to Spark people! You have a lovely photo! My Mom had a double hip replacement and became a new person and my double knee replacement got me walking again too. But you do have to find some 'me' time in there to make this work! The goal of this website is to teach people to live a healthy lifestyle, not just a 'diet'. That means exercising regularly and eating healthy nutritious meals for the rest of your life in order to lose weight and then keep it off! Spark's tools and program encourages you to learn healthy living one step at a time, working on good habits until they become second nature. It is not easy, and it will take time getting used to it, but will be rewarding in the end to stick with it. Tracking calories is the key. Accurately weighing and measuring everything you eat is vital, as guessing can too easily go over. I was good with exercising, but had never tracked my food before and that made a huge difference and opened my eyes to just how easy it is to consume more calories than your body needs. You must also make sure you set the Fitness Tracker to how much exercise you do in a week so it can give the Nutrition Tracker the right calorie range to stay in to lose weight. I actually really enjoy juggling my food choices to make sure I get the right nutrient ratios and stay in the calorie range, its really quite challenging LOL. But getting them right means your metabolism will be fueled properly, important to make your exercise pay off and burn those calories! Well done making up a Spark page! Its how we interact. We comment, blog, send goodies and most important, add friends on our Spark Pages. The support on this website is overwhelming and is what keeps us sticking to the program even through the toughest times. I still remember the thrill of the very first blog I wrote and getting responses to it. I have met so many nice people on here. I wish you all the best with your journey to a new you!
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 - it's about waaaaaay more than 'just' losing weight so you have definitely come to the right place!
There are tutorial videos under the HELP section that can show you how to use the features of the site.
If you haven't 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!