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!
Please check out the SparkTeams - I think you will find a lot of others 'just like you' there or at least others who have similar characteristics and circumstances. 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 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. 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!
5/19/11 11:21 A
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 64 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:
Losing weight and/or getting fit is a journey of many steps. These days before we go on a journey we always turn on the GPS. So turn on YOUR GPS for the journey:
G - Good Nutrition P - Personal Fitness S- Sparkpeople Involvement
If you have any questions feel free to ask. Also, drop by my sparkpage and check out my blogs for lots of tips. I'll be happy to show you around.
Fitness Minutes: (335,787)
72,608 5/19/11 8:17 A
Welcome to Spark People. There is so much information available to you here. There are teams that you can join that offer support, inspiration and motivation with members of pretty much any interest that you may seek. The food & fitness trackers are invaluable sources at your disposal. There are articles that cover pretty much any topic that you can imagine. Spark people members share blogs that offer you a glimpse at their experience, strength and hope and gives you a look at their perspective. There are health articles and a vast health encyclopedia, if you will, to help you with all manner of physical health issues. There are even games to help you get involved and meet new friends. This is a wonderful positive community of people, like yourself, who want to work their "weigh down" the scale on the path to better health and happiness. Jump in and get involved. I find that the more active I am, the more I get out of it for myself. It's sort of like "paying it forward" and reaping benefits from the backwash! I am so happy that you are here. Bright blessings to you my friend. Dawn
Fitness Minutes: (31,907)
2,331 5/19/11 6:31 A
Welcome aboard! I guarantee you will not be disappointed in your decision in joining Sparkpeople. I will admit though, the results will vary due to your efforts and your honesty towards yourself. I wish you the best in your Sparkpeople journey and if you should need some words of encouragement or motivation, hit me up as a Sparkfriend and I will help you achieve your goals. If you should have some time, read my blogs and visit my sparkpage. Look at my Sparkpage Photo Album (you will witness a true transformation of my accomplishments -I am in week 7). I will be honest with you; I am dead serious about achieving my goal and you are invited to ride along and accomplish yours. If you want a friend to talk about family, personal life or Government—go to Facebook. I like to stay on track about our goals and our accomplishments and nothing ELSE! I will say this, it has been a bumpy road but it is starting to smooth itself out. Again, I wish you the best! Now, enough writing- go and accomplish your goals (Ooorah)!
Hi and welcome to Spark People where you will find lots of information and tons of support and encouragement from all our members. You will find that we also have fun along the way. Drink your 8-8oz glasses of water a day (If you only drink one now, add to as you are able until you are drinking your 8 cups or more a day), watch your portion control (measure everything in the beginning...guaranteed it will get easier) and walk, dance or do any exercise you enjoy (start with 10 minutes a day or several times a day and add to it as you are able or have time) or do any other exercise you enjoy. Use your fitness and nutrition tracker daily (guaranteed to work if you use them consistently and honestly). Pick one thing to change...one thing at a time. Don't try to change to many things at once as that can be very overwhelming. Just try to take one step, one minute, one hour, one day, one week at a time. They honestly will all add up to the bigger numbers. These tips will definitely help in lowering your numbers and increasing your ability to enjoy life. Don't expect miracles right away...this is a lifestyle change not a diet. You will be much healthier in the long run. Post any concerns, comments or questions you may have and someone will respond quickly. Start each day with a positive thought just for that day. Reading and reflecting on an inspirational thought or message before you start your day can put you in a positive frame of mind. Your thoughts determine whether you have a good day or a bad day. Fill your mind with positive ideas, suggestions, and thoughts. You will find it will change your attitude and changing your attitude can change your life. Sometimes just reading an inspirational quote or a short paragraph helps one see the positive in a situation. Sometimes as your day progresses you just need to take a break…Take a mental break and read or think about a message of inspiration. Never underestimate your power to change and improve! You are a good person, with wonderful qualities, and you can reach your goals! If I can be of any help to you, please let me know with a spark mail or a comment on my page. I am here for you. God bless you on your journey to a healthier you. Hugs, Helen
Fitness Minutes: (337,799)
57,812 5/19/11 2:36 A
WELCOME TO SPARK!!! Congrats on taking the first step into changing your life to a more healthier one by joining the site. Spark is filled with amazing people that will motivate, support and encourage you on your journey. There is so much to learn and discover here, take this one day at a time. A couple of things I would like to suggestion to make you Spark experience a great one.
1. Make goals for yourself. Each month I make a list of what I want to accomplish that month and break them down to smaller goals to work with week by week. This way the BIG picture doesn't seem so big.
2. Join Spark teams. There are tons of teams here and you will be able to find ones that fit to what you like or want in a team.
The key to success here is to be active and you've already started by joining. You will find that everyone is willing to help you out if you need it. Spark friends are here for support, motivation and encouragement. Good luck on your journey to a healthier lifestyle! Again, welcome to the SP family! *~ Paula *~
Fitness Minutes: (147)
5/19/11 2:08 A
I joined Sparkpeople thanks to one of my friends. I can't wait to be able to stay on track and finally loose the weight I want to. I don't want to be super skinny but I do want to be healthy. I believe you can be fat and healthy. I will only strive to be my best. I want the best for my kids so I figure I should lead by example.