Motivation Articles

A Beginner's Guide to the SparkPeople Message Boards

Proven to Increase Your Chances of Success!

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We are very excited you are here and hope this will be a timely source of support and motivation as you work toward your goals. Did you know that SparkPeople members who use the Message Boards are more likely to lose weight than those who do not? In fact, in a recent survey, message board users lost more weight and stuck with the program longer than non-posters.

As effective as they are, Message Boards can be intimidating to a new user. Just take your time looking through the different forums and support groups. Everyone here is welcoming and wants to help each other, so feel free to pop in to any of the threads and say hello!

Here are some other tips to help you get started and make the best of your experience:
  • Start a new thread on the Message Boards (the "Introduce Yourself" forum is a great place to start). You’ll soon receive responses of people who are welcoming you!
  • Not sure how to make a post? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions which explain how to use some of the features on the site.
  • Personalize your experience! Set up your SparkPage to help people get to know you. Your pictures and text could be of you or anything else that represents who you are.
  • Use the Message Board "Search" function to look for answers to common questions such as "What are some snacks I can take to work?" Check the dates of threads before you reply; if the most recent post is more than a few weeks old, start a new thread for your question.
  • Try your best to post questions in the proper forum. For example, questions about your workout should be posted in the "Fitness and Exercise" forum.
  • Make the topic of your thread specific. Rather than "I need advice," it is more helpful for other members if the title relates to your question or comment, such as "Any advice for healthy breakfasts?"
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! The SparkPeople "Resident Experts" can answer any questions you might have, and other members are always willing to help too!
  • It’s always a good idea to read over your posts before you send them. This gives you a chance to clarify anything that might be misunderstood. What sounds great in your head may come across differently in print.
  • You’ll see a lot of abbreviations on the boards that can be confusing. Here are some of the most common:
    ((( )))- hugs
    J/K- just kidding
    IOW- in other words
    IMHO- in my humble opinion
    BBL- be back later
    BTW- by the way
    LOL- laugh out loud
    DH- dear husband
    OMG- oh my goodness
    TIA- thanks in advance
    WDYT- what do you think
A Quick Reminder About Online Community Etiquette

Online communities are just like real-world communities in many ways. Occasionally you will disagree with someone or find people who have different views or beliefs. That's okay as long as we keep the tone of messages as supportive and positive as possible.

Communication experts say that the "tone" of communication is more important than what is actually said. This means that there are positive and negative ways to give feedback to each other. You always have a choice in how to respond to any post. If someone happens to make a mistake or uses a negative tone in a post, you can prevent a negative cycle by choosing to respond in a positive tone. We work hard to keep SparkPeople a positive community. If you see anything that is a violation of our Community Guidelines, please click the "Report Inappropriate Post" link at the bottom of any thread and our staff will be notified of the problem via email.

Lastly, SparkPeople takes the safety of its members very seriously. Please keep in mind that other Internet users can see your posts. Also, be very cautious about giving out personal contact information on the Message Boards (or via e-mail) to other members.

We’re glad you are here and hope to see you on the Message Boards soon! If you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help make your experience better, just let us know!

Once again, welcome!

The SparkPeople Team
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Member Comments

  • Hi. I'm Sue and I'm on my Day 4 of the challenge - so far so good. Feeling better about myself because of the constant positive reinforcement of this method. Excellent stuff. It keeps my mind of what counts. Have a great day everybody - and thanks for your good wishes. - 5/22/2016 10:09:08 PM
  • Hi! I'm Cindy! I started using SparkPeople last Tuesday and I love it. I have been using my mobile app which I find very convenient. I got on my laptop yesterday to enter my water intake and can't find the water tracker ANYWHERE! Good thing I have my phone! Lol Best of luck to everyone in their journey to a healthy lifestyle no matter where in the process you are!
    - 5/7/2016 7:48:13 PM
    hi my name is Lynn and trying to get back to exercising and eating right spring is finally here. it really hard for me to exercise. had back surgery 2 years ago and find some exercises are really hard for me. been trying to follow your food plan but been the same weight would love to lose but it is not coming off. - 5/7/2016 10:10:26 AM
    This is day 3 of the 21 day challenge. I've started and stopped over the last few years, and hopefully doing this challenge and learning how to get and give support will help me through. I own my own business and work lots of hours, so finding time to work out is challenging - as well as trying to eat healthy when I am out with clients. Knowing I need to track everything keeps me present to what I am doing. i will everyone here the best of luck! - 4/29/2016 9:19:11 PM
  • Hi, this is my second week and I also fractured my foot, and am now trying to get back to walking, but very difficult. - 4/28/2016 2:10:42 PM
  • New member, this is week 2 for me, and I have lost 8 pounds! I have fractured my foot so cant go walking just yet, but using a light weight to try to burn fat. - 4/27/2016 12:01:19 PM
  • First day....and if I eat 1200 calories I will gain weight! - 4/19/2016 1:18:11 PM
  • In 2014 I moved into a lovely +55 community and have gained almost 20 pounds which must go. They eat a lot here. As I am older I don't want to lose a lot and get wrinkles or change size of clothes. I just want to go back where I was and stay there. This WW tool is one of the best I have ever found. - 4/15/2016 8:26:33 AM
  • hi, I am new to the site but have found the success stories encouraging. Been on plan for a week and have been to the gym twice- woot woot. I hope to be down one size by my anniversary in May. - 4/7/2016 10:57:33 PM
  • Hi I'm new to the site. this is going to be my first full week I'm excited. - 3/29/2016 4:13:41 PM
  • The easiest way to sabotage you weight program is to set over size goals. 2 Years ago I weighed 230 - I decided to take 1 year and lose 50 pounds. And I did it! I actually went into the regular jeans section and bought some 14 petites. I had heart surgery to implant a device to monitor my heart by satellite to the doctor. When I finally got to go to the doctor' I had crept back up to 210. Found this page and love it. Don't beat yourself up if you slip. Just climb back on that Harley and ride off to the sun set. - 3/8/2016 11:10:21 PM
  • Starting fresh again. I'm not completely eating the healthiest right now, as an upcoming student in April I am preparing for that and the costs kind of limit my budget right now. Hopefully I can find some great articles on eating healthy on a budget. Right now I'm just trying to get into the habits of logging every day, good or bad, just to build a routine. I'm about to become the busiest I've ever been, and it's going to be difficult to remain well balanced, but I'm committed and want to look good when I graduate from my program in the next 2 years. :) - 3/5/2016 2:56:45 PM
  • I am so pleased with the program that I suggested it to my doctor yesterday. It is so great because I hate counting calories myself and this program does it for you and keeps up with how many you have left for the day. I am on day 5 and I have lost my 2 pounds for the week which was my goal. I plan to keep on for my goal to loose 100 pounds within a year. I hope I can stay excited and motivated for the rest of my journey. Thanks to all of you who created and maintain this wonderful site. - 3/4/2016 9:04:16 AM
  • starting again! I am happy with my weight and I am now pregnant so I am just using this to track and will use for weightloss after baby comes in June! - 3/3/2016 10:33:11 AM
  • Hi all. Just started here (again) this past Wednesday. I may keep falling off the horse, but I have to keep getting back on. - 2/28/2016 2:31:26 PM

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