Okay, I'll admit it right up front--I'm blogging for my SparkPoints because that will push me to the next level!
As I was thinking about how to get to that level, I remembered where it all started for me with SparkPeople in 2010. I didn't know anyone here; I hadn't joined any teams, participated in any challenges, or done anything other than read some articles and blogs. Then I saw the list of how you could get SparkPoints. Ohhh, a game of sorts, with ways to earn points! Yep, I was hooked; I was being sucked into the vortex of figuring out how to get the most SparkPoints in a day.
Silly? Maybe; you can't really "buy" anything with them except "virtual" products, after all. Still, it worked; earning SparkPoints kept me coming back. I started logging my food (it earns points, people!), and tracking my fitness (more points--score!). That made me more aware of what I was eating and my diet slowly changed for the better. I checked out some teams and joined them; I read articles, wrote blogs, posted on the message boards, commented on others' blogs. I began getting friends here, which kept me coming back even more.
Somewhere along the way, the SparkPoints became incidental (though I DO still like to earn them--hence this blog right now!). SparkPeople became a regular part of my life; I hated to miss logging in for at least a few minutes. And in the process of earning those SparkPoints and making friends, I lost weight and went from being a tired couch potato to an energetic runner who does half marathons. I lost a lot of weight; I'm right at about 104 pounds down now, a number that when I think about it blows my mind. Honestly, I never thought I'd be able to lose that much.
It still is a little weird to me that I have to look for small sizes now. When I started here, I had trouble finding sizes at Costco that fit me--many things did not go up large enough. I was so excited to get down enough that I could shop there! Now I'm starting to have the opposite problem: some things don't go SMALL enough there. It's weird, but it's wonderful, too.
And to think it all started with getting sucked into the SparkPoints vortex. I'm so glad I did!
EDIT: I don't mean to imply that the only reason I read and comment on blogs is to get the points (though that's a nice side benefit). Comments from others have been a huge encouragement to me, and I try to pay it forward to others whenever and wherever I can, especially if someone is just starting out or struggling, as well as commenting on my friends' blogs and pages. Now if only SparkPoints could be converted to dollars so I didn't have to work full time and could just Spark all day long . . .