To Those about to Eat, Wii Salute You

A couple of things I thought I would point out about using the Wii Fit as an exercise program.

  1. I'm not using this as a replacement for going outdoors and doing stuff. I don't go out and do much in the first place. I do however still take the dog to park and go hiking around the lake a few times a week.

  2. I'm replacing going to the gym with staying home and using the Wii.

In some ways #2 is not a great trade off. I'm sure equal time spent at the gym would produce much better results. However, if I replace an occasional trip to the gym, with three to fours times as much time spent during the week on the Wii, I think I will come out ahead.

One thing that has led to much of the general derision of the Wii fit is the focus on the balance board. In an attempt to justify the cost of the balance board they have created lots of silly exercises that use the balance board, but don't really need it. Like push-ups and sit-ups. If you only look at what you can do with the balance board, then it is indeed very limited and silly. Wii Fit is not the only exercise title for the Wii though. There are several out there of varying quality. I picked up a couple of others that had received good reviews, My Fitness Coah, and Gold's Gym Cardio Workout. My Fitness Coach does not use the balance board at all, and Gold's Gym uses it only in a cursory manner which is completely optional. What these titles become is more of an interactive workout video. They don't allow you to do anything you couldn't do on your own or with a traditional video. They do offer a little bit of variety and interactivity that will allow you to tailor your workouts and hopefully not get bored as quickly as you would with a simple static video.

The other side of the fitness coin is of course healthy eating. So I'm am embarking on yet another diet. My history with diets have been rocky, but I have managed to lose in the area of 30 lbs several times before in my life and keep it off for a year or more. True, I eventually always seem to gain it back, but I like to think that if I hadn't made those attempts in the past I might weigh a lot more than I do now. I may not be winning the war ,but I'm at least executing a formidable holding action.

So this time around I'm trying the Mediterranean Diet. Now, I don't think there is a dietary magic bullet out there. Diets work on one principle, taking in fewer calories than you expend. Any successful diet works on that concept. In reality a diet shouldn't even be needed. Just eat less, exercise more, and weight will be lost. Unfortunately, overweight people generally have a history of making bad choices when it comes to food, and sometimes a little guidance is needed to help keep you focused. It is really about putting yourself in the proper frame of mind and setting some limits. The core of the Mediterranean Diet is not radically different than Weight Watchers, South Beach, or any other reasonable diet plan. Eat a diet high in fiber, low in fats, and with lots of fruits and vegetables, and limit your consumption of meats and processed foods. This isn't rocket science. Each plan has its own slant on things, but they do not differ radically. I am giving this a try because I like the kinds of spices and flavors it uses, and it encourages the idea of really enjoying food and experimenting with different recipes. Keeping the meals tasty and interesting is one way to feel less deprived when cutting back.

So, who knows how far I will get this time around. I've lost 4 or 5 lbs in the last week, which is about normal for when starting a new diet. The first couple of weeks usually see a significant drop before leveling off to the 1-2 lb per week rate.  I doubt that I will ever be thin, but I hope to avoid being someone that is so fat they need a handicap license plate so they don't have to walk so far to the all you can eat buffet.