Determination. Dedication. Motivation. Inspiration.
All are key factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reaching goals, especially when we face the daily challenges of trying to eat healthy, getting enough exercise, or shedding a few unwanted pounds. But we may also realize it’s harder to take such a journey alone.
One group dedicated to supporting and motivating one another through these difficult daily tasks was created to serve members of the popular Weight Watchers program from all over the United States. This movement, #wwsendthelove, was started by one selfless member of the program to help others through their own personal weight loss journeys. Not only is the group’s story quite inspirational, it’s gaining in popularity every day.
“Weight loss journeys can be a tough and sometimes an uphill battle,” says Elfster exchange organizer Stephanie Encin, who has created the Weight Watchers Send the Love campaign to support and inspire her community. “Knowing you have a buddy who can not only relate to you, but who is also rooting for you can make a huge difference and have a great impact on your success. A popular hashtag from the Weight Watchers app is #bettertogether. Send the Love was born from the idea that we really are better together.”
“I was inspired to start the Weight Watchers Send the Love group [using Elfster] after seeing a similar exchange on Instagram,” Stephanie explains. “I’d seen a few IG users who are also WW members post photos of care packages they had sent to one another to offer support and encouragement on their weight loss journeys.”
“I’ve been an online member of WW since February, so I don’t attend meetings in person,” she adds. “The online community for all WW members, called Connect, is accessible to members through the WW app. Connect has been a vital part of my success on the program. On the app, members post their inspirational stories, before/after photos, meal ideas, triumphs, and struggles, and offer one another support. The Send the Love campaign was a way to take that connection one step further.”
The popular Elfster group has grown exponentially, exploding from 200 participants in July to more than 750 participants in August. Wow! And Stephanie says Elfster has played a key role in managing such a large community.
“When I first posted to the WW app, Connect, about starting a Send the Love exchange, another member commented that she had used Elfster to participate in gift exchanges for other online communities,” Stephanie says. “As a facilitator, I’m so thankful she recommended the site.”
Using Elfster, Stephanie has the option to pair her participants either Secret Santa style, which is a random match-up, or Meet and Gift style, which is a one-to-one match. Either way, it’s a great way for participants to get to know one another.
“The first exchange in July was set up so that the person members received a gift from was different from the person they sent a gift to,” she explains. “For August, members are paired with one partner to give and receive a gift. Participants are encouraged to get to know one another better to put together a personalized care package that will support their partner’s weight loss journey. July’s care packages included everything from low Smart Point snacks (Smart Points are point values assigned to track food in the WW weight loss program) to fitness equipment, inspirational quotes, kitchen supplies, spa goodies, and so much more.”
“The thoughtfulness and generosity of members toward one another has been simply amazing,” she says. “They truly do put love into the packages they send!”
To encourage her online community to join her exchanges, Stephanie uses the Weight Watchers app to post a signup link to her Elfster exchange and asks participants to use the hashtag #wwsendthelove to post pictures of the great packages they receive. She is also pleased that existing members have been sharing her enthusiasm and helping to spread the word.
Team Elfster is proud to support such an inspiring, motivated community and we look forward to the growth of this generous campaign.
“Using Elfster has absolutely made the exchange more fun,” says Stephanie. “Not only has it made facilitating such a large and growing group possible, but it’s features also allow members to connect beyond the WW app.”
“Many members use the wishlist and secret questions/answers to get to know one another better and get a feel for their likes/dislikes,” she says. “These features are a great way to get ideas for how to put together a personalized package that will put a smile on your recipient’s face.”
So what are you doing to stay motivated to reach your own personal fitness goals? Find some inspiration in Elfster’s Wellness Guide. Want to connect with the elves at Elfster? You can reach us via Facebook here, Tweet us @elfster or catch us on Instagram at #elfstergram.
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