Motivation Articles

A Beginner's Guide to the SparkPeople Message Boards

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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

  • SPANKIEPOO12341
    SILLYSUSIE48MAYBE WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER LOSE WEIGHT .i have 100 pounds to lose . - 8/27/2014 5:05:53 PM
  • TWILES61
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  • DAVIDMILLER508
    looking forward too meet my life partner - 8/8/2014 7:41:15 PM
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  • GRAESGMOM
    hello my name is Teresa and my goal is to lose 55 lbs by January. I am 50 years old and thought i was fairly healthy aside from a few extra lbs. After recently being diagnosed with "a bit of cervical cancer ( removed and no sign of it in over a year) and becoming a grandmother to a beautiful lttle boy I have decided to get serious about my health. really looking forward to this new chapter in my life. - 7/2/2014 1:28:40 PM
  • SILLYSUSIE48
    my name is Susie I need the support of the community I don't know my way around its import to learn because I failed the several times before my biggest problem is selecting a team to start with. you al get a good night sleep I will be back - 6/18/2014 11:37:10 PM
  • BILLC1936
    Hi everyone,my name is Bill 77 Years of age converted runner to walker like to stay active only goal for the time being is to lose 15lbs by december all advice welcome - 6/14/2014 9:23:36 AM
  • CHERYLNASCO
    Hi everyone, my name is cheryl and I'm 54 years old and new to the group and I am so excited to be able to have the support from this group to help me stay motorvated as I start this journey in meeting my goals and making positive changes! good to meet everyone and good luck to you as well! :) - 6/2/2014 2:40:33 PM
  • CHERISE103
    Hi my name is Cherise and I am a new mother and want to get to a healthier weight for my daughter and my family, and hoping to get motivation through the site : ) - 4/21/2014 9:25:11 PM
  • LADYKATY1
    Hi All. Found this site a few days ago and really like all the information provided. I am a retired nurse. I quit smoking 11 months ago after 40 years. Now, I want to loose about 40 lbs. Maybe with your help and support I can accomplish this. Happy to meet you all. - 4/21/2014 3:58:12 PM
  • Day one! - 4/16/2014 1:24:40 PM
  • I have been away from Spark people for way too long....winter is so dreary, my body is weary and my job situation has been bleak....but as the weather gets nice, and away goes the ice, I am once again starting over to change me forever....this time to the finish line please!! - 4/6/2014 8:18:20 PM
  • 1HONEYBUN
    HI everyone I am hoping to do well since I am with the Spark People - 3/26/2014 6:20:56 PM

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