Sunday, July 17, 2016

Wii Fit U, two months in

Well, everything's going quite well so far.  I'm continuing my trend of losing about 10 pounds a month, which averages out to less than a pound a day.  The actual graph obviously looks nothing like that, but it's the trend you have to pay attention to, not the individual spikes and dips.

Funny I should mention that, because Wii Fit U gets way too caught up in the spikes and dips.  On top of that, it's inconsistent.  It's made me explain a 1.1 pound gain before, but I've had a couple 3 and 4 pound gains that it was apparently fine with.  It sees that I'm burning enough calories to meet and exceed my daily calorie goal, notices that my weight is up, and goes "EXPLAIN YOURSELF".  You get a choice between eight reasons why you gained weight, most of which are either judgmental or imply that you're not really fully in it to win it, as they say.  The only choice I've ever chosen is "I don't know", and sometimes, it's not even satisfied with that.  It'll go "Do you really not know?".

It thinks you're constantly trying to cheat the system.  It thinks you're trying to avoid exercise and that you're not eating correctly.

On top of that, a lot of the exercises get too caught up in being "games", to the point that the game they're trying to be gets in the way of the exercise itself.  In a lot of cases, things have countdown timers where I feel as though they should have countup timers.  Sometimes input recognition is an issue, like with the rowing exercise and Puzzle Squash.

In the rowing exercise, you have to row at the right time in order to go faster, but sometimes it feels like the game just wants to take a shit on you.  Lately I've been getting completely random, unexplainable "nope, you didn't do something right" failure noises, and with them, much slower times than I'm used to.  The game offers zero feedback as to what it thinks I'm doing wrong.  In Puzzle Squash, it just decides whether you're going to do forehand or backhand, even when what it's decided on is less intuitive than what you really want to do.  That, and it limits you to three balls.  If you let those three go past you, it ends the exercise early.  Also, sometimes it recognizes my movement of the wiimote to get ready to hit the ball as a swing, and then it goes into a forced cooldown between swings and I can't actually swing to hit the ball, causing a miss.  Get that crap out of here, give me unlimited balls.

Input recognition was such an issue with the Luge exercise that I removed it from my routine entirely.  It's so prohibitively difficult to get off the damn banking that it gets in the way of the exercise.  You have to basically roll all the way onto your side to steer far enough, and even then the game doesn't really want to let you off the banking.

Also, there's things the game just flat-out doesn't tell you about some exercises.  I'm thinking mainly Island Cycling here.  While you're riding around collecting the checkpoints, you'll find a dog, which is cute, and follows you around.  For the longest time I thought it was just decorative.  Then at some point, I discovered that the A button rings a bell, so naturally I started tapping out various songs and whatnot.  I soon noticed that the dog reacts to the bell, and that you can use the dog to get checkpoints.  Since the goal is to have the shortest distance you possibly can, using the dog to optimize your route is crucial to success.  In fact, on Beginner I was able to get Shortcut Champion without dog optimizations, simply because I didn't know you could use the dog at all, and I found a route through the checkpoints that got me Shortcut Champion every time.  On Advanced, however, dog optimizations seem to be required if you want to get Shortcut Champion, and if you don't use them, you get Shortcut Pro instead.  There's one required dead end on the route no matter how you string the checkpoints together, and my best route so far inserts another dead end close to the beginning.  Using the dog to collect the checkpoints at these dead ends means you can turn around sooner, meaning you don't have to cover as much distance.  The cutoff distance for Shortcut Champion on Advanced seems to be 2.47 miles, and with my route and dog optimizations, I've gotten it down to 2.41 miles.

I could go on listing additional gripes.  Wii Fit U is my most-played game on the Wii U, which is fitting since I bought the console specifically for it.  I play the game for an hour every day, and do the same routine every day.  Thus, I experience the things that cause my gripes every day.  Even then, my gripes are far outweighed by the fact that I'm losing weight.  It's still been a really good purchase for me, even if all the required materials did end up costing around $400.  I plan to continue, mainly because I want to lose all this weight.

I see no reason to keep the details hidden, either.  Since I acknowledged that I was overweight and became determined to do something about it, part of that is accepting that I'm not currently in a perfect state.  So.  I started out at 253 pounds.  Before the added activity began to kick in, I actually gained weight for the first week.  Since then, though, it's been a downward trend, leading up to the end of the second month where I was 233 pounds.  My mom always said that once you get started, your body will tell you what to do next, and that sounded kind of weird, but it's totally right.  One day you'll go "you know what, I wanna do this" or "you know what, this one thing I'm eating I could probably be better off without".  With the Fit Meter, Wii Fit U encourages you to have activity outside of playing the game, which I've implemented so far as a nightly walk around the neighborhood.  My neighborhood is fairly hilly, with a really big hill that I incorporated into the walk.  I started out at just one lap, but I've worked my way up to doing three laps.  I soak a shirt in sweat in the meantime, and I take a bottle of water with me to consume as I walk.  But you know what?  It's working.

Just like before, here's a graph.  Since the game won't let me use Miiverse to screenshot it, I had to use my phone.  The red dots are where the game made me explain weight gains.  However, there's that nice 4 pound spike in there that it was apparently fine with.  That was July 4th, go figure.  More important than the spike itself is the fact that two days later the extra weight was gone.

So, to summarize my point about spikes, dips, and trends: If your diet/exercise combination is working for you, a spike is nothing to be worried about, because you'll work it off, guaranteed.  This means that even while losing weight, you can afford to have a treat every now and again.  Don't do it all the time, of course, but... reward yourself every now and then.

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