Wii Fit Challenge: week 1

It's week one proper of Jason's Wii Fit weight loss challenge. It's time to step onto the balance board for the first time...

As Kosh once said, “And so it begins”. The Wii Fit challenge commences.

It began on the way to work, with my final Crappy Meal. My hour and 30 minute commute got the best of me, and before you knew it, I was pounding down fast food drive thru fare. My guilt was immediate, and the food wasn’t good, but it filled a void. 

The sad thing is, now that I read what I just wrote, I sound like a junkie. I can see it now. Six weeks from now I’ll be offering, er, ‘favours’ to people for Big Macs. I’ll be a MacWhore.

I’m starting to think that food will be my biggest obstacle in all of this.

Ad – content continues below

Thankfully, even after my flawed morning, I was back on the wagon and ready to go. I made it through the rest of day one without further succumbing to temptation, and finally, around 11pm, with the kids and wife in bed, I set up and tried out the Wii Fit

First up, the body test, aka, ‘Face it, you’re a fat ass!’ It begins by checking your posture.

It was here that I became immediately impressed with the sensitivity of the Wii Balance Board. Even the slightest shift of my weight was noticed by the board, and it started me thinking about my posture. Apparently, how you stand and walk are large factors in things like joint pain.

As it turns out, I lean a little to the right by about 5% but, according to the game, this could be part of my back pain..Gee, I’ve learned something already! 

Of course, any glee that I might have experienced in learning about the causes of my back pain was quickly swept away with the next section of the test, BMI. So, BMI stands for body mass index, or simply put, how fat you are. The scale is as follows:

18.5% or Less = Underweight 18.5% – 24.9% = Normal 25% – 29.9% = Overweight 30% + = Obese

Ad – content continues below

So, Wii Fit measures your BMI, with you first entering your height then stepping on the balance board for a weight. Based on your height and weight, your BMI is automatically calculated. It was time to pay the piper. I entered my height (6’1″) and stepped on the Balance Board.

I could have sworn it said ouch as I got up there, or perhaps that was just my imagination. Now, I watched a demo of this online, and basically you see a scale like the one above, and a line that slowly climbs up it until it reaches your BMI. Well, mine shot up like a frakking rocket. And it didn’t stop until it hit the very top of the chart. 

It’s official, the Wii thinks I’m fucking huge. It gives me the option to see my weight, and I can’t stop looking at the train wreck, so, of course, I click on it. 283 (insert ominous music here).

Next, as if all hope hadn’t been dashed yet, it wants to measure my body control. This is accomplished by a mini game, where you lean left and right on the board, trying to get lines to stay in designated boxes for three seconds. After five attempts, the game presents you with your ‘Wii Fit Age’. Mine: 44 (I’m 31, bastards!). So, not only am I fat and heavy, but I’m also older then I should be.

So, let’s recap. At the beginning of the Wii Fit project, I am:

Height: 6’1″

Ad – content continues below

Weight: 283 lbs

BMI: 37.35%

Wii Fit Age: 44

This is going to be painful. 

So, the odds stacked against me, it was time to soldier up and get a move on. I will say, I felt a bit lost at the beginning. The game didn’t really attempt to steer me in a weight loss direction. It was later that I discovered under the My Wii Fit menu, that there were some pre-planned exercise routines designed to target specific goals. At least, I know if you want to burn fat, you have to do aerobics, so off to that menu for me. 

There isn’t the largest variety of exercises on the aerobic screen, so I started at the beginning with the Super Hula Hoop. No need to start with just the plain old Hula Hoop, I’m too hard core for that. This can’t be too hard, rotating my hips for three minutes, right? 

Ad – content continues below

Well, it’s here that the lines between videogame and exercise are blurred. So, the game explains what I need to do, I hop up on the board, and start swinging what my mama (and subsequent years of Chinese take-out) gave me. Hey, this is kinda fun.

I lean over to catch another hoop, keep swinging, making the circles larger, and moving faster. Then comes the pain. The thighs started to feel an itching, there, now the itching becomes burning,heat, upon heat, upon heat. (I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.) The muscles twitching. The pain!

Suddenly, a whistle blows, my hips stop their gyrations, the burning subsides, and the Wii Fit displays my score, my rank (I was a Calorie Burner or something to that effect), the estimated calories I burned, and coins drop into my Wii Fit piggy bank.  I had just worked out a full three minutes! Hooray. Thirty-six calories decimated. Victory is mine. I have burned off a green apple. But I need to burn off triple cheeseburgers. Looks like my hips will be doing a hell of a lot more gyrating.

Next off for some yoga. Now, before this, I thought yoga was something you eat with berries and granola mixed in, or a misspelling of Yoda. I did know that something called yoga existed, and it involved you vogue-ing or something, striking a pose, holding it, and lots and lots of breathing. 

Well, Wii Fit has roughly 30 yoga exercises for you to try, so I figured I would start with the Half Moon, to remove my full moon. Let it be said, here and now, in this public forum, that I officially take back any comments that I have made in the past implying that Yoga was for candy-asses and girls. You see, yoga kicks my ass.

I started by skipping the Deep Breathing (because again, I am too hard core for that!) and went right to the Half Moon pose. I checked to make sure no one could see me, then selected it, watched the demo video, and then followed along as instructed. How hard could this be? You put your feet together, extend you hands in the air together, bend to one side, come up, bend to the other side. Oh, wai. You want me to hold it?  For how long? 

Ad – content continues below

In reality, the exercise most likely took less then a minute, but when you are fat like me, bending sideways, holding it and concentrating on your breathing, time stands still. I went to the right, held it, breathed with the indicator on screen, and waited, and waited, then started mentally pleading for the whistle to blow. Wait, now you want the other side? Wii Fit attractive female trainer, you are a sadistic bitch! 

Well, not wanting to be beaten by yoga, I selected some one legged stand and stretch pose. This time, I’ll skip the demo, and just jump right in. It has now been determined, that I am incapable of balancing on one foot. It seems that trying to stand on one foot while weighing as much as I do, is a painful and difficult task. Needless to say, I was incapable of lasting as long as Frau Blucher required. 

At this point the confidence I had in myself is shot. I have now come to the realization that I am not the athlete I used to be. In an attempt to build back my confidence, I moved on to strength training. For as big as I am, I am a fairly strong guy, and if there is a category I can hold my own in, I’m guessing it’s this one.

So, I pick push ups. I did a hell of a lot of these in the army, and as fat as I am, I can still drop and give you 20 (well, maybe 10).  But wait, I didn’t know there were masochist push ups. Instead of my usual army routine of cranking out as many as I could, you only do six, nice and slow, like murderously slow. Then they add in these side things, where you hold yourself with one arm, twist sideways, and hold your other arm in the air. Well, you canne change the laws of physics, and one arm of mine can’t hold up almost 300 pounds by itself. My recommendation to Nintendo is to flavor the Balance Board on the next revision, so when you face plant like I did three times out of six, you would at least get a subtle hint of lemon or something. 

I continued on, trying some other things like the Rhythm Boxing, Obstacle Course, the weird pelvic thrust counting game, and a few others. By the end of it all, the game said I burned off around 300 calories for the night. I went to bed bruised, sore, and hopeful that my activities at least did something. 

Next day, I was able to keep the diet going well, and fired up the Wii again that night. Visit number 2 to the body test showed me that there is something to this whole diet and exercise thing.iI 24 hours I had lost two pounds.

Ad – content continues below

Now, experts say that you should lose 1-2 pounds a week for healthy weight loss, but I want instant gratification, and two pounds just isn’t enough for me. Another workout went well, and I’m starting at this point to feel more comfortable with the game, trying new things, and falling on my ass less. 

The next day, though, was a stressful one. Work sucked, and as much as I tried not to, I ate. God bless my wife, she was just trying to help and make me feel better, but she brought me lunch to work. I was expecting a bowl of soup from Panara Bread, but ended up with a Cuban chicken sandwich, soup, bread, and an apple.

My 240 calorie lunch turned into a 1360 calorie extravaganza. Now, granted, I tried to be good, I didn’t eat the bread, and I only ate about three quarters of the sandwich, but now I was on a roll. 

The rest of the day worsened, and as I mentioned, I’m a stress eater, big time. Driving home, I hear the tell-tale call from my gut, “Wizard needs food!” Sitting in traffic, the call gets worse.”Wizard needs food badly!” So I call the wife, and it turns out she is out and about, and is having the same conversation with her stomach as well. We decide to stop at the local pizza/pasta place for dinner. By this time, the call has become “Wizard is about to die!” and it’s that call that orders my food. Seafood linguini. 

Now, I did held off on the alfredo sauce, and went with the spicy tomato sauce instead, and I was a good boy and avoided the fried cheese my wife ordered for herself and the munchkin, but by the time the food got there, hunger had won. A gargantuan portion of pasta, shrimp, crab and scallops arrived, presented like a sacrifice to Mola Ram. It cowered in fear as I devoured. My toddler son only suffered minor bite marks when his poor little arm got too close to my mouth (just kidding…I would never eat the baby. Now, the Great Dane on the other hand….). 

I went home, full but defeated, and started to rationalize the situation. I had a rough day at work, worked my ass off, and I made smart choices!  Really I did.  I mean, a mammoth portion of pasta can’t be that bad, can it?  At least I didn’t order the Fat Lovers Pizza.right? 

Ad – content continues below

It was time to fess up to my digital warden.  t started to count up the BMI, moving past the new line forged when I lost two [ounds. I had put back on 1.5 pounds. One day of frak-ups and over half of my hard work was gone. 

That night I worked out with fervor, and redoubled my efforts with my diet. The next day followed and I stuck to the diet, but took a break from the workout, although I still did the body test and, happily, I had lost .7 pounds, effectively removing half of my frak-up from the day before.

The rest of the week went pretty well. I skipped the workouts for the weekend, and ate as well as I could. A Saturday night visit to the pub was countered with taking my Great Dane (who ironically weighs my goal weight) around a Baltimore park for two hours, and although I did eat out twice throughout the weekend, I was conscious of my choices. When it was all said and done, the stats for week 1 are as follows:

Starting Weight: 283 lbs Ending Weight: 277 lbs (loss of 6 pounds) Starting BMI: 37.35% Ending BMI: 36.21% (loss of around 1%)

I guess this is progress. I created a three month goal of 22 pounds, and I’m over a quarter of the way there, but there is such a long way to go.  Six down, 94 to go.