Possibly it needs more positive reinforcement programming.

So today I got on the Wii, as I do sporadically to graph my weight, and it told me that I was overweight.

Well, first it yelled at me for not getting on in several days, to which I yelled “I’ve been sick, you electronic bastard!” and then it told me I was overweight.

Just overweight. Not obese. I finally ticked over into the lower section of the chart.

What exercise and mulch-slinging failed to achieve for months was finally accomplished by a bout of stomach flu that left me about as interested in food as I am in recreational phlebotomy.  This is not exactly what I was hoping for my triumphal weight loss scenario, as it means that when I am finally feeling 100%, I will probably go right back up, but at least I am close to the edge.

(It should be noted at this point that “overweight” by Wii standards is the best I can ever hope to achieve–in order to reach what it considers “optimal” I would have to have bones surgically removed. I came within ten pounds of it once, at the lowest end of my antidepressants-have-killed-food-for-me bout, and my initial delight at effortless weight loss had by then skewed to “This isn’t fun any more! I’m scared and I want it to stop!”  and my nearest and dearest were uttering phrases like “drowned rat” and plying me with cheesecake. I have an hourglass figure, and not an egg-timer either. And really, I’m okay with that. There are benefits.)

Now, as I said, not really a celebratory thing, since it was about the worst form of temporary weight loss, but goddamnit, the Wii has been riding my ass for months! It gives me a fat icon and makes the little uh-oh! noise when measuring my weight and pretends to forget my name if I don’t log in for a month. It is a passive-aggressive little shit.

So what is its response when I finally drop below one of its arbitrary boundaries?


My fat icon did not get downgraded to a slightly less fat icon. (Oh, c’mon! All the work you put into the Mii system, and you can’t do a little animation of losing a half-inch worth of love handles?) It did not throw confetti, cheer, say “Wow, look at that!” or anything else. It told me I was overweight in the same perky-delivery-of-terrible-news voice that a candy-striper uses to tell you that you’ve soiled yourself, then informed me that I was down by half a pound and tried to shove balance games at me.

Stupid Wii. I’m starting to think my friend who told it that she was six feet tall just to shut it up may have had the right idea…

4 thoughts on “Possibly it needs more positive reinforcement programming.

  1. Wolf Lahti says:

    I am not in bad shape – I could stand to lose some off the middle, sure. But according to the new federal guidelines, I should be 90 pounds lighter. To which I ask, “Where, exactly, are these 90 pounds supposed to come from?” I’d have to cut off my head and both legs, methinks.

  2. Hawk says:

    Body mass index be damned to hell. If you’re not having health problems, if you FEEL good, fuck the weight guidelines.

    Pardon my vehemence.

    I’ve been told for years and years that I’m fat, and like you I’ve got that hourglass shape. Yeah, I’m well padded. In point of fact, at this point in my life I *am* at least twenty pounds too heavy (as my ankles tell me every time I take a trip to the grocery store).

    But even when I was in the best shape of my life (90 minutes of dance twice a week plus an hour of walking every day) – I was still not considered a good weight, and the young men still called me a fat hippo.

    So screw that, and screw them, and the heck with the Wii! Us real women have *curves.*

  3. Luftmensch says:

    Just to be fair, Wii Fit does have a sliding scale of weight for your avatar, it’s just usually too subtle to notice. I agree that it should have had sharper changes between BMI levels, but I suppose nobody thought of that.

    I remember when my mum first used Wii Fit, right after the system measured her weight, her avatar blew up right in front of us. She was slightly offended by that. But yes, the avatar does change, just not obviously (usually).

  4. Luftmensch says:

    Also, fuck weight hate. Both to the young men hating on curvy women, and to Hawk who reacts with aggressive counter-elitism, it’s just fine. Some folks are skinny and we’re just fine the way we are. People don’t come up with BMI to enforce Aryan standards of figures, they just want folks to be healthy, even if sometimes they don’t understand.

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