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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…

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

BMI is a piece of shit metric...

It was intended for measuring populations, not individuals. Programming it on the Wii and then badgering people about not conforming to it is anywhere from ridiculous to cruel in my book.

OK then. I don't have a Wii (come to that I don't even have a television) and I certainly won't be getting one to get or stay fit.

I won't take any crap from a live person about my weight, I'm certainly not going to take it from my electronics.

Yes. I was contemplating a Wii, working on the theory it might actually make it a bit fun to get some exercise in.... Doesn't sound at all possible now. Of course I had back burnered the thought on two counts anyway, cost, and doubt that the equipment could handle 350 pounds. (I weight less than that now, but since I have weighed more than that in the past....)

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Actually, the exercise and mulch-slinging might have been detrimental - if your only concern is Make-The-Bloody-Wii-Happy - because unless you watched your intake very very carefully, it would have built up muscle mass (which, y'know, weighs) without destroying much fat mass.
If the Wii considers only BMI, then it is clearly made thinking to naturally skinny people whose only acquaintance with physical exercise comes in the gym. D:

One day as I was weighing myself on the Wii, it messed up and I had to do it again for some reason. My cat was nearby and feeling like she wasn't the center of attention, and so, right before I stepped back on to weigh myself, she walked onto the balance board and sat down just as the Wii took the measurement.

The Wii congratulated me on my two-hundred-odd pound weight loss, although it fretted that I'd lost it a bit too fast for safety (two weeks), and slimmed my rotund Mii down to a stick. It did not remark on the fact that I now weighed twelve pounds.

I left it there for a couple of weeks, but eventually redid my settings as I was tired of it calculating calories burned for a twelve-pound entity and it felt like my effort wasn't being acknowledged after a long, sweaty session of bicycling round the island resulted in a calculated burn of 1 calorie. (Not that the calculation necessarily has anything to do with what I really burned, but I wanted a larger number showing after that effort!)

Aaaand now I'm picturing a cat madly bicycling around an island. Yay!

I love how passive aggressive the wii is. Especially wii fit. It sasses me into submission.

It's a step in their plan for world domination - we're getting used to taking orders from the Wii and other devices which will make it that much easier for them to accomplish their goal *shudders*


I take enough sass from the computers I work with all day.
I want my computer at home to be FRIENDLY!

I knew there was a reason I truly loved DDR's workout program.

(Just to make sure: We're talking about DDR Max, I don't know the year it came out, but I'm playing it on a PS2.)

It knows your weight if you input it, which you may want to if you want it to keep track of it. It does not even show your weight in the workout setup screen unless you explicitly tell it to. It calculates the calories you spend during the course of the workout, and saves it, so that you can look up "historical" data. That's it. That's all.

I've heard enough complaints about the WiiFit's attitude from enough people that even though it sounds like fun, I don't think I'll ever switch. And I like sweating in front of the TV, for my sins.

If you think that's scary, try letting a child who *should* be growing use the Wii fit. We encourage Sylvia to use it because it is at least better than slouching on the couch watching cartoons, but then have to explain to ignore the dire warnings that she is horribly obese. She is 8! We do all we can to instill healthy eating habits and then the one videogame that can improve her health is acting to sabotage it. Grr... yeah, I think everyone in the family is about to grow a foot.

I don't think you have to do the body test. Just tell her to ignore that bit and do the games/training.

On the BMI thing. I moved to a third floor apartment. Hauled way too much shit up two long flights of stairs, went down a pants size and gained 10 lbs.

There's just too much variation in it. I much preferred my Y's workout tracking thing which just had computerized equipment and gave me happy little statistics like how much weight I'd lifted and how long I'd been cardio-ing. (sadly the Y is now a longer drive away and I've been laaaazy. And, you know, two flights of stairs every day is a very good excuse)

....wooooooow. That's kind of frightening, actually. Wii maybe needs a kick about the electronic head.

I went with the same "height metric" that your friend did. At my reality height of not quite 5 feet tall, the Wii would want me to be a tiny, little stick figure ... hmmm, not unlike my friend from Osaka.

... It really does sound like a passive aggressive shit. I'm sure whoever programmed it thought they were hilarious, but I can't imagine why someone actually thought it was a good idea to take an activity that is supposed to be fun/good for you, and turn it into a humiliating chore.

I'm assuming you're using WiiFit?

EA Sports Active doesn't do that.

Just worth noting to everyone out there who's all "that sucks, I'm not getting a Wii." It's not the console that sucks, it's the software. Pick some other software instead of WiiFit.

I'm sitting on a Wii yoga program that I haven't had a chance to try yet ... too busy doing physical therapy for my shoulder.

Okay, I will never ever use this or condone its use or give the company that does something like that any of my money. Ever. No matter how cool anything else they make is.