Greetings and - I'm really glad you've joined us!! And wow, you are doing fantastic!!
Congrats on getting active with SparkPeople - it's a great community, wonderful resources and fantastic support- it's also lots of fun and easy to make friends because we're all in this together.
Sometimes the best way to start is to just pick a small goal such as drinking 8 glasses of water a day or eating 5 fruits and veggies plus a small exercise goal such as increasing whatever you've been doing by 10% - I like the way a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is emphasized here instead of a 'quick fix wonder diet' and 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!
Please check out SparkTeams - you can choose them by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location, common goals such as a certain weight loss or several other ways. I'd also like to invite you to join the Virtual Walk/Run/Cycle Thru the US @ exercise.lbl.gov SparkTeam - it's a really fun way to track your walking while you travel 'virtually' across America from Virginia to Oregon. Go to the SparkTeam page at www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i ndividual.asp?gid=19805 for more information. If you're a fan of The Biggest Loser reality television show, you might enjoy the Biggest Loser Fans SparkTeam - you can find it at http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/g roups_individual.asp?gid=3822 - whatever you choose to do, I hope you find teams of people who share your interests!
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 and great FAQs for many topics. You can also find them on the START page and several other places on the site. I wish you the best on your journey!!!
Greg!!! on taking the first steps to a healthier you. A toast to a healthier and more enjoyable life! And prayerfully you will find that you can enjoy it more than you would ever imagine!!! Some thoughts and suggestions as I say to Spark People. This sight has so much to offer! One of the easiest ways to learn a lot about what it has to offer is to go to your "My SparkPoints" tracking Page. Next to each opportunity to earn Sparkpoints there is a link that will take you to the place on the site that helps you complete the task. Some are one time opportunities, others are daily tasks. Complete as many tasks as possible per day. don't to the temptation of making the journey all about the numbers. It is not about pounds taken off or inches trimmed, it is all about creating a healthier and more fit you. Be on the lookout for the many, many, many non-scale non-tape measure victories you will achieve. Feeling healthier, breathing easier, enjoying activities that were once a drudgery, trying something new and enjoying it, choosing a healthy snack versus an unhealthy option, choosing a less than healthy food option over a decadent food option! The possibilities for non-scale victories are ENDLESS. Some things to remember: drink plenty of water every day! sleep well, it is probably more important than you know. healthier every day. Don't go the way of total deprivation, it is apt to set you up for failure and a binge that will leave you feeling devastated. Look for opportunities to every day. when you need to --it is healthier than emotional eating! Find ways to exercise that you ENJOY. The right form of exercise is the one you can stick with regularly!!! Something else may burn more calories in a shorter time, but if it makes you give up you won't burn any calories! MAKE EVERY STEP COUNT. Even steps that seem to move you backwards or to the side have a purpose. Sometimes it is just to get another look at something you passed by without noticing. Perhaps most importantly from my perspective DON’T LOSE weight or inches…TAKE THEM OFF, KICK THEM TO THE CURB. You aren’t interested in FINDING them again. GET RID OF THEM through hard work, determination, accountability, whatever it takes!!! Finally, join teams, make friends, encourage others, be encouraged, take challenges, write out SMART goals regularly and track! Track! TRACK!!! It will help with both accountability and motivation, and You will be glad you did!!! Feel free to stop by my page, let me know if there is anything I can do to help you in the journey!
Are you competitive by nature? One of my daily goals is to hit 100 SparkPoints. When I do that, I've not only read articles, I've interacted with other members by reading and commenting on their blogs and writing my own blog. 100 points gets me here and gets me active each and every day.
When I started, I made the commitment to workout daily and write a blog about it. On days when I don't feel like doing it, I think about the blog I need to write and I certainly do NOT want to write that I was lazy and did not work out.
Maintain your goals on your SparkPage (that's what all the goal-setting gurus write about) and make the goals public on your page. Write about it on your blog every day.
Weight loss = calorie maintenance, cardio, and strength. Calorie maintenance is every day, cardio is at least five days per week, and strength is 3 to 4 days per week. I believe you need all three for a successful weight loss and fitness program.
Above all, be consistent. Doing something toward you goal every day will pay big rewards over the next few months. You can do this!