Motivation Articles

A Beginner's Guide to the SparkPeople Message Boards

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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

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    Hi its my first day. purchased the spark tracker. looking forward to getting into shape. - 2/23/2015 2:14:45 PM
  • Hi today is my first day. I am new at this .I hope I can stick to the plan. - 2/1/2015 6:54:07 PM
  • NBROWN52
    Hi all new to spark people, am soo lost with the plan having problem with the meal plan howdo I access plan thanks.
    - 1/27/2015 3:57:48 PM
  • LINDA19802
    HI My name is Linda new to this not new trying to lose weight. Trying to get healthy and look good for my daughter's upcoming wedding and need some encouragement - 1/17/2015 8:05:36 AM
  • CSATER1
    Hi fellow sparkpeople. just starting out. Looking forward to making a small goal for this month.
    - 1/16/2015 12:35:15 AM
  • MARYFLASH
    Hi everyone! I'm fairly new to this site. I have mobility issues. Can't stand on my legs long. Anybody have the same problem? How do you exercise?
    I'm really trying to do something about my weight. I'm excited about doing this I Don't need to be skinny all I want is to be healthy and be able able to go places and do thing with my grandchildren. - 1/7/2015 8:14:11 AM
  • SUZANNEWARREN
    Hello, I'm Suzan..e new to this program..... so far so good . Easy to use. Good luck to you all in 2015 - 1/5/2015 11:22:28 AM
  • LADYE5
    Happy New Year to everyone,. My name is Eunice, this site was suggested by my daughter a while ago. I'm looking forward to learning more about healthier choices and physical activities.Lookin
    g forward to advise and tips that will aid in my success. - 1/4/2015 4:49:34 PM
  • New Year so trying again after a long interval.
    I am not very fit, but will do my best and now wondering what to eat etc. I live alone so no good making huge meals which need too many ingredients If there is anyone in UK near Bedfordshire or Milton Keynes it may help me to be in contact please. - 1/4/2015 3:19:38 PM
  • My name is Latisha and I am ready to lose weight! I signed up to Spark People last night and now I am back to setup my page, blog a little and leave comments on various Message Boards. Basically, trying to get to know the site better. My hope is that this site will help keep me focused and motivated during my weight loss journey. I am determined to take one step at a time to reach my goal - Good luck to everyone and I look forward to reading some of your ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc. - 1/4/2015 9:03:22 AM
  • BELKYBEAR2
    Hello everyone. I'm Deborah and I am on this site to lose weight and get healthy. I am hoping that we can all do this together and be successful in our goals! - 1/1/2015 8:24:25 AM
  • Starting over fresh again and glad I came across this website :) I'm hoping it will help me achieve my goals. - 12/18/2014 2:11:54 PM
  • JMARCHANTE24
    Hello, My name is Johanna and I am starting a healthy lifestyle change, I hope
    to gain friends that will help me on my way to a whole new me. - 12/12/2014 8:50:11 AM
  • Hi Im Dave from the UK in teh type 2 Club its massive in the UK about a 10th of NHS
    Budget is on diabetics complications etc so the key is lose weight or have this surgery not gastric band but never the less it works and no more mediation etc...

    any way the point is lose weight exercise more which we all agree with obviously so here goes from today on small portions more exercise .....expect to be slim......
    - 11/27/2014 1:41:42 PM
  • NELDAKON56
    Hello My name is Nelda I live in Texas and new to SparkPeople. I am a tyoe 2 diabetic and hope to lose the weight I need to and gain some new friends and recipes. - 11/15/2014 3:13:17 PM

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