Thanks for commenting on my blog post ;) As someone who is revisiting my choices since I was graduated from UCIrvine in 1994, I want to cheer you on. You know what you want to 'be when you grow up' more than anyone else. I made the mistake of listening to other people on what I needed to do after college. It's been a long road around, but I finally feel like I'm back on track with a few extra challenges than I would have had had I stayed the course of following my passions when I was first graduated from college. I love my 'extras'...twin seven year olds are way more manageable than newborns. My husband and I have a really strong relationship NOW, but that too has come with accepting that I've taken the long road back to me. He's supportive of me going for 'it', and I'm grateful for his support but know I could have been a better partner of the last decade and a half had I stayed true to my passions and dreams. Eat the elephant...your dreams need to count more in creating your future than anyone else's. One more thing I've learned...your life is what is actually happening while you're waiting for your 'real' life to start. Go for it! I'm one more cheerleader in your corner.
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. You're off to a great start already!
Please check out the SparkTeams - I think you will find a lot of others 'just like you' including many with the same challenges, circumstances and goals. You can choose SparkTeams by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location or several other ways.
Some of the teams I like and think 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 including gaining weight or saving money - 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.
Be sure to read and 'study' The Spark book because it outlines the overall program and is compatible with most types of eating plans. If you haven't already discovered the SparkDiet linked at the bottom of the START page, check it 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 have - it teaches us how to make positive lifetime changes because that's the only thing that will work over time!