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KU2KI3's Photo KU2KI3 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/17/09 6:03 P

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I sent a message to your email regarding this subject.

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XOAKIMA's Photo XOAKIMA Posts: 23
5/17/09 4:32 P

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Wow, I just want to say thank you to everyone who responded to my question! It's funny because I have been on SparkPeople and on another website that just focuses on blogging/journals (Xanga) for at least 3 years now...but I haven't lost any weight. And when it came to picking a topic for my paper for this class that I'm in, I thought, why not research how these sites actually do help people. I mean, I know it's a great support system and it provides great information, but it's just never worked for me I guess because I just don't put the effort into it. Maybe since I'm taking the time to reflect on this, and write about this, and read what everyone has to say, I will actually start to be more involved, and perhaps actually lose this weight. Thanks again everyone!!!

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DISNEYSMOM's Photo DISNEYSMOM Posts: 6,580
5/17/09 12:54 A

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Spark has absolutely helped me. I have tried many times on my own in the past to lose weight, but I always tried to change everything at once and couldn't hold onto it. I joined other weight loss websites that you have to pay money for and they provide you with menu and exercise plans, but I couldn't motivate myself to use them. I belonged to a gym for 15 years that I never used. The longest I lasted at any attempt was 6 weeks (once) usually I lasted a week or less. I even studied fitness and nutrition and received a certification! I just couldn't apply what I had learned to myself.
With Spark its different. From the first day I joined I've felt surrounded by support from people I had never met before. Strangers believed in me and were encouraging me in a way that my friends and family never had. They let me know that I am not alone and that its ok for me to have a bad day once in a while, it doesn't mean I've failed, I just need to pick myself back up and keep going. I have never known this kind of support before. And because these people didn't know me (I didn't even reveal my first name to anyone for a while) it was safe for me to reveal things that I would hesitate to reveal to people. And through the support and posting and blogging, I have developed friendships with people that I know are here for me during this journey, and I value their advice and encouragement, and try to give back to them and others in return.
I love the nutrition and fitness trackers and the articles, but I have honestly seen them on other sites, its the community here that makes the difference. When I wake up in the morning and when I get home from work, one of the first things I do is check my email, knowing that I am going to have message boards to respond to of people who have just joined or need advice, I know that I am going to have messages from my friends on my page or my blog, I know that there will be goodies waiting for me. This is what drives me, what motivates me to keep going, knowing that they (you)are all out there cheering me on and hoping for me to succeed. Because my Spark Friends know that I can do this, I know I can do this; because they believe in me, I believe in me. emoticon

~Michelle~
Co-leader Gettin' Thin in 2010 & SP Vision Collage Gallery
SIS Challenge: Fireflies Co-Leader
Proud DONE Girl

2010 Walking Events:
April 11 Carlsbad 5000 done!
April 25 MS Walk done!
May 1 SDHS Walk n Roll done!
May 8 Aflac Iron Girl 5K done!
May 16 Bridge Walk done!
June 26-27 Relay for Life
Sept 4 Disneyland 5K (run)
Sept 18 Heart Walk
Oct 24 Step Out for Diabetes
Nov 19-21 3Day Walk



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CHAVELA5's Photo CHAVELA5 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/16/09 9:20 P

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definately everything that everyone has said i have learned so much from everyone here and not just on weight loss but other issues as well we are not alone in our troubles

'"FITNESS IS A JOURNEY NOT A DESTINATION. IT MUST BE CONTINUED FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE." DR. KENNETH COOPER. "IF YOU CAN SEE IT YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT. DON'T LET ANYBODY TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN'T DO IT." JENNIFER HUDSON DoneGirlSexySpinachTeam


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GRANDMAAMIE's Photo GRANDMAAMIE Posts: 44,049
5/16/09 1:43 P

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For me I found sparks at the lowest time in my life I was gaining weight and my blood sugars were way out of control.
I had just lost my job of 20 years plus I had an on the job foot injury and was battling with the company ..
I just started surfing the web and came across spark people .
Using sparks I learned to control my sugars and with the support of my team lost a few pounds .
But most of all I gained back my integrity as a person.. I realized I was worth being me!!

Edited by: GRANDMAAMIE at: 5/16/2009 (13:48)
.* ) .*) -::-
(.(*. ♥.*)
{.+*+AMIE+*+*+{ ;. .*}.* .**+* SORRY ABOUT CAPS NOT YELLING VERY POOR EYE SIGHT DIABETIC +++++ HUGGS

Stop living life for what's around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street.
***************************

NEVER LOOK DOWN AT ANYONE UNLESS YOUR HELPING THEM UP!
****************************

This life is yours. Take the power
to choose what you want to do .


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CHILEX3 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/16/09 12:30 P

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I think the biggest thing Spark has done for me is make me realize this isn't a journey I have to take by myself. I don't use the tools available on this site as much as I should but just knowing if I'm having a bad time I can come here and vent all of my doubts , fears or problems and someone will always come to my rescue has been a tremendous help to me. The information Spark provides about exercise, nutrition,health issues.ect is worth coming to this site even if you have no problem with your weight.It just makes me feel so good when someone is having a problem or needs information and I can respond to help them out. There have been many many times when I've come to realize that my problems aren't so big and what I thought was a life shattering event really wasn't just by reading other people's pages or blogs. The people on this site have taught me what trulycompassionate,helping,knowledgeable "friends" are.

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ALMOM68's Photo ALMOM68 Posts: 62,774
5/16/09 12:10 P

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Yes, sparkpeople has helped me to make progress towards reaching my goals. The online tools for tracking fitness and food (as well as other goals) have helped me tremendously. Also the source of good information on all these healthy topics - foods, exercise, etc. etc.. The online community is a great sense of support and inspiration! emoticon

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.




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RAMONA62's Photo RAMONA62 Posts: 332
5/16/09 10:58 A

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I like the support. I like the different ideas for exercise and different foods. Makes me aware that in this big lonely world...we are not alone in the is struggle....

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LORIELP's Photo LORIELP Posts: 2,121
5/16/09 10:46 A

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Yes Sparkpeople.com has helped me in many ways. First of all it is always there for me day or night. Next it is free no excuses about... I have no money.
It has kept me focused for the long haul. There is always something new. There is tons of support, as much or as little as I want and when I want and need it. Lastly it is a great way of sharing with others.
I love spreading the spark! emoticon

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DAVONNA1's Photo DAVONNA1 Posts: 715
5/16/09 8:40 A

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Yes I was doing it on my own for a while was getting burned out then slowed down to a crawl I then started using the Nutrition tracker and the fitness tracker, I was never one to do support groups till I joined, they help me push myself and I feel as thou these people are my team mates, so I don't want to let myself or them down, it's almost like an accountability for you actions. I have lost 103 lbs and most of that has been since I have started sparking.

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GHW1968's Photo GHW1968 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/16/09 7:04 A

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Yes!

Nutrition Log: Helps to keep me on track and focused with what I eat. Keeps me aware of my carbs, fats, fiber and protein. Makes me conscious of every single thing I put in my mouth.

Exercise Log: Makes me feel accomplished.

Friendship: I have made a few wonderful friendships, but one in particular keeps me motivated and on track. This has truly changed my life.

Informed: The articles and blogs and message boards are educational, interesting and fun.

Points: In some weird, crazy way...they motivate me. I want to earn points. It gives value to everything I do. Silly but true!

Geralyn

"Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly."
-Steven Covey



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ZUCCHINIQUEEN's Photo ZUCCHINIQUEEN Posts: 9,610
5/16/09 6:43 A

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The education through informative articles, and the interaction with others who have the same weight problems are invaluable to me.

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TORNADOGIRL's Photo TORNADOGIRL SparkPoints: (0)
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5/16/09 3:04 A

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I love being part of Sparkpeople but perhaps for reasons a bit differet to others.
Spark is my social life as I am quite isolated in the area where I reside. I love the articles, the points, the goodies, the bloggings, all that is great. But ............most of all I love the friendship of the gals I am in communication with either daily or weekly. I share my victories and frustrations and know that I always have a willing ear.

For all these years I've had him on my back, this debt can not be paid with all your jack......The Pogues.

My life is falling to pieces, somebody put me together......Faith No More

I'm reckless, so reckless, God save me from this madness.......Papa Roach

I'm walking on broken glass from the wreckage of my past.....Papa Roach

I see a red door and I want it painted black....Mick and Co.

Her life was saved by rock n roll ......Lou Reed.
BORN2BLOSSOM's Photo BORN2BLOSSOM Posts: 924
5/16/09 12:49 A

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Spark has been an amazing help and gave me the guidance I really needed when I felt so lost in the whole weight battle for the last decade or so. When I joined, I was already on the path to bettering myself and had lost almost 60 lbs just by trying to be a little more active and eating healthier. But there were still a lot of areas I needed help with, and that's where Spark came in. In my opinion, Spark is the most comprehensive website when it comes to weight loss. All the articles, newsletters, recipes, tools, various interactive features and other helpful tidbits made the whole process a lot less intimidating to tackle, and made it pretty enjoyable! Having my calorie range automatically figured out for me and having the option to keep track of my daily food intake and exercise has been the KEY to my weight loss success. In the past I think "cheating" was too easy for me. I didnt have to answer to anyone so to speak and didnt have to show my progress to anyone, so if late at night I snuck in a bowl of ice cream, I tried to pretend it didnt happen. But being here, I make sure I log every little thing I eat and took it a step further by making my food journal public. Knowing that other people might look at my food journal is just extra incentive to try to do my best as often as possible. Accountability plays a huge role in weight loss, and that's exactly what this websites many features provide.

And speaking of the other people here, I think the Spark community is without the doubt the best and most supportive weight loss community around. I've learned the hard way how difficult going this journey alone is, and I really only realized the importance of having other peoples support and encouragement once I joined this website. The added bonus that I never even considered is how good it feels to know that I can sometimes reach out other people and support and encourage those in the beginning of their journeys. I also really appreciate being able to unload and write a blog when something is weighing on my mind knowing that most of the people reading it will know what I'm going through and can offer their own insights encouragement. And to be able to offer that same type of support to other people has been wonderful and almost healing in a sense. Dealing with weight issues can be a really isolating experience if you don't know anyone going through it or if you have trouble opening up about it, and I know for myself personally I would go most days feeling depressed and down on myself feeling like I was the only one going through this dealing with certain issues. But to be able to come here and find an entire community of people who have not only been where I have been and have gone through similar experiences, but who have been able to come out on the other side and truly turn their lives around has been such a motivation and inspiration to have my own success story so I can hopefully help other people to realize that they're not alone and they can do this too!

I also have to agree with KEENAP1 on the anonymity comment. I tend to be a very private and guarded person with my feelings and have always had great difficulty opening up and discussing personal or difficult issues with those I know in "real life", but have found it liberating to be able to do so here. It's actually helped me to be more honest and open in real life which is another benefit I never expected!

By becoming more familiar with all of Spark's features and tools, it really has helped me to realize that this has to become a entire lifestyle change and not some silly fad diet. I have the freedom to eat what I want, in moderation and as long as I can fit it into my range. And just because I have the freedom to "eat whatever I want" I never abuse that "privilege" if that's what you want to call it. Because by learning everything I have, I choose to eat healthy and to live a more active lifestyle because down to the core that's what I actually WANT for myself. I want health and happiness and this website has really shown me why it's worth it and more importantly, why I'm worth it!

emoticon

Edited by: BORN2BLOSSOM at: 5/16/2009 (00:58)
"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live" ~ Dorothy Thompson

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." ~ Marilyn Monroe
LADY_JOSIELOT's Photo LADY_JOSIELOT SparkPoints: (0)
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5/15/09 11:58 P

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Sorry if this sounds silly, but I couldn't have said it better than the both of you, and I agree wholeheartedly with all that you both have said. :)

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." -M. Gandhi


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BLUEROSE73's Photo BLUEROSE73 SparkPoints: (149,624)
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5/15/09 11:50 P

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It has been an incredible help. Early on in all my weight loss efforts, I tend to have panic attacks. What if I can't do this? I am not seeing any progress, so why keep trying? Like most of us, I have underlying emotional issues that contributed not only to my weight gain, but inability to loose it. My extra weight is a protective layer. Giving it up is harder than you would think.

However, when I would have these issues, I would not only journal to work through some of my internal arguments, I would also post a public journal. It would help me get these issues out to others who can understand where I am coming from. I would get support from someone else who is stuck there also, or who has made it past these issues. Not some skinny little twig who doesn't get it.

The anonymity of these online sites also helps me to be open and honest. I can say what I feel, and not really have to worry about it coming back to me when I am feeling better and am out for a night of dancing.

I am finding my "real life" friends not very supportive right now. It is not their fault. I am expanding into new interests. They do not really understand them. However, online here if I am having issues with weight loss or fitness, I can ask for help and am pretty much guaranteed an answer. If I were to ask people in my regular life about running, they would look at me funny and wonder why I would run at all unless I was being chased. They mean well, but this is something they either don't need to worry about or are not worrying about in their lives right now.

This site provides so many useful tools besides the community support as well. I can take a much more active roll in my weight loss. I am not being told eat this now, and that tomorrow. If I eat some ice cream, I need to work it into my nutrition for the day, rather than feel like I failed, so just give up for today.

Sorry about the long post. Hope it helps. Feel free to sparkmail me if you have any questions you would like to ask. I am willing to discuss pretty much anything about what brought me here and how I am progressing since being here.

Katrina

Katrina
Saskatchewan Time Zone

You can not change yesterday - it's done.
You can only dream of tomorrow.
The only day you can change is today.
What are you going to do today to reach your goals of tomorrow?

It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it GREAT

Go little Turtle Go!


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ANEPANALIPTI's Photo ANEPANALIPTI SparkPoints: (1,386)
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5/15/09 11:30 P

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Sparkpeople has been absolutely 100% the cornerstone to my success. And it's so subtle. #1) I put in my expected calorie burn and my goal weight by X date and it figures out my calories for me. #2) It's a RANGE, not a concrete set in stone number that I can use. #3) The nutrition tracker because EVERYONE adds in all these foods, I only sometimes have to add in all the info of my foods, it's usually in there! #4) My sparkpage- I have my food and exercise tracker on public, so that keeps me accountable... knowing that people might look at it! I blog weekly, keeping people updated, I make sparkfriends, I comment on other people's pages, they comment back. It makes you feel not alone. It's a very personal journey but having this community of people who are going through similar and being able to support each other through it all is motivating! #5) The Sparkteams! I learn so much from everyone, it's instant support network.... #6) Spark articles, I can always research something I'm wondering about and find out new things about nutrition and exercise... #6) Sparkpoints. :-D Keeps you involved all the time. Plus the site is so organized, so easy to navigate, such pretty colors, I feel at home here, like this is NOT just a quick fix we want your money. Sparkpeople actually CARES about teaching you the right way to do this... NOT a diet, changing your lifestyle!



November 2008 C25K Grad
***C25K Team Leader***
XOAKIMA's Photo XOAKIMA Posts: 23
5/15/09 11:14 P

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Hi everyone, I'm doing a paper for my sociology class about the effects of online communities on weight loss, and I could really use your help. If you have been using SparkPeople and you think it's helped you lose weight, could you reply to this post and explain how exactly it has helped you? Or if it hasn't helped, can you explain that as well? Feel free to go into as much detail as you want, the more elaborate you are, the better. You'd be helping me out so much! Thanks in advance!!!

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