Better late than never...
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I am perpetually behind in reading my SparkPeople emails. I fell off the wagon during the County Fair, and I think I'm only back up to sometime in September. LOL I just reached one about a survey SparkPeople was/is doing. I have been filling it out, and I thought I'd post my long answers here.
What would you recommend for new SparkPeople members to help them reach their goals?
Check out everything available on the site, then use the things that most interest or motivate you. Baby steps are okay, so just start from where you are. Setbacks are inevitable, just pick up and start again as soon as you can.
We would love to hear your success story so that we may be able to share "your secrets to success" with others. Please provide in 500 words or less what made your weight loss so successful.
I was searching for some way to track what I was eating...I had hit 190 pounds, and it was nagging at me constantly. An online friend said she'd join me, and she mentioned SparkPeople. I joined that day, and the rest is history. I first set my goal at 150. I honestly didn't think I could do even that; I thought it was a nearly unattainable goal. I started tracking what I ate, and got a big wake up call. I wasn't eating the five fruits and veggies I *thought* I was, it was more like one a day! Discovering how many calories and how much bad fat was in certain things was another revelation. Using the Fitness Tracker, I found that I wasn't getting anywhere near enough exercise. (I was tired all the time, though, so I must be doing enough, right??) I let the site plan a strength training program for me, one that I could do with no equipment and no space. For a long while, I just did it. Surprisingly, the pounds fell away. I gained confidence, and adjusted my goal to 130. When I got to 140, I stopped thinking of weight loss and shifted my thoughts to health maintenance. It took a while, but the last 10 pounds are gone, and I feel fabulous. Thank you!!
We would love to hear more about what keeps you going to kept you going along the way. Do you have any special memories of events or people that made a big difference to you on your weight loss journey? Who encouraged you?
An online friend introduced me to SparkPeople. I have always been amazed at the positive attitudes and completely nonjudgemental helpfulness that is pervasive on the site. I have been supported be people who don't even know me. I haven't spent much time on the message boards, although I have tried to participate on my SparkTeams. I huddled once, when there was a lot of stress in my life, that I needed support, and there it was...notes on my SparkPage, SparkGoodies, personal messages...all from people holding me up when I needed it most, without even needing to know my challenge or my name.
I have friends, online and in real life, that also supported me along the way. They encouraged me to get new clothes when mine were abruptly too big. They helped me figure out how to change my eating and exercise habits. They made sure I knew I was doing well, even when I wasn't so sure.
I just hope I can give back what I've gotten this past year!