Fatblogging: Wii Fit @ 238 pounds

Quite a while ago, I wrote about fatblogging and, as of about a year ago, that my attempts to get myself below my then 240+ (247 peak in years past) lbs. Not a healthy weight for a 38 year old, even at a relatively tall 6 foot+ in height.

Well… I did. I dropped below 230 briefly and have since climbed back to 238. Why? Not keeping track of my weight on a daily basis diligently enough, not responding appropriately when my weight was heading in the wrong direction, and not exercising with any consistency.

I had been using Google 15 to track my weight. Neat. Basic. Flash. Yuck.

Now? I’ll be using a Wii Fit to, at the least, track my weight. Not only is it a fun little set of mini games that are focused on various dimensions — strength, flexibility, balance, endurance — of exercise, but it has a great user interface for tracking your weight over time.

But I’ll also be using to track much more than my weight. It actually has an awesome set of random exercises that appear to be really well suited to keeping on top of flexibility, balance, and basic strength training.

Does the Wii Fit replace going to a gym? Hell, no. But I never go to a gym. I hate gyms. And, if statistics are any indication, most of the population hates gyms, too. I’ll hike and bike instead, thanks.

We did find a few bugs in the Wii Fit’s “health quantification” algorithms. The Wii Fit assigns a “Wii Fit age” to each user based on performance, age, and BMI.

The initial set of tests don’t so much capture your initial physical condition as they do your ability to comprehend instructions for a wildly foreign user interface quickly.

My wife (who is nearly the same age as me) ended up with a Wii Fit age of 54 and my 7 year old son, Roger, turned up a 23.


My Wii called me obese. Which is true. But I ended up with a WFA (Wii Fit Age) of 34. As it turns out, my balance is really really good.

The Wii Fit also happens to be very accurate at measuring weight so far. It nailed my weight, certainly. As well, the damned thing is built like a tank! Very very solid construction.


The Wii Fit is quite a bit of fun. Certainly more fun than going to the gym, as far as I’m concerned. Given that it can track my weight daily with a lot more panache than the bathroom scale and provide me with a bit of a structured set of exercise across a gamut of goals, it is a bargain for the price.

Of course, the real mark of success will be both how much weight I have actually lost in 6 months and whether or not I’m still using the thing!

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13 Responses to “Fatblogging: Wii Fit @ 238 pounds”

  1. Joe Goh says:

    Congratulations on starting a fitness regime with Wii Fit! I hope that it’ll provide lasting benefits to your health.

    http://twitter.com/bbum/statuses/817978693 <– But if you’re really serious about losing weight, you might want to cut down on sodas, cane sugar or not. Its still excess calories that you’re going to have to spend extra effort to burn off. Just sayin’.

  2. Joel says:

    Your relatively young age and awareness of the problem work in your favor. Good luck with this!

  3. john speno says:

    I recommend reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. It’s not a diet book but it will give you a much better understanding of the science and dogma behind obesity. Take care.

  4. DogCow says:

    Here I sit 6’2″, 210 lbs, a couple years younger than bbum, eating a maplebar as I get ready for a joyful day of “stationary coding”. And to think that “back in the day” I thought there were no significant health risks being a software engineer.

    I did the DDR thing for about a year, it helped out my endurance, but didn’t make much of a dent in my weight & then came along Guitar Hero — so long dance pads, hello guitar! Now I’m contemplating biking 8 miles to work. At least that way I can combine exercise with my commute.

    Keep us posted on how the WiiFit thing goes.

  5. annbb says:

    If this turns out to be a miracle-worker for you, I’m gettin’ one, bro! Hating gyms must
    be a family thing…I can think of nothing worse…which is unfortunate (for me!)

  6. corbin dunn says:

    Hey Bill,
    You should pick up mountain unicycling. It is one of the best ways to get fit, and I know quite a few people who have lost a lot of weight just by picking up the hobby. One such guy is Terry, from down in LA: http://www.unigeezer.com/ . Just learning to ride and balance requires a lot of physical energy. It’s also quite challenging and involves problem solving to maintain your balance and figure out what you are doing wrong.

    Lately, I’ve been riding the 20 miles to work (and back). I have to consume massive amounts of calories to just maintain my body weight.

    If you want to borrow a unicycle, let me know. I can bring one to work with me next week (if I don’t ride to work). I have a spare 24″ Kris Holm mountain unicycle (slightly bent cranks), that works great. It might be a bit short for you (Jason Beaver from UIKit borrowed it for a while too, and managed to ride it a bit).

    T110, IL2 or email me if you are interested…

  7. James Duncan Davidson says:

    I too have jumped on the WiiFit wagon and so far am pretty impressed. I like how the basic design constraint of the device—it’s a balance board with four strain gauges on it for peets sake—has been used so well for so many things and how they take the emphasis on balance as far as they do. It’s certainly no replacement for other forms of exercise, but some of the things are really cool. For example, being able to see your balance while doing a yoga pose is very cool.

    As I use it, I find it patently ridiculous that I’m using a video game and at the same time am impressed by it. And, for what it’s worth, after two days, I have several sets of slightly sore muscles.

  8. Kiki says:

    Thanks for the review! You’re sister sent me over. I’m not happy about the weight display thingy but otherwise I think I want one. Thanks for the insight.

  9. Crispy says:

    Bbum forgot to mention one other humorous feature of the Wii Fit. After it takes your measurements, it “resizes’ your Mii to , er, reflect your actual size, i.e. our Mii’s are tubby.

  10. Sister Carrie says:

    Gyms. Hate them. Does run in the family. Will have to get a Wii, but I am not sure I can handle its honesty.

  11. Papa Joe says:

    i go to the weight room twice a week now…

    that is where the poker games r held in our ACTIVE ADULT COMMUNITY!
    i lose every time but not the weight!!! dammit!!!

  12. Andy from Wii Products Store says:

    Nice post. I have just read a post on another blog that slated Nintendo for creating a device that can tell kids that they are obese. I do kind of agree that a home entertainment system should not really state such quotes, but maybe should use a special ‘Wii Fit Rank’ or something like that.

    I myself have only spent about 30 minutes on a Wii Fit but do think it will be something I’ll be getting into the house, mainly for a fitness, weight loss tool. Like you, I would mind keeping the pounds low and think used with a balance diet, could be a handy tool for doing just that.

    Good luck with the weight loss! Keep at it, and try and keep to a routine. You are right, it is MUCH better than going to the gym.


  13. Extreme Acai Berry Trial says:

    Using the Wii is a great way to lose weight thats for sure. Nintendo has always been giving a run for you money =)

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