The January 21, 2008 issue of People magazine told the story of three women who used SparkPeople.com to reach their goals. Rosie, Kristin and Kristi supported each other online through the ups and downs of their amazing weight loss journeys. |
Upon hearing about their success, People flew these online friends—who had previously never met—to New York City, where they met face-to-face for the first time! While in the city they participated in an all day celebrity-style photo shoot and interview with the editors of People magazine, and also met up with SparkPeople's Director of PR, Grant Miller, for a healthy dinner. The result of that weekend is a three page article in People that tells how they helped one another lose 100 pounds each! Here are some of the highlights!
Rosie (THINNYMINNY) lost 125 pounds. Going to New York City was "like a great big birthday party celebrating a whole new life," she says. While there, she not only ran through Central Park, but got to wear "normal size clothes at the photography shoot," too. But by far, Rosie says that "The best part of all was getting to meet two of my Spark buddies in real life!"
How did she do it?
Rosie got involved with the SparkPeople Community for support and motivation. "I wouldn't trade the support of this Community for anything—the people here have been central to me reaching my goal." She likens her experience as a SparkPeople member to "a 'do-over' for my life," crediting the Community (Message Boards, SparkTeams, and SparkMail) for providing "the support I did not have growing up;" the articles and resources as a "patient teacher…who allows me to learn on my own pace;" and the challenges and SparkPoints to "a playmate who turns drudgery into a fun game."
"I'm not just a thinner person; I am a better person because of SparkPeople!" Rosie says.
Kristin (FRUITYFUL) lost 95 pounds so far, but hopes to lose 5 more pounds to reach her ultimate goal. "I can't believe that I was chosen from the thousands of people on the site to represent SparkPeople for a national magazine," she says. For her, the entire experience was surreal—"I felt like a movie star!" But like her online buddies, sharing the experience with them was like a "reward" for all of their hard work. "The thought of actually meeting Rosie and Kristi never even crossed my mind since we lived so far apart. The best part of the entire trip was getting to meet them and share this great experience with them."
Why SparkPeople worked
Kristin enjoyed the flexibility of the SparkPeople program. "SparkPeople made it easy for me to follow a plan that I could create myself, with foods that I liked and exercises that kept me from getting bored." She also became an active Community member, which was especially important for staying on track because they're working towards similar goals. "When you're going through something like this," she says, "you want to talk about it all the time and people around you get tired of going over the same things time after time. Having fellow Spark members available to talk to was a great help for me. It was great to feel like I wasn't alone, to get reassurance, and the motivation to pick myself up and continue on with my journey."
Kristi (MRS.HONEYCOMB) lost 100 pounds on SparkPeople, after years of rollercoaster dieting. The entire People experience was like a dream for her. "I never imagined that less then a year after joining SparkPeople, I would be traveling across the country to meet ladies that had helped me through my weight loss journey…it has been the chance of a lifetime!" she says.
Her keys to success?
Kristi credits her weight loss to drinking water, exercising regularly (a combination of the treadmill, Turbo Jam and strength training), staying within her calorie range, and lots of challenges! "I dreamt of a website like this long before I ever found it. Everything I needed and wanted is right here." Kristin logs on everyday to spin the wheel too. One action that really helped her stay motivated was keeping a photo journal on her SparkPage, where she'd upload a new photo of her progress every 28 days. Knowing that "people would be waiting for them in anticipation," she says that it kept her working hard. "The only thing I didn't expect was to create friendships online. I wasn't much of a computer person before finding Spark and now I'm always on it."
These three members really prove that with the right amount of support and motivation from your SparkPeople, anyone can reach their goals!