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!
Not only are your eating habits going to change, your LIFE is going to change. Your self esteem is going to go up. You will be more motivated and your numbers are going to go down, down, down. Be excited and remember:
Welcome to Spark! I've been here since Nov. 9, 2009 and have really learned a lot about myself, food, and exercising. I truly feel joining Spark was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I've managed to lose over 100 pounds in that time. One of the best tools is the nutrition tracker. You will be shocked when you enter a typical day's food! Try to track everything you eat and stay within your limits. Donít panic if you slip - we all do! Just put it behind you, you canít change it, and move on. One of the main concepts at Spark is to take two steps forward for each step back! The fitness tracker is also a great tool. You can track your steps, mileage, cardio exercise, and strength exercises. It will tell you how many calories you have burned. Take time to make lots of Friends and tell them when you reach a goal or are having a hard time. They are here with praise and support all the time! Don't be afraid to ask any question, no matter how silly you think it is. Take time to explore Spark. Read and respond to message boards, blogs, and other members' pages. Join challenges on teams. The help, support, inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and friendship you will receive is awesome! The site can be confusing at times but just keep looking around. There is really a lot of valuable information here! Feel free to contact me if I can help you in any way. Drop by my page to say hi. Stay focused, determined, and positive - you will be successful! Sheila