why does the wii hate my stomach so much?

around the time wii fit was released i read an article about whether the game really helped people lose weight and become more toned. the author concluded that users only benefited when they were active participants in the program. now i realize it’s difficult to believe such groundbreaking scientific discoveries at first glance, so perhaps my anecdotal evidence in support of the research can persuade you to believe this claim which seems so preposterous.

from may until august of last year i worked out (i use that phrase loosely) on the wii three or four times a week. then i stopped for various reasons, as the system remained in my trunk unless someone challenged me to a game of bowling. in december i weighed myself, finding that i had gained slightly over thirty-one pounds in four months. just like that i had returned to my high school weight, but i was remiss to give the wii the credit it probably deserved.

after returning to the world of console exercising, i soon discovered, in my absence, the machine had formed a grudge. at every turn, my computer trainer berated my lack of fitness, my poor posture, and my slackening muscles. if i turned it on in the morning i was asked, somewhat mockingly, if i had eaten breakfast yet. did i know, it would ask, that that meal was incredibly important, that my body relied on the energy gained to fuel it throughout the day. if i returned at night it would chastise me for being up so late and lecture me about the consequences of not sleeping. i strained, balancing on one leg, only to have it tell me that i likely trip over my feet when i walk due to lack of coordination. i tried to weather its insults, consoling myself briefly with the adage no pain, no gain, until i could no longer pretend the statement pertained to verbal abuse. i returned to my high school-level of depression.

the wii once wondered about one of my friends who hadn’t signed in for a few months (she had moved to charleston). it presented choices for me: she was fatter, about the same, trimmer. of course i chose the first one, the on-screen balance board visibly enjoying her defeat. it advised me not to tell her, but if i absolutely had to i needed to break it to her gently. tell her she’s been living large, it suggested. what, then, was it telling my friends about me? i became increasingly worried that the world was looking at me differently. i used to be confident, i assured myself; now, when i’m walking passed a group of people, i know they are talking about me, i know they are high-fiving each other after a witty remark about my love handles. they are constantly making jokes about the guy that favors his right side and leans back too far on his heels.

i do not hold out much hope that our relationship, mine and the wii’s, will be amicable in the future. i will always be one step behind. i will always mistake the panda heads kicked toward me for soccer balls. i will never be able to catch enough fish while wearing a penguin costume. this is my fate, made harder by the fact that a machine relishes every second of my collapse.

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