I'm glad you're getting active with SparkPeople - it's a great community, wonderful resources and fantastic support.
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' - 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 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!
Welcome to SparkPeople. I am so glad that you found us. There is a lot of information here and the best tools to help you reach your goals.
I have been on SparkPeople since April 2009 and I have lost over 20 pounds and I have kept it off with the help of this website! I track my food every day (good and bad) and I track my exercise. You can check out my SparkPage and see my fitness and food tracking. I put it all out there for everyone to see – the good, the bad and the ugly. It helps keep me honest! Are there days when I eat stuff that I know I shouldn’t – of course. This is a life long journey, one with many paths to take. I just have to keep making the right choices and when I don’t, I get back on the right path and don’t look back.
The encouragement and motivation I get from my Spark friends is amazing. They are always there to help me through tough times and bring a smile to my face. I have found that if I post something that is bothering me, within an hour someone will respond back and make sure everything is alright and offer encouragement.
One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to find a few good teams that you will check in with every day. When you are looking at teams that you might be interested in, check how old the posts are. If you find that no one has posted to it for a few weeks then I would suggest you keep looking. You need daily support and interaction with other team members. I invite you to check out Spin Me A Yarn and/or Australian Cattle Dog Lovers teams, which I am the team leader of. See if it is something that interests you. I try to keep it fun and interesting on both teams.
Being new, I would suggest that you use Your Spark Points (click on View SparkPoints) as a map to the site. It is a good way to see what is new and a great tool for any situation.