Wii Fit… or Wii just Stole this fat guy’s money?


A while back I decided it was time for a change. I was tipping the scales at about 260 pounds, I wore a double-XL shirt and my jeans were a 42 waist. I was eating fast food and drinking close to a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi almost everyday.

I knew I had to do something different in my life but I just wasn’t sure where to start. Do I join a gym and hope that I don’t quit going after the first month like so many have done before me? No. I would spend the whole time thinking that the muscle heads are looking at my fat self on the treadmill, giggling and pointing. Do I get up at five every morning and go for a run around the block? Nah, runs around the block don’t work so well during December in Buffalo – there’s two feet of snow slushing up the sidewalk. Just when I thought all hope was lost the Nintendo Channel answered my dilemma.

I don’t know if I’m in the minority here, but sometimes I like to just go on the Nintendo Channel for an hour and watch all the new videos. After watching the preview videos for Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, I saw something I hadn’t noticed before: Wii Fit videos. There was a kid playing the soccer; a girl doing Yoga and a guy doing some push-ups and other strength exercises.

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It was like a light went off in my head. “I could totally do those workouts,” I told myself. It would be everything I needed and nothing I worried about. No going outside in the snow to run around, only both freeze and sweat at the same time. No point-and-giggles at the gym as my fat flops around on the machines. I could just hop on the balance board and get in shape. I started saving my pennies and readying my trade-ins for the day my workout would begin.

I started doing some research online before totally committing to the game’s asking price. But much my surprise Wii Fit wasn’t sounding much like a workout at all. There were lots of “It’s just a game pretending to be a workout” and “Not worth the investment if you are serious about losing weight” articles.

I got worried. Was this going to be a waste of both my time and money? Would I be putting my faith in the hands of something that wasn’t going to do anything except call me fat every morning before I went to work? Or were the anti-casual internet “core gamers” just trying to kill the momentum of the Wii Fit’s run away success? Eventually I decided that even if Wii Fit was total crap, the balance board alone was worth the price of admission alone.

The first day I got on the little animated balance board welcomed me and asked for some information. It wanted to know my height, age and a couple other little things. He asked me to step on so he could test my balance and measure weight. A chart popped up after it was done calculating — the bottom being underweight and the top being obese. As the line started moving up past underweight and through normal, I figured it would stop maybe half way into the overweight category. I’d go on my merry way into my first work out, smiling the all the while… but no.

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It didn’t even slow down once it hit overweight. It moved right into obese. Imagine my surprise when it hit the top of the obese category and the climbing sound continued. After it finally stopped a voice said “You’re obese!” and music played.

Obese? I’m obese? Wow! I had no idea. It was at that moment that I became completely focused on dropping some weight and changing the way I eat.

Every minute of workout time is worth one credit in Wii Fit. I started doing 60 credits a day and cut my fast food back to once a week. I made sure to only do the balance games once in a while and tried to stick to the strength exercises. At first it seemed like maybe the internet was right and maybe it was just a game. Then, one day I got on and saw that I had dropped two pounds! After that it seemed like the weight just began to melt off – two pounds here, three there. I stopped drinking whole two liter bottles of Pepsi, limiting myself to a 24-ounce portion of the diet kind a day instead. I also eat a lot more fruits and veggies. Eventually I added EA Sports Active to my workouts, and have had even better success between the two of them.

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It’s been just over a year since I started this routine and I have lost a total of 69 pounds – all thanks to the combined help of Wii Fit and a better diet. Now before begin to discount Wii Fit’s hand in all of this and only credit the diet let me tell you how wrong that is. If it wasn’t for that little animated balance board calling me a fat slob, motivating me to make a change, I wouldn’t be the 191 pound large t-shirt-and-36 waist jeans wearing man I am today.

Thank you Wii Fit… And screw you animated balance board.

 

– Keith White Jr.

Follow Me @KeefWhiteJr