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!
to Sparking! To both give and receive support, I suggest joining and participating in at least one Spark TEAM. When you signed up, SP offered you a "Spark Class" which is a team for the newbies who signed up the week you did.
You might find this blog helpful. www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=a_s ecret_tip_for_healthier_eating
This is helpful also: If I consume fewer calories than my plan recommends, will I lose weight faster? www.sparkpeople.com/community/ask_th e_experts.asp?q=58
Congrats on getting active with SparkPeople - it's a great community, it has multiple wonderful resources and fantastic support. The SparkTeams are full of a lot of others 'just like us. There are so many different SparkTeams. You can find teams by age group, lifestyles, interests, location or many other characteristics, there are so many to choose from, you can find the ones that seem to fit you best! In fact, You can join as many as you find to suit you, Introduce yourself to the teams, and post as often as you can - you will find tons of friends, motivation, inspiration and support. SparkPeople is a very good resource for people wanting to make changes in their lifestyles, because we're all in this together. With SparkPeople a healthy lifestyle is the focus not a quick fix diet. It's ideal for people wanting to lose weight, maintain their current weight, get healthier, or improve fitness. I hope you will find that you have definitely come to the right place!
If you need help using features of the site, there are tutorial videos in the help section that can show you how to use the features of the site,or you can find them on the start page. If you have concerns, need motivated, inspired or have questions, there are plenty of site experts, and many members for your support. Just jump in and make use of all the things available to you. This is not like the TV diets, or not even really like any other site I have found. I feel that if you put in the time and effort to this site and yourself, you should find that the support system that usually seems to be missing is there, just use it. You don't have to do things at someone else's rate, you can do this and make it work for you by going at your pace. You can take a few steps and then a few more and before you know it, you'll have reached a goal. Then you can complete more goals, and before long you will have completed a long journey. Once again Thanks and welcome. Your journey continues, but you are not alone, the more you put in the more you will get in return. Have fun, and Spark-on.