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    emoticon Greetings and emoticon - I'm really glad you've joined us!!

    Congrats on getting active with SparkPeople - it's a great community, wonderful resources and fantastic support- it's also lots of fun and easy to make friends because we're all in this together.
    Sometimes the best way to start is to just pick a small goal such as drinking 8 glasses of water a day or eating 5 fruits and veggies plus a small exercise goal such as increasing whatever you've been doing by 10%. There's a great article explaining how one or two changes can lead to long-term success - you can read the article at
    ost=one_healthy_change_leads_to_another . I like the way a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is emphasized here instead of a 'quick fix wonder diet' and another nice thing about SparkPeople is that we have permission to be human - we don't have to change everything at once or be in a hurry to reach our goals. Take a few baby steps and then a few more and before you know it, you'll have completed a long journey - I hope you enjoy this community as much as I have - it teaches us how to make positive lifetime changes because that's the only thing that will work over time!
    Please check out SparkTeams - you can choose them by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location, common goals such as a certain weight loss or several other ways. I'd also like to invite you to join the Virtual Walk/Run/Cycle Thru the US @ SparkTeam - it's a really fun way to track your walking while you travel 'virtually' across America from Virginia to Oregon. Go to the SparkTeam page at
    ndividual.asp?gid=19805 for more information. If you're a fan of The Biggest Loser reality television show, you might enjoy the Biggest Loser Fans SparkTeam - you can find it at
    roups_individual.asp?gid=3822 - whatever you choose to do, I hope you find teams of people who share your interests!
    If you ever need any help using features of the site, there are tutorial videos under the HELP section that can show you how to use the features of the site and great FAQs for many topics. You can also find them on the START page and several other places on the site. I wish you the best on your journey!!!

    3022 days ago
  • v no profile image GREATGRAD
    Thanks for the warm welcome! I look forward to getting to know everyone better as the pounds start to come off! Day 1 was a success and we're halfway through Day 2 -- so far, so good!
    3022 days ago
    Howdy and let me second that welcome. I agree, the trackers are essential to success. And I also feel strongly that the Community is what will enable you to stick with this journey all the way through to a successful appearance at your daughter's graduation and beyond! I wouldn't still be here if it weren't for the encouragement of my Spark Friends! Join a few Teams, try out a Challenge or two and post, blog and reply to posts and blogs, offering encouragement to others, as that will help you as much as it helps them! Also, read! The articles from the experts can help dispell any misconceptions you may have about nurtition, wellness, weight loss and fitness. Even though I thought I was an "expert" on dieting, I sure had gaps in my understanding! And I have let go of the notion that this is a "diet"! This is for life! So get Sparking! See you around the site!
    3023 days ago

    Welcome to Spark! It is a wonderful place to have a journey to great health!
    I myself have been here since Valentines Day and have lost close to 60 pounds. If you have not checked out the food and exercise trackers please take the time and do so they are terrific tool for your journey. There are great recipes to use, my family loves the diet coke sloppy joes. There are great articles to keep you informed, wonderful inspiration.
    The best thing however is the people. They are the most motivation positive group of people around! So make sure you get a Spark page add some friends join some teams and challenges. There is about to be a new biggest loser challenge starting first part of September check it out!
    Welcome to Spark you will love it here!
    3023 days ago