It’s been 11 weeks since the #5ringdiet came to a close. And a lot has happened in that 11 weeks. Camp Promise-West was a rousing success, thanks to your donations and an incredible group of volunteers and campers.
In my personal life, I sold nearly everything, packed 3 suitcases and a backpack and moved to NYC. And while I haven’t kept the Charmin bed or even the majority of my #5ringdiet acquisitions, some things have stuck.
But first, a brief tribute to the items that didn’t make the move.
Polo Flip Flops.
You were good to me. But you also have zero arch support. Farewell.
If it weren’t so impractical to move 84 rolls of toilet paper across the country, I would’ve taken you with me. (For your intended use, not for sleeping on.) Instead, I sold you on Craigslist for $25. I know I bought high and sold low on that one, but I’ll take the hit since I’m sure you’ll serve that family well. And I’m happy they didn’t ask why I had so much TP and why it was so squished.
When it comes to a lot of products, I’m pretty brand-agnostic. The best price win most of the time. And while that’s still mostly true, the intimacy I felt with some of the #5RingDiet brands during that very vulnerable 24 days has had an affect on me that’s stretched into my post-diet life.
Chobani and I became very close. Not only because I ate the yogurt nearly every day (sometimes twice/day) during the diet, but also because @Chobani and I had a virtual dialogue that transitioned into a very real one. Remember that incredible care package they sent me? In fact, I’m wearing my Chobani yoga pants as I type this. I wasn’t a big yogurt-eater pre-diet and I have to admit I haven’t touched the stuff since the diet ended.
And had I written this post 3 weeks ago, I’m not sure I would’ve said Chobani was still part of my life. But I’ve since realized that’s mostly due to burn-out: I went from zero to nonstop yogurt in a VERY short amount of time.
Two weeks ago, I turned a corner in SoHo and ran into this.
It’s the Chobani yogurt bar. And although the friend I was with urged me to try it, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat another spoonful of yogurt just yet. (It took me 7 years to regain my ability to eat oatmeal after having my wisdom teeth removed.)
But even though I didn’t want to consume, I felt comfort in seeing physical space of a brand I’d only seen in grocery store shelves and at the Team USA House in London. Like running into an old friend in a city with very few old friends.
I’ve realized that even though I’m not in the mood for yogurt just yet, when my spoon and I are ready to take the plunge, Chobani will be waiting.
Charmin and Bounty
Toilet paper and paper towels were completely a decision based on price for me. With one-time use, isn’t 2-ply all that matters? But now I find myself automatically reaching for the Charmin and Bounty (as long as the price is reasonably close to other brands).
Logic tells me Charmin and Bounty aren’t going to succeed or fail based on my purchase, but the same part of me that got excited when @Charmin retweeted me wants them to know that they had my back and now I’ve got theirs.
I used to buy whatever Gillette blades were cheapest for my Gillette handle. Men’s were often cheaper so that’s what I’d go with. (Along with a confirmation of my conspiracy theory that they sell women’s razors for more because they’re trying to make more off of women on an identical product.) And occasionally I’d lose my Gillette handle and get a Schick one and do the same thing over again.
Guess what? Men and women’s blades are actually totally different. Maybe they don’t seem that way in the typical shower with unlimited running water and body wash, but start taking showers to the extreme and there’s a big difference.
During the #5RingDiet, I purchased a Venus razor with an Olay moisture strip because it came with a loofah and body wash. And the more I cut down the number of bottles of Dasani per shower and the amount of time I wanted to spend in the shower, the more I appreciated that Olay moisture bar. Lathering my legs wasted multiple bottles of water and lots of time, so I eventually got to the point where I skipped that step. And for the first time since I was 13, I actually noticed that moisture strip on a razor doing its job. With no lather and barely any water, I got zero cuts. For 24 days.
And even though my showers no longer involve bottled water and 15 minutes of strategizing before I get into the tub, my Venus razor has a new home in NYC.
Moving forced me to look at all of my #5RingDiet acquisitions and sort them into my “Move”, “Donate”, and “Dump” piles, accelerating a process that probably would’ve taken me years otherwise.
Sure, Charmin got dumped in Chicago, but somewhat to my surprise, it was in my cart two days later when it was time to restock my new bathroom. When their care package arrived at Camp Promise-West, warm and fuzzy feelings arrived with it. But I was surprised to see those feelings and memories resurface as I looked through a catalog of options on Soap.com.
I don’t know if these #5RingDiet brand allegiances will stick with me forever. (I don’t even know if they’ll stick with me through Sochi 2014.) But I do know my feelings toward all the #5RingDiet brands changed significantly during the 24 days of my diet, and for this handful of brands, the change was so significant it outlasted the diet.
Going into the #5RingDiet, I was expecting a challenge and hoping for a successful fundraiser. And I certainly got both. But I also got a totally new perspective on the power of brands. And a good fun fact for any ice breaker games I might be playing in the future.