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 - some of the teams 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 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 - 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 already 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!
5/1/11 2:39 P
Hi and Welcome to Sparkpeople! You are very smart for choosing to do this for health. I BELIEVE in SP. I am 55 years old and have lost 62 pounds so far!!!
There are two keys to success: 1) tracking your food and staying in calorie range and 2) fitness minutes. The thing about fitness is you can start small with 5-10 minutes. It also helps to read blogs. You can start with one I wrote:
Welcome to Spark and good luck reaching your goals!
Fitness Minutes: (65,988)
1,932 5/1/11 9:58 A
Hi and welcome! I'm glad you joined us!
I agree with you that tracking food and exercise is very, very helpful!
Best of luck with your goals.
Fitness Minutes: (5,547)
725 5/1/11 9:15 A
My name is Queen. I started my healthy lifestyle journey December 30, 2010. So far I have lost 24 pounds, changed my eating habits, and started a fitness regimen which I love.
I pray you find everything you are looking for here at SparkPeople.com. There is so much to learn and so many amazingly kind and supportive people to meet. Look around at the teams, tools, articles and blogs. They are so insightful.
Check out my blog '5 Steps for Sparking' to see my tips and tricks of 'Sparking'.
I started on this website in January when invited by a coworker (Smertz). I have been on and off weight watchers over the last 2 years and just recently quit. Graduate school has not been good for what was left of my waistline. Graduation is May 14. Looking foward to having time to exercise again without worrying about a research paper that needs written or test to study for. Weight loss and getting healthy is my goal, not a GPA of 4.0 I am still learning to navigate this site. I use another one - fat secret on my cell phone and can scan bar codes on food. Between the two, I think tracking food and exercise will be just as easy as weight watchers (but free)!. Tracking food needs to be a priority now. Calories in should be less than calories out. Feeling better is good for the mind and heart.