I am a serial fitness starter.  One of those that isn’t really happy with the way my body looks in the mirror without clothing on but too lazy to really do anything about it.  My hobbies all involve sitting on my rear and staring at something.  Either the computer screen, beads, or well, the TV.  Every six months or so I sort of go, "let’s try and get rid of the tire."  And so I start something, either the gym, or a class but it never lasts.  I don’t have the Wii Fit Package artpatience and it’s always the same routine.  The gym intimidates me because I see all the gym bunnies there and I’m well, not.  Not to mention I’d really rather be sitting in front of the computer screen.  I thought damn, if they could just combine my love of tech with fitness this would rock!  And I thought they had, with the Wii Fit.

I was salivating over the Wii Fit.  I thought, this is it, this is the thing that’s going to get me in shape.  I mean come on!  It’s a video game, with fitness!  Surely if anything would get me off the couch it would be that.  So I bought it and after three weeks, in which I was annoying everyone I saw with the news that I had ordered a Wii Fit, it arrived.  I took it home, changed into work-out clothing and opened the box.  The setup is pretty easy, just follow the instructions and then I got into the game.  The first thing it does is want to make a profile.  Ok, I thought, this isn’t bad.  Just wants to take the measurements that just about every gym wants to take.  So I check yes, I want to do the body test.  It tells me to step off the board and then step back on.  It then makes some kind of concerned noise because apparently if you step with your right foot first it thinks you’re all crazy balanced.  The voice, which is really high and perky, then announces that it’s finished analyzing me. 

 
Awesome I thought, then I can go do some boxing.  I could use some cathartic boxing.  Well, not quite.  The board, no seriously the board is animated on this game and is 1st person, says that based on my BMI*, I’m Boxing Glovesoverweight.  No shit, Sherlock, why do you think I bought you?  It also, to add insult to injury takes my little mii and makes her overweight.  That?  That was just not right.  But ok, I’m not that sensitive, we’re good.  Then we have to go through all these tests and the big reveal is your Wii Fit age.  In real life, I’m 30 and a geek, so physically I’m 30 and mentally I’m like 5.  That should factor in there, really it should.  Sadly, it does not and after all the tests the Fit tells me that I’m 42.  o.O  Ooookay that was a little harder to swallow but whatever.  Boxing!!!
 
Finally, I managed to get into the meat of the game.  The actual fitness games.  There are 4 different types, Aerobic, Strength, Yoga and Balance.  By far, my favorite are the balance games.  They’re fun and remind me of the puzzle games I like so much.  The one with the penguin is particularly cute and deceptively hard.  Your mii is dressed up as a penguin with all the other little penguins surrounding you on their own pieces of ice.  The point is to pick up as many fish as you jump by as you can in 80 seconds.  The catch?  You’re on a wiggly piece of ice that rocks back and forth as your weight shifts.  It takes a few tries to get used to it, and I’m still not a master.  The best I can get is three stars, which makes me a professional but not an expert, or whatever is after professional.  I’m also a fan of the ski jump.  Probably the closest I’d ever get to ski jumping in real life you have to crouch on the board and then raise up at just the right moment.  If your balance is off you go rolling down the jump instead, which…is kinda embarrassing. 

The strength exercises are good, but I think this is the weakest part of the game.  I have to pick one exercise and then go through the reps.  That’s all fine and dandy, it starts you off slow, with something like 6 reps and the more you do the exercise the more reps you unlock.  All well and good, but then after the exercise, I have the option to retry or quit.  In order to go another exercise I have to quit out of the exercise I’m in, go back to the strength section and pick another one.  That to me is a waste of work out time.  I’ve weightdone enough time in the actual gym that I’d like to be able to just pick a few exercises tell it how many times to go through them and just go smoothly from one to the other.  I did like the part where after you did an strength or yoga move the game offers another exercise which compliments the one you just finished.  That was excellent, only they didn’t bother to tell you where in the game you can find it or give you the option to right to it.  That is a big ol’ fail for me.

 
The Yoga is better, as usually you don’t do an exercise over and over in Yoga.  Unless you have my old yoga instructor where we weren’t interested in inner peace so much as kick ass abs.  Again you go through the instructions, by the way, you can pick your trainer, either a woman or a man.  Both are Barbie doll Lotus positionperfect, and say the same thing over and over and over again, but they’re not that bad.  Actually, I really like the fact that they have the demo first and that you have to go through it before you do the exercise.  That was nice.  Most of the strength exercises also have matching yoga component and vice versa.  So which ever you hit first you give that is the one that will then trigger the "this is a great workout" screen that says the other you should do.  Ok, and the yoga is all about balance which is nice.  If you can hold the pose, you get more points.  And yes, there is the couch potato for no points, which I keep getting on the damn plank and man I am not a couch potato!  I think there’s something wrong with how that one’s set up or something, dammit.
 
Lastly we have the aerobics.  This is also a bunch of fun with games like hula hoop and boxing!  YAY!  I love the boxing.  I’m really crap at it, mostly because I’m extremely uncoordinated and the advanced boxing is hard!  There’s like steps back and stuff but when I’m having a bad day I just picture whomever I’m upset with and voila!  Off I go.  I should mention that this is rhythm boxing so you go by beat and you have an instructor but this time, thankfully it’s another mii so it doesn’t look so horrible.  Not to mention if you get through the six minute workout you get the "free time."  Ooooh, yeah, this is the true treat of the boxing as you get to beat the living crap out of the punching bag.  Granted, I look like your typical geek fighting.  Picture the infamous Xander Harris vs. Harmony fight in Buffy.  Yeah, that’d be me at the end.  Or really during most of it as you have to be strangely coordinated to do this and as I said before, I’m so not.
There’s also step, basic, advanced and what’s really nice free step.  With free step you can set it up and your wiimote will keep time.  You just step up and off the board and it even encourages you to flip to the TV and watch for whatever time you’ve set while you step.  I haven’t tried this one out past the "what’s this?" and quit it half way through because "like for serious this is it?"  However, upon further reflection I think this is a great thing.  Like a cheap treadmill but with a tiny step.  And hey, you get to watch that ep of Chuck you’ve been meaning to watch at the same time.  Nintendo was definitely thinking there.
Unfortunately where this game really fails is the damn body test.  Because what I thought was a one time deal?  Oh no.  You have to do this every time you turn the game on.  In fact it chides you if you haven’t been on the game for a while as it can keep track of that stuff thanks to the Wii’s console.  Then it gives you some platitude about working out because, well, I’m overweight.  To which I then start thinking about throwing things at the screen.  The worst part is when you get on the scale and it again tells me I’m overweight.  Um, yeah, still fat thanks much, you stupid board
 
 
But if I’ve gained weight?  It demands to know why and I can’t get past the screen before choosing one of the 6 choices available.  Once I do, it gives me some bullshit platitude in a voice that I swear goes straight to the "mom" place in my brain.  The place where such gems as "you’re not going to prom, are you?" and "you know, if you just got up 20 minutes earlier you’d have time to exercise."  We all know that place in our brain.  The one that almost immediately makes me want to stop this whole program.  That and I can’t seem to find a spot to switch my goal.  Oh yeah, that would be the goal that I was forced to make when I first started on the game.  The one I was super enthusiastic and thought I could actually lose fifteen pounds in three months.  Yeah, now I know better as I’m not any more active than I was before.  
 
Over all, I think I’m going to wait for the EA Sport Active game that is for the board, but supposedly specifically designed for women.  We’ll see if they manage to avoid a lot of the pitfalls of the Fit.

* I’m convinced the Wii Fit’s BMI index is skewed for a smaller body type.  Perhaps Japanese or Asian, where their international headquarters is?  I say this because they seem to think my ideal weight would be something like 140 lbs to be in the middle of their "normal" range for BMI.  At 5’8" and good solid German bone structure I would look like Nicole Ritchie at her most anorexic.  Most other places I’ve gone too have made a more realistic 155lbs for me and that would give me a good BMI of normal.  When I picked 155 on the Wii Fit said that I would still be overweight and I should pick a lower number.