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    NACOLESWORLD   21,469
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Note to Newbies

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ok, so normally I would post this in every Newbie intro, but I think this may be a better plan...

Hello there!

Spark has some great suggestions for diet and exercise and little things you can do to help hold yourself accountable. Also many teams have challenges that help encourage you and move you along. This group is good about being uplifting and helpful.

1. Don't be afraid to ask questions. (My philosophy is that the only 'stupid' question is the one you don't ask)

2. Don't beat yourself up if you temporarily fall off the wagon (You CAN get back on!!) Spark has an article about this very thing:

3. Put signs up around your home in places that you will see (on the fridge, bathroom mirror, back & front of your door, etc) of things that motivate you. For me it is pictures of thin women, people working out, reminders, healthy food, etc.

4. Start light and make a schedule for yourself. Start easy, once or twice a week, working out. Do something that is easy and that you have done before (riding a bike, walking, swimming, etc)

5. Walk more - Park as far away from your office as possible. I park 1/4 mile away from my building. So, by the end of the day, even if I didn't do anything else, I walked at least 1/2 a mile if I just go to work and then go home. If I go out to lunch I walk a mile!! Sometimes I will eat in my car, just so I walk a little further!

6. Add fitness where you can - On breaks at work I walk 2 1/4 mile laps inside the building. It takes me about 10 minutes (not a leisurely stroll, but a powerful quick stride... raise the heart rate = exercise). Most work places are required by state law to give you at least 2 15 minute paid breaks as well 1 30 minute unpaid break (a lot of places will let you take a longer lunch. If you have the option, break it up so you can get away from your desk when possible). Find a route that you can take, see if your office has a fitness map for their building. My work already had the 1/4 mile route mapped out. If you can't walk mile or even 1/2 a mile then try a flight of stairs or 2 flights of stairs, add more when you can.

7. Eat 5-6 times a day - Instead of having 3 regular meals I have 3 small meals and at least 2 snacks. This keeps your metabolism going and helps you get a handle on portions. It is recommended to have 3 meals consisting of about 300 calories and 2-3 snacks consisting of 100 calories. If you have 3 snacks and 3 meals like that you will meet your goal every day!

8. Water Water Water - Drink as much water as you can. Try your hardest to meet or beat the Spark goal of 8 cups in a day. Aim higher and then the 8 doesn't seem so hard.

9. Be patient with yourself!! - You didn't get to where you are over night, you won't get back over night either. It is a slow journey, but "Slow & Steady Wins The Race"! If you keep beating yourself up then you will get depressed and eventually stop all together. Don't be your worst enemy!!

10. Start each day fresh - Just because you messed up once, doesn't mean you messed up for the day or the week! Every time you approach food is a decision to be made. Every time is a fresh start. Don't start tomorrow, start right NOW!

11. Have fun - Make a day or meal once a week for you to "cheat"... if you "cheat" by conscious decision it is easier to get back on track. Make it the end of the week so you have all week to look forward to it. Make it a reward to yourself, if you eat well all week long you will have something you LOVE to eat, but isn't so healthy for you at the end of the week. As time goes by you will desire that unhealthy food less and less. I used to LOVE fried chicken... now the grease makes me sick to even smell it!! If you schedule a cheat day or a cheat meal once a week it is easier to pull through the other days. It is also good for your metabolism to change things up anyway, so it will be good. And as DRJACKIE said... it isn't really "cheating" if you put it in your plan and account for the calories. A direct quote from DRJACKIE:
"I would just add that it's not 'cheating' if you've planned for that treat in your daily food plan. I have decided that there are no forbidden foods - nothing that I can't ever eat again, simply many things I choose not to eat very often. If I have enough calories left over after I've planned to meet all the necessary nutrients for a given day, then the ice cream I plan to have for a treat is part of my daily food plan, not cheating.
I think the deeply ingrained mindset of forbidden foods and being 'bad' when we 'cheat' can be harmful to our psyches. There are no good foods or bad foods - there are foods that are more healthful than others, foods we might choose to avoid, but the dichotomy of good/bad is too 'all or nothing' in my opinion."

12. Healthy living - Remember this isn't JUST about loosing weight! Being a healthier, happier person is the main goal. Simply by eating better and being more active you are automatically healthier! Remember this is for YOU! Living healthier will make your life so much easier in the long run!! (and make the Long Run LONGER!) When no one is watching and you are tempted, remind yourself of that.

13. Goals - Make small goals for yourself. Little battles are the easiest!

YOU CAN DO THIS!! I know it is hard, but keeping a positive attitude is very helpful!! Tell yourself every day "I CAN DO THIS! I WILL DO THIS!! I AM WORTH IT!!!"


… hopefully this helps you understand and navigate SparkPeople better!!

1. RESPONDING TO POSTS - People don't know which person you are responding to unless you put the name first (especially if you are responding to multiple people).

2. RESPONDING TO MULTIPLE POSTS - When responding to multiple posts we normally only respond once, even if it is to multiple people. Each time you hit "Respond" it shows up as a response to the thread of chat, not the person. So really you just need to respond once and put all of your comments to everybody in one response.

3. SIGNATURES - In order to have a signature at the bottom of each of your posts go to your "My SparkPage" link. Click "Edit My Page". Near about the middle of the page (scrolling down) is a little box that says "Personal Signature"... this is where you can type whatever you want to show up below each of your posts in your groups.

4. WEIGHT LOSS TRACKER - That same "Edit My Page" area is where you add your Weight Loss Ticker. If you scroll further down from the signature box you will see the "My Weight Loss Ticker" box. Select and fill in the appropriate information. If you do NOT want this box to show, make sure that you un-check the little box next to "Yes! Show Weight Loss Ticker".

5. LOG IN POINTS - Don't forget to get your "Log In" points every day! On the right side of your window there is the rectangular strip that runs down the side. One of the sections shows all of the Points you have earned and which trophy you are on. If you haven't gotten your Log In points for the day it will say "Get Log In Points". Click there and it will take you to a chart that lists where all of your points are coming from. There is a wheel at the top of this window. Below it there is a button that allows you to spin the wheel and get your Log In points.

6. STICKING WITH IT - Taking time to read the articles, look through recipes, pay attention to the dietary suggestions, exercise (for me sometimes exercise is stretching... your range is what is important), and staying motivated through the message boards and Spark Motivators ...all those things are what make SparkPeople work. If you take the time, you will see a reward. Sometimes that reward is loosing weight and sometimes it is feeling better.

7. PICTURES - I found a cool way to show current and goal weight with a picture…
8. GETTING THE 'SUCCESS' ICONS: Wondering how people have gotten the pictures? I finally figured it out! lol ... Go to Edit your SparkPage, Edit your picture (the ones on your main page, not the ones in your gallery), At the top of the page (under Or Choose a photo from your gallery) it says 'also choose from our "success" gallery'. This will take you to all of the options!

If you have any questions about anything you can ask me, anybody in your groups who you think may help, or you can go to the "Community Tab" (near the top of your browsing window) and select "Message Boards" ...once the page loads scroll down a little and you will see the "Get Help Here" Forums. You can ask just about any question there, or see if that question has already been asked.

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Hope that helps!!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:

    So glad I found your page, I want to return and digest more tips...

for today I will focus on tip #12:
12. Healthy living - Remember this isn't JUST about loosing weight! Being a healthier, happier person is the main goal. Simply by eating better and being more active you are automatically healthier! Remember this is for YOU! Living healthier will make your life so much easier in the long run!! (and make the Long Run LONGER!) When no one is watching and you are tempted, remind yourself of that.

Thanks for taking the time to care!
Steadfast Denise

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NWALBRIGHT 9/7/2011 1:52PM

  Thanks so much!!! Great info! emoticon

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DANCING_RAVEN 7/20/2011 8:56PM

    Thanks for sending me the link for this!

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ANNIE_HEALTHY 7/18/2011 5:29PM

    Thanks for this info - really helpful and good tips!! :)

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SARELIKOR 4/14/2011 10:57AM

  This is a wonderful post. Thank you so much for your experienced advice. I will remember this blog and come back to it many times, especially when I feel down. Good luck as you continue your journey emoticon

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CHERRIBABE 3/31/2011 1:14PM

    This so great. I'm going to copy your idea if you don't mind and put together something similar! I love it. Thanks!!

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PRETTYBIRD88 2/15/2011 11:22PM

    This post is WONDERFUL!!! Thanks for the awesome tips!

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BELLA8881 1/6/2011 9:02PM

    Thank you so much for the tips. I am still trying to figure out how to set up my page. This is a big step for me. emoticon emoticon

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MEMI80 12/20/2010 8:05AM

    Thanks for sharing the tips!

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HBKISES79 12/16/2010 7:51AM

    Thanks for sharing the tips!

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IGSBETH 12/10/2010 11:56AM

    Great tips!

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CHARMIN944 12/1/2010 12:33PM

    Thank you for the great tips! emoticon

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SHORTIE3382 11/20/2010 10:12PM

    Great tips! Thanks so much! :)

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AUDIEPRINCESS 11/16/2010 6:09PM

    thank you so much for your tips and tricks and your motivation!

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MOMOF2TONI 11/12/2010 2:57PM

    Excellent blog and SO helpful. Thanks!!

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THICKANDTIRED 11/5/2010 1:51AM

    Thanks for this post. It's helping me understand SP a little bit more. I'd like to be more active here so I am trying to learn what I can. This helped a lot.

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NINJA_SMOO 11/2/2010 10:45AM

  Hey, thanks for posting this blog! It would have been so handy when I was new to spark :)

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TONIMARIE79 10/27/2010 8:53AM

    Thank you so much for this post! You have wonderful advise! Thank you for choosing to be a leader. It's obvious you are perfect for the job! I am not new to Spark People, however; I have been off track for sometime now and am trying to get back into the swing of things. emoticon

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STICKERPATCH 10/26/2010 11:58AM

  Thanks this really helps. It answeres a lot of questions that I have.

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GYPSY_DANCER 10/20/2010 7:47AM

  This is very helpful! I have been on SparkPeople for a couple months now but I don't think this is just for new people (not that I've been here that long myself so I still am kinda new). It can really help remind some people just why they joined!
Thanks for sharing!

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SMILEGIRL06 10/14/2010 4:00PM

  Thank you so very much for this amazing blog! What a nice way to greet us newbies and help us get off to a running start!

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HALOGAL 10/12/2010 7:31PM

    Thanks - great info!

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ROSOCHKA 10/5/2010 4:34PM

  Thank you for providing the information. I've been on SP for about a month, and still found a few pointers very useful. Thanks again.

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MAMAD0411 9/24/2010 4:37PM

  thank you so much.. this was very helpful :)

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SASSACAIA 9/24/2010 3:40PM

    Wow - this was incredibly helpful! Thanks for posting this!

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ACG4CHRIST 9/20/2010 9:54AM

    thanks this was so helpful. What a great thing you did by writing all of this down to help us along our journey. God bless you as you continue your journey.

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WANTTOWINFIRST 8/19/2010 10:12AM

    Thank you - It's very helpful information!

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KSIMMONS19 8/18/2010 2:04PM

  Thank you for all of your help!

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ENAMOREDSOUL 8/12/2010 2:07PM

    Thank you for all your wonderful input Angie! You're quite a motivation! :D

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AVAHOPEFUL 7/30/2010 9:54PM

    This blog is brilliant, very very helpful for newbies such as myself, thank you! =]

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SEXIMAMIREECE 7/29/2010 9:23PM

    great info! thanks im sure it has helped alot of people as far as small life style changes

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LADYSHYSHADOW 7/16/2010 8:52PM

    Thanks so much for the tips and tricks! :)

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AMYLYN85 7/12/2010 12:56PM

    Thanks for all the tips and encouragement - it's very helpful :)

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NIKKI2439 7/11/2010 1:38AM

    Great blog! Very helpful and encouraging! Though I have searched around the site for a while now there are always new things to learn! Take care!

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  Thanks for the tips and the welcome in the 20somethings team forum!!! I will definately try and follow as many tips as I can. Your wonderful for putting so much thought and effort into this. Thanks!!

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LESSISMORE2010 7/4/2010 5:39PM

    Thank you for sharing! I know that I'll be referencing this blog daily for awhile.

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SLISH514 6/24/2010 10:32AM

    Great tips, thanks!

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    Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone.

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CAROLINE_ROCHA 6/15/2010 10:46AM

    So helpful, thank you!

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JODYF123 6/2/2010 1:01PM

    I really liked this blog. It gives a lot of useful information. Thank you so much


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CLEE2830 5/31/2010 1:07PM

    Thank you! These tips are really helpful!

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CAGUIRRE101 5/26/2010 1:31PM

  This is so helpful and so inspiring. Thanks so much!

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SPARKGIRL32 5/10/2010 4:55PM

    Thank yoU!

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ROTTLADY 5/5/2010 7:40PM

    Very helpful. Will try and remember all your tips and information that you have given us.

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SHATACIA 5/3/2010 2:04PM

  Wow, wonderfully informative post. Thank you for taking the time out to share this info with us.

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TXGRANNY09 4/29/2010 1:12PM

  Angie, thanks for all the info, really helps to understand all of this. God Bless You. emoticon

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JERRI82 4/21/2010 11:29PM

    i am going to try to put this into my favorites so i can refer back to it whenever necessary. thank you.
good health and god bless!

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KIERA-1960 4/21/2010 5:45PM

    Thanks Angie for taking the time to make it a bit easier for those of us who aren't familiar to the site.


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TBRETT73 4/21/2010 2:12PM


Thanks these tips are very helpful!! emoticon emoticon

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KMICHA 4/20/2010 10:21PM

    Great tips! Thanks for taking the time to put it all together! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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