Well, it’s a brand new year, and that means it’s time for the same old resolutions. Yup, most years, me and mine resolve to become healthier / lose weight / get ripped. And most years nothing comes of it except that long about March we get a niggling sensation that we forgot to do something important.
Last year, we decided that if we were really going to stick to it, it would have to be fun. And hey, if we got Wii Fit, well that would be fun, right? We could get the kids on the healthy track early and yada yada yada.
As the first household in our immediate family circle to get the Wii fit, we became the place to come to play on the balance board.
First, if you have a Wii, then you are familiar with the concept of a Mii. This is a little avatar that you get to make, and like the name suggests, most of us go all narcissistic and spend several hours trying to get these little cartoon blobs to look as much like us as possible. After coming to grips with the fact that, yes, our eyes really are spaced like that and the square chin does best match our own faces, we get freaked out by how much this little conglomeration of features does look just like us! Creepy!
So when you first get on the Wii Fit, you dial up your Mii and try to get him to work out. But the good folks at Wii realized this isn’t right! What incentive do you have to trim up if your digi-alter-ego is already you but sleek? So the first time you hop on the board you’re in for a surprise.
For starters, the Fit has an adorable little voice that says ‘oh!’ when you climb on the board that serves a joystick and scale. Then it says ‘measuring, measuring’ in that same cute little voice. It occasionally hiccups a little, and we were afraid that as our heavier folks climbed on it might just let out a horrified little ‘ouch!’ or maybe even a full protestation – ‘you’re hurting me!’ But no, what it does is really far worse.
It takes a number of measures such as balance and reaction times and assigns you a ‘physical age’ that is often in the ‘senior’ category for people we would term young and relatively fit. It’s also remarkably easy to shave years off of this age just by trying again, so I’m not sure what it’s worth. But, that isn’t the worst of it.
No, it uses data you input (height & age) to calculate your BMI. If you are in the normal range this is all fine. But the normal range seemed a bit low to us. It didn’t capture some of the people we really thought would fall into it. And the ‘mildly overweight’ level seems impossible to get into. Too many family members jumped right into the mid numbers of the ‘obese’ category. And while we all like to lie to ourselves (it’s just an extra ten pounds and I can shed it if I put my mind to it!) I really wouldn’t label anyone in my family as obese – and not just because they are going to read this. After three family members earned this unsavory title, my sister yelled at it: “Obese! We’re in America! Stupid Asian BMI!”
If the label wasn’t bad enough, the next part is! Your Mii suddenly frowns. Bad things are coming your way. Yes, your Mii bloats right before your eyes – gaining all the extra baggage your “obese” real self has. Then, just to rub it in, the little Mii grabs its big, jiggly belly and gives it a shake while looking just about depressed enough to ask you to hit the ‘delete’ button and end his sad little existence.
Though your little Mii will lose the weight right along with you – shedding it in happy bits as you weigh in – the initial phase where his digital self gets surprised by all the weight you have gained for him is a bit too much to bear.
So, no. Sad to say, the Wii Fit didn’t really get us to our goal. My Mii hasn’t been exercised in months. And when I get back on, I know he’s gonna point that out to me, with recrimination in his sad little digital voice.
This year, instead, I am resolving not to resolve anything. I want to say that this is a resolution I can keep, but I do realize that it creates a completely circular conundrum and that I have broken this resolution just by having it. Oh, well, at least my record of breaking resolutions stands intact. And this year, my Mii will race Mario Karts and keep his little opinions about my weight to himself!