Condition 1: 94 pounds to lose
I have discovered the fundamental flaw in the Wii Fit program. I’m bored. During week 1, I worked out four out of seven days. During week 2, that dropped to two. Part of the problem is due to my lack of time. I’m a busy guy, work a minimum of 50 hours a week, and I have a family to take care of, laundry to do, dinner to cook etc. But during the first week, I at least tried to get in a 30 minute Wii Fit workout a night.
This week, the pressures of home got to me. My wife had a lot going on at work and in her personal life, I had a large amount of additional housework to do, and work beat the hell out of me, and once 11pm rolled around, it was hard to get motivated to get on the Balance Board.
A very large part of this, I believe, is due to a fundamental flaw of Wii Fit. I started this program, because I love videogames, hate to work out, and thought working out to a videogame would help. The problem is, Wii Fit is much less a game, and more instructional software. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, there are times when it’s not that fun.
Part of this is because of the lack of social interaction on the Wii. If you accomplish things on a PS3 or Xbox 360 game, you get trophies or gamer score points. Sony and Microsoft aren’t giving you anything, except for a feeling of accomplishment.
You can show off your trophies to your friends, compete with each other etc. If you play Call Of Duty: MW2 and excel, friends and strangers alike will know, due to your rank. Play long and well enough, you can Prestige and restart the challenge.
On Wii Fit, the only things you have to show for your accomplishments are the graph, and the BMI and weight numbers. As far as I can tell, there are no unlockables, except for those nifty stamps for your calendar. Woo-fraking-hoo!
Sure, you can unlock more advanced skill levels of an activity, or additional challenges in the Strength section, but really, where is the fun in seeing if you can do more gut busting jackknives than your sadistic (but still oddly attractive) virtual drill sergeant? Now, if you could unlock different characters, new activities (that are actually fun) etc, that might be more motivating.
Going along with that, what’s up with the boring characters? You have the two trainers, but otherwise, the rest are characterized by generic Mii characters. Why not have a jogging race with Mario and Luigi? Rhythm Boxing would be much more entertaining if it was done with Doc Lewis and Little Mac. How about making Birdo a boss in the Snowball Fight?
There is this great catalogue of characters to pick from, and we get generic Miis. Now, I know some people will say that using Nintendo characters would take away from the seriousness of the program, and that this is fitness software, not a game. But the idea is to get kids off the couch, and to do that it has to be fun, and for me, some of the fun has worn off. I mean, really, how hard would it be to make it an option to have classic Nintendo characters to compete with or something? Just my 2 cents.
I think, additionally, I am a little stuck in the program. I’ve lost weight, which is great, but, unfortunately, with my weight being as high as it is, I have a hard time taking part in a lot of the exercises. Yoga continues to kick my fat ass, because it’s just too hard to maintain a lot of these poses for the time it wants. I know that sounds pathetic, but for me it’s true. The same goes with the strength training. One set of push-ups is enough to whoop my ass for an evening. It’s going to take a lot to keep me motivated through all of this.
Thankfully, though I fell off the wagon when it comes to my training regiment, my diet has been going well. I’ve cut over 1000 calories from my diet daily, and it’s not as bad as I thought. Sure, when I first started, I was ready to gnaw the arm off of my wife at night, but after a few days of food withdraw, the hunger pains subsided.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think about food almost constantly, but I am making better choices. I’ve cut my portion sizes dramatically, haven’t had a bite of fast food in two weeks, have started cooking more at home, and I’m making better choices, especially when I eat out.
And despite not working out, I’m still losing weight, which is making me think that Wii Fit is more important for making me conscious of my choices and getting me up and off the couch, than being a full service electronic gym.
I’ve noticed I’ve adopted a healthier lifestyle, but I doubt that if I ate the way I did and just worked on Wii Fit every night, that I would lose any of the weight.
One thing that I was worried about with the program, is that I have a tendency to be a stress eater. Let me be honest, I’m more of a stress binger. When shit happens, I’m like a starving rabid hyena trying to get at a pork chop.
A few weeks ago I had a stress out eating session that included three frozen ice cream bars, some cheese and crackers, a few pickles, some leftover mac and cheese, and some chips,all at around 11pm. I’m totally embarrassed at telling you all this, but I promised honesty, so that is what you get.
I’m never proud when one of those sessions takes place, always regretting it afterwards like a broken down junkie.
Last week was a bad week at work, and the stress eating was trying to rear its ugly head. Thankfully, I was smart enough to load the fridge with some healthier options, such as fruit, and frozen fruit bars in place of ice cream. Even if I have a frozen confectionary binge, three frozen grape pops will only net me 70 calories a piece with no fat.
I’ve also buckled down in the way of soft drinks. I’ve given up soda almost entirely. When I do partake, it’s a diet or “zero” soda, and even then I try to limit it to one per day. Instead, I’ve switched to water.
Now my one problem with water is, I frakking hate it. I absolutely hate it, and can’t stand drinking it, but everyone says drinking water will help you lose weight. But, thankfully, there are these little inventions, drink powers, to go. These little pouches you get to put in the water to make it taste not like ass. Zero calories, and I’m now drinking around 60 ounces of water a day. Of course, the downside is that all of my free time is spent in the bathroom.
All that being said, it’s time for the results:
Starting Weight: 277 lbs Ending Weight: 267 lbs (loss of 10 pounds) Starting BMI: 36.5% (note, I calculated this wrongly last week, it was higher than reported) Ending BMI: 35.2% (loss of 1.3%)
So, it seems I’m still on the right track. It’s starting to show physically. I’m down a waist size in my jeans, shirts are starting to fit looser. I’m no longer worried about having to go into a 3XL shirt.
Interestingly enough, I asked my wife how I looked, and she thought that my man boobs had gotten larger, but upon further review, it was an optical illusion concocted by my receding stomach and David Blaine.
The good news is, I am sticking with the program. I should have more time to workout this week, and my morale is good (even though my wife keeps tempting me by bringing sweets home for the munchkins). I guess we’ll see what happens.
Remember, you can always send words of encouragement or disgust to Jason@ironotaku.net.
Last week’s challenge details and results are here.