Wii Fit Challenge: week 4

As Jason Helton continues his attempts to lose weight by playing Wii Fit, he comes to realise exactly why Jason Voorhees was so homicidal…

I knew going into this week that this was going to be a tough one. Here in the States (and perhaps elsewhere), we have the age-old tradition of Mother’s Day. While it’s a lovely time to show appreciation to the woman who carried you or your children for nine months, it’s also an excuse to go out to dinner, multiple times.

Additionally, I was going to strap on ice skates for the first time in five years, and to make matters even worse, I was on call at work, and helping out a friend at his business for part of the weekend. My workout time was going to be severely limited, and the temptations would be all around me. Could this possibly be my first week of failure?

After last week I was motivated. Condition 2 on the personal scale of fattiness was on the horizon. Monday and Tuesday I worked out with vigor, again using the Free Step feature of the Wii Fit. I am noticing that I am using that much more than every other feature in the game, specifically because I can do other things while stepping.

I’m also finding that my level of comfort with the Wii Fit software is growing. I’m learning which exercises fit me best, and I find I am performing better on all of them. I’ve gained a better grasp of the Balance Board, and because of this, I am enjoying some of the more frivolous activities such as the football heading, snowball fight and others. But the true test of my results would come on Wednesday, or hockey night in Reisterstown.

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I’ve played hockey on and off ever since I was a child. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you it’s my favorite sport. I’ve never been very good, but I do enjoy it. It’s a great way for me to relieve stress and hang out with the guys for a bit. I’m a goaltender, which basically tells the world I’m a complete masochist. It’s painful, undignified (I spend most of the time flat on my ass sprawling out trying to stop a high speed eight ounce bullet. Nothing dignified, the way I play), and exhausting.

Most players get to skate for one to three minute shifts. Goalies are on the ice the entire game (60 minutes), and while you do get some idle time when the puck’s in the other zone, it’s usually short lived.

So, I showed up about 30 minutes early in order to get dressed (an ordeal that usually leaves me exhausted before I hit the ice) and to shoot the shit with the other players. It’s been over five years since I was on skates, so I am certainly on edge (pun totally intended).

After skating a lap or two and taking a few shots, practice began in earnest. The coach told us to start with a few skating drills, the first of which was to skate and stop on each line, skate back, going one line further each time. First time through, no problem. I was like Patrick Frakking Roy. The second time through started to hurt, and sweat appeared on my forehead. Third time? I wanted to die. Forth time was spent trying not to vomit out my spleen.

This felt like the first day of the Army again, but with a lot of extra weight, and on a slippery surface, plus no one was screaming at me. After 20 minutes of pure skating hell, I thought my intestines were going to come out of my ass and strangle me out of pure rage.

Next was shooting drills. Now, during a hockey game, if the other team gets in your zone, you have to prepare yourself to stop their impending shot. During shooting drills, you are effectively a human piñata. In rapid fire succession that would have made John Rambo proud, pucks started bombarding me from every conceivable angle. Six ounce frozen torpedoes hurled towards me at terrifying speeds, and I’m supposed to dive in front of them.

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As Mr. T said: “My prediction: pain!” Now, thankfully, I had another goaltender there to switch out with periodically, but I got to spend the next 30 minutes or so getting peppered with a platitude of puck projectiles. (Damn, you know you wanted some alliteration, didn’t you? Dirty, dirty grammar lover.)

Then it was on to a 30 minute mini-hockey game. I am happy to say that I was able to hang, and we ended up winning 2-1, so I left the ice, dizzy and victorious It wasn’t till I hit the locker room and the adrenalin wore off that I realized the truth. I felt like shit. Every muscle I knew of, and a few I didn’t know I had, instantaneously revolted. It felt like my legs were going to implode, my arms no longer wished to be functional, and there was not a dry spot on my body. I can’t even begin to imagine how I could have made it through practice at 283 lbs. I think I would have had a heart attack on the ice 10 minutes into it.

The next morning, my body was still in revolt, although it was more of a civil disobedience rather than the painful rioting from last night. I woke up, wanted to move, but my body said, hell no. All of my muscles were in civil disobedience mode. Needless to say, I was a little late for work that day.

The good things is, though, I was able to make it through an hour and a half of the most intense physical activity I’ve had in five years, and the pain felt good, in that masochistic goalie sort of way.

I did manage to get in two more Wii Fit workouts this week, but since I was still hurting from hockey, they were limited to the Free Step and a little Hula Hoop. I’m taking the week off from hockey next week, but I do want to try and make it back at least twice a month to augment my Wii Fit training regimen.

On the eating side, with the Mother’s Day holiday, I was worried I was going to blow the diet. I was taking my wife to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse here in Baltimore, a nice, pretty high priced, and high calorie restaurant. It’s a bit snooty for my tastes, and the steaks are usually pan seared in butter, but it’s so good. I think Satan himself makes the food there, trying to get people to sell their souls for steak. I did my best to be good, however.

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Instead of the cream soups, the massive buttery steaks and potatoes, I went with a seafood gumbo, and the salmon. I have to say, it was more than slightly depressing ordering salmon from a steakhouse. I had to repeat the order to the server, since she had forgotten they even served fish there.

I ate my salmon, pretending it was the best thing I ever ate while my wife enjoyed her fillet. Come to think of it, she didn’t even offer me a bite of that beautiful bovine bounty. (Bet you didn’t think I could use alliteration twice in one piece, did ya? You know you love it.) It’s probably better that she didn’t, since it most likely kept me on the wagon. I did splurge and we shared a dessert, but I limited myself to two bites of cake. For going out, I have to say I did pretty well.

I am finding it much more difficult to manage my cravings these days. I’ve resorted to giving in, only occasionally, and very much in moderation. The other night, I ate a cookie. One single, solitary cookie. I’ve never had just one cookie in all my life. Looking back, it’s kind of sad to think that I would sit down and eat an entire row of Oreos. Wow.

I only give myself a sweet treat like a cookie on nights when I know I will be working out, so I don’t think I’ve done any damage to the diet, and I think I might even be preventing a massive diet breakdown by allowing myself a little cheat. And with that, let’s look at the numbers:

Starting Weight: 264.5 lbs Ending Weight:262 lbs (loss of 2.5 pounds) Starting BMI: 35.06% Ending BMI: 34.6%

It’s official: Mr. Gaeta, set Condition Two on the fattiness scale!

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So, in one month, I’ve reached my first goal. The first 20 pounds are gone and haven’t come back. The road is only getting harder. My weeks of five to ten pounds lost are turning into weeks of two to four pounds lost. The hard thing is going to be to keep going when it’s harder to see results on the scale.

The good thing is, the real world results are still showing themselves. I was able to fit into my size 40 jeans comfortably the other day, I’m up to four notches in on my belt (I started at 1), and I am continuing to feel better with every day.

Thanks again to all those who have been so supportive, and remember, you can always e-mail me at Jason@ironotaku.net.

I’ll see you next week, hopefully a few pounds thinner.

Last week’s challenge details and results are here.