Print Story Wii Fit Diary: Week 1
By CheeseburgerBrown (Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:13:11 AM EST) Wii, Wii Fit, exercise, health, Nintendo (all tags)
For the last two and a half years I have done an inordinate amount of sitting. I am a professional sitter. I sit in my car, I sit at my desk, I sit on the can, and then I come home and feel so tired all I want to do is sit on the couch. And, while sitting oughtn't be knocked with too broad a brush (consider, for instance, the benefits sitting imparts on lap-dancing or a good game of duck-duck-goose), the net result has been that I'm becoming inflexible, soft, tired and fat.

I did alright when my boy had colic. I spent upwards of four hours doing laps around the livingroom with him strapped to me every single day, and became so attuned to chronic bopping and swaying that I frequently found myself doing impromtu jigs even when I was comparatively free of screaming infants. People at work used to point and giggle.

So, after going through the first summer of my life in which I gained rather than lost weight, I decided I'd better stop this downward spiral while I'm still able. Like any good North American fuck-for-brains, I turned to a technological solution.

Enter: the Nintendo Wii.

My attitude toward gaming consoles softened somewhat in light of my victorious move to eliminate cable television from our home. I was not very impressed with Sony's offering, and wasn't willing even to give Microsoft's a try due to long standing prejudices, but after spending an evening at a friend's house playing Wii I decided this was the console for us. Pong had come of age.

I quickly made myself sore and sweaty by pushing myself hard at tennis, baseball and boxing. I enjoyed the exertion, and taking a break from work in order to hop and flail around gave me a burst of oxygen that really benefitted my next session sitting in front of the computer in a way that playing pool at the office simply doesn't satisfy. Then I read about the Wii Fit.

For those of you who may not know, the Wii differs from traditional consoles in that the controllers are chocked full of accelerometers so that the player can control their on-screen avatar via physical motions. (For me, this is infinitely preferable to figuring out a bunch of buttons and joystick combos, because I'm quite bad at joysticks whereas I've had a few decades to basically master my use of arms.) To bowl, for example, one physically tosses an imaginary ball toward the television screen.

The Wii Fit extends the hardware with the Balance Board -- a double-width bathroom scale made of plastic, capable of tracking changes in pressure. This allows the Wii to have a vague sense of where your body is, and how it might be oriented, and whether or not that orientation is stable or wobbly.

The Wii Fit software contains packages of activities broken into four categories (yoga, strength training, aerobics, balance games). Only a few activities are available at the time of purchase -- the rest must be unlocked by investing time or achieving a high score. I suppose this is Nintendo's way of trying to make sure you don't hurt yourself, as only activities you have demonstrated some basic ability for are available for your use. Proficiency is also rewarded by unlocking larger sets of reps for each exercise.

The user is guided through the activities by their choice of either a male or female trainer with grey skin whose lips don't move. (The chick is kind of cute, but she could use a little more meat on her.) The trainer provides feedback on each activity ("I think this exercise is too hard for you now" or "Well done! Try it again while focusing on staying stable") while the Master of Ceremonies is a CGI incarnation of the Balance Board itself who reprimands you for skipping a workout or, depending on the time of day, reminds the user to have something to eat before working out.

The cheeky little Balance Board began our relationship by telling me that I was overweight based on measurements of my height and weight (my BMI fluctuates between 27 and 28), and that my core trunk muscles were weak as evidenced by my relative inability to hold steady or to distribute my weight evenly between my legs. It asked me to set a two week fitness goal and then invited me to begin exploring the activities.

At this point my fortnight goal is to drop 6 lbs. by exercising for a minimum of 20 minutes, at least five times a week, with an emphasis on aerobics.

I am now one week into this new regimen, complemented by paying more attention to my diet and sleep habits. I have pushed through the initial soreness (every muscle in my body ached!), and now I am already seeing tangible improvements (I can now do the push-ups activity fairly easily, whereas the first time I did it I was struggling and crying for my mommy). Also, I find starting the day with a workout to be quite invigorating. I go into the office much more chipper than usual.

This week's stats:
Weight: 192 - 196 lbs.
BMI: 27 - 28
Wii Fitness Age: 41
Biological Age: 33
Total Exercise Time: 1h40m
This Week To Date: 1h10m
Next week I'll post updates on my progress with respect to my fitness goal, as well as discussing the daunting task of actually acquiring a Wii Fit system without resorting to beating people up or getting gouged on eBay.

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Wii Fit Diary: Week 1 | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden)
I want a Wii. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:45:19 AM EST
Probably a bad idea. I rarely use the Xbox that's sitting here gathering dust.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

I almost never by blixco (4.00 / 2) #2 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:50:25 AM EST
used my xbox (once i stopped smoking pot), but my Wii gets a lot of use.  It's perfect for a quick game. I had no quick games on the Xbox. The Wii, you can play the 21st century version of Pong for like half an hour, and be happy about the whole thing, and set it aside.

Tough to do on my xbox. For instance, I'll crank up Forza and end up playing for four hours trying to advance a a video game...that I hate.

"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Very True. by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:17:17 AM EST
I can see why "serious gamers" have little or no interest in the Wii -- it isn't for them, it's for the rest of us.

One of the reasons I never got into gaming previously was because the time investment was too daunting. You can put in five minutes with the Wii screwing around and getting your blood pumping a bit, or you can put five minutes into a PlayStation and never get appreciably past the title screen.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
That's Apples to Oranges by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 2) #8 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:18:26 AM EST
One is for gaming the other is for playing. You'd end up approaching them differently, I'd wager.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
We have a Wii by FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:57:39 AM EST
And we really like it.  Mrs. FT plays it way more than TFT or I do though.  We got gouged for ours, but I decided that the price we paid was worth it before I ordered.  I do quite like the Wii controllers, and you don't HAVE to be active to play, it just makes it more fun.  TFT will often sit on the floor and just flick her wrist to bowl, while I tend to move as if I was actually bowling.  Sad thing is, she usually does better than I.

I fear I will always fail at DDR though.

In My House... by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:14:03 AM EST
...doing Wii from a sitting position is forbidden.

(At least, that's what I keep saying. I'm not sure I'm being listened to.)

I find that, in general, emulating the posture of the actual game improves performance in the virtual game. The ready position in tennis, for example, really is the best way to be set to react to the ball on either side. Using two hands on the club in golf helps limit the swing from fouling.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
The key to golf by debacle (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:21:52 AM EST
Is actually to put the wiimote above your head, pointing down. For some reason, it makes it much easier to get an accurate swing.

Is that cheating?

I do agree with tennis and especially baseball. It's impossible to play baseball from the sitting position.


[ Parent ]
Yes, yes it is. by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:42:12 PM EST
That is how I normally swing a golf club (think John Daly, now double the swing).  DOES NOT WORK.


[ Parent ]
wii fit rules by thunderbee (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:59:51 AM EST
I have a one hour sequence, 4 to 6 times a week depending.
I was doing so well before the summer vacations (I'm not going on vacation with a console)...
Am starting up again, but I definitely recommend it. You won't do anything you couldn't do on your own, you just get some added motivation.
And you can play Fire Emblem - Radiant Dawn when you feel like sitting...

At Worst, the Wii Fit... by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:15:08 AM EST little more than a gimmick to motivate you to exercise. But that's not such a bad "worst" in my opinion.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
Radiant Dawn is so infuriatingly painful by debacle (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 05:19:22 AM EST
I'm only a few hours in, but it feels like every line of dialog in the game was meant to make me want to kill my healers even more.


[ Parent ]
It's a stragegy game by thunderbee (2.00 / 0) #23 Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:14:09 PM EST
The so-called "role playing" element is truly a pain; dialogs are cheesy in the extreme.
But the strategy part I like :)

[ Parent ]
I think it would be a lot nicer by debacle (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 03:22:51 AM EST
If you could use the Wiimote as a pointer rather than having to use the analog stick, but at the same time it does give it a PS2-like feel.


[ Parent ]
That would be quite a workout by thunderbee (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:22:39 AM EST
The control scheme is very un-wii; but I think one would get tired pretty soon of pointing the wiimote, with great precision, for hours?

[ Parent ]
the most difficult exercise: by dr k (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:19:39 AM EST
"Stand with your feet spread equally, and walk in place for 20 steps just like you would normally."

When I walk, I normally move forward.

:| :| :| :| :|

Actually by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 01:06:16 PM EST
We thought you were already looking pretty trim when we visited the schoolhouse.

I'm very impressed with Wii Yoga by superdiva (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 01:15:38 PM EST
I didn't expect to get an intense workout, but keeping that red dot centered turns out to be hard work.

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I don't Wii by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 01:19:02 PM EST
Don't have any video games. I walk for exercise year round, and surf in the summer.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

I played for a bit by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:41:16 AM EST
It didn't work for me, mainly because it's a bit embarrassing to use in the front room of a shared flat, and we have limited space while I'm ridiculously tall, so I could only really do the upright exercises. Also I exercise regularly anyway and sort of have my own regime worked out. I might go back to it though, it was fun.

I found the fluctuations in my weight measurements a bit strange. I would be careful to wear similar weight clothes but once there was a seven pound difference from one day to the next, which is obviously wrong.

A friend who is very unfit bought it a few weeks ago and I have to say its done wonders - not just the game itself, it seems to have motivated him to take a lot more exercise.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Your weight by debacle (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:19:06 AM EST
can vary by as much as 22 pounds (assuming you are an able bodied adult) in one day.

More reasonably, the average person's weight varies at about 7-8 pounds depending on the day.


[ Parent ]
Woah by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:21:06 PM EST
That is a lot. It says in the game it fluctautes but I was thinking along the lines of a couple of pounds.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I'm interested in WiiFit by debacle (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 11:23:44 AM EST
But I haven't been able to find one.


We worked hard by littlestar (4.00 / 2) #19 Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 11:19:05 AM EST
to get ours. I guess CBB will talk about it later. I looooooooove the Wii Fit!! It was supposed to be an early birthday present for me, but since it's now his  I expect something cool on my birthday!


[ Parent ]
Fit by duxup (4.00 / 1) #21 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:47:32 AM EST
Is it my imagination, or does the female trainer's boobs not look right?

She's had them done . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #22 Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 08:48:36 AM EST
. . . dontchya know: art imitates life.

[ Parent ]
Question by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #26 Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 03:28:31 AM EST
What is the maximum load capacity of the Wii Fit? (I'm not being snarky.)

Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
350 lbs, If Memory Serves [nt] by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #27 Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 04:30:12 AM EST
Wii Fit Diary: Week 1 | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden)