Our Journey to Zero wants Wii Fit to STHU

I met Travis Pizel of Our Journey to Zero at FinCon11 during a speed networking session the Friday night of the conference.

During that brief meeting, I had no idea Travis was such a colorful writer.  In checking out his site I saw that he is on a quest to have Wii Fit stop calling him overweight.  Some of his phrases are a hoot.

It's a simple, well-defined goal, but like anything worth doing, it's been hard work on his part.  He's almost there, too — within 10 pounds.

I guess if you need an enemy, it might as well be an animated balance board telling you you're fat!


Wii Fit Plus is in da house, and it makes you think

My wife bought Wii Fit Plus at Costco earlier this week.  I think she bought it to encourage me some more.  I've been pretty good about watching what I eat very carefully and exercising for at least a half-hour each night on the Wii.

I talked about some of the Wii Fit Plus features over at Slimmify but the biggest overall difference is that this software makes you think.  It tests your memory, judgement, and the extent to which you can achieve mental disconnect between different parts of your body.  Some of the games are really, really tough, not necessarily in a physical sense but in a mental sense.

It's like walking and chewing gum on steroids.

Mixed in some yoga in my Wii Fit routine tonight — plus a cool website

Three nights in a row with 30 minutes or more logged in on Wii Fit … better than the past few months anyway.

Mixed in a little bit of yoga — Sun Salutation and Half Moon baby! — as well as an in-place run around the happy island.  Just about missed completing the tilt-the-board game.

My wife found a site that produces Wii Fit workout routines called, aptly, Wii Fit Routine.  It has a number of different types of routines with different lengths and different difficulties.  It also can be used to generate workouts tailored for specific goals: endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance.  There are a few other extras:  recipes, articles, and the like, as well as goal-tracking for weight, BMI, and other things.

Definitely worth a peek.  And it's free!

Some more Wii Fit, but need to avoid candy

Work is pretty evil as far as candy goes. I don't have to look very far for free, bottomless supplies of sweets. There are at least three places — no, make that four — at work that I can pick up some Sourheads®, some bite-sized chocolate bars, Twizzlers®, whatever. Forget the healthy stuff on my desk — sugar is what gets me going.

I'm going to postulate for a second here.  I eat pretty much whatever's available to me.  If I have a box of Stroopwafels, a pack of gum, a 2-liter of soda, or a six-pack of Saranac, I just consume it until it's gone.  (Well, the beer I'll stop at three or so per day.  Thank goodness my wife hides the beer and doles it out to me.)

Much like what NCN found, stuff that's just there gets eaten.  No really good reason beyond that.

But on the bright side, I did do another 31 minutes on Wii Fit tonight, and got another perfect score on the soccer ball heading game.  I found last night that I slept better after some exercise.  Hopefully that will repeat tonight. 🙂

Cracked out Wii Fit for the first time in a while

And it didn't even make a snide comment at me!  Probably was speechless because it thought I was dead.

Thirty-one minutes of Wiixercise:  11 minutes of Hula-Hoop® (no, there's no video), 13 minutes of rhythmic boxing, a couple games of soccer ball heading, one round of table tilting the balls down the holes, and one game of penguin slide.

Wii Fit wouldn't let me make a 2 1/2 month goal so I made a three-month goal to lose 14 pounds, which is about the same as my other short-term goal of getting down to 235 pounds by the end of the year.

Got a perfect score on Wii Fit Soccer Ball Heading

I just about scared the collar off of one of my dogs when I yelled "YEEEAAAHHHHH!" at the top of my lungs, though.

Five hundred fifty-five points on beginner level.  The advanced level is still eating me for lunch.  I cracked 300 points once and most of my other tries were in the low 200s — a far cry from the maximum 655 points.

You're reading this, and you might be thinking, whoopee, good for you, let me share my excitement, nah I'm not really excited, that's lame.

Have I mentioned that it's really easy to slack off on exercising?  I've put in a half-hour tonight and last night but there was a pretty big hiatus, as in a few weeks.  As it was, tonight I just did balance games — which is exercise but not a huge amount of exercise.

I was in good shape in graduate school ten years ago, but I was putting in 45 minutes to an hour, five or six days a week, on an elliptic trainer.  That's a fairly hefty routine.  Now an accomplishment is playing Tilt Board, Penguin Slide, and Soccer Ball Heading a few times, not breaking a sweat, and writing about it.  This wasn't what I was doing ten years ago, or even two months ago.

Oh well. maybe I'll get a bunch of exercise cleaning up after the storm. 😉

How to get a 403% burn rate on Wii Fit Basic Run

I've been a slacker on the pushups but I've been keeping on with Wii Fit, mainly with the aerobic workouts.  I enjoy the Basic Run Island Lap.  It doesn't use the Wii Balance Board but it does use the Wii remote: just hold it or stick it in your pocket and it registers your steps like a pedometer.

The metric they use to measure your progress on this exercise is "burn rate," which as far as I can tell is a measure of how consistent the run is.  If I'm just screwing around and shaking the remote up and down while I'm running and making my Mii fall, my burn rate will be in the 10-20% range.  If I give it a good try and do a reasonable job, the burn rate will be higher: 80% to 100%, or more.  When I'm running in place on the floor, I can get a burn rate anywhere from 150% to 250%.  I don't know how they calculate it but it's probably inversely related to the variance in the step rate:  the more the running speed changes, the lower the burn rate.  There's also a speed component: a slower speed seems to give a higher burn rate than a faster speed, even if that faster speed is steady.

I forgot to take a picture of my 403% burn rate Island Lap, but here's how I did it.  This might be cheating but my calves, ankles, and lower back tell me otherwise.  I bounced for 15 minutes on a trampoline we got at a yard sale.  Nice and steady!  And probably lower impact than running, anyway.

Silver Fit Bank, following dogs, and taking it easy

I just crossed the 20-hour mark in Fit Credits on Wii Fit. My Fit Bank got an upgrade to silver. It's all shiny and stuff.

Tonight I put over an hour on Wii Fit because my wife found out how to take different routes on the Island Lap run. We had wanted to find the fifteen hidden retro Nintendo characters scattered all over the island (like Mario and the mushrooms from Super Mario Brothers) but for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to run the different parts of the island. I knew that I had done it before — that was the frustrating part.

The trick is to follow the dogs. At certain points in the run a dog will com up from behind you. If you pass your guide, then the dog becomes the new guide, and takes you through a different route. What had happened is that I was fooling around during the first couple of times I did the run, and I deliberately passed my guide just to watch my Mii trip and fall. (Simple jokes for simple folks.) But for the past couple of weeks I took my time, and did a nice, steady pace, and saw the exact same route every single time I did the run. Well, my steady pace didn't let me follow any of the dogs! Bingo! (That's his name-o.)

I've been holding off on the 100 Pushups Challenge for the past week. My chiropractor told me that the hand position for standard pushups can cause the hands and wrists to tighten and become a bit painful to move. Holding off on that during Week 3 helped fix that, but then my right shoulder started to act up. The little pains in my shoulder reminded me of a time a few years ago when I had a likely rotator cuff injury. I was dumb and tried to launch my old dryer drum into the front yard before we took it to the dump. (I took it easy for a week or so and it healed, and remembered not to shock my shoulder like that.) Since basically the only way to heal that kind of injury is to immobilize the shoulder, I'm pretty careful, and if it starts complaining, I take it easy.

Well, that's my update. How are you doing with your routines?

My three year old daughter is a great coach

She works me hard!

During dinner tonight she asked me to “do boxing” on Wii Fit. This is the Rhythm Boxing cardio workout. She really likes the fast punching at the end, and informs me that I'm “going to go fast later.”

Then, she wanted me to run the Island Lap. Ten minutes of jogging.

Following that, I walked the tightrope.

Finally, six minutes of Super Hula Hoop™. (Yes, it's pretty amusing to watch me do that.) She made sure I was all right a couple of times when I lost my balance, and threw in a few “go go go Daddy” shouts for good measure.

Thirty-two minutes later, I was spent, but I know that I got a good workout!

And my daughter coached me through that. 😉

My Fit Bank on Wii Fit got an upgrade tonight

Tonight I passed the ten-hour mark on Wii Fit and my “Fit Bank” got a bronze-color upgrade along with a brief fanfare. These little touches are nice and remind me that I'm sticking to this pretty well.

If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, here it is in a nutshell. The Fit Bank is a squarish animated piggy bank of sorts that stores the “Fit Credits” I earn for doing the activities. One minute of activity is one fit credit (FC) and counts as one minute in the Fit Bank. The strength training exercises are usually 1 FC, the yoga exercises are usually 2 FC, and the balance and cardio activities run me anywhere from 1 to 20 FC. The FCs drop into the Fit Bank with a satisfying sound one by one after each exercise.

I'll need to make this goal a little more formal but I'm on pace to earn 30 minutes worth of FC each week. (I get a short fanfare each day that I put in 30 minutes or more. I'm such a sucker for these little encouragements!)