling confident and looking good!
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