Five or six years ago, while visiting the doctor's office to treat poison oak, the doctor told me that she would like to see me lose a little weight. Not that I was going to die from obesity or immediately develop any sort of dietary illnesses, but I was starting to dip my toe in that ever deepening pool and I needed to do something about it. So, I joined the gym and went there about two or three times a week. For the majority of the time, I would use only the treadmill and only on the rare occasion would I step foot in the weights area; the machines were foreign to me and I did not want to reveal my naivety to the brutes that frequented the area. Basically, I went from a sedentary lifestyle to a not-quiet-as-sedentary-but-still-a-couch-potato lifestyle.
Food was another matter -- I absolutely love food. I also absolutely love beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages, which I drank one or two almost every night. Seconds and occasionally thirds were the order of the day and if something was exceptionally tasty, I stuffed myself to the gills under the misguidance that I might never eat something so wonderful ever again. I knew my habits were bad, but there was always tomorrow, always the next day. I cursed my brother and his damned metabolism that allowed him to eat whatever the hell he wanted and not gain weight, but then again he had to go through all of the horrendous jaw surgery ordeals, so I guess we are at a draw there.
It was not until about two years ago that I bought the Nintendo Wii system on a whim. It was back in the days of constrained supply and Kmart just so happened to have a couple on hand and armed with pockets full of buyers remorse I bought one. I had fun for a while, waggling the controller and enjoying such games as Elebits and Zack and Wiki. (both really fun games, especially Zack and Wiki, which passed the wife test). Being obsessed with the machine, I signed up for various podcasts and found some Wii news websites. In my searching, buzz was beginning to build around the Wii Fit, which brought back the echoing voice of the doctor telling me to lose weight. Hmmm...I could even justify buying this to my wife. By golly, I had to do this shit.
Two months later, on the Wii Fit release day, I snuck out of work to try my luck again at Kmart and I hit the jackpot. I plopped down the $89.00 plus tax and put the boxed balance board and game in the trunk of my car and headed back to work to count the painfully slow minutes until 5:00 PM. Once home, I performed the ceremonial unboxing, setting up the new device per the specifications of the instructions and turned it on. Already having a Mii character that I had created in my likeness from when I had bought the Wii, I imported him into the Wii Fit program and proceeded to go through the initial set up steps. I entered my height and that I was a male and stood on the balance board so that it could record my weight. After the weigh-in, I had to perform a series of balance tests, which I was not ready for, in an effort to gauge my "Wii Age".
All steps finished, I stepped from the balance board to the floor to see the results. There stood my Mii, the symbol of how I viewed myself, poised in the center of the screen, background lights dimming and a spotlight appearing on him from above. The Mii then began to float into the air slowly spinning while the stardust danced around and suddenly my Mii dropped to the ground, bounced a few times, and expanded horizontally, leaving him hanging his head in shame. There might have been a "Wah, wah, wah" sound in there, but it was the word "Overweight" displaying on the screen that slayed me. I could care less about the followup Wii Fit age of 49 (twelve years above my actual age), it was the fact that the system had taken my Mii, who I had already accommodated with extra size, and added to it. "Fu...fuck you, Wii Fit. Fuuuuuuuuuucckkk you! I'll show you who's overweight, you son of a bitch." I vowed shaking my finger at the television. It was bad enough still having some of the body image nonsense from my junior high school days, but this? Coming from Nintendo none the less. I bought the original NES with money I saved as a kid. My brother and I sank so much damn money into the thing, we should have been given stock in the damn company. Overweight. Plump me out. I'll show you.
I resisted the urge to pop in Zack and Wiki, pull out a couple of beers and chomp down some pretzels, but instead wiped away the tears of shame and began to go through the exercises. Still pissed off, I doubled my efforts at the gym, going so far as to go to the Body Pump (light weights with incredibly high repetition) with my wife, which showed me that women double my age could easily kick my ass. Undaunted, I started running. The thought of me running is off-putting to both me and many of my friends, but I was doing it; last year I even ran 10.6 miles at the Big Sur Marathon.
At the time that I started the Wii Fit, I was dangerously close to the "Obese" line and have since lost 40 pounds and dance into the Normal range on occasion. It has been a long and difficult process, one that absolutely sucks rocks most of the time, one that I will have to maintain...well, forever, but I intend to do it grumbling the whole way. I have gained 3 or 4 pounds back over the past five months -- stupid holidays -- , but I have been getting back into the swing of things, combating the urge to fall into old habits with much difficulty. I rarely touch the Wii Fit or the supplemental Wii Fit Plus, except to weigh in at times, but I showed it who is plump and "Overweight." So how do you like those apples Wii Fit? Who's overweight now?
Answer - Still me, but not by much.