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I got this idea from one of my teams. I give myself a penny for every spark point I earn. So if I earn 55 spark points for today I will put 55 cents in my saving jar. I use this money to buy something special for me as a reward for my hard work. You will be surprised how fast it adds up!
I have been on the SP site a grand total of 3 weeks even though I "joined" in January of 2010 and it's now December! The more I've explored and interacted, the more I've received back from the other members here. The key is logging in every day and interacting. You DO feel a part of things here that way.........and you DO get the support you need in your weight loss journey. Good luck!
I find that using Sparkpeople more than just once in the day helped me maintain and lose my weight! I know there are times when we can't always do that but when I log in more, I feel more accountable of my day.
Every day I try to get at least 100 Spark Points. Cardio 2 hours and strength training will add up to 34 points and you are a third of the way there. The rest are earned by reading articles, huddling with your teams and commenting on message board and blogs! You can do it!
This is especially good for breakfasts and leftovers. If you eat the same meal often just copy it to another day. You can change your mind and move it on. If one or two items change use delete multiple foods. So much faster to track.
Each morning when having my coffee I sit on computer and use my tracker to plan out my days food that I know I like and is healthy food from my refrigerator and pantry items so that I know what I am to eat and I have been more successful keeping within calorie range by using the tracker this way. I also feel more satisfied with what I do eat.
I spend about 30 minutes in the morning on sparkpeople reading articles and blogs while I drink my coffee. It really helps me stay motivated. I started sitting on my exercise ball while I'm reading and you'd be surprised at how it engages your muscles even though you aren't "exercising"
I try to earn 50 sparkpoints each day. It brings some balance to my sparkpeople use because on days when I get a lot of fitness points I use the other features less, but when I have a slow fitness day I do a lot more reading, blogging, and commenting. (It also makes me feel proud to earn the inevitable spark points trophy for that month). :-)
I never understood why people were so bent-up about teams, until I found the right one with an active community that did games and contests I LIKED! So, don't just look at the title when joining but also look at the discussion boards. And keep trying! Sooner or later, you'll find exactly what you need.