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Help, Please, With Introducing Newbies to SparkPeople

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Several people at work are very interested in what I have done to lose weight and keep it off. After several discussions with my boss, we've decided to go ahead and set up a SparkTeam at work.

One staff member started last week following the SparkPeople meal plans. I don't think she's used much else on the site, but I can already look at her and see that her stomach has disappeared! I'm so excited that it is working for her already. Hope I can help support her and other staff members through any bumps along the way.

Another staff member has looked at the site extensively, but is feeling overwhelmed by everything on the site. A third member just got her screen name.

When I first came to SparkPeople, I was over 55 pounds below my all time high and I'd just lost 35+ pounds on Weight Watchers and was a healthy BMI of 25. I actually signed up for maintenance, but found with SparkPeople I could lose more and have lost another 25-30 pounds (depending on the day) and am now around BMI 20.2. So my experience was not typical.

Does anyone have suggestions for how best to introduce people to the site? I don't think any of the people I am working with have seen the part of the site that has FastBreak goals and tells about setting up streaks. Seems to me that should be part of the beginning.

Any help you can offer will be appreciated. -Marsha
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    A team for your work is really great, Marsha, what a cool idea. It took me a several months to get used to spark, and I had formerly belonged to a similar site I paid for, so the concept was not totally new except for the spark pages and how all the interactions worked. I reached out to several super nice sparkers who helped me along the way, but for someone who is shy that might be harder. It would take a burden off of your shoulders if you could introduce a couple of us to your team to lighten your load. Please be sure to give them them my spark name, or if your team is not private, I can visit it for references to their spark pages or e-mail addresses and say hello and offer some support. Best of luck to your new team members!!!
    2729 days ago
    It's great that you have started a new team Marsha. That really IS spreading the Spark!

    I found that following the action links on the Spark Points page gave me the best overview of all the features:


    Following the links shows a good range of what's available and collecting a few points might encourage them?

    2733 days ago
    2733 days ago
    My experience: I mastered the nurtition and fitness trackers first...after that I fumbled with the rest until I became comfortable. It's VERY overwhleming in the beginning, there's just so much...if they start with the tutorial videos, they can learn a little more every day
    2733 days ago
    Perhaps you can arrange to get everyone together as WILD4STARS has suggested and show them the "FastBreak" tools. Or....You could schedule a meeting every few weeks and show them whatever they'd like to see. Remember, they are more than welcome to come and walk with the Polk County Team on our twice a month walks.
    2733 days ago
    Looks like you have lots of good suggestions already! My motto is baby steps in the beginning.
    2733 days ago
    I, like you, came for maintenance and support in a healthy lifestyle. I started Jan. 2010 and I am still discovering new things on the site. It is kind of overwhelming at first. Knowing why you are interested (goals) helps. I had my nutrition where I wanted it but was struggling with maintenance because I was not active enough. So, I started tracking my activity here and that's helped a lot! Has gotten me to the low end of my goal range; comfortably. The friends I connected with through the groups that interested me have been invaluable. I keep my groups and friends in a managable number for me to stay connected; that's helped me a lot. Also, it's hard to be supportive of people who keep everything "private". I don't want to "friend" everyone! If people want support, they need to be available. My thoughts, take what you like and leave the rest. Kudos to you for wanting to do this with them; can't do it for them, they have to want to walk the walk. emoticon
    2733 days ago
  • GATOR12
    I agree that learning as you go, seems to be the best way. The fitness and nutrition logs and finding a community group that is active, supportive and welcoming is next. People can get as involved, time wise, as they desire. Hope it helps a little. I try to use Start Page and SparkPoint pages as main references.
    2733 days ago
  • MONTY68
    Hi Marsha
    One of the places I would send a new person, would be at the top of our points page there is a bar. Under healthy lifestyles click on video's , on the right side something called site tutorials how to use Spark. Suggest they just start with the top one on "start page" and review all of them.

    2733 days ago
    Not much in the way of help I'm afraid as I stumbled around for a couple years...
    I think the Community Teams that are formed by date have forums for answering questions, so you could emulate those?
    Good luck and thanks for taking this on!
    2733 days ago
    The bottom line is people come to this site to lose weight. Learning to use the Fitness and Nutrition Trackers should be the first priority. Although one person had the great idea to use the Spark points listing as an easy way to navigate the site as you have everything there listed conveniently in one spot.
    2733 days ago
    It is overwhelming but if they are determined to rid themselves of the pounds then they will plow through.

    Start at the start page, maybe then join 1 challenge besides what you are doing at work
    2733 days ago
    It is great that others are interested,I've had a few people at work sign up,but haven't really used it.I think maybe if they can get plugged into a team that may help as you need a lot of support.the motivation is hard for most as they need someone a workout buddy to exercise with them to get them started,to keep them on track.they also have to see that it is worth the time.1 parent was impressed by my weight loss,but said she liked to eat to much which I find is very common.
    2733 days ago
    Not sure I have much to offer in the way of advice, but this was my experience, and what I tell "new" people I refer to the site.

    When I first came I was referred by a Live Journal person, and I was in maintenance. I was blown away and kind of OD'd on the features for a weekend, then I determined it was more than I could handle (with everything else I was doing) and became inactive for a loooong time.

    Not to despair, when I was ready, I came back, weeded things out, gradually made some good spark friends, and moved on.

    So, what I tell newbies that I refer is to take it easy, explore but just use what they find useful at first, as the whole experience can be a little overwhelming!

    And I'm so thrilled that people are asking... I've been passing out Spark cards myself when people ask what I've done!
    2733 days ago
    Maybe have a "Spark Break" at work and let everyone follow you as you show them the things on Spark that worked for you. The Streaks, the Fast Breaks, etc. I have introduced Spark to several people. Some have embraced it fully, others have played around a bit and just dropped out. Though Spark does help create motivation, make some things easier and more fun, there still has to be a pretty good level of commitment. Spark can't create that.
    2733 days ago
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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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