Many Americans made New Year’s resolutions this year, and by now, most of those goals are long forgotten. According to surveys and published articles, the number-one resolution for 2009, yet again, is to lose weight. Count me among those wishful thinkers.
I decided to kick off the new year by shedding those extra pounds that somehow appeared after the holiday binging. (While turkey is low cal, apparently the gravy, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie aren’t.) However, my days of trying to get to the gym are more fantasy-based than reality-based. Who has the time? Walking and jogging this time of year in the Northeast is not an option when you have to dodge snowplows. Yes, exercising is much too dangerous, at least that has been my excuse. The treadmill is an okay alternative, but it gets boring very quickly.
This year, I found the ideal solution. Actually, I discovered it at last year’s Game Developers Conference: the Wii Fit. Nintendo representatives urged show-goers to try one out. I did, and I was hooked, sort of. I grabbed one as soon as they hit the stores. It was summer, and the system (the disc and the balance board) remained in its unopened box. After all, it was summer, and I thought a jog or walk outdoors would be a better option this time of year. But, it got “too hot” out to exercise, then “too buggy,” and, finally, “too cold” and “too dark.” Despite this, I did not open the box. Soon, Christmas was right around the corner, and a friend was desperately seeking a Fit for a holiday gift (who wasn’t?). At first I was tempted to sell her mine, but decided against it. After all, I had big plans for my Fit come January 1—the same type of plans I once had for the treadmill, the stair-climber, the stationary bike, and the Exer-glider, devices I committed to using but soon lost interest in.
On January 1, my 11-year-old son showed me how to get started. Unable to resist, apparently he and his friends had opened the box several weeks earlier, so they were already well versed in many of the activities. I created my Mii. Then, something crazy happened. I went from the slender Mii to one that was a bit wider in the midsection—definitely not the Mii I wanted to represent me. But in the Fit world, the Mii takes on the body shape of the player based on the person’s BMI and weight. Darn. The only way to change it, as I learned during these past two months, is to actually lower my BMI and weight. And to add insult to injury, a voice tells me that I am overweight every time I do a body test. Like I didn’t know that already.
Things did get better, though. The virtual trainers are very encouraging during the activities—boxing, running, stepping, hula-hooping, soccer goal-tending, downhill skiing, ski jumping, and yoga, to name a few. I decided to stick with the aerobics games, and after my daily half-hour sessions, I throw in a few balance activities just for fun. I actually look forward to trying to beat my previous high scores! I know I am not preparing myself for the Boston Marathon, but I am getting the desired exercise and having fun at the same time. And while I wasn’t too pleased at the start with my Mii shape, I have been enjoying watching her get ever that much slimmer. I set a weight goal, then reset it, and reset it again—all in a positive direction! Did I gain a half-pound since yesterday or did I lose it? The Fit tells me. What’s going to happen if I skip a day? The Fit chides me for “being too busy to exercise.” Indeed, it’s just an electronic voice or typed message on the screen, but it’s enough to keep me on track—at least until I can come up with a reasonable (or not-so-reasonable) excuse.