Sparkpeople Didn't Change Your Life- YOU DID

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I seldom do this. By "this" I mean respond to the Sparkmail of the day. This is because I often do not read them. I know! I am a horrible Sparker. However, today's got me thinking and I wanted to share those thoughts.

This isn't even really a response to the Sparkmail in question. It's more... a response to the idea of crediting the "tool" with a job well done. To me, Sparkpeople is just that: a tool. It's a wonderful tool. It is, in my opinion, the best fitness and weight loss tool of it's kind in the whole wide world. Weight Watchers is to an iPhone what Sparkpeople is to a Star Trek Tricorder. You just can't compare the two.

But it's just a tool. You, my friends, are the wielder of the tool. A tool won't work if you don't pick it up. The very existence of SP's calorie counter doesn't compel you to use it. You are the one making the effort. A tool can be misused. The community features of SP are wonderful, but I sometimes see some of the most beautiful and lionhearted of the members falling into the trap where all their energy and ability to motivate is turned outwards to other people while they leave none for themselves. You are the ones responsible for reminding yourself to get out there and be active, and not to allow your enthusiasm for encouraging and interacting with others on SP trick you into becoming more sedentary instead of less.

Finally, a tool can be forgotten. It can be left in the rain to rust. You, my Awesome Sparky People, are the ones who keep coming back! And if that tool rusts a bit, you're the ones who pick it up, clean it off, and get back to work.

So yes. By all means, we can all say that "Sparkpeople changed our lives" in the same way I might say "My Senso coffee pot changed my life!" (It did, too. I'm a total coffee addict. Push a button, get a cup of coffee? AWESOME.) But at the end of the day, remember... the REAL change lies with you. You did it. Or, you are DOING it. You are the one who really deserves the kudos.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon and thanks for the reminder! I tell everybody I lost weight because of using SP... and sometime I forget to include myself in the pat on the back!
    3551 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10983235
    Love this, you are so right! I've signed up for spark before with no results because I wasn't putting in the work. When I do the work and participate I see results ! I think it's just so ingrained in some of us that we can't give credit to ourselves. Thanks for this blog!
    3552 days ago
    LOVED This blog! It struck a chord with me because the "title" of my spark page is just that.

    I think, though, in a way, SparkPeople helps me change my life. I do not have ANY support at home or in my community, and so Spark has given me just that. For me, it goes much farther than the trackers and articles, it's the people that make the difference.

    Thank you again for this blog. WE are the change that happens, not Spark. Spark just makes the trip worthwhile and supported!
    3552 days ago
    Thank you so much for this blog! You said exactly what I've been thinking! I see so many people with praise for SP instead of praise for themselves and I just want to shake them (in a good way of course!). YOU did this! YOU! So praise your damn self for once and see what a strong person YOU are!
    3552 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9543726
    Great response. Personally, while I love Spark, I can't use all the aspects of it without actually hurting my own weight loss journey, so I use what I can and leave the rest to myself. I've never claimed that I've lost weight BECAUSE of Spark, only that they have helped me along the way.
    3552 days ago
    thank you yes, awesome tools and get support if you use and seek it ;p
    3552 days ago
    Thanks for sharing! It is us that changes. SparkPeople is a tool to keep us on track and motivate us and encourage us to keep going! Have a wonderful day!
    3552 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.