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

  • It's good to have this guidance to make things more understandable.
    Day 5 check in. Good article.
  • I have the drive to lose 40+ lbs to be healthy for my family, I have an 18 month old that is looking at me for things to do and want him to be able to know that if mom can do it so can he when he is old enough...don't want him to grow up knowing mom was lazy.
    I have lost 60 lbs after leaving a very stressful job, and working at home over the last 7 years, now have about 12-15 more to go.....came to SparkPeople to do that!!
    I have 60 pounds to lose. Can't seem to get started. I try every day and will try again tomorrow.
    Give me the best way this site can help me
    I don't have a lot of weight to lose, about 10 pounds, but I just don't seem to be able to get serious. I've decided to take the 30 day small change challenge and the first thing to do is to let people know my goals. So that is what I am doing. I've always found it hard to share about my weight goals, so maybe a discussion group is the way to go.
    I'm fairly new here and am really motivated to losing weight. I have a lot to lose, 82 pounds to be exact. So, I plan on taking this one day, one meal at a time. I think setting smaller milestones, such as losing 10 pounds, makes it seem more manageable.
  • hi everyone I am back again its been many years since being on here so i am giving it my all
    I'm Kaye. I have been trying to loose weight for the last seven years with no luck. This is my last chance. I am very frustrated. Have cut carbs, roughed paleo eating, no gluten, dairy, even coffee for three months, still gaining. 3 lbs since started tracking food. Walk with my fitbit and even bought piyo. A lot of stress at work and food isn't helping either.
  • hi I'm Carol -brand new to this site and looking forward to a healther lifestyle and weight loss. Thank you for all the hopeful comments.
  • CHAWK4546
    Hi SparkPeople, I am 51 and weigh 123 pounds, i was in very good shape until this past 6 months, this year i was married and a lot of messages report needing huge weight loss, for me it is all about getting motivated to get back in shape. I am 5'2" and top heavy, I need to get motivated to run and work out with weights at least 4 times a week and especially thru the holidays. My middle, chest and face look like a blob, thx SparkPeople
  • Hi I'm new and looking forward to feeling good about myself again, lost the plot but back on track yea
  • I like this article but, I'm not sure all New members will understand the post for challenge is not the "Introduce yourself Here" message board.

    Sometimes, it takes some scouting around to become familiar with the features and locations.
  • Hi! New here I need to lose a lot of weight! I'm trying my best I like the look of a lot of support here in the community.

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