Friday, December 30, 2011

SparkPeople and BabyFit

From Sarah C.:

With the new year fast approaching, perhaps resolutions are starting to enter your head. If staying healthy is one of them (and, really, shouldn't that be for all of us?), I have two websites for you to check out - SparkPeople and BabyFit. Both are entirely free.

I first discovered these sites in January 2008. I went to visit my OB/GYN for an annual checkup and to discuss possibly trying to get pregnant later in the year. When the nurse took my weight, my jaw dropped. I knew I'd gained a few pounds, but not THAT many. I saw the largest number I've ever seen on the scale. That, along with other fertility concerns, pushed me that I needed to make changes. I didn't want my weight to add to our issues.

Knowing that a drastic change rarely sticks. I wanted to start small. I knew I was too cheap to pay for a program and too lazy to attend any meetings. Thank goodness for the internet! I did some searching and found SparkPeople which offers diet plans for free. It's all online so I didn't have to worry about meetings. And, you can do it entirely anonymously if you want.

After signing up with SparkPeople, I inputed my basic information into the site - age, weight, height, goal weight and goal date of 10 months later. I took the advice of the program and started by just recording my food and workout without attempting any changes. This helped me to really see the calories I was taking in (way too many!!) and how many I was burning (clearly not enough). Slowly, I began modifying my diet and exercise following the recommendations on the site. After 4 months, I had already dropped half the weight I wanted to loose. I ended up plateauing here until I got pregnant but was totally okay with that. I knew I was much, much healthier than when I started.

During pregnancy, I switched to BabyFit to monitor my nutrition and exercise. The site is also run by SparkPeople (although the two websites are independent so you have to sign up separately), and information is adjusted to suit your needs before, during and after pregnancy.

Both sites offer great resources from articles to message boards. There are groups you can join, if you choose. When I used BabyFit, I found being part of a group of moms with the same due date to be helpful. Quite often someone was having the same issue as me and had helpful advice.

With the help of both sites, I'm proud to say I finally reached my goal weight in late 2009 - just a few months postpartum. Although I've haven't always been as good at sticking with my exercise routine over the last 2 years, my eating habits have definitely approved. I still check in to SparkPeople periodically to help maintain the weight loss and regularly visit SparkRecipes when meal planning.

If you are planning on joining the MiCH team on our 2012 Fitness Challenge, one of these sites might be a great way to track your progress. Of course, always check with your doctor (especially our pregnant mamas!) before starting any new workout program. Here's to a healthy new you in the new year!

SparkPeople
http://www.sparkpeople.com/ | Mobile Apps
BabyFit - pregnancy nutrition & exercise
http://babyfit.sparkpeople.com/

Spark Recipes - wonderful source of healthy (tasty!) recipes
http://www.sparkrecipes.com/

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1 Comments:

At December 30, 2011 at 4:01 PM , Anonymous Chris "SparkGuy" Downie said...

Hi Sarah! Thanks a bunch for the great blog about SparkPeople and BabyFit -- I really appreciate it.

Have fun continuing to reach your goals.

SparkCheers!

Chris (SparkGuy)

 

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