I’ve long suspected that those awful weight charts littering medical offices are developed by twiggy dieticians who actually think their low-fat nutrition regimes are responsible for their teeny figures and not the fact that they won the genetic lottery. If you are one of those people, please be advised that I will consider your sanity on a case by case basis. I happen to know at least one nice registered dietician. Yes, she’s an infuriating size 1, but it’s not her fault, and she never claims that her eating habits are responsible for her body type.
Perhaps you’re wondering what brought on this rant. Or, if you happen to be my husband, you’re just saying, “Here we go again.”
The other day, my mother brought home a Wii. The thing was an immediate hit. We all loved bowling, golfing, and such because, unlike in real life, we’re actually good at it on Wii.
But when we broke out the Wii Fit program, things got a little ugly. In order to use the various training opportunities, you must first go through the horrific and painful Body Test. You enter your age and height, indicate that you’re wearing extra heavy clothes, then step on the balance board. A tiny automated voice groans when your foot makes contact. That same voice then squeaks “measuring.”
After the measuring, your Wii Fit will tell you where you fall on a scale from amoeba to elephant. Then, to add insult to injury, after a few bogus balance tests, the helpful gadget will give you your Wii Fit Age. I knew when my seven-year-old, beanpole son came up as 27 that I was in trouble.
But here’s my protest. I think all this should be relative. The Wii asks me how much my clothes weigh and BELIEVES me when I tell it I’m wearing a parka instead of my shorts and t-shirt. So why doesn’t it ask me what my stress level is? How often I exercise. If I’ve had children. (Yes, I’ve had five, thank you very much.) And if I’ve won the genetic lottery or am, in fact, descended--not from gorillas--but hippopotamuses.
We know all the above factors affect weight, so why are they not calculated?
It should go something like this. Say my actual weight is 150 pounds. Wii Fit asks me what I’m wearing and I say, a hazmat suit. It subtracts, what, 10 pounds? (150-10=140) Next Wii Fit asks if I’m stressed. Why yes, I am. So Wii Fit subtracts five pounds for water weight and such related to being stressed and having eaten half a bag of potato chips purely because I needed to unwind. (140-5=135)
Next Wii asks me if I exercise. Of course I do. It never seems to help, but Wii Fit gives me points for trying. Another five pounds. (135-5=130) When Wii Fit asks if I’ve had children and I say 5, the little squeaky voice says, “Oh my goodness!” and takes 20 pounds away. (130-20=110) Finally, when I reveal that my ancestors didn’t swing from trees, but lumbered around in muddy rivers, the Wii Fit takes 10 pounds from my actual weight because they shouldn’t count. It’s genetic. (110-10=100)
There you have it, folks. My actual weight minus all those crappy, unavoidable factors like leftover baby weight and genetic blubber. 100 pounds! And since, according to Wii, I have the balance of a 44-year-old, I’d say I actually need to put on some pounds. I should definitely increase my ice cream consumption. It’s never too early to start worrying about osteoporosis, especially for someone with my tiny stature.