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6/10/11 10:10 A

emoticon Greetings and emoticon

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. You're off to a great start already, just by posting here!


Please check out the SparkTeams - I think you will find a lot of others 'just like you' including many with the same challenges, circumstances and goals. You can choose SparkTeams by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location or several other ways.

Some of the teams I like and think you might like include the Official 10-minute Daily Exercise Streak Challenge, Starting Over Weekly Mini-Challenge Team, 10k Steps A Day and Motivation & Positive Attitude Plan - but there are so many to choose from, you can have a great time looking for the ones that seem to fit you best! 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 emoticon 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' so it's good for people wanting to lose weight, maintain a previous loss, get healthier, improve fitness and many other goals including gaining weight or saving money - 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.


Be sure to read and 'study' The Spark book because it outlines the overall program and is compatible with most types of eating plans. Right now there is a 'special offer' on Amazon to get it in electronic format for just $1.99 - you can download the free Kindle reader for your computer or read it on a smartphone so you don't have to actually own a Kindle device to take advantage of this generous offer - so check it out!!!


If you haven't already discovered the SparkDiet linked at the bottom of the START page, check it 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 have - it teaches us how to make positive lifetime changes because that's the only thing that will work over time!


FITFABJENN Posts: 5,068
6/9/11 9:19 P

Hi, Sarah. Welcome to Spark People! You've certainly come to the right place to start your healthy lifestyle.

I simply LOVE this site! It is filled with wonderful, supportive people and lots of great information, resources, and tools. Since joining SP on January 1, I've already lost 55 pounds!

Good luck on YOUR Spark journey, and stop by my Spark page any time.

You can do it!

JULIEEG81 Posts: 325
6/9/11 8:45 P

Hi Sarah,
Congrats on your weight loss and welcome to Sparks. I wish you the best of luck on meeting your weight loss goals. If you ever need a friend or motivation I'm here for you!

NICKELDAWN SparkPoints: (9,245)
Fitness Minutes: (6,390)
Posts: 700
6/9/11 8:22 P

Hi sarah! Congrats on the weight loss!! Spark people is such an amazing website. I seem to learn something new everyday! The members all all so supportive and motivational its wonderful! Good luck on your journey!! :)

EFFIEANNIE Posts: 4,091
6/9/11 7:46 P

I am also new as of last month. I had never heard of Spark before. I have been using WW on line for a long time with mixed success. I got frustrated with them when they recently changed their point system and changed the points for foods. Counting calories is so much easier and constant! I am so impressed with this site and the wealth of information that is available. I have even got my husband tracking his food. Now I need to add exercise, but have an injured knee right now. I bought some resistance tubes today and will start with upper body until my knee is better. Effie

NYKOLEL Posts: 689
6/9/11 7:38 P

hi sarah im too new to this site( 3days in) this site is great first of all its free. they have some great tools like motivation,meal plans, and so many others i hope that this site can help ypu reach your goals

LIVINHEALTHY9 SparkPoints: (333,708)
Fitness Minutes: (169,780)
Posts: 16,439
6/9/11 7:28 P

Hi Sarah,
Welcome to Spark People. Congrats on your weight loss. That's awesome!
SP is a great site with all the tips and tools you need to be a healthier you.
Members are supportive and knowledgeable. Be sure to participate on your Spark Teams because that's a great way to make new friends and be accountable.

Best of luck to you!

JULIEANNCAN Posts: 6,507
6/9/11 12:46 P

Welcome, Sarah! Congrats on losing 20 pounds! :) I am glad you have found some things you like on SP and hope you find many more. Best wishes to you with your goals! Please don't hesitate to ask if you have questions! :)

STR8CPT Posts: 21
6/9/11 12:45 P

Hey Sarah! Congrats on losing 20 lbs..that's awesome! How much more do you want to lose? Do you have a specific number in mind?

SNC919 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (342)
Posts: 10
6/9/11 12:22 P

I'm Sarah and brand new to SP as of yesterday. I recently lost 20 lbs. on Weight Watchers and, while that program was good for inital weight loss, I didn't feel like attending meetings or tracking points (vs. straight nutrition information) was helpful for me. I also didn't love that fitness was kind of an afterthought on WW, whereas SP seems to have a more well-rounded fitness and health approach.

Looking forward to being part of your community!

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