Meet the Members: These Women are Spreading the Spark!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Last week, I wrote about the BIGGEST ever giveaway in the history of SparkPeople. While that giveaway ends today, that doesn't mean the prizes stop! Through Jan. 1, we'll be giving away prizes to people who preorder copies of "The Spark"!

Because the dailySpark is YOUR Healthy Lifestyle Blog, I like to share the stories of as many of you as possible. I love hearing tips on how you stay on track, anecdotes about learning to love fitness and all the ways you Spread the Spark. It's really one of the best parts of this fabulous job of mine.

So starting today, I'll be featuring brief interviews with some of our "Spark" prize winners on the dailySpark. These SparkPeople members won our daily T-shirt giveaways, and now they're Spreading the Spark in return by sharing their best tips.

Meet Janet and SaConda!

Janet (jaycee77) is a married mom of two almost grown sons. She lives in Newark, Del., and LOVES Jazzercise. She joined SparkPeople in April 2008 to learn how to be healthier.

What are your top 3 tips to stay on track?
1. Keeping a food journal.
2. Planning ahead.
3. Participating in challenges on my SparkTeams.

How do you stay motivated?
I try not to let my diet become stagnant. I'm always looking for new ideas and recipes to keep things fresh. I love eating seasonal fruits and veggies for this reason.

What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started on a healthy lifestyle journey?
Journal everything so you can more readily find out what works for you.Take things one step at a time. Don't try to change everything at once. Work on one area and add something new to work on once you are comfortable with what you are currently doing.

What SparkPeople feature is the most helpful to you?
SparkTeams. The support that you receive from fellow team members can keep you going when you are feeling down and discouraged. You realize that whatever it is you are going through, someone else has been there and can give you some valuable advice.

SaConda (SOOKIE) lives in Ewing, N.J., and joined SparkPeople back in January 2006. Setting goals through the site helps her live better. She's a church secretary and a consultant for a company that specializes in gourmet buffet parties. She's also quite the optimist and loves the Quick Track options for water, fruits and veggies--and

What are your top 3 tips to stay on track?
The 3 top tips I would share are 1. Take time out to plan ahead for meals and fitness. 2. Enlist the help of a close friend or family member that you can be accountable to. 3. Keep frozen veggies around especially those steamer bags. They are so convenient.

How do you stay motivated?
My heart rate monitor love it! I have an Excel chart of my workout and I track my heart rate after each workout it's motivating and challenges me to dig a little deeper at the next workout. I also have a little black dress hanging where I can see it every day this dress is my motivation to wear again, and again and again!

What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started on a healthy lifestyle journey?
For someone just getting started, I would say increase water intake and practice portion control. Take it one day at a time and most importantly, have fun!

These ladies have done their part to Spread the Spark--and they'll be entered to win even more prizes. Don't miss out on the fun--preorder your copy of "The Spark" today!

It's Monday, the start of a new week. What goals have you set for the week? I'm going to try to keep my at-home work space clutter-free for an entire week. (This is quite challenging for me, as my boyfriend tells me that clutter just seems to follow me!) This will certainly help me reduce a bit of stress.

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I just received my book and can't wait to get into it. Report
I can't wait to get this book.... Report
keep a food journal of what you eat and planning ahead to avoid over eat works and don't forget to add up how many calories your eating a day!!! Report
My Goal for this week is to eat more fruit/Veggies and to attend 3 Boot Camp classes. Report
I love this blog. Seems that so many people, like me, have been ordered not to exercise by doctors. It's frustrating. I AM going to my water aerobics class tonight to just get in some upper body exercise. Report
Great blog, very helpful Report
These are so great for motivation. When you see someone else who did it, you feel like you can too. Report
I love meeting the SP! Report
Will the book come on tape any time soon? Report
My goals for the week:
1. Get back on track by making good food choices.
2. Tracking everything I eat.
3. Ride my bike at least 3 times this week. Report
We have a new program at my work called "Time Out for Health" that requires us to set a goal for a 6 week period. Mine is to use some type of fitness equipment 6 of 7 days per week. That has really encouraged me to pump up my physical exertions and try some exercise routines I wouldn't have tried before. It is very cool to be able to track this on SparkPeople's Fitness Tracker, too! Report
I am going to eat healthy every meal, every snack, every day this week. Report
I just found out that I won't be able to exercise for the next eight weeks, so I will be verrrrrrrrrry careful about my diet!!!

rrrrrry careful! Report
My goal this week is to double my time for running spurts...I finally found the courage to push myself because of a member of my sparkteam. I actually was able to double my time last night. Each week something new is really helping me. Report
I have ordered the book. I am looking forward to reading it. My goal last week was to not gain weight while I had company for a week. I lost a bit.
My goal for this coming week is to maintain while I am on a weekend cruise with my children. Last week proved I can do it. Will let you know.
Lee Report
Great blog.. I track my food everday and getin some kid of exercise everday..i love to take walks with my kids.. Report
My goal this week is to go to the YMCA every weekday and get at least 45 minutes of cardio in. I also want to use the weight machines 3 days. So far so good! Report
The Best Advice I Love...
"Don't try to change everything at once."
I like to remind myself... "One Day at a Time." Report
My goals are to stretch and walk daily. Report
SP rocks! I learned about it in People Magazine. Report
I hope to find out this week when I can return to strength training. I have found some stretching exercises for my heel spurs and am going to do them consistantly. I need to check with my Dr. about his recommendations for calorie consumption as I am having such a hard time getting in enough calories. Report
I have been a member of Spark People for a few months now and haven't yet started the healthy lifestyle. I feel that now is the time and the coming out of this book has made a big way into my decision. Thank you Spark Guy I start on Monday Report
My goal this week is to document everything I eat. Report
Yesterday, my doctor told me that that nagging pain in my hips is actually a real problem. He gave me meds and ordered me to "take it easy". My goals for the week are to keep up with my strength training program, get fitted for better shoes, take it easy and not stew about how I should have known better. If I feel better this weekend, I'm going to go rollerskating as a treat. I don't do it very well and I don't go very fast, so it's pretty low impact. Report
My goal this week is to simply get 8 glasses of pure water in each day. Report
1 track everything I eat
line dance 2 hours a week 5 days a week
drink more water.

and then try to get Spark People to notice that I Preordered their book at Report
This week's goal:
1) No sugary sweets (they awaken my sweets taste buds)
2) Walk at least 5000 steps a day
3) Get in two strength training sets along with the aerobics
As I am on vacation from work this week, my goal is to get all the things down around the house that have been nagging at me (do our last years income tax; take in clothing that I love and won't wear anymore since I think they are now too big and make look fat; work on the theatre company that I am vp and publicist); exercise at least twice per day all until Saturday ( am going on a girls trailer park weekend, watch out !); AND behave myself with food and alcohol on the weekend) AND do paper work for an upcoming event I have been procastinating on. AND go for a long postponed coffee with a friend; AND try to get a message inReading what I just wrote....I am setting myself up for failure ! But will do my best, that is all anyone can ask of themselves......did I mention R&R !!! That will come next week when I am back to work! LOL Report
My goal for this week is to stay within my calorie range!! Report
My goals for my first week here by 'Sparkpoeple' are using the foodtracker, drink 8 glasses of water a day and every day doing some exercise. Report
Still have not received my bonus points for ordering the book. Was told to look for an email with instructions that I never got. I keep checking spam too.....errrr Report
I preordered but didn't get my points yet. Am I supposed to put info somewhere to make it happen? Report
My goal for the week? To get over this darn Swine Flu and back on track! I so miss my exercising and walking/running. I have been walking for several months, but found run a block, walk a block is challenging and fun. I am so anxious to get going again! Report
I have already ordered. Report
This week, I am trying to stay away from chocolate, and log my food. I am also trying to eat more fruits, and vegetables. Report
My goal for this week is to stay away from soda and to get in my exercise each day. Report
I ordered it a while ago, but its my Christmas present to myself. :D! Report
Goals this week are:

1. Complete menu planning (already halfway there)
2. Drink 8 - 8oz cups of water
3. Record everything that I eat.

Not original, but they are what I need to do. Report
yes cant afford it right now but would like a copy at some point Report
My main goal for this week is to keep up with my cardio and strength training exercises. Report
I am also trying to unclutter. I am working on The Artist's Way team. It is one of the tasks.
I think I will follow through on doing morning pages and daily uncluttering.
10 minutes at a time. Report
My goal for the week is to get through a big project at work in one piece. BLAH!
More concrete - I hope to get 3 running workouts in during the week even though I have a lot of work to do. Report
I have to prepare for a substitute teacher. Any teacher out there knows preparing for a sub. can be very time consuming. Report
Looking forward to the book. These little Q&A's with members is a great idea. I'd love to see more. Report
just ordered the book and January is right around the corner. Can't wait. Report
I have come so far I must remember that. No reason to give up ever! We don't fail unless we give up. Report
I like Janet's idea to not let her diet become stagnant. That is helpful and inspires me to try some new-to-me fruits and veggies. I have never eaten a sweet potato and I know they are chock full of vitamins -- so Janet's comments have challenged me to get out there, buy a sweet potato, cook it in a healthy way and give it a go! Report
wish I could get the book but i have no extra money to get one. it sounds very interesting and well worth it. Report
It's great to hear from other Sparkers on this blog!

My goal is to restart using the Foodtracker--I want to track my food five days this week. Report
I am looking forward to getting the book! Report
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