austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I play the master game

My experiment in digital reinforcement of exercise I'd otherwise never do has reached nearly two weeks now, and excitingly, it's reached its first goal. As part of the setup scheme it wanted me to set a fitness goal, and I picked losing five pounds within two weeks. The WiiFit wants to give me a `body test' every day, which measures weight, stability (based on how one's center of balance moves), and agility (based on a set of balance tests), and with its understanding of my height also calculates my body mass index. I'm more comfortable looking at my body mass index because it's not so immediately clear what an awful number my weight is that way, and I'm less nervous about my parents overseeing that because I know they aren't going to do the calculating either.

I'm starting to suspect the `walking' test, which allegedly measures whether you put more weight on the left or the right foot, with even weighting being ideal, actually picks numbers arbitrarily on the theory that random reinforcement motivates people better. I have a similar belief in the aerobic jogging exercises as they record a ``burn rate'' which I've had range as low as 34 percent and as high as 134 percent, without any obvious difference in the way I jog. The scoring that's based on how much you wobble during a one-legged stand makes a lot more sense.

But with just under two weeks in I managed to hit my target goal of losing five pounds of weight, which marks the first time in my life I've ever deliberately aimed at any specific weight goal, never mind reached it by deadline. I did this partly by moving to a very aerobics-heavy workout and trimming down my breakfast to a hash brown and diet green tea. I also did it by weighing myself first thing after getting up and going to the bathroom, rather than in the evening when all my normal exercise sessions had been. This is a technique known as cheating, since body weight normally fluctuates by a couple of pounds over the day and is lightest after sleep.

Nevertheless, according to its official register I had this beautiful dip on my body mass index (and my weight) charts, and even if it popped right back up again after I set a new goal of losing two and a half pounds over the next two weeks, well, I did it. Sort of. Technically.

Trivia: In the first, three-day, sale of properties in 1791 in what would become Washington, DC, only 35 lots were sold, raising an average of $265 each. Source: The Fabric of America: How Our Borders And Boundaries Shaped The Country And Forged Our National Identity,

Currently Reading: From Failing Hands: The Story Of Presidential Succession, John D Feerick.


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