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

  • 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
    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
    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
    Hello all, my name is Joyce and never been so excited to LOSE! blessing to all..... - 10/20/2014 8:40:46 PM
    To everyone, trying to get started or trying to stay active, the best thing you can do is to do a little exercise as you start. Start slow and gradually you will get use to it. Also when you are running try to pick an intersection you usually drive by everyday and either run all walk there.

    This will help you greatly. Good luck. - 10/13/2014 12:26:04 AM
    Hi Everyone, My name is Steve, live, hoping to stay active and get two pack while working out by December - 10/13/2014 12:20:55 AM
  • REDDOG0019
    hello my name is Melissa and i have lost 25 lbs in a month so excited - 10/6/2014 12:56:32 PM
  • Hi everyone, I am a beginner to sparkpeople, looking forward to reaching my goals. - 9/30/2014 10:51:09 AM
  • New to SparkPeople, I am enjoying looking up stuff and tracking my fitness and food. I am still having a little trouble understanding everything but Im catching on real quick - 9/23/2014 12:09:37 PM
    Hi, I'm new to this site. But what I am seeing I like, I think this we be the right choice for me. - 9/15/2014 11:35:18 AM
    I am new here, looking for help,, and loving this site so far. - 9/14/2014 1:37:47 PM
    SILLYSUSIE48MAYBE WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER LOSE WEIGHT .i have 100 pounds to lose . - 8/27/2014 5:05:53 PM
  • TWILES61
    I am new and happy to be here. What an incredible site, very easy to use (if you are computer savvy.) This is a challenge. I had no idea how hard it is to make a balanced diabetic meal or snack. I am learning something healthy every day. I feel confident that this is going to help me get to the "healthy" life I need. - 8/22/2014 2:44:32 PM
    looking forward too meet my life partner - 8/8/2014 7:41:15 PM

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