Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spark People - Totally FREE Help!

Throughout my dieting crusade, I've always tried to find tools to help me with my weight loss. I've bought books, I've looked through thousands of online support sites, I've talked to people - most of it costing me quite a chunk of change. If I could go back and recoup all of the money that I've spent on books, DVDs, exercise equipment - I could pay for a semester of college! The saddest part is, that most of it has been collecting dust since the day I bought it.

Now, I'm beginning to find that my greatest tools are the new friends that I'm making in my "mommy & me" group, and my Wii Fit. It's funny to think that a video game has been giving me the motivation to get off my fat ass and do some exercise. I own a treadmill, I own a home gym, I own dumb bells, yoga equipment, exercise videos/DVDs and yet the only thing I use is my Wii Fit..LOL

In my first post, I mentioned that almost everyone and everything I've ever looked to for guidance in my weight loss journey has told me to keep a food journal but I really have never stuck with it. However, this past week, I recouped a tool that I found a couple of years ago - and like everything else, it just basically got put on the back burner. A few years ago, while doing an online search for FREE dieting websites I came across one that actually had some potential. This website?

This website really did help me a couple of years ago. For the two months that I actually stuck with it, I lost over 20lbs. This website really does have it all: meal plans, a food journal, exercise plans, exercise journal, support groups, calorie counters, helpful tips, a weight loss blog, you name it - they got it. Being that my "spark" of losing weight has come back to me, I decided it was time to blow of the dust and set up my account again. For the past few days I've been logging all of my food and exercise - and I'm amazed at how much my fat ass is throwing into my mouth. The first day that I tracked my food - I ate a whopping 2181 calories!! It was like a big slap in the face, and since then I've stayed at or below my 1200 calorie limit. Everytime I pick something up to eat, I think to myself - what's this going to look like on my food journal? It really is a powerful mindset to be in.

So, I know I'm contradicting some of my earlier posts about how I couldn't be bothered to track all of my food - but this really is something that's VERY important to someone losing weight. Another thing that appeals to me with the site is the fact that you earn trophies for the little accomplishments that you do. Being that I'm very competitive by nature, it's a good motivator for me. I like to see how many points I need to get to earn my next trophy - and then I focus on getting it done.

The website works in stages. You start out on a stage called "fastbreak". It's this stage that you set little goals to help you get into the mindset of doing little things like drinking more water, packing your lunch, taking a walk - just little things to get you started. Then after you've grown accustomed to doing the little things, you move up to a more intense level, and then get comfortable with that, and so on and so on. You can utilize as many of the tools on the site that fits your preferences, and even if it's just for the food and exercise journal it's well worth it, being that it doesn't cost a single dime to use. What's better than free? So, there's my tip of the day or week I guess...join sparkpeople!!

Till next time!

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