I started playing Wii Fit U tonight. And to my surprise, it brought up a number of strong emotions. You see, I have a little bit of a history with Wii Fit.
When I first got it a few months after it came out I was so ridiculously into it. Every single day, almost without fail, I would do the daily fitness test. Even if it was 11:57pm, I’d rush home to boot up the Wii and sneak the test in before midnight. I did it obsessively for months, keeping a record of my results for no other reason other than I was proud I could manipulate the game into seeing how amazingly balanced and coordinated I was. I logged dozens of hours doing the exercises. I was a master at the soccer-based balance game, I’d unlocked the advanced shoulder stand in yoga, I completed the 100 jack-knife challenge in the strength section and I was thoroughly smitten with the female trainer. I think I clocked over 50 hours in total, and I have very fond memories of training late into the night, feeling healthier and stronger and more capable than I had otherwise been.
One day in school, I accidentally dropped my journal during home room. I went back to retrieve it after the first period, but someone had already found it, going through it and making notes on pages of interest. On the pages dedicated to my Wii Fitness Test results they had written “LOLOLOLOLOLolololOLOLOLOLOL”. It hurt me deeply, and I realised in a flash that other people thought my passion was dorky. Shortly after that I decided to stop mindlessly and obsessively doing the test every day, and soon after I stopped playing it entirely.
When Wii Fit+ came out a few years ago, I bought it out of nostalgia. I had a pretty good time with it, but I was only interested in seeing what new games and exercises they had introduced. I don’t think I played it more than twice or thrice in all. And when the Wii Fit U was announced, I was willing to give it a good try, and I was especially impressed by the Fit Meter (which acts as a pedometer and more). Once I’d booted it up, I had a really, really good time playing it, and all those fond memories came flooding back along with a peculiar sense of shame. It’s pretty senseless to hold onto the (rather low) opinion of a stranger from 2007, yet I can’t help but feel a modicum of judgement that lingers for enjoying something a little nerdy.
But there is something magical about Wii Fit. Shigeru Miyamoto’s dream of a healthier and happier population inspires me. It’s as if when he came up with the idea and shared it with others, he poured his heart into it, wanting nothing other than the people of the world to try his gamercising and love it as much as he hoped they could. And this vision is reinforced every step of the way as the Wii Fit Board tells me about the importance of good posture, healthy diet and adequate sleep. It’s as if Miyamoto-san, through the persona of the Board, really does want me to be the healthiest and happiest person I can be. And that inspires me to eat better, to exercise more and to be a more vibrant human being. And I am so grateful for that.
So, while this inspiration lasts, I am once more going to delve into the world of Wii Fit. I don’t think I’ll take the daily tests as I find them unhelpful. I know that my balance is excellent, and I’ve found that measuring my weight every day is quite discouraging. I used to score consistently between 58-60kg with the goal of putting on weight, but after my Japan trip I’m weighing in at about 66kg, which is about 4kg more than I was before I left! I’m surprised I haven’t lost the weight, but I’m not going to let it be important to me. It’s just a number, and at the end of the day it doesn’t really impact very much on how healthy I am. I’d like to lose a little more of it, but BMI is such an unreliable indicator of healthiness that I’m just going to ignore it entirely. For all I know, I could have put on stacks of muscle! (Not likely as my shadow of a six-pack has disappointingly faded, but still.)
Here’s to a happier and healthier future. I hope you’re a little inspired to make some lifestyle changes yourself! I might report back in a little while to see how things are going. Ja ne!
UPDATE: It’s kind of addictive to do the daily fitness test and unlock all the stamps. It still irks me that I’m not losing weight, and I feel myself slipping into a sense of self-criticism. But at the same time, it motivates me to eat healthier and exercise more, and I treasure that. Perhaps my fitness far exceeds the abilities of the Wii Fit board to assess, but I’m nevertheless having fun recording the amount of calories I burn and doing exercises that target different muscle groups. It continues to be a source of joy and motivation in my life, and I am grateful for it.