The Dark Side of the Wii Fit   4 comments

I don’t remember how old I was when I decided to stop weighing myself. I decided that the scale was a liar. I’m a heavy girl, heavier than I look because I have a broad build. I remember when I was younger and weighed about 155, people would look at me funny when I told them. No one ever thought I was that heavy (not that 155 is really all that heavy, but when people are expecting you to say something 20 pounds lighter, it seems that way). The plus side was that I could always trick those carnival people that guess your weight. Even now, when I tell people how much I weigh, they don’t believe it. When I go to the doctor’s office, they always start out about 20-30 pounds too light. So, basically, I don’t put much stock in the scale. What’s important is how I look and feel.

At least, that’s how I’ve felt for the last 10 or 15 years or something like that (I’m older than I feel like, so it might even be longer than that). Lately, I’ve been finding myself caring about my weight a lot more. Part of it is that I have PCOS and it makes it harder to lose weight, so I feel like I’m pushing against a brick wall when I work out and eat better and see no results. I’m hoping that part will get better when I see the doctor next week to talk about medication options. But I know that the other part, and the part that makes me feel torn, is that the WiiFit measures your progress based on weight. Sure, it also charts how much you’re working out, and your Fit Age is based on how well you do on the balance tests. But the graph that comes up when you start up the program is a graph of your weight.

My husband’s graph is mostly even, then drops down about 5-10 pounds and holds right around that new weight, with a slight downward trend. So he worked out for a couple weeks, losing half a pound here and half a pound there, then he lost a big chunk all at once before going back to the half a pound at a time pattern.

My graph is like looking at the print out of a heart monitor. It’s up and down and up and down, all within the same ten pounds. I lose one pound on Day 1 and one pound on Day 2, only to gain back 1.5 pounds on Day 3. It’s a very very frustrating trend. And while it’s generally downward, I hit a couple weeks where we were out a lot and I didn’t find the time to exercise. So when I got back on the stupid thing, I’d gained 8 pounds. Which basically puts me right back where I started.

Now, I love the Wii Fit. I like the exercises. I like the way it makes me think about my posture, not just when I’m on it, but also when I’m sitting at the computer at work, or standing in line at the post office. I like the way it gives me positive feedback when I complete exercises. I like the way the adorable little piggy bank hops around when I hit 30 minutes in a session. I like the way there are exercises that I can do on energetic days and ones that I can do on days when I just want to take a nap instead of working out. But if you miss a day, the stupid thing has a tendency to say very passive aggressive things that are basically “Naughty, naughty. You didn’t exercise.” I laughed at those comments when I had to go to my mom’s house to use the Wii Fit. It’s not so funny when it’s sitting in my living room and I really can’t come up with a good reason why I didn’t exercise the day before. And the weight thing is starting to drive me crazy. I used to get weighed at the doctor’s office once or twice a year. Now, I’m being weighed multiple times in a week. And when the weight isn’t really changing despite my effort, that becomes more of a discouragement than anything else.

I still love my Wii Fit. But I am definitely discovering its dark side. It would definitely NOT be something I would recommend to anyone with a tendency toward or history of eating disorders. I have never had an eating disorder and I have always had a decent body image. I haven’t always thought I was gorgeous, but at least I never looked in the mirror and thought “What a cow!” But now, I find myself becoming overly focused on what that damn little machine says I weigh. And really, that kind of pisses me off. My love handles are almost gone, but the scale refuses to budge. Which one do you think I remember when I’m done working out?

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Posted May 22, 2009 by Maidenfine in Resolutions

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4 responses to “The Dark Side of the Wii Fit

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  1. Sweety…I wouldn’t worry about what the scale says…I remember back in the day when you were a little twig… I think things like that happen when you get older…I sure know they have happened to me. I first started to notice my face was looking “rounder”….less chiseled not that I was ever a hottie…I let myself go when I started drinking too much beer…playing too many unproductive video games…its been a long and difficult battle…I don’t play WoW anymore…probably because I can’t afford it…sad I know who can’t afford 14.99 a month…BUT STILL…at least I am getting out more and feeling better about who I am and who I have become. I say…FORGET about it. As long as you are healthy and happy with who you are, those that love you will love you no matter what.

  2. You’re good for my self-esteem today. I never remember being a twig. Though I do look at pictures of me from when I was younger and see my self differently now than I saw me then. So maybe I really was a twig.

  3. This is interesting! It surprises me that the Wii Fit just doesn’t have an option where you can have it not weigh you. Well that’s good to know it’s like that… I would have a hard time with that myself as well.

    And I hear ya on the weighing more than you look issue. I’ve had nurses tell me I don’t look that heavy before, and more often than not when I have a new nurse weigh me, she’s at least 50lbs off. >__>

  4. Technically, you have to click a button to see your weight. But the whole thing graphs by BMI, which is basically the same thing. And I can’t help but click to see exactly how many pounds makes the difference between 31.63 and 31.67 BMI. Not to mention, no matter how cute the voice is, hearing “That’s obese!” every time you get on the damn thing gets old.

    Not that I’ve found anything better. I got the Jillian Michaels game and the controls on that thing are weird. It either wouldn’t recognize that I was moving the remote, or it was super sensitive and I barely had to move. So I don’t recommend that one either.

    I’m considering getting My Personal Trainer to see if that one’s better. I don’t know if it uses the balance board, but if it at least tracks your progress in a different way, it might be worth ditching the board just to not feel like I’m a blob making no progress.

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