Sometimes the Spark site is a litle too complicated for its own good.
Last May I reached my goal weight with SP! Woo hoo! Embarking on maintenance can be a challenge in itself. Losing weight is hard. Maintaining is hard too. You have to find the right balance. Many make the mistake of going back to their former habits and thus gain weight. But some push forward and continue to reach fitness goals, eat sensibly, and make fitness a lifestyle for LIFE. I wanted to be in that category.
So what does one do if they want to continue to track food and fitness and use this wonderful site AFTER they've met their weightloss goals? Some articles recommend using the Spark5 Healthy Habits program to use the site but not lose weight, only focus on healthy habits. So I switched to that last summer.
Yesterday, after a week of regularly getting the message that the calories I was burning was too high and the amount of calories I had been eating was too low, I set out to adjust my trackers. The fitness page advised me to change my settings. I didn't know how to do that. I searched on site and in the FAQ, it said to go to my start page and look for something that said "change goals"
I didn't see that.
I went to the message boards and asked. A SP expert told me to "reset goals"
It was only an 8 step process.
Really, Spark People? It has to be an 8 step process?
The problem was that when I switched to the "Spark5 Healthy Habits Program" that does not include losing weight and apparently, when you select this program you cannot set a weight goal and you cannot go back without losing everything...well, almost everything.
And the only way to switch from this program is to "reset goals" and thus lose everything (not Spark Page, blogs, food or fitness favorites) I've tracked for the past year and a half (measurements, weigh ins, food tracked, fitness tracked).
I DID NOT WANT to lose everything. In fact, I was pretty happy with everything I've been doing lately. All the fitness and consistent tracking has been showing good results. No weight loss but my stomach is flatter, I have more muscle tone in my arms and legs, and I fit into my goal clothes.
So, this resetting is not what I wanted. I like to be able to look back and see what I was doing and why or why it wasn't working.
I am trying to look at it as a fresh start, not concentrating on the past, rather focusing on the present and my future goals.
I'm still bummed.
Another reason I wanted to change my nutritional goals is that since reaching my goal weight, I have gained between 7-10 pounds...last summer I weighed in at 124. Lately, I've been hovering in the 130s. I weighed in this week at 132.7. (I gained 2.7 pounds since my last weigh in)
Spark says that why it may seem counterintuitive but that eating too little may hurt my goals. And after my workouts I was WIPED out. Totally. Dizzy. Couldn't think straight. Maybe I do need to eat more?
I was eating between 1200-1550 calories a day, usually in the high 1500-1600s.
But I was exercising more and it didn't adjust because I was on the Spark5 Healthy Habits.
If you reach your goal weight and want to track to maintain, don't switch to Spark5 because you can't switch back without losing everything.
So when I reset my goals and entered my weight and how much I was exercising and how much I was burning, it said I should eat between 1540-1890 calories a day.
Now, I am really doubtful that if I start eating more that I will lose weight.
Anyone else have experience with this?
That calorie range is based on last week's fitness report. I entered that amount (that I would burn 2,000 calories) because that's what I burned last week. But what happens when I can't/don't burn that much? Will I gain?
This summer I started out at 134. I have been working out consistently, more often, harder, more variety, challenge 6 days a week. I got down to 130. But this morning's weigh in brings me back to 132. So maybe I'll give the calorie increase a try to see if it works (it IS counterintuitive!).
This week's accomplishments
Tracked and stayed in calorie range
Strength training 3 days
Ran 3 days
Biked 2 days
Yoga/Pilates 2 days
Drank 8+ glasses of water each day
I've thought of emailing SP and asking them to reverse resetting my goals and losing all my trackers.
When I thought I lost my Spark Page and my blogs and my whole account, I started to freak out a bit. And then I asked myself Am I getting too attached to Spark? I've spent a lot of time this summer on the site. Maybe this is a wake up call that I'm too focused on tracking and not as much on living. Maybe I should try to be less focused on the details and more on the big picture.