Congrats on taking the next step to reaching a healthier you by getting active with SparkPeople - it's a great community, wonderful resources and fantastic support.
Please check out the SparkTeams - I think you will find a lot of others 'just like you' there. You can choose SparkTeams by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location or several other ways - in fact, I suggest joining more than one group, post your intro there and write blogs as often as you can - you will find tons of friends and support that way, I promise!!
In my experience, SparkPeople is like a in some ways - it's lots of fun and easy to make friends because we're all in this together. I like the way a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is emphasized instead of a 'quick fix wonder diet' - it's about waaaaaay more than 'just' losing weight so you have definitely come to the right place!
If you ever need any help using features of the site, there are tutorial videos under the HELP section that can show you how to use the features of the site. You can also find them on the START page and several other places on the site.
If you haven't discovered The Spark book and/or the SparkDiet linked at the bottom of the START page, check them out - the program is simple but extremely effective. There is a TON of information on this site - so much it might even seem overwhelming but fortunately we don't have to 'digest' everything at once! The FastBreak program is a good way to start.
Another nice thing about SparkPeople is that we have permission to be human - we don't have to change everything at once or be in a hurry to reach our goals. Take a few baby steps and then a few more and before you know it, you'll have completed a long journey - I hope you enjoy this community as much as I do - it teaches us how to make positive lifetime changes because that's the only thing that will work over time!
Hi Lori! Welcome to Spark, where the possibilities are endless =) xoxo Becca
2/1/11 4:37 P
Hi Lori! I'm a parrot mom too! Your little monk is cute :) I have an african grey that is just my dollbaby.
Congrats on joining SP! You have had success before in losing so you know you can again. I too am on a journey to health (lost 51 pounds - see my blog "50 tips for 50 lbs" - link below).
This is an awesome site with so much to offer. A good way to sample what's available is to go to your upper left and click on MY TOOLS - then click on MY SPARKPOINTS All those different ways of earning points each day will expose you to so much like
1) articles on nutrition, wellness, motivation, 2) fitness videos 3) tips on how to use the site 4) secrets from other sparkers 5) healthy recipes 6) teams/support groups 7) trivia (great learning tool) and much more!
Take advantage of as much as you can. I highly recommend you join a few teams/challenge groups. Click on COMMUNITY on the upper tab then SPARK TEAMS. In the right corner is a wizard to help find the right team for you. That is the best way to make friends. Also, read lots of user blogs. People have great insights on this whole process from personal experience. You can start with mine:
Fitness Minutes: (1,962)
16 2/1/11 3:39 P
Thanks everyone! Well I for sure am getting my workout today. I have to go outside from my "apartment" into the main house to use the bathroom or kitchen and I have shoveled the same stretch of walkway 4 times today. It keeps getting harder with the snow drifts and falling snow piling up. I guess I can consider the beginning the warm up and now I'm doing cardio. lol
On another note, my scale only goes to 550 pounds and I really want to weigh. A year ago, I went to the hospital to weigh myself and they made a big stink about it cause I wasn't a patient at the time. Is there a way I can get guess my weight from my measurements or is there a place I can way for free that anyone on here knows about?
I'd start with tracking nutrition first. You may want to dive in and start using the meal plans right away, but sometimes that can get overwhelming. Once you start to see the trends and patterns in your current eating habits, you can begin to modify it to your needs.
If you have any other questions, you can check out the FAQs, the message boards, or you can drop me a line!
Wishing you much success on your journey to a healthy lifestyle
Fitness Minutes: (3,698)
2/1/11 10:18 A
Hang in there, you will do it. And like my doc says - if it's pounding, it's ok. you only have to worry if it stops!! lol! good luck, and welcome!
Fitness Minutes: (84,404)
2/1/11 10:16 A
Welcome to SP.......I hope that is is good to you. I especially enjoy tracking nutrition and exercise, reading blogs/articles, and checking in with my friends and teams. Good luck.....
Fitness Minutes: (1,962)
16 2/1/11 10:05 A
Hi! My name is Lori. I weigh around 600 pounds. I am trying hard to lose weight. I am new to Spark People. I am on a tight budget and when I found out there was a free site like Weight Watchers or Calorie King I was thrilled to say the least. I have been here for a couple days now and done several of the exercise videos(although my heart is POUNDING out of my chest).I think I am going to like it here. The last time I felt this good about a weight loss program was Deal-A-Meal. With that program I lost over 100 pounds and kept it off for several years. I think I may have found something that will really help keep me motivated! Thank you for all the great support I have received already! :-)