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?