CHO…M….G….The Best Care Package Ever.
Before I tell you why Chobani (the company, although the yogurt is good, too) is awesome, it’s important to know that Chobani is not paying me to say any of this. But if they wanted to click the button on the right and donate to Camp Promise, I wouldn’t stop them. :)
Drastically changing your lifestyle is a lonely endeavor. I’ve been the weirdo at dinner who doesn’t eat or drink. I’ve been the only person not in the swimming pool in some brutally hot weather. And I haven’t found anyone who will join me for lunch at McDonald’s on a daily basis.
But throughout this process I’ve been tweeting and posting to 5RingDiet.com. Sometimes (honestly, most of the time) it feels like I’m just putting things out into the ether. And then I’ll see an acquaintance in the elevator who says they’re following or get a reply on Twitter and I’m reminded I’m not alone (and that strangers in the elevator now know I was making my own bras out of Always.)
Not to get all academic again, but when I was in college, I wrote my BA on brand personalities. And while I’ve always been a big believer that brands have their own personalities, the 5RingDiet has really brought this to life for me as I’ve gotten so intimately acquainted with the 5RingDiet brands. (Some of whom I already used, some of whom I didn’t, and some of whom I actually avoided.)
And in the age of Twitter, these 5RingDiet brands can actually talk back. And when they actually do write back, I get excited like I’m at my locker and the captain of the football team just said hi to me. Because it means they know I exist and it makes this strange 5RingDiet relationship real.
But no 5RingDiet brand (so far) has gone the distance that Chobani has. They were the first brand to reply to me as I tweeted about my breakfast on the very first day of the 5RingDiet. And I got really excited about it. Too excited, probably, considering I work in advertising and know what goes on behind the Twitter curtain. But in the isolating world of the 5RingDiet, this was big encouragement for me in the beginning.
And we’ve had some good chats over the weeks. And then it was time to go to London and I realized that not only would I miss my morning dose of Chobani yogurt, I’d miss the little chat I’d have with @Chobani as I ate it.
And that’s when something crazy happened. They asked for my address so they could send me a package upon my return. I guess I was expecting some stickers and coupons or maybe a t-shirt, but when I sent them my address, I also included an explanation of the 5RingDiet and requested that more than anything, I was in desperate need of some new 5RingDiet-approved clothing to add to the rotation of just a handful of shirts.
What I got was a response asking for all sorts of clothing sizes and what I got in the mail a few days later was even better. If the 5RingDiet was a college and I was a homesick freshman, this was like the best care package anyone could ever get. I pulled out shirt after shirt—short sleeve, long sleeve, wicking fabric, polo shirts and even a sweatshirt—lip balm (which was great as there is no 5RingDiet lip balm), an awesome thermos…and then there were the pants. In case you haven’t noticed, the 5RingDiet had no pants until this point. And now there were 2 pairs of Chobani 5RingDiet yoga pants staring me in the face. 19 days without pants and now I have 2 pairs! Amazing.
Chobani could’ve thrown a non-Olympic t-shirt in a box with some coupons and I would’ve been happy, but I would’ve known they were just doing their job and responding to tweets but not following the stories of the people who wrote them. But the fact that every single thing in that box had the rings on it and were things I could actually use was so thoughtful, it was almost like a package from an old friend.
And I realize that sounds corny. But try giving up every product and comfort you use for 24 days—or even 7—and see if the handful of brands you’re allowed to use don’t start to feel like friends.