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

  • KATIESCLOSET
    Trying to learn everything about this challenge.
  • This was very helpful. I will try to get it done. Busy days helping wife take care of mom-in-law and workign every day. Schedules!
  • Thanks for this information! ??
  • COURTENAYE
    Working on my health and La Jolla my goal is to be healthier, lighter and stronger and more energetic.
  • I am soon to be 50. I live in Pryor, OK, have 2 grand kids & have been medically retired. Trying to stay active & lose some weight.
    Any suggestions or ideas would be great!
  • I've been on Spark since June. Decided to take this challenge in hopes of learning how to use every resource this site has to offer.
  • I have been around since 2008 and I am back trying to get motivated again.
  • NANCYNPGR1
    I am a new member. I am 75 years old. I have 40-50 lbs to lose. I suffer with back pain and a knee pain. I have lost and gained weight many times over the years. WW always helped but always gained back. Why pay their fees when I can do the same thing here. I need accountability. So please help me with your encouragement blogs. Thank you. Nancy
  • Thanks for the good information. Will be checking out the Message Boards.
  • Hi everyone- this looks like a great resource!
  • BWHITLOW0
    Every day presents its challenges, but if you screw up one day, just try again the next. I was doing SO well all day yesterday, but got invited to a happy hour, which led to drinks and fried appetizer...but you know what? It was still better that all day I'd had high protein, low or no carb, low calorie choices. I still blew my calorie count, but have to think what it WOULD have been had I not been "good" the rest of the day! And, making me more determined to be good today.
  • Glad to be back. Different user name, same person. Have a great day everyone.

    Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew"
    St Francis de Sales

    I am thankful today that I put myself to task, did my morning walk and stretch.
  • Day 5 and I'm already behind with days 3 & 4 due to being busy over the weekend, and losing the internet just when I was ready to use it! Going ok so far, slow and steady, but feeling a bit down for no apparent reason. Hopefully the sun will come out and my clothes will start to feel looser and I'll start to fell more "UP".
  • FORDFAMILY2000
    Been on here for about 3 weeks now. Due to some medical tests coming back not so great I decided to make major changes to my food choices. I cut out almost all alcohol, dairy and gluten. I've lowered my test scores back to normal and dropped 14 lbs. I feel so much better and can't wait to see what continued positive changes I will see. What has really helped me first of all is the support of my family. I have also been finding great paleo recipes that are great tasting on the internet.