I began really using all the tools available on this site in July, so I am just beginning my second month here. I've added you as a friend, I hope you don't mind. You can never have enough support or encouragement!
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- it's also lots of fun and easy to make friends because we're all in this together.
I like the way a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is emphasized here instead of a 'quick fix wonder diet' so it's good for people wanting to lose weight, but also to 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! You're off to a great start already, just by posting here and I think you'll be at your goal before you know it!
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 or several other ways. I'd 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.
Some of the other teams that are good for beginners 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!!
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. It takes awhile to get the hang of the site but you can earn SparkPoints and Trophies while you explore and learn!
Hi! I just stopped on your page to say "HI" and welcome you to Spark. You're in the right place to reach your goals, but promise that you'll stop in every day and log your water, log your veggies and fruit, log your food, log your exercise, and read, and post, and log your water, and write on someoneís page, and read some more, and blog, and log your water, and LEARN that you are not alone, and we're all right here with you! Did I mention that you should log your water?
WHEW! Ok, I know you're overwhelmed getting to know this site, but use those buttons up there, especially the MY TRACKERS drop down list, and then either the START or MY SPARKPOINTS. Both of these helped me learn about the site, gain momentum and meet new friends.
Speaking of meeting new friends, this place is like a cocktail party. If you stand in the corner, you won't have as much fun. Make eye contact (or in this place, leave a message on someone's page, or add your opinion to the bazillion conversations going on) to say HI, and you'll meet new friends quick. Oh, yeah, keep those blogs coming! Itís the catchy title that brings folks to your page and you'll meet new friends even faster!
Stick around and come back every day! I was here, and left, and came back when I got serious, and I'm so glad I did. Don't procrastinate like I did, dig in now while you're here!
Coming here every day adds a great level of support and accountability. Explore, learn, and never be afraid to reach out for help (meaning: post on the OTHER personís page, not on your own...if you only reply on your own page, the person who posts on your page may never see your response). We're all in this together! Stop by at my page and introduce yourself around to some of my friends too! You'll be glad you did!