Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Circles of Support

Some time ago, I was contacted by a customer who had previously custom-ordered a little star pendant with a dangling garnet for a charm bracelet. This time, she wanted the same thing....only multiplied! She was part of an online weight loss support group, and decided to lead a weight loss challenge. The reward for participating in the challenge was to be one of my little star charms. I told her immediately that I loved the idea. I loved being part of something so positive.

I, myself, was involved at the time with my local Curves. Although walking is my preferred exercise, I found it hard to work up the motivation when it was very cold out, or when rain or snow threatened. I knew I needed to supplement my exercise in some way, and a flyer coincidentally arrived in the mail from Curves, offering a one-month exercise challenge. Perfect, I thought! And it was. Although the workout itself didn't necessarily challenge me, what I got out of it had more to do with all the interesting women I met there. It was a wonderful combination of conviviality and exercise -- a wonderful circle of support in many ways. But then, something strange happened: the owner disappeared. We all knew she had come down with pneumonia, and we heard that she had entered a hospital in another state where family members lived. But then, well, nothing.... She stopped answering emails from the staff. Her phone was shut off. There was no way to get in touch with her. No one knew if she had died....or run off to Mexico with money from her franchise. Sadly, the Curves had to close. It has reopened, and many of the same people are there, but I've become too busy with getting organized for a move, so I've sadly let that circle of support go.

Recent studies show that smoking cessation is aided tremendously by one's circle of friends and acquaintances. We all know that many people benefit from Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers. With the internet, now, even people who live far away from such traditional circles of support, can participate in online support groups, such as the one my customer was in. I ended up sending her 25 star charms for her fellow participants. It was an honor for me to play a "starring" role in such an endeavor. Viva all the circles of support, from small groups of friends, to online groups of strangers!


Paul Sears Photography said...

what a great idea - and the pendant is beautiful as well. I'm going to forward this to my wife and her mom, as we're all trying to lose a few pounds (ok more than a few)...

MEBDesigns said...

I wish all of you lots of willpower and success in getting in shape and healthy!