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

  • Good morning new to this site. Can't wait to get started - 2/10/2016 8:57:59 AM
    Although I have been using recipes and the app for a few years now, I have not placed much on the message board. I am on the 21 day challenge and this is day 4 and using the message board is my challenge for the day. Am turning 50 in December so this is a big year for me and my personal goal is to get the 44 lbs off that I had fun over the last 22 years adding on to my not so thankful body. I am giving myself small rewards along the way and using Sparkpeople to keep me committed.
    - 2/9/2016 8:01:49 AM
  • Although I'm relatively new to SparkPeople I wanted to say to my new spark family, that after finally getting around to reading posts and checking out the communities, that you are all in inspiration :-)

    In reading your post I learned that I could track my weight with the cute little Track Bar at the end of my post. Thank you. I've learned today how to track my moods. Thank you. I've also learned that I can track my medical (vertigo) episodes. Thank you.

    The idea of posting about something that is so personal… that I've struggled with for so long and now I must do so with the medical condition... It seemed like a daunting task. I've learned from you that all things are open to discussion and that there will be support.

    And because of your inspiration I am going to do my best to become a more active and involved member .

    Thanks again.
    - 2/5/2016 6:25:24 PM
  • Today it's been a bit of an effort to do all of my SparkPeople tracking and reading and commenting and such. But even though I'm dog tired, I think it's important enough to make the time and do what I know is worth the effort for me and my body! - 2/3/2016 12:08:25 AM
  • I want to start over again and have my menus changed since I now have to be on a low sodium diet how can i start over new again. - 1/31/2016 4:33:07 PM
  • Using SparkPeople to help motivate me during an at-work 12-week "biggest loser challenge". I have a lot to lose and want to WIN the challenge. - 1/29/2016 9:05:49 AM
  • A friend of mine told me about this site and from the moment I signed up and started learning my way around, I knew this was for me! I have done many other programs and wanted to start the New Year with something new to motivate me and Spark People is that program (I Hope). I am on day 3 and still on track, (which has not been an easy task in the past). Being a work at home mom, I find it hard to not snack on the junk food around my house, especially when I am having a particular stressful work load. This site has a lot of little challenges and fun activities that I know can keep me on track this time. Here is to 2016 and a new me!! - 1/13/2016 8:24:17 AM
  • Like all of you, 2016 is the beginning of a new me. No more excuses and it really is time to be accountable to what goes into my mouth and how I use my body. Day 1 here we go... moving along the road to health and happiness. - 1/10/2016 7:57:26 PM
  • It's 2016 and I am going to GET RID of 80 lbs of weight!! I lost 35 lbs 2 years ago but there have been recent deaths in my family and I didn't handle it well and put those pounds back on. So here I am getting back on track. I'm hoping to find a good support system because I don't have one at all. Here's to everyone who is motivated!!!!!!!! - 1/6/2016 2:34:28 PM
    You all sound so nice and hopeful, just as I am. I am new as of today 12/5/2015 and have not learned 'the ropes' yet . I did join a group. I believe there is no set diet simply no snacking no seconds and no sugar called the NO S Diet So here I go. - 12/5/2015 12:16:10 PM
    I am new here and I noticed that people are very pleasant and respectful of others problems and wishes. I have to admit before I became an herbalist I notice how hard it was to change my diet. So I learned what was needed and I now support any and all who seeks this same journey. - 12/1/2015 4:27:55 AM
    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

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