Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fitness and Fun at Home

Ever since the fateful day of the pool party when another mom told me to my face that I was fat, I've been looking for ways to slim down. Yes, I know, I shouldn't care what she says since my BMI is in the normal range but I've been socialized enough by American culture that when someone says something like that, you just can't ignore it. So I've been going for run/walks with R while H is in preschool, but twice a week just doesn't cut it. I think God has been noticing my efforts, however, because in the past two weeks I've had the opportunity to go to a Wii Fit Plus party hosted by fellow LA Moms Blogger Kim Prince (check out her blog for info about the LA holiday playdate she's hosting next month to collect diapers for charity) and the EA Games Annual Winter Gaming Wonderland event.

At the Wii Fit Plus party we were given a tutorial on how to get started with the Wii Fit balance board. I think that's the biggest hurdle, at least for me. A lot of times electronics have so many different steps you have to do, that if you're not a tech savvy person, you'll probably give up. I'm really glad I went to the event because now I think I can actually use the Wii Fit to exercise at home when the kids are asleep. I've done Denise Austin yoga at home, but always wondered if I had the right form. Well, the Wii Fit measures your center of gravity so if you drift off, you can see it right on the screen. The Wii Fit also comes with fun games that helps you burn calories while you're playing. There is a game where you move your hips side to side and front to back to add up to 10. I said to my friend, "oh, it's a game for Asians." She said, "yes, Nintendo is Japanese." I can't help but wonder if this was the Japanese being ironic by playing into the Asian stereotype and also if I'm the only one who's thought about it. In any respects, the game is fun and burns calories so the rest is besides the point. At the end of the night, the sponsors surprised us by giving each participant her own Wii Fit Plus to take home. So cool!

At the EA Games event, Stewart and the boys went nuts. They hopped from game to game, from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to Boom Blox Bash Party to Hasbro Family Game Night 2. For me, however, the best game was the Active More Workouts. I think I've found the perfect indoor workout. The More Workouts program integrates the Wii Fit balance board to give you as complete a person trainer you can get that is not an actual human being. I tried one of the demo workouts and I got so pumped up, I had to take off my jacket. The Active game monitors your leg as well as arm movements and has you working with a resistance band, so it seems like you get a more intense cardio workout than the Wii Fit Plus. So Wii Fit for core strengthening and Active for cardio, I really have no excuses now.

I also played the Sims 3 expansion pack World Adventures. Ok, this might be weird but I've always wanted to kill a Sims character to see what would happen so I got my character to starve to death. The grim reaper came out and he became a ghost. The demonstrator told me that there were ways to bring him back to life, so really, no harm done. I think a lot of my frustration at being a mom is that I expect my real life family to act like a Sims family. I want my kids to eat and sleep when I dictate, I want my husband not to leave his clothes all over the house, and I want the ability to control time. Then I think that if that actually happened, then the Matrix would probably be real. So it's a good thing that my family is the way it is, right?

Another game our family got to try out was the Wii Fifa Soccer game. Stewart was so enthusiastic about it that he even wrote a review of it that he wanted me to post on my blog.
Without further ado, Stewart's global internet blog debut:
Growing up, I was firmly entrenched at the bottom of the video game totem pole when it came to success on our family’s old 8-bit Nintendo console. Sports games in particular were highly mystifying with complex game play which often devolved into a series of unresponsive button mashing. I bought the Nintendo Wii in the hopes that its motion-sensing technology would make video games more accessible for the casual gamer like me. Wii Sports is the perfect example of a game that can be both simple and fun to play. But would more hardcore games be as easy? After trying Fifa Soccer 10, I can say that the answer is yes. Sure there is a bit of a learning curve, but with its simpler “All-Play” mode, there really are only limited set of options to worry about: shoot, pass, sprint, standing tackle, and sliding tackle. And thankfully, two of those options are executed with a simple flick of the remote. Sure it’s a dumbed downed alternative, but most of the fun is actually getting to play Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and seeing him score some killer goals without having to press a million buttons and perform some odd sequence of directional movements to make it happen. And since I’m not a hard core gamer, it provides the right amount of thrill with the precise amount of needed complexity. And for those of you who want to really dig into the intricacies of the game, you can simply change the settings to open up a wide breadth of additional controls (e.g., trick moves and shots). But for now, that header by Rooney over the Chelsea keeper during my 10 minute break is sufficient enough for me.
I think it can be summed up as, "I like it." I know he likes it since he's been up till 1:30 am the past couple of nights playing it. Crazy man. With him and my two boys I predict my entree into the world of late night video gaming is just beginning. Hopefully, they will give me enough time on the Wii so I can reach my Wii Fit BMI goal of 22 by the end of 2 months. So now I have the tools, I just have to go and do it. Please cheer me on!

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