8/19 weight loss thoughts: SparkPeople

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Have you heard about SparkPeople? I hadn't until my friend Lisa pointed me to it.

One of the coolest things about SparkPeople is it's free and they're not after your money. Therefore, they're not serving Google ads about the 3 day diet that is guaranteed to take off 20 pounds ;-)

There are a lot of other things I like about SP: it's well integrated; it's got a lot of good tools; good emphasis on nutrition, fitness and motivation; you can earn SparkPoints (a nice, little if maybe silly motivation), and more.

Beyond that, frankly, it becomes a little overwhelming. I consider myself capable of handling complexity, but SP is still a little confusing to me. I do plan on putting in more time on it because I think it's worth it. And I will probably switch from tracking calories on the Daily Plate to tracking everything on SP.

Here's my SP profile (not sure if you can see it if you're not a member).

One specific SP item that pertains to what I wrote yesterday regarding measuring your health is what they track: weight, body measurements, subjective wellness ratings, biometrics (like blood pressure, etc) and 3 fitness tests. The fitness tests are pushups in a minute, crunches in a minute and blood pressure after a 3-minute step tests. I like these additional measures and plan on testing myself on them this Saturday and then monthly after that.

Other tests I'm going to look at: The President's Challenge Adult Fitness Test and the Army Physical Fitness Test.

Other ways of assessing fitness include before and after pictures and body girth measurements. I finally broke down and took those last night, but I'm not going to share them until I have better results to pair them with ;-)

[from my weblog:
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    thanks, BR73 and RL :-)
    3199 days ago
    Welcome to the team, and welcome to Sparkpeople. Be sure to take advantage of all the great free online sources available here, such as the nutrition and fitness trackers. Also, the online community is great. We are all here to offer support when you need it, or celebrate your successes with you.

    Here are some links that will help you navigate the site and get started!

    * SparkPeople's User Guide:

    * New Member Tutorial Videos:

    * FORUM: "What Advice Would You Give to a New SP Member

    * For Additional Motivation:

    This is the welcome post I give to most new members I run into. It has some information that may help you navigate your way through all this site has to offer.

    Keep in mind, this site has many many tools. You do not have to use them all to their full capacity right off the bat. That is like expecting to run a 3 hour marathon the first time you go running. Not going to happen. Instead, take baby steps. What do you want to focus on first? For me, it was drinking water, and just tracking everything I ate. That's all I did week 1. Then for week 2, I decided what I wanted to add to it. Feel free to check out my blogs - I outlined my goals for each week as I went along. I still am.

    Any questions? The online support here is great. They can answer your questions. they can also provide you with motivation or support when you need it. Or we can just be there to celebrate your successes. I had such a party when my body fat percentage dropped from obese to overweight. When I posted the message, yahoo I am overweight, they got it. We are all in the same boat here.

    Feel free to explore my page if you would like. I have posted everything - photos, measurements, and even blogs about where to find ways to do at home body fat measurements. I also keep track of my progress - or lack there of - in my blogs.

    Just know we understand, and are here to help support you on your journey.
    3199 days ago
    Don't be overwhelmed with Sparkpeople....It is a great site. Just take your time and look around. The people on here are full of encouragement. Keep it up....
    3199 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.