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GLEORIA's Photo GLEORIA SparkPoints: (72,053)
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Posts: 4,511
7/30/18 6:46 P

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When I think of health it is just not the absence of disease it has many dimensions including social. A picture of social health includes other people: getting outside the house, acknowledging people while walking or in public places, being a group, doing things with others, volunteering, going to church, family.


Information about nutrition and fitness allows informed choices to be made. For family life this can mean choosing different foods and activities to enhance yourself and others.

I only just realized that Sparkpeople is social media. I am still learning how it supports me maybe I need instruction on how to make it real. It is still virtual to me. There is interaction but their is nothing like the real thing, interacting with other people face to face.

I like to be supported by interactions.




-JAMES-'s Photo -JAMES- Posts: 11,650
7/21/18 9:47 A

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- What does good social health look like for you?

I don't need to be the life of the party, though I do like being the centre of a conversation on occasion, pretty normal I think. Not a wall flower and not "me me me" either. Average. I like my alone time to think and do, but I also like being with people.

I like doing things with people, it could be going bowling, or to a restaurant together, or working on a common cause, like helping a friend renovate a bathroom.

- What are health issues or goals that have been affected by social influences? In positive or negative ways? (Ex: Physical activity, food choices, smoking, etc.)

I'm a low carb person, and have influenced a few friends to try this. Most are not swayed, but a few have been, and with positive results, like loosing body fat, feeling better. Some have taken initiative, and figured out how to make new low carb things, like low carb desserts. I still love desserts, so that was a great return.

I've not had any negative return from social connections, but that is probably because I was determined from the start.

- How has SparkPeople helped you in terms of social support?

I am team leader of a few groups on spark people, low carb and ketogenic groups. Some interaction with team members has been positive, and I enjoy helping people, and that is good. My connection with some co-leaders has been very beneficial. Its like a private club. We exchange private notes very openly with each other on how to deal with certain disruptive members, and where to take the group, and on private non-spark things too. A true, though virtual friendship.

- In what way do you like to be supported? Actions, words, etc?

I like to be supported in two ways. One by members expression their appreciation for the help on spark people, just sentences like "thanks, that is a great breakfast idea" or just the support from fellow team co-leaders. In a visual world, where most of the communication is just typed words, it is sometimes hard to see the big picture. You get a feeling about someone, sort of reading between the lines, yet it can't be because all you have are the lines, but you get an idea, like "I don't think she's really committed to this diet". You bounce a note to a co-lead who says "yup, I feel the same way", and suddenly you are not alone in your thoughts, and it is a form of social support.


James


All time highest weight : 217 pounds

Starting weight : 195.0 pounds (June 7, 2012)
Final weight : 168.2 pounds (July 23, 2013)


 current weight: 178.5 
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MLAN613 Posts: 19,680
7/21/18 7:40 A

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- What does good social health look like for you?

I guess good social health is actually interacting with people in the real world, not online. Things like SparkPeople (SP) and Facebook (FB) are great ways to keep up with people, events, and healthy living but being with people in real life where you can touch and interact is needed.

- What are health issues or goals that have been affected by social influences? In positive or negative ways? (Ex: Physical activity, food choices, smoking, etc.)

I run (mostly a run/walk these days) and I am part of a run club. It doesn't matter one's pace, we have everyone from slower people like myself on up to multiple time Boston Qualifiers. We are single, married, in relationships, and have different income levels. We enjoy each other's company; running brings us together.

Of course, group training runs available weekly on several days and in the morning and evening.We have a FB page where updates are posted, questions are asked, support is offered. We go to races together and gather periodically. We have had Happy Hours, helped each other move, encouraged through life events (births, marriage, death, etc) and generally enjoy each other's company.

On an individual level, I participate in races regularly, sometimes with people from my run club and sometimes alone. I am currently single and love that I can go to a race alone but be in the company of people. We may never see each other again but I have had some great conversations across the many races I have run.

I have even made some friends during these races! The level of friendship varies from seeing if they're running a common race and meeting up to travel. A friend whom I met at a New Year's Day 5k a couple of years ago and I drove to a race 3 hours from us last fall and spent the weekend together and had a blast.

Probably the worst social influence I had was my now ex-husband. He and I met after I had worked really hard to lose 80 pounds. During the year or so it took me to lose, I was cranky because I was hungry but determined to get the weight off. He didn't know what I went through and made fun of me when I used my healthy habits like measuring my food. I regained the 40 pounds and haven't gotten it off because I don't want to be hungry again. (Side Note: I used an expensive crash diet place to lose the weight, not SP. Their attitude during my weight loss is also sullying my ability to lose.)

- How has SparkPeople helped you in terms of social support?

I didn't come here necessarily for social interaction. I haven't met anyone here in real life. I think I know of a few people I actually know who use the site but we don't interact here.

However, SP is honestly the best nutrition site out there. I have tried others during the 10+ years I have been a member and have stayed here. The price is right; you can't beat free! The newer option of a paid membership if you want an ad free experience is nice. The nutrition and fitness trackers are the easiest to use and there is a lot of great tools with the libraries of fitness videos and articles.

I have gotten some GREAT support on healthy living across the years on SP. And I think I have given some too. I know I have posted threads about personal things here because no one knows me in real life so I can post more anonymously than I can on FB or even Twitter.

If anything, the support for healthy choices I have gotten here is better than what I have gotten when I asked my doctor, well, now a former doctor of mine, for help/advice regarding weight. His advice? To workout an hour a day and eat whole grains. This was 20 years ago and I didn't know doctors didn't necessarily have specialized training in nutrition. And also, I now know that exercise is part of a healthy life but it doesn't necessarily lead to weight loss.

- In what way do you like to be supported? Actions, words, etc?

Actions. They show me what is meant. I have had too many promises in words that have become utterly meaningless

Edited by: MLAN613 at: 7/31/2018 (12:14)
Meghan in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


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SHERYLDS's Photo SHERYLDS Posts: 17,697
7/20/18 12:26 P

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I'm not a lonely person by nature
but social support, with respect to weight issues, is easier to deal with in a place where you don't feel physically exposed. In real life I am surrounded by people who tend to be openly judgmental and critical. Somehow, I know too many people who feel entitled to make unsolicited comments about a person's weight issues, where they would hesitate to say something about a person's other flaws. I don't know if it is because being politically incorrect has become acceptable, but it certainly feels that way to me.

In the real world, I have had 'well meaning' neighbors leave flyers on weight loss on my windshield (in my condo parking lot). I have family and friends who drag weight into every conversation, unsolicited. It makes me feel like a walking target, and an easy one at that. And while I am obviously obese, I am not that bad....the more obese a person is, the more cruel the comments become.

In an online environment, you can choose to participate in a discussion or simply read what people are saying. You have the choice to ask or say things you might be intimidated from expressing somewhere else. And if the 'conversation' becomes too sensitive, you can easily change your 'avatar', your identity, and your level of privacy with a few keystrokes. It gives a person the ability to reach out without feeling too vulnerable in discussing weight. Too many of us have let that topic be a double edged sword in our lives. A safe social media lets us acknowledge the problem with our lifestyle that led us to that point, and then have the tools and support to change things around...without being judged at every move.

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 7/21/2018 (18:13)
Sheryl, New Jersey EST, SUMMER 5% Challenge-KITCHEN CHAMPIONS


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PENGUINKISS's Photo PENGUINKISS Posts: 564
7/19/18 5:13 P

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I am an introvert that is pushing 60. I always have been. No friends outside my work. I like it that way and see no problems at all. Being social and doing guy nights would cause anxiety and other problems.



 current weight: 209.6 
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SPARK_COACH_JEN's Photo SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 66,133
7/19/18 2:32 P

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Hi everyone!

One of our writers is doing an article about how loneliness affects health and the importance of social support. If you've experience the benefits of social support, can you respond to the following questions?

- What does good social health look like for you?
- What are health issues or goals that have been affected by social influences? In positive or negative ways? (Ex: Physical activity, food choices, smoking, etc.)
- How has SparkPeople helped you in terms of social support?
- In what way do you like to be supported? Actions, words, etc?

Thanks!

Coach Jen

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down." Mary Pickford

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch."
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