So I kept hearing the words "Spark People" floating around the web, and I knew it was a fitness website of some sort. I kept meaning to investigate, but I never got around to it.
And frankly, there was something that seemed vaguely amusing and possibly cultish about the name "Sparkpeople." I even got kind of a science-fictiony picture in my head: fit and cheerful aliens coming together to share tips. Live long and prosper, Sparkpeople!
actual sparks coming out of their heads.
But, it turns out that Sparkpeople are not aliens. And their website is pretty cool! It has all kinds of tools and advice and a whole community of determined people who have helped each other lose over 9 million pounds, burn 7 billion calories and drink 218 million cups of water. (No word, however, as to how many million bathroom trips were logged in the course of drinking all that water.) And they have a blog called the Daily Spark that has some great info in it too.
Anyway, the three niftiest things about Sparkpeople, in my opinion?
1. Their website is free and has a hell of a lot of stuff on it;
2. They don't promote a particular diet or exercise plan but instead they "encourage small steps," and stress goal attainment, accountability, education, and community;
And, best of all:
3. They have a new book that just came and they're giving us 5 FREE COPIES for a giveaway!
The only thing I'm not 100% on board with? According to their website content editor, "most everything we promote is upbeat and optimistic."
Well, nobody's perfect.
So what's in the book?
I haven't read it yet, but it apparently it crams a lot of the best and most helpful stuff from the website in there, plus some inspiring success stories, and it includes a 28-day plan to change your life.
Oh, and it's got "27 proven secrets of success." And I am SUCH a sucker for lists like that, that if I do nothing else I'm going to at least have to get around to finding out what the 27 secrets are. I'm hoping to see "eat more chocolate" and "take more naps" on the list. You think?
And if you'd like to win a copy of the book (Sorry, U.S. residents only) please leave a comment below! Contest closes Sunday, January 3rd, midnight PST, and I'll announce the winners (chosen by random number generator) on Monday. Do check back to see if you've won and email me by Friday the 8th, or I'll pick some new winners! Read more...