The true value of Sparkepeople (As felt by me!)

Friday, March 08, 2013

I have been on Sparkpeople for a long time but a like a number of persons who start up but don't continue I found the site hard to navigate and understand. I read all these success stories and heard how important the teams and the spark buddies were in the process but nothing seem to work for me. I made a few friends but they didn't stay long and so i meandered along.

September 2011 I decided to try to change my life... slow and steady. My doctor had just diagnosed that I was hypothyroid; I also had PCOS and Celiacs. I knew losing weight would be difficult but I wasn't getting younger and I needed to do something about it. So I started back on Sparkpeople so that I could track my progress. I wasn't consistent. I found that I had the same problems; no real connection with anyone there, and sometimes the logging process was just too much. But I like the recipes and I the opportunity to blog so every now and again I would make the effort to use it.

In February 2013 I started to refocus on me and set out to try to log my food more consistently. I used "my fitness pal" for logging but I still liked the spark for recipes, information and reading about other persons so I also tried to Spark at least once a week. I discovered that logging food is tedious but useful and this week I used spark more than usual and I realised that... wait for it.... I NEED MORE PROTEIN! If I eat at the recommended levels for most persons the mathematics of calories in calories out was not the same for me as others. I read an very useful article on Sparkpeople on eating for hypothyroid and this led me to other articles and soon I had a body of knowledge that let me realised that I needed to focus not just on calories but on the makeup of the meal. I need more protein, less carb and to be careful what vegetables I used. I learnt not to eat raw broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, peaches, strawberries etc that they needed to be cooked or that they could impact my uptake of iodine. I learnt that I should NOT take my calcium tables close to the time I take my thyroid medication, I learnt that I needed Vitamin B (I take metformin so I need extra B12, D and Calcium.) I also learnt about the relationship between PCOS, Celiacs and Hypothyroid.

The true benefits of Spark I leant was not the ability to log (even though that was useful) it was the body of information in the articles and on the forums to assist me in improving my health. Yes I would still love to have a spark buddy to walk on this journey with me but even without the buddy I know I have Sparks "body of knowledge" to help me get there.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon all for commenting on my blog. Let's keep on pushing. emoticon
    1873 days ago
    It seems like a lot of people come and go on this site. I started to feel more connected when I began commenting on blogs and friending the people who wrote them. Then they commented on my blog back... and now I have 4 SparkFriends who I regularly hear from. I like the camraderie in having a smaller group who I hear from. Good luck to you!

    I too have celiac, btw!
    1873 days ago
    Fantastic that you found a wealth of information. We're all here for you ... I've been around these parts for a while...Some of the task we have to endure for the journey can be tedious but the light comes on and we realize we need to do them to be successful. Hang in there and have a fantastic weekend
    1873 days ago
    1873 days ago
  • KA_JUN
    emoticon It really is about boning up on our reading and apply the substantial amount of knowledge out there to help us achieve our goals!

    We never stop learning and growing, keep pursuing your personal goals! emoticon
    1873 days ago
    1873 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.