by ERIN THURSBY
I’m really only overweight if I’m 5’3″. So I told the Wii Fit I was 5’4″. Every inch of height allows you more poundage. I’m actually 5’3″ 1/2 but the Wii Fit has no option for halves. I shouldn’t have erred on the side on self-flattery. It would have motivated me more if my Wii avatar was chubby.
If you’re overweight the game adds weight to your Wii avatar. My husband’s Wii avatar is satisfyingly plump. My avatar, just inside the normal range of BMI by a tenth of a point, is absolutely adorable (I even gave her a beauty mark that I don’t actually have). The avatars stand next to each other, and I feel smug when I see my husband’s graph. I’ve exercised so much more than him! Of course, the scale has only gone down a little and I gave myself a ridiculous amount of time to lose 20 pounds.
I suppose I should explain a little about the Wii Fit experience for those of you still living in caves not provided with internet and video game consoles. The Wii itself is unique because it’s a much more active experience. I had fun with the Wii sports, so Wii Fit seemed like the next logical step.
First, you’re weighed and measured by the Wii board, which acts like a scale and tracks your movement. It tells you where your BMI (Body Mass Index) is and what your weight is. It also tells you your Wii Fit age, based on a series of balance tests and your weight, but don’t take that too seriously. Mine has varied from a depressing 43 to a heartening 25.
You can exercise at whatever level you’re comfortable with and Wii Fit makes it a game. Standing on the Wii board you can hula hoop, tight rope walk, ski jump, hit soccer balls with your head or engage in a round of boxing. There are many, many exercises disguised as mini-games. As you get better at each exercise or if you have a certain amount of Wii “Fit Credits,” more games are unlocked. Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobic and Balance Games are the categories you can choose from.
The Wii Fit can be a bit condescending and judgmental, chiding you if you aren’t exercising daily. It also tends to make a little “Oh!” sound when you step on the scale. Don’t feel bad, it does this to everyone the first time and at random. If you gained even a 1/2 pound the Wii Fit makes you choose from a list of reasons why you might have gained the weight. These include eating too much, snacking, not exercising, late dinners and eating too fast. The first time this screen came up it put me in a particularly bad mood.
“I didn’t do any of that!” I yelled at the screen. “I’m a woman damn it! Where’s that option you @#$%!” Each month I, like millions of women of childbearing age, gain from 2-5 pounds, which I lose in about a week.
The Wii Fit doesn’t know everything, but it is a great tool to get your sedentary ass up off the couch and exercising. Despite the few moments I’ve cursed at the screen for giving me bad news, I’ve had a much better time sweating on the Wii than I ever did at the gym or to exercise DVDs of the ever-enthused, permanently-perky Denise Austin. (Sorry Denise!)
a few wii fit tips:
1- Make sure your goals are reasonable. The Wii will tell you if you are trying to lose too much too fast, but you also want to make sure you aren’t losing weight too slowly either.
2- Involve everyone in your house. Brag when you beat their ranking or spend more time than them or if you lose a pound. There’s just something about competition that motivates! Plus you can make things fun by establishing a game night.
3- Don’t lie to your Wii. It only hurts you. It’s like lying to your personal trainer.
4- Mix it up. I find myself on the balance games most because they’re more fun for me than anything else, but make sure you go to different categories, such as aerobics and strength training. The Wii keeps track of how may times you’ve played each game and it has a favorites option. If you notice all of your favorites are from one category it’s time to change things up. Otherwise things could get boring, which is death to an exercise routine.
exercising to a better u on the Wii Fit
by ERIN THURSBY