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Motivation Articles  ›  SparkPeople Buzz

A Beginner's Guide to the SparkPeople Message Boards

Proven to Increase Your Chances of Success!

-- By SparkPeople
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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

  • 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
    HI everyone I am hoping to do well since I am with the Spark People - 3/26/2014 6:20:56 PM
  • SUELLEN2014
    Yes just joined and My name is Suellen and would like to fit into my clothes better sitting to much at the computer-need to be motivated to exercise-I eat pretty good-getting older and have to use my weights more. Good luck to all of us!! - 3/4/2014 10:54:48 AM
  • Hi my name is Joan and I am from Upper Musqudoboit and I am returning to this site to give me some motivation to keep losing weight - 3/2/2014 6:58:40 PM
    Hi, my name is WOBO and I'm back again. I've logged my progress or lack of it on the tracker several times since 2012 but never seem to reach my goal because I keep falling back into old bad habits. I usually try the Sacred Hearts Hospital diet to get started losing weight and then try to establish good eating habits after I've lost that initial 15 pounds or so. My problem is that I have very weak will power. If it's food that I like to eat, regardless of whether or not I need it, I'll generally eat it. I guess I'm hoping this time will be the charm. - 3/2/2014 6:26:57 AM
  • CALVES41
    I just watched Dr.Oz and am interested in the Paleo Diet so I am glad to see that SP has information on this diet. - 2/17/2014 3:33:38 PM
    Hi, My names is Karen I am 60+ I have 100lbs to loose. I am new to the website. It looks like I can get the help and support I need to be successful. There are so many articles and information to support me. I want to enjoy my life and my family. Loosing the weight will help me feel good about me. I am excited about the success stories I have read and can't wait to hook up with a great support team. - 2/17/2014 12:14:51 PM
  • Hi everyone, my name is Jo-Anne, I'm 58 yrs old and I just found this site and I'm very excited to start using it. It's everything I've been looking for, fitness guidance, meeting new people, health and inspiration. Thanks. :-) - 2/15/2014 9:53:35 AM
  • DMANN49
    Hello everyone. My name is Debbi and I live in the Tacoma, Wa area. I have revisited this sight with hopes of obtaining my goal of losing 50 pounds however long that might take me. I look forward to all the support I can get. - 2/1/2014 12:55:33 PM
  • DEEBFIT2014
    Greetings Everyone!

    I feel like I have lost the handle on keeping my weight, and my spiritual welfare in order. I am a 50+ divorce female, looking to lose 50 pounds in the next year or however long it takes me. I love to workout, just have not been doing so for quite a while, therefore, I have joined this site for encouragement and tips on weight loss. I would really like to find a couple of good disciple workout buddies, in the Laurel, MD area. I believe there are lots of you in my area, do send me a message. Peace & Blessings to all!

    - 1/31/2014 2:47:15 PM
  • im new here im christina just trying to figure out how to use exercise videos. - 1/26/2014 8:13:21 AM
  • MEATBALL1973
    Hello is anyone here from butler pa I'm looking for a gym partner
    - 1/23/2014 7:10:54 PM
    I like the format here. Especially tracking all my food 2 egg plain omelet is not showing up with any protein numbers on my tracker? Thanks,,,,,,,,,,,
    I'm Mark - 1/21/2014 11:40:38 AM
    Hi. This is Maggie. I am 60 years old and have allowed myself to slip into a very bad physical condition. I'm about 200 pounds now at 5'6" and am trying to get down to 145 pounds. I've been tracking my meals on this site for the past three days and am already seeing where I've been making some mistakes. This program might just work for me. Good luck to everyone else out there in achieving your goals as well. - 1/9/2014 11:37:21 PM