Motivation Articles

A Beginner's Guide to the SparkPeople Message Boards

Proven to Increase Your Chances of Success!

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

    Looking forward to hearing from someone for support. I need to lose 60 pounds. I am diabetic and also have hypothyroidism. I have read some of your messages and am told success comes with the support of each other. I am an active 70 year old, more lunches than walking exercises, that has to change. This is my second day on the program and I am so pleased to use a calculator that states how many calories I have consumed. Gosh, I had no clue how fast things add up! I can eat between 1200 and 1500 a day. I met a very nice lady WEEDRAGON and we share the same issues. I look forward hearing from some of you and I am in it for the long haul. When I think about losing 60 lbs. I kind of go numb, but I will do it and thank you for any support you have to offer. Time for dinner!
    - 11/18/2015 7:04:30 PM
  • KATHY097
    like i said on the last message i realy need help for my weight i am 61 years old now my weight is starting to bother my spine,so more less its my hips and stomache i need weight off so its going to be tough but i am on a carb diet which my dr put me on i am now prob 210 pounds - 10/13/2015 4:02:04 PM
    I had a heart attack in 2011, because of my weight. I lost almost 100 lbs using this site. Since then I have returned to a new even higher weight than before. I'm glad to be part of this community again, and hope to lose even more weight this time.
    - 10/11/2015 4:58:38 PM
    So pleased I found this site. Since joining I have become more aware of my eating habits,been dieting by myself bu found in the last few weeks I was getting a bit complacent. - 9/11/2015 9:58:27 AM
  • JJS803
    I am new to this and very nervous. - 9/3/2015 12:39:36 PM
  • Hi everyone. I'm excited and nervous but most of all grateful for a new start. Let's do this :) - 8/31/2015 12:56:32 PM
    Good morning everyone, glad to be here. Ready for a new journey. Loving myself has always been difficult, time to work me and not others. - 8/27/2015 8:30:25 AM
    Hello I am a 77year old grandmother an active for my age. I found this site while this week and need help. My goal is to get down to 148 lbs, but I am finding this very hard. I am 160 and need to get my weight off because of severe arthritis. My metabolism seems very slow. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
    RWharton - 8/20/2015 9:18:03 AM
    Hi! I am new to Spark people. This is my fourth day of tracking and I love it! It is so easy and it gives me information on percentages of fats, etc. so I can look at my day as I go and adjust my foods for the best benefit for me! I am excited!!! - 8/12/2015 8:23:13 AM
  • Hi! I'm new. I've been using Spark about a week now. I want to lose about 50 lbs. at the rate of 1 lb. per week. Losing weight is harder at 61 than it was when I was in my 30s. LOL I've been really committed for the past 5 weeks & have lost about 5 lbs. it hasn't been easy, but I've decided that if I don't begin to live a healthy lifestyle now, I may not have a life, or a life worth living in the near future. I love to sew. I am working on some quilts now. Although it is not an active hobby, at least it keeps me from mindless eating throughout the day. My most common form of exercise is walking, but I have been adding water aerobics & I just tried one of the workouts on the Workout Generator. It really helped wake up some underused muscles! I look forward to meeting others to help motivate each other to reach our goals! 😃 - 8/4/2015 2:19:56 PM
  • JH1815
    Hi, last week I signed up for the On-line "Beyond Diet" program and I had a problem logging into their site over the weekend as I wanted to get started. I tried over and over and could not log in. I went looking around and found this blog and read about many people being disappointed because they were having the same problem. I began to think I was scammed. Finally, after clicking the reload page that comes up after multiple attempts to log into the the site, it said really small to enable third party cookies (just for Beyond Diet) and then clear out your cookies that have accumulated on your computer. I went into settings,( under the internet set up) and did just that. I shut down, rebooted and tried to log on to the site and it worked! If this happened to me, I've got to think its happening to others. It just didn't make sense how many people had no problems, liked the program, then there were others who could not even get on the site who felt scammed. Just wanted to share this in hopes it help others. - 8/3/2015 12:41:56 PM
  • Jen helped me I was asking for the wrong thing I needed a meal plan, she showed me how to find that and into my first. Did my normal exercise 20 Second workout. Followed by 90 mins on the tread mill. Tomorrow the 20 second program six sets of weighs, at seven different positions. The weights are not heavy. I've been doing this with the exception of the 20 second workout for several ,months now. That alone did not help in losing weight. I'm currently 233 my goal is 185. Looking at the index I should be 165. I actually believe that would to little weight. First I will try to get to 185 and think abut if I want more or not - 7/19/2015 6:15:17 AM
  • ANJ0622
    I started using people spark today and I cant believe how simple it is. I feel hopeful to lose my weight by hopefully September. I wish all lots of luck.
    - 7/15/2015 7:42:24 PM
  • Been using Spark for a week and 3 lbs down! Looking for buddy my goal is 60 lbs. - 6/10/2015 8:22:40 AM
    Hello, I'm new - 5/20/2015 6:07:50 AM

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