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by Carole Carson, AARP, June 21, 2010
Recently widowed, Cruelladavl1 joined the Fat 2 Fit Group in the Online Community on AARP.org when she found herself feeling isolated. Emboldened by the support she found in the group, she bravely branched out and created her own network of family and friends who are also sharing her fitness goals.
Having her own network reinforced Cruelladavl1's commitment to losing weight, so she touted the benefits of this approach in the Fat 2 Fit group. She also shared advice for how others can create their own virtual mini-groups:
First take baby steps. Make a list of all your e-mail pals. Write them [about] what you are planning to do (exercise, eat right, walk, bike, etc.), and ask if they want to be part of your virtual team. Write your diary and send it out about once a week.
My e-mail includes a favorite recipe, my progress, and my trouble spots. I always include the link to the...exercise video I am attempting that week and any links to good articles regarding health.
It’s so easy, but so important. If I wasn’t committed to this virtual team, I might not have stayed the course. The greatest joy came when I started to get feedback and questions and suggestions from the others.
From a very humble beginning, we are now working together, without pressure, and making our way towards our various goals. Who said diet, exercise, and getting healthy couldn't be fun?
Like the old telephone commercial said, "Reach out and touch someone." I couldn't agree more!
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