I lost 20 lbs. with the Wii Fit! And kept it off!
Months ago, my brother mentioned that he and his wife had managed to get their hands on a Wii Fit - lucky dogs! I could handle the $89.99 price tag, but the problem was actually finding them! I spent many weekends visiting Target, Wal-Mart, Sam's, etc. all around town trying to find one.
I got lucky and found an electronics store in the local mall with an "Is it in Stock?" feature on their website. I used this almost daily until I got an e-mail that said the Wii Fit was in and that they would hold it for me if I could come in and pick it up by the close of business that day - no problem!
So, on September 6th, I embarked on my Wii Fit weight loss journey. I weighed in at just over 153 pounds, which was actually less than I expected, but not too far off. I had been fluctuating around 155-158 all summer. When you enter your height, the Wii Fit calculates your BMI (mine was in the 26-27 range = overweight!) and gives you an idea of what your BMI and ideal weight should be. I was surprised that the target BMI it suggested was exactly what my doctor told me I should weigh - around 138. Not totally unrealistic, but still daunting to someone who's not very athletic, coordinated, or really stuck to any kind of diet/eating/exercise plan. I set my goal to lose 15 lbs. and get me to a "normal" BMI of 24. (The range for normal is 18.5-25 so I could still lose a few more pounds and be "normal." We'll see.)
So, after weighing in, the Wii Fit measures and keeps track of your weight loss/gain with each body test you complete. The body tests consist of your weigh-in, a center-of-balance test, and two other random balance tests. The Wii Fit then uses your weight, your age, and your balance test results to calcuate your Wii Fit age. (After my first test, I think my Wii Fit age was 36 - not good considering I was 28 at the time of the test!) When you weigh in, it lets you know exactly how much weight you've gained/lost since last time and how your BMI has changed as well. There are graphs to keep track of your progress, and I think that's helpful for me - I'm a number person; I need to see the results!!!
You can do a variety of exercises with the Wii Fit: Yoga, Strength, Aerobics, and Balance. The best part about the Wii Fit is that you are working out and enjoying yourself at the same time. My goal has been to work out for 30 minutes a day and that's no problem with all the different activities you can do! (The more activities you do, the more Fit Credits you earn, and the more poses, activities, and games you can unlock.)
Yoga - I like to start my workout with some yoga poses, about 10-12 minutes or so. Some are easier than others, and some I was already familiar with. With Wii Fit, you concentrate on how you shift and place your weight and you focus on your breathing. Yoga is a very good way to stretch and warm up your muscles before working out, but doing several exercises together is a workout in itself and you will find yourself sweating after a good ten minutes or so.
Strength - I'm a bit of a weenie, so I'm still slowly working the strength training moves into my routine. I like to do the jackknife to work my abs, the triceps lift for my arms, a couple leg moves, and every once in a while I try the plank and push-up/side plank combo. 30 seconds of doing the plank is a killer.
Aerobics - When I first got the Wii Fit, I wasn't aware of all of the other activities you could "unlock" so after doing the basic step routine, I was kind of wishing for something a little faster or longer. Well, after earning enough Fit Credits, you unlock an advanced step routine, and a custom step routine. I like stepping along in unison with the little Miis (which is about a 6-8 minute workout) but the custom step routine is nice - you can switch your TV input back to TV so you can change the channel and watch other shows, while still hearing your step rhythm and step counter through the Wii remote. You can set your timer and walk 800 steps all while watching your favorite TV show! There's also a jogging/running activity, but I'm not crazy about running in place and trying to keep pace with the Mii on screen. I tried running around in circles, but that felt a little goofy, too, just running around in circles in my living room. Another aerobic option is boxing. The short, beginner workouts are a nice little warm-up, but now that I've unlocked the advanced options, I really like those. Again, quite a little workout when you get done! At the end of each boxing workout, you're encouraged to really beat the snot out of the punching bag/dummy - a great way to vent any pent-up frustration you may have. Finally, there's hula hooping. It seems fun at first, but after hula-hooping several minutes at a time, several days in a row, my abs were killing me. Those are muscles I obviously haven't used in... a long time.
Balance - I already know that I'm not the most coordinated person in the world, and I don't need Wii skiing or snowboarding to tell me that. However, some of the games and activities that they have for balance are just kind of fun! You can practice tightrope walking, navigating down a river, or you can be a penguin that slides along an iceberg and tries to catch fish. Cute little ways to stretch your muscles, (if you snowboard for a long time, you'll really feel it in your legs and in your butt from squatting for so long!) work on your balance, and have fun while you're working out.
Why I Like the Wii Fit better than any other workout program, DVD, or gym:
Variety. You can do what you want, in the order you want, when you want it. If something's too hard, skip it. If you don't like it, skip it. If you like something and want to do it three times, then do it. You just pick the option you want; no rewinding, fast forwarding, etc. It's not like a workout DVD that gets old, boring, and repetitive because you make the workout up as you go along.
Indoors. I live in Florida. Walking or bike-riding outside is pure punishment 8-9 months out of the year here. With Wii Fit, I can work out inside (air conditioning!) at any time I want.
Virtual trainer. You can pick a guy or a girl. They model the moves and exercises for you the first time you try to do one. With some of the activities, you can even "compete" against them. The Wii Fit is always happy to offer you a tip or some advice. If you gain weight, it asks you to think about and record the possible cause of your weight gain. If you haven't logged on in awhile, it will ask what you've been up to or where you've been.
Progress monitoring. Every time you step on the Wii Fit, you can do a Body Test and get your weight. When you complete your Body Test, you can look at your calendar to see your workout habits, your weight, your BMI, and the progress you've made towards your goal.
Yes, you do have to watch what you eat!
About a month or so ago, when I bought the Wii Fit, I knew that I was going to have to make some changes in my eating habits for my workouts to be effective. In the past, I have done Atkins, South Beach, and low carb eating, but not long enough for those methods to have long-lasting results. Those are "ways of life," not diets, and you have to be willing to make some major changes to your lifestyle to keep the weight off. I am not a very good calorie-counter, portion-controller, food-weigher, or Weight-Watcher. I wasn't going to dive into some drastic diet or weight-loss plan that has never worked for me before. I did not want to do something that would only discourage me and sabotage my efforts at weight loss.
So I've made some simple, easy changes, that seem to have helped. I don't deny or deprive myself in anyway. I can actually say that if I want my triple grande mocha from Starbucks, that I will have it - with whipped cream. If I feel like dessert, than yes, I will have an ice cream sundae with all the fixings - I am human, after all.
But I did make a couple sacrifices that were easy for me.
No soda - I might have some here and there if I'm out and about, but I don't drink it at my house. I mostly drink water or unsweetened iced tea. I don't miss it.
No coffee - I used to drink it every morning out of habit. I've never been one of those "GIVE ME CAFFEINE!!!" people, but I just liked the routine of having my coffee at work in the morning. I made a switch to tea sweetened with honey. After awhile, I got tired of tea and just switched to drinking water first thing in the morning, anyway. I don't miss it, and like I said, I don't need it.
Water - I don't drink soda or coffee. I don't like a lot of juices because of all the sugar. So I drink lots of water. Mostly just plain water. I have tried some of the flavored stuff - Propel, Fruit 2 0, Vitamin Water, Fuze, etc. but most of them seem to sweet to me and I can't even finish them. I'll just take plain old water, thanks.
Frozen grapes - It sounds silly, but these are my favorite snack. I buy bunches of grapes and just stash them in the freezer. When I want something sweet, I have a handful of frozen grapes. When I want something cold, like ice cream, I have a handful of frozen grapes. When I want something kind of crunchy... you got it. Frozen grapes. They're kind of like bite-sized popsicles. I'm getting something sweet and cold and crunchy all at the same time and I don't feel one bit guilty about eating them because it's fruit. I figure it's much healthier to sit and eat a bowlful of frozen grapes than it is to sit and eat junk food like I normally would in the past.
Less eating at restaurants - Let's face it, with the economy the way it is, it's hard to go out to eat as often as we used to. I'd rather stay home and cook something myself most nights anyway, because it's something that I enjoy. However, if I do go out, then I usually make it a point to enjoy myself, because I don't get to do it that often these days. (My enjoyment was definitely apparent when I got on the Wii Fit the day after my friend's birthday dinner and it showed that I had gained 2.9 pounds from the previous day.)
Salad - I can get tired of salad pretty quickly, so I like to buy all my fixings, make a big batch, and then portion it out for lunches and dinners throughout the week. I hate wasting food, so I try to make sure it all gets eaten before it goes bad. I try to add as much stuff to my salad as possible to make it "interesting." Different lettuces and greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green peppers, carrots, onions, bacon bits, cheese, sesame seeds, croutons, whatever... I usually end up putting so much stuff in my salads that they become a meal all by themselves!
Like I said, over the summer (before I got the Wii Fit) my weight fluctuated around 155-158 pounds. I've been heavier than that, too.
September 6th Starting Weight: 153 lbs. Size 10/12 pants.
October 13th Weight: 143 lbs. Size 10/12 pants are very loose. Fitting into size 10 shorts that I haven't worn in years. Also bought several size 8's, which are fitting pretty loosely as well!
January 9, 2009 Weight: 136 lbs!!!!!!!!!!!! *Normal* BMI of 24.
March 10, 2009 Weight: Maintaining between 136-139 lbs. (My doctor said 138 is a decent weight for me.) Still in the normal BMI range. With any diet/exercise program, if I slack off and don't exercise, or overindulge in pizza, ice cream, and beer, obviously I'm going to gain some weight back. I'm thinking I might try to shoot for 130-135 as a new goal for the summer! It's almost bikini weather!