Saying goodbye to SparkPeople
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
I'm trying not to make any rash decisions, but this is something I have been thinking about for months, and so I believe I may finally bite the bullet and leave SparkPeople soon.
Why? Well, it's pretty simple, and also kind of complicated.
Don't get me wrong. I do love being able to earn points and awards and interact a lot with friends. But there are things that I used to use SparkPeople for that I'm not anymore. And these are things essential to my weight loss goals. They include tracking my food, my measurments (I do track my weight when I can), and utilizing support.
So, why am I not doing those things anymore? Again, this is kind of simple and kind of complicated.
I have Joy now. Ever since I gave birth to her 18+ months ago, things clearly haven't been the same. As I sit at my computer right now (one of the precious handful of times I may be able to do so this entire week), she is watching a TV show. I'll probably pause while writing this to put her to bed and then come back to it. So, what does that have to do with anything?
I used to be on SparkPeople (and other websites) A LOT. I would track my food throughout the day as I ate items so I wouldn't forget to add them later (I really do have a terrible memory). Tracking my food has been SO helpful! I also joined a bunch of groups I'd participate in regularly, and I wrote blogs several times a week on average. I read articles and interacted with friends through their blogs and discussion forums and comments on status updates and so on. I just don't have the time to do that sort of thing now. It's not as easy to do things like that on my smart phone.
And while I do have a smartphone, there isn't an app for SparkPeople for it. I have been waiting MONTHS and MONTHS in hopes that one would be developed. But it hasn't been. So, if I want to track anything on SparkPeople via my smart phone (it's a Windows phone, and it is much easier for me to use than my computer because of my daughter), I have to use the SparkPeople mobile website (which is not exactly as user friendly as I'd like or need), or I have to use it as I would the normal SparkPeople website (which is also frustrating to use on my phone). Or I pray that I get a chance to use my computer to track thigns and hope I don't forget what I wanted to track by the time I get to use my computer and have the time to do it and the motivation at that moment to do it. And that just hasn't been happening.
Plus, I have found MyFitnessPal. The website lacks some of the things I enjoy about SparkPeople. I didn't want to join it at first, feeling I was being disloyal, almost like a cheating spouse. But I had friends join it and use the apps, and I found it was really easy for me to track my exercises on.
I learned that I can also enter my recipes and nutrition information on the website the same way I have been able to here, so I can effectively track my meals. This is the one puzzle piece that has been missing since getting pregnant (when my meal tracking basically stopped). And this is the one puzzle piece that is GREATLY needed for me to be able to get back to losing weight.
I have thought about just leaving my SparkPeople membership open and using it sparingly when I can, trying not to feel guilty if I don't get enough points to satisfy myself or enough trophies, etc. I may do that, but I also feel like my lack of computer time has left me feeling as though I am being a terrible support to my SparkPeople friends, and I feel like YOU deserve better of me. But I don't think I can deliver it as frequently as I'd like.
So, I didn't want to just disappear, the way I have seen so many people do from SparkPeople. Then again, it's not like I've exactly been around here either. I did want to give an explanation, because I appreciate the things I've learned and the friends I've made here. And for anyone wanting to friend me on MyFitnessPal, let me know and I'll shoot you my user name privately.