What has already been written is wonderful advice. I would also like to add something here. Spark People has so much on its site that you can easily become overwhelmed. My advice to you is to take it slow, and take one step at a time. For instance, join one group instead of four or five that look interesting. Try that group out. If it is not for you, then you can un-join as easily as you joined. Once you are comfortable in a group and you feel you want to join another, do the same process.
The same goes for other things. Perhaps you start tracking your nutrition, then a couple weeks later you decide to track your exercise. It allows you to become comfortable with every aspect of the site without becoming overwhelming. You will soon get a routine going like checking your mail everyday, and checking in with Spark Points.
Spark Points are a great way to introduce you to other aspects of the site, and you can make a game of it to see how many points you can earn in a day. You will be surprised how much you can learn about nutrition, exercise and living a healthy lifestyle.
Don't get hung up on what other people are doing. For instance, I like to take quizzes. Sometimes I do great, and other times I don't do so great. So my average is about 50/50 on correctness. But I learn so much in the process. But as I look to leader boards, I see people who have only missed a couple of question on a combination of all the quizzes. I am not saying that they can't do that, but the likelihood is very slim that they know all the information correctly on all the quizzes. There are ways of cheating, if that is what you are into. Like finding out the answer then backing up to answer it correctly. But what is the point? It is not helping you, right? The only way you are going to lose weight is to be completely honest with yourself.
You have to be honest about what you eat, the portions you eat, how much exercise you do. These are keys that will keep you on track and be successful. And be honest with you Spark friends. They can be some of your greatest motivations. If you are feeling weak, let us know so we can help you be strong.. If you had a great day or great week, let us know, let us celebrate with you.
When I first joined I joined several groups and I couldn't keep up with all of them, and I became confused and embarrassed. It didn't work out for me, and everything became too overwhelming for me. It got to a point where it was too much for me, so I left for awhile. So that lesson learned, I am now back and taking it slow. The whole process has become a winning combination. Go with what you enjoy, and don't feel bad if something doesn't suit you. You don't have to do something you are uncomfortable with.
I wish you great success with your weight loss and fitness journey. Befriend me if you like. :-) All of you. ;)
Welcome! I suggest going to the motivation articles and reading the goal-setting techniques articles. There are several and they really help you understand the importance of setting long-term, medium-term and short term goals. There is a lot of valuable information and support here. Good luck!