How I Lost 30 Pounds Playing Video Games

Posted: January 13, 2012 in General
Tags: , , , , , , ,

We’ve entered a new year and a lot of people have resolutions on their mind. One of the most common ones? Lose weight.

Almost two years ago (wow, has it really been that long?) I started down a road that eventually allowed me to shed 30 pounds. It wasn’t hard or excruciating, and it didn’t cost me tons of money in diet pills, gym equipment, or personal trainers aptly named “He Who Shalt Strip You of Your Fat and Your Dignity.” And guess what? I did it by doing what 90% of my generation does best:

I have to share my DDR dance matts with the cat. But I don't think she knows that they're not for napping...

Playing video games.

Here, let me start at the beginning.

I’ve never been a skinny kid. I’ve struggled with my weight and how I looked, but it wasn’t always the biggest deal for me. The only time I really cared was in gym class (okay, WHOSE idea was it to do a “team” exercise where we all had to go up and over a 20 foot wall??) or when I wanted new clothes (very few things are more depressing than finding THE perfect outfit and  then having to put it back when it doesn’t fit). When I got to college I dropped 20 pounds because I was walking uphill every day. I was in the farthest dorm and most of my classes were on the other side of campus. Whoo hoo! No Freshman Fifteen for me! Well, then senior year hit. I moved into an apartment and made some friends who had a car. Oops.

When I got home, I was at the heaviest I’ve ever been. I didn’t like how I looked, so I decided to make a change. But how was I going to do it? I’ve tried going to gyms before, and they just don’t work for me. I could work out by myself – design my own schedule, or do some exercises on my own every day. I’ve tried that before, and it gets boring really fast.

So, I decided that I wanted a Wii and that I wanted to get Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). I played it a few times at a friend’s house when I was in high school, and I was addicted to it. I remember how much it made you move and how much it made you sweat if you got really into it.

I got the game and immediately started working out – at least one hour a day. Most of the time I danced for longer than that – it was so much fun! I did try to eat better, too,  though I couldn’t entirely give up junk food. I mostly stopped eating red meat and tried very, very hard not to snack between meals. It only took a couple of months, through the summer and into the fall, and bam! 20 pounds less.

That’s the success story. Here’s the after story.

I got lazy. I stopped working out because DDR wasn’t fun anymore. I was at the point where I was too good for the level I was on and not good enough for the next one. I would get so frustrated when I made one mistake that I would just give up and turn it off (competitive much?). I didn’t actually put any more weight on, but I wasn’t as active as I was and I definitely wasn’t losing any more.

Fast forward to last summer. A friend had the video game Just Dance and I tried it out while I was at her house. It was different from DDR, but it was just as fun. I decided to pick it up for myself and try working out an hour each day. This worked for a while and I actually dropped another 10 pounds.

Then I got lazy again. Double oops. (Actually, in reality, I just got too busy to exercise, what with work and writing and editing and reading and internet and…okay, excuses, but they’re valid. Kind of.) The good thing is that I’ve kept off the 30 pounds that I initially lost. But now it’s time to crank up the volume.

If you’re keeping up with this blog, you’ll know that part of my New Year’s Resolutions is to lose another 20 pounds (preferably by summertime). My ROW80 goals include exercising at least half an hour each day. I now have Just Dance 2 and Just Dance 3, as well as DDR: Hottest Party 2. I can switch between the three games and I rarely get bored.

Smaller pants size, here I come!

 

(P.S. For those of you in ROW80, or those of you with resolutions, who have weight-loss goals – how are you doing it? Do you go to a gym? Exercise each day on your own? Or do you play video games, too? I’m going to review each of the games mentioned above in an upcoming post, and hopefully I’ll be able to convince you to give at least one of them a try!)

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