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SparkPeople: A (5-Minute) History

This short video clip from Fox News Chicago does a great job sharing a brief history of SparkPeople. Our Founder, Chris "SparkGuy" Downie, reached his own goals by co-founding eBay's leading competitor and selling that company to eBay as their first acquisition.

Chris first developed the SparkPeople program to overcome his own social anxiety. A co-worker named Pat then used the same program and lost 50 pounds, which changed his life. Pat then went on to start a walking group and motivate many people. Seeing Pat's transformation made Chris understand that our daily actions and words impact more people than we realize.

Chris then decided to start a new company with the mission to SPARK millions of PEOPLE to reach their goals using health and fitness as a springboard to reach milestones in all areas of life (yes, this is where our name came from). Now, Chris considers himself to be just a small part of the SparkPeople team--and that team includes our millions of members supporting each other to reach goals.

Our team loves seeing real people reaching life-changing goals on the site every day--like those featured in this video. Thanks for your support, and have fun reaching your goals!

Member Comments

  • Seems like just what I was looking for and free to boot - makes me more inspired to lose the 22 pounds that is stubbornly hanging on. - 7/25/2014 9:40:52 AM
  • I appreciate this site and the help that can be found here. And the added bonus is, it's FREE!
    - 7/24/2014 2:31:13 PM
  • Just discovered this site today. I'm more hopeful than I've been in a long time. 100 pounds to lose and I think I can do it as long as I don't have to do it alone. Thank you so much. - 7/24/2014 1:52:23 PM
  • Wow...I had no idea HOW this website came to be but his generosity is saving lives. That is his life mission? THANK YOU! - 7/24/2014 9:42:15 AM
  • This site really helps to make a healty plan and fitness plan. It get you motivated and gets you started on your healty life. The best of all is that it is free. Thanks you sparkpeople for making the diferrence. - 7/23/2014 11:37:03 AM
  • Wow I feel hopeful in this moment!! This has given me a new drive to actually do something positive with myself and become rather than just continue to sit and complain or wish for something better! This is the help I have been looking for. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Life saving, seriously!! - 7/23/2014 11:15:26 AM
  • I've been using this site since 2008 and it by far one of my favorite places to go. Thanks Chris! - 7/22/2014 4:58:28 PM
  • Thank you to the man out there who is willing to help us with weight issues by developing and implementing the amazing Spark are awesome and we are truly blessed! - 7/22/2014 12:38:47 PM

  • I watch this video frequently when I get down to remind me how fortunate we have it as Sparkers on a journey to weight loss. That 5 minutes is all I need to refocus and move on. - 7/21/2014 4:27:17 PM
  • Wow, that puts everything in perspective. Love this program. Now have a SparkTracker. - 7/21/2014 3:25:00 PM
  • Words are not enough !! Thank You !! - 7/21/2014 1:43:01 PM
  • This is so inspiring I have at least 70lbs to lose I cant go more than a block without having to stop and I have a hard time controlling my appetite.I had gastrobypass 10 years ago and went down from 250 to 160 but each year the weight goes up just about 220 so I NEED HELP are there any excecises for me - 7/21/2014 9:24:51 AM
  • Hi my name is Dinora I've battle my wait for over 24 years, Roller coaster dieting, I'm now over 45 years old and know longer looking for a quick fix in weight loss. My goal is to start eating right and exercising so I may be able to keep up with my Grandchildren. On the 17th of July I joined Sparkspeople and today I finally work up logged onto the website and started the program. 80 pounds to loose. This is the start to my journey. - 7/20/2014 3:11:59 PM
  • I decided today to start over and give this weight loss journey another try. I know I'm worth it and I am hoping that this time I will be successful. My biggest hurdle is staying motivated! My job just did a 6 week Activity Challenge for which I was a captain of one of over 30 teams. We didn't win but I lost almost 27lbs in 6 weeks. The accountability was definitely a big motivator as well as feeling like I couldn't let my team members down. So now I'm back on here to continue the journey and I hope to lose 100 lbs. by next July! Thanks for having a place to come back to; I believe this is going to be my time to turn my life around. I don't think I could do without a website such as SparkPeople! Thanks!
    - 7/20/2014 11:39:01 AM
  • This is my second round as a Spark, I would like to thank Chris for providing this invaluable service for free all these years. - 7/20/2014 9:17:10 AM

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