Weight Loss Tuesday: I will do anything to avoid working out

I just did my first “Your Shape” workout for the Wii.  It was hard.

I agreed to do a three-month weight loss/fitness challenge with nine other women.  The great folks at Nintendo recently sent me a Wii, so I jumped at the chance to use it to get fit when the “Your Shape” opportunity came along.  I could have gone out and bought the game myself, but it’s about more than that: it’s about motivation.  I’ve been in a slump for the past few months, weight-loss wise.  So I thought that maybe some friendly competition would help.  We’ll see.

messy living roomToday was the official start of the challenge, and I spent the whole day avoiding it.  I had a couple of guys in my house installing a kitchen for most of the day, then the kids were home and it was time to do homework and go to Tae Kwon Do and out to dinner at Subway (we have no kitchen right now, and really won’t for at least a couple of weeks).  Then it was bedtime for the kids, and time to work out.  So what did I do?  I caulked the front door. Then I cleaned up the living room.  That delay was excusable, because I knew that I’d need room to exercise – the kitchen stuff was encroaching on the living room, not to mention the fact that my bags from the Vegas trip were still sitting in the middle of the floor.  But by the time I was done tidying up the room, it was almost midnight and I knew that if I didn’t do the workout then, it wouldn’t happen and I’d have messed up on the very first day.

The game comes with a camera, and it captures your moves as you work out.  There’s a little Jenny McCarthy avatar on the left side of the screen, and then you’re on the right side.  And Jenny talks to you.  A lot.  I would have been happy with less of Jenny talking.  I’ll have to experiment with the game and see if that’s possible.  I want the feedback – the whole selling point of the game is that it tells you whether or not you’re doing the workout moves right, and motivates you along the way.  But I don’t need a constant flow of chatter.

Or do I?  Trying to do better when Jenny told me I wasn’t raising my arms high enough or squatting low enough not only kept me motivated, but it helped pass the time quicker.  What I look for in a workout is something that distracts me from the fact that I’m working out.  Often this means TV or music, but with this game it means yelling at the TV and trying to match exactly what the avatar is doing.  Whatever works.

I was surprised at how well the camera picked up my movements.  There’s actually a visual lag between what I’m doing and what shows up on the screen, but that doesn’t seem to be affecting the game – the game is “seeing” what I’m doing more accurately than what I’m seeing on the screen, so I just look at Jenny instead of myself, only glancing at my side of the screen every now and then to make sure I’m in the frame.

The game shows you the number of calories you’re burning as you go along, but I think the count is a bit high.  While I would love to burn 200 calories in fifteen minutes, I’m guessing it was closer to 100.  But I did get a good workout.  My heart rate was up, I was sweating, and now I have that “heavy” feeling in my arms and legs that I know will translate to some soreness tomorrow.  While I’m fairly active in my daily life – lots of walking and stair climbing – this was using different muscles, muscles that have been taking it easy for a while.  Time to wake up.

The real test will be if I keep doing it.  Since I started the actual workout part after midnight, the workout was counted for Wednesday on the game’s calendar.  I think I’m going to take advantage of that and take tomorrow off, and let my muscles rest. :-)

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