March 3rd, 2006 marked the start of my relationship with SparkPeople.com. I put my breakup with SparkPeople.com around the beginning of 2008, and we’ve only hooked up a few times since then. I consider SparkPeople.com to be an incredible experience, but our time came to an end and we had to go our separate ways.

I used SP religiously for more than a year, though I fell off the wagon a few times(surprise,right?). What I learned from SP has proven to be a life-changing experience, though.

I counted calories. I weighed myself weekly. I input everything I ate. Everything.

I got down on myself when I ate poorly. I beat myself up when the scale went up instead of down. I stopped inputting everything I ate.

The online forums and recipes and gazillion diet ideas are great, but they proved unable to appeal to me. They were useless in inspiring greatness from my inner skinny self.

SP inspired me to drink more water. They have a water counter and it suggests you drink 8 cups of it every day. I’d happily click it and notice when I went over by a lot. Drink too much water, and you’ll be peeing a lot. I drink more water now because of SP. I love chicken burgers on the foreman grill. SP’s calorie counter noted that wheat buns would shave off a few, so I switched. I love wheat bread now. I love all wheaty things.

People just starting out on their journey to weight loss should use SparkPeople.com. I think there’s a wealth of knowledge to gain in learning about calories and recipes and how much fat is in everything you eat.

I also think you need to break away from SP at some point. It can guide you the whole way, I guess, but I think implementing the great ideas needs to happen by not counting calories and inputting every single meal. For me, after a while you know what you ate and you know the kind of damage it will do to your weight loss plan.  You learn what’s fatty, full  of carbs and loaded with protein. To reach the ultimate goal, is to exist without having to check and make sure something fits within the scope of the recommended caloric allotment for the day.

My issue with calorie counting might need its own blog entry.

The bottom line is SP is good, but if you find yourself disenchanted with the struggle, then it might behoove you to stop and look at what you’re doing. Are you trying to justify eating something because it fits on the fat/carb/protein limits, or because it’s a healthy option? Making healthy changes in life doesn’t mean squeezing every calorie out of your allotment. I never did Weight Watchers, but assume this can be said about the points system too.

Then again, I could be totally full of shit, if counting things has led you to lose a ton of weight. As I’ve said before(and undoubtedly will again), it’s not about the weight for me. It’s about changing lifestyle choices. Counting, for me, isn’t the final answer. It helped me see my food in a better light though, so I’ll always look fondly back on my old weight loss flame.

Advertisements