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Friday, January 01, 2010

I have never been much of a blogger, and not one to put my personal life ‘out there’ for all to see but today I seem to be in a very reflective mood, and really want to share how I feel about SparkPeople.
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I have been with SparkPeople since September 2006. I found this site when I searched for a free diet site. I could no longer afford the site I had been using, and it was no longer working for me.
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As life always takes twists and turns along it’s journey, I have had a slow trip in the weight loss area of my life. The good thing is that I continue to get closer to a healthier lifestyle.
I just cannot express enough thanks to Chris Downie (Spark Guy) for keeping this site free for all of us. While my progress is slower than most, I do weigh 40 pounds less than my highest weight, and I continue in a good direction. If I had been on a paying site, I would have given up, as the monetary expense would not have been in proportion to the weight loss. Because this continues to be a free site, supported by the loving generosity of Chris, and by advertisers, I am still here and still living a healthier lifestyle than I would without the support, tools and resources provided on this site.
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Like most folks at SparkPeople, I have made MANY attempts to lose weight over the years. Thanks to SparkPeople, THIS time IS different. I have finally learned that it is not all about the scale, or what size clothing I wear. It is SO MUCH MORE!
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It is health, it is happiness, it is success, it is support, it is community, it is confidence, most of all, it IS a LIFESTYLE!
Just looking at my ‘START’ page, I see terms like TOOLS, HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, NUTRITION, GOALS, SPARK STREAKS, COMMUNITY, HEALTH NEWS . . . all terms which enforce health and success. I see these terms every time I log in to SparkPeople, which is at least twice a day. I begin and end each day with SparkPeople.
I love the fact that, while calories are counted, it is nutrition which is the focus. What benefit is it to stay within your calorie range when you are nutritionally malnourished? That is not healthy! I can easily see how I need to adjust my meals to include more or less of particular nutrients. My blood tests have shown low iron and vitamin D. I can track that, and eat foods to help bring things into balance. Now THAT is healthy!

I have always had to struggle with exercise, but I have learned that I am not a failure if I only do 5-10 minutes! That 5- 10 minutes is success! It is the start of something wonderful! It is a foundation which can be built on!

I have learned that no matter what choices I made, last month, last week, yesterday, today, or the last hour, I have RIGHT NOW to make a new choice! I don’t have to wait until tomorrow, next week or next month! I do a lot more living in the present, the moment. That is what we all have, right NOW! The past is over, even if it was just five minutes ago! The future is not here, it is unknown. The present is what we have, so I try to enjoy it. I love sunrises, watching the wildlife around my home, spending time with family and friends. I treasure even the small things like a smile from a stranger as you pass in the grocery aisle. It is often said that life is a journey, not a destination. If it is not enjoyed along the way, it will be missed!

I want to touch on one other feature of SparkPeople which I think is truly AWESOME! That is the SparkPeople fuel for improvement system. This is brought more to the forefront in the new book, The Spark! (I received my book yesterday, and cannot wait to read those chapters!)
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While the system has always been in place, I think many people miss it, even though they may experience the effects of it. Did you know that the four colors in the Spark Logo represent the Four Cornerstones of the System?
BLUE = FOCUS
RED = FITNESS
ORANGE = FIRE
GREEN = POSITIVE FORCE
I have loved this from the beginning! Here is a link to see this AWESOME visual!
www.sparkpeople.com/syst
em/index.asp

Be sure to click on the ‘See The System Pyramid’ in the lower right corner! This is incredible! It really drives home how SparkPeople can help you find your ‘Sweet Spot’ at the top of the Pyramid! I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this Pyramid. I hope that someday, SparkPeople will produce a 3-D model in the form of a paper weight, or something tangible, which I can hold in my hands and view every day. It is truly a lifestyle leading to health, happiness, and success!
May YOUR New Year be filled with health and happiness!
Thank you SO much Chris, and all of the people who make this wonderful site a reality and available to all!
Sandy

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SPARKGUY
    Thanks for sharing your great blog Sandy!

    I love hearing your thoughts on the SP System. Can't wait for you to read the book because I really wanted to finally bring the system to life in the book. The whole book is based on this (really all of SparkPeople is based on this it's just never been showed as much). I will be adding some type of pdf to the site somewhere that people can download and hang up.

    SparkCheers!

    Chri
    s (SparkGuy)
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    3678 days ago
  • HIKERSAN
    Thanks CURVYCC! I think a poster is a GREAT idea! I never even thought of that!!! Yes, even an Adobe file we could print out!
    Isn't brainstorming wonderful!
    Hope Chris reads your idea!
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    3679 days ago
  • KITT52
    Thanks Sandy for sharing your feelings.
    We have been here a long time together, as you know I started with the stages and have been a healthy life style that is hard to beat...I am a planner and still plan my meals each week. I track my calories everyday.....that really does keep me on track. not that every day is perfect but it helps me know where i'm at and when it's time to to say no to myself, that I have eaten enough......

    Have a healthy year


    Kitt
    3679 days ago
  • CURVYCC
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    Great Blog! The visuals were wonderful. Yes a tangible item depicting the Four Cornerstones would be helpful (are you listening Chris Downey?). A colorful poster or postable would even be appreciated (perhaps similar to the the monthly motivation calendars Adobe Printables).

    This is a wonderful sight for improving one's lifestyle.
    3679 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.