dailySpark Year Three: Putting 'Life' in Healthy Living

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Happy Anniversary, dailySpark. You've come a long way, baby, since those early posts back in mid-August 2008. I was a newbie to SparkPeople back then, just getting to know the sites and the wonderful employees and members here.

Since then, we've all grown--and shrunk together. Without all of you, we never could have grown into the well-respected healthy living blog we are today.

We've interviewed everyone from top weight-loss expert Dr. Martin Binks (one of our most popular interviews!) to Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien to fitness gurus Denise Austin and Leslie Sansone.

We started with just five bloggers, but we've more than doubled. We have shared guest blog posts from fitness experts Chalene Johnson, the Fit Bottomed Girls, and David Kirsch. Sports nutrition expert Dave Ellis is a huge fan and contributor, and we've welcomed top healthy living bloggers and inspirational members. Those guest bloggers are constantly surprised by the sheer number of comments we get on each blog post--and how positive they are. Thank you for helping to set the dailySpark apart from the rest.

While SparkPeople is home to the tracking tools, educational articles, exercise demos, and community that allow each of us to be successful along our healthy living journey, the dailySpark is an outlet that allows the SparkPeople experts to show the human side of weight loss. Each of us is here at SparkPeople not only as an employee but as a person who has struggled with weight, body image, and self-esteem. We've been where you are and where you've been, and some of us are right there alongside you now. Regardless of where we are in our own weight-loss and healthy living journeys, we're always standing on the sidelines cheering you on.

Recently, I had a heart-to-heart talk with Tanya, our healthy eating expert. She shared her passion for the underdogs. Like Bruce with his The Slowest Loser series, Tanya felt a kinship with those readers and members whose path from here to there took a slower, meandering one. Having learned to live with thyroid disease, she knows what it's like to do everything right and still not achieve the goals you set for yourself.

Instead of giving up, she set new goals, rewrote her rule book, and became an inspiration to countless SparkPeople members. She started a new series, called One Step Closer. Her cardinal rule: Healthy living isn't about being perfect; it's about consistently moving one step closer to your goal, whatever that might be.

This year, in addition to the health news, simple recipes, exercise roundups, hot topic posts, and motivational stories, you're going to see more confessions from us--and you. You're going to read about REAL ways that REAL people are making REAL changes in REAL life. Really. (OK, enough with the "real" references!)

Our goal during this next year, just as it always has been, is to make you feel the best you can. We want you to know that healthy living isn't about running a marathon. It's about walking down the driveway unassisted, like ~INDYGIRL can now do. It isn't about serving a home-cooked, from-scratch meal seven nights a week. It's about doing it more often than you did before, like MOM5INFL. And it's not about being a size 2, a size 12, or a size whatever. It's about loving your body--no matter what size you are.

As always, reach out to me with tips, critiques, story suggestions, or any other feedback. As dailySpark editor, I want to hear from our readers. Let us know what we're doing well, and what you'd like to see more (and less) of. (You can also share your thoughts in the comments below.)

But most importantly, keep reading!

Oh, and because no milestone at SparkPeople or the dailySpark would be complete without a Goodie, we are hosting several cool giveaways this week. Keep reading every day for a new contest. (We'll be back tonight with the first one!)

Thanks for reading!

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Thank you spark people! I have only been doing sparkpeople for a couple of months, but it is by far the best program I have ever done. (And I've done them all!) The weight isn't coming off as fast as I had hoped, but that is ok. I am doing strength training and/or cardio almost every day. A first for me. And reading the message boards, blogs and all the other articles really keeps me motivated. I am in this for the long haul, because for once in my life, with your help, if I fall off the wagon, I get right back up again and keep going forward. Happy Anniversary! Here's to many more! Report
I have been using Sparkpeople to track my calories in and calories out for 9 months. I am 35 and in the best shape of my life. People laugh at me when I tell them that I count every calorie, but it works! Now my husband is doing it, too. Hey, do you have Sparkpeople for dogs? lol Report
Happy Anniversary and Congratulations! Thank you for keeping us in touch with the world. I enjoy reading your blogs. Report
Thank you daily spark and Congradulations. We love you! Report
I am so thankful I had a friend who shared the Spark with me. Now I'm on my way to meeting my goals, and I don't know where I'd be without the direction and support I've found here. Report
Yay sparks!!!! Can't wait to see where I am at in 3 years! Report

While SparkPeople did not "save my life" as it has for many people, it surely saved my self esteem and provided me with a new outlook on who I am, how I feel, what I look like, and what my priorities are. That's quite a bit for a web site - especially for one that is free for everyone!

Keep up the good work. You are all fabulous - Staff and members alike!! Report
I love Spark!
Thank you! Report
Happy Anniversary and thank you for everything your community has done for me, I eat healthier, weigh less, workout more, and feel so much friggin' better about myself, you guys rock and please keep doing what you do, I know it means a lot to me and I'm sure to many others out there too. Report
I genuinely appreciate the entire spark community! It is always so good to know that other people have struggled and overcome the same obstacles you face. There is so much support, knowledge, and inspiration to be had within this community! Thank you, and Happy Anniversary! Report
Happy Anniversary!!! I don't often comment, but I love checking in every day and seeing what topics you are all writing about. Thanks! Report
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY DAILY SPARK!!! Though we've only been together about 7 1/2 months, I can't imagine doing life without you! You have helped me, and are still helping me to become the "best me possible", and for that I am eternally grateful. With your help and encouragement, I have acheived and then set new goals that I NEVER would have dared dream were possible. I only wish I had met you earlier. Here's to many, many, many more years of doing life and helping others to see and reach their full potential!!! Report
Happy Anniversary! Just keep doing what you have been doing - posting helpful, healthy and sometimes funny blogs. I found the "Spark" and it has bee a life save for me. THANKS Report
I love the daily spark! Thank you for starting it, Happy Anniversary and congratulations!! Report
Spark has been a wonderful tool for me, I love this website, I have been a member since 2008 and I got my sister on it too, she started in 2009 and she has lost 35 lbs. Thank you Spark for enriching our lives. Report
I joined in October of 09. I didnt know SP was so new! What a wonderful community to be part of! Report
Happy Sparkaversary! This site even has a new language! :) Thank you and the entire Spark crew for all that you do. Spark is a gift! Report
Happy Anniversary! Report
Everything you write inspires me to want to do more and be better!! You rock!! Report
happy dance spark ,thank you Report
I've been on Spark for over 4 years now, and have been at my goal weight for at least 3 years now. But I don't consider myself "done"; I'm still a "work in progress", and there are still things I am striving to do better on.

I've done this while being in treatment for stage IV breast cancer since April 2007, so if I can do it, anyone can! Report
Happy Anniversary SparKPeople, I am so glad I found you. Report
So glad I found this site this is the easiest plan I've ever done and it's WORKING!!! THanks, SP!!! Report
Happy Sparkiversary, DailySpark!

I love the multitude of topics you cover, from things that keep us informed, to showing the leery, scary, and sometimes frustrating side of the weight loss spectrum!

Here's to another year! Report
AMEN! No one is perfect and here you don't have to be! Report
The real-ness of this and other areas of Sparkpeople is what helps me keep coming back. Happy Anniversary! Report
Woohoo! Happy Anniversary Daily Spark! This website is definitely a life-changer! I wasn't "into" blogging or any kind of on-line messaging when I started, but I've found that's the most helpful part of the site. My biggest 'a-ha" moment on the value of this community came a few months into the journey when I hit the "I need support" button on a team huddle. I got the most wonderful letter from a total stranger who lives thousands of miles away. Her words were so comforting and encouraging that I didn't give up. Now I try to spread the Spark to anyone who seems to be struggling. Plus,my primary care physician joined Spark because he was so impressed with my progress! That showed me how powerful this process is when even a medical doctor can see how it changes your life!
My gratitude to all the great Spark folks and much love being sent your way! Report
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY DAILY SPARK! My one year anniversary with SP will be in October, and I am so appreciative of the people who created this site, and all the contributer's . This is about real people wanting make real changes in their lives and share their up and down, tears and joy with others. Everything on this site combined is what makes SP the number one site in my book. Thanks SP! Report
Happy Anniversary. It's true--you're not getting older, you're getting better!! Report
Steph, thanks for all you do! We love this site and what a great thrill it is to meet all tne new Saprk friend! Thanks again keep the blogs coming!!! Report
I am so glad that SparkPeople started this daily blog. I already loved the site and everything that it has done for me, and this has been a great addition!

Inspiring stories, recipes, tips/tricks, I love it all! The one thing I'd change? Being able to get points for each article that is posted, tee hee. There are always more articles than I can get points for and I usually use them to track which ones I have read and which I haven't.

Happy Anniversary! Report
I'll be a Sparker 3 years in October, so I am glad ur having your SparkVersary!! Keep it going. I love Denise Austin as she is 53 and looks fantastic. She's 5'4" and 112#. Report
Happy Anniversary and thank you for all the helpful articles. I'd like to see more articles about runners, I really enjoy them. Also some pregnancy articles would be nice cause that mommy spark site sucks =)

What I'd like to see less of is 1) commercials for spark--we already love spark that's why we're here, I hate it when these articles are just long commercials 2) articles like that "I eat ice cream for supper" one. What kind of blog is that? I'm sure everyone on here has bad habits but those kinds of blogs encourage that stuff as normal and it isn't... Report
Thank you for all you are doing for me and all the SparkPeople all over the world. Report
Happy Anniversary! Report
Spark People has helped me lose 45 pounds! I would like to see more articles for those of u s who are in the maintenance stage. Thanks SparkPeople!!! and Happy Birthday!!! Report
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, SPARK! You have accomplished so much for so many in such a short time! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! Many happy returns of the day! Report
Happy Annivesary! Report
Happy Anniversary and thank you! Report
Thank you all for Sparkpeople. I can't begin to express what a blessing it has been in my life and the lives of my family members!

Happy anniversary and many, many, many happy returns of the day!
I just joined the community last week. So excited to know that I joined so close to your anniversary. I WISH I had known 3 years ago that you were here. But I probably wasn't ready then. Now I am and I'm excited about this site and lossing weight and being HEALTHY!!!! Thanks for your site. I'm having fun learning and keep finding new things. Report
Happy Anniversary! Both my husband & I appreciate all the info & tools y'all provide for FREE! Thanks to Sparkpeople's resources my husband is well on the way to achieve his goal by October (I'm stumblin' abit behind ~ sweet tooth ~ AUGH!) However like this blog said I am making small changes that are for the better for me alittle at a time. Before I know it I'm sure Both my hubbie & I will be exactly where we need to be fitness/health wise. Again thank you for the generosity! Report
I'm new to Sparkpeople. I am loving learning all about the different tools and they are really helping me. After my first month, I am down 16.5 lbs and am feeling so much better about myself. I still have a long way to go, but I know I can get there in the long run because of all the encouraging real-life examples I'm able to draw from each day. Thanks and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Report
WooHoo! Happy Anniversary! And Thank You! Report
Happy anniversary! I love reading these blogs! Report
Happy Anniversary!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!! And THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Report
.*`*♥☆Happy Anniversary DailySpark!!! ♥☆.*`*♥☆
; Report
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