Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Losing Weight and Video Games

When Chris and I got married, we both agreed video games are not good for children.  We agreed we wanted our children to be active and outside as much as possible and that video games can be addictive (you have to know my husband to understand that argument fully) and we did not think we would ever purchase a video game machine.  We also agreed we would never have a television in our bedroom and that is about to change so we can watch a movie alone sometimes.

Enter 2010 and our Roku was dying.  We had used it well and it had more than paid for itself - it was only $100 and we'd used it for 3 years to instant stream Netflix.  Our friends down the street were selling their Wii system because they needed the cash and we needed a way to stream Netflix more reliably.  So we purchased the Wii with the understanding it was only to stream Netflix.  But life can change a lot of things, including where you live and how you think. 

March 28, 2011 we pulled into the Staybridge Inns and Suites in Mukilteo, Washington to begin a new adventure in life.  Chris had a new job with Boeing after being unemployed most of 2010.  It was a blessing and we were thrilled and still are to have moved here.  Even when I get homesick, at least I can rest somewhat easier knowing that while I may be homesick we are able to provide for our children.  But there was a hitch.  It rains, a lot in Washington.

So here we are in a state where it rains off and on most of the year (Summer tends to be the dry season), or it snows a bit (we had a pretty nasty snow storm here in January which kept a lot of people home bound for a week including the girls and I).   This means it tough for the girls to get all of the exercise they need, especially since we home school.  Recess in the rain isn't really ideal - because I'd prefer the girls to not get pneumonia. 

So they were becoming more inactive and so was I; I had to find a solution to this problem.  Enter tax return time. . . I hadn't planned on purchasing a video game or two.  But as I walked by Game Stop at the mall, I was struck by inspiration.  If I can't bring them to the outside, I can at least bring activity to them and to me!  So I looked at the Wii Fit and Jillian Michael's Wii games and the guys told me to start off with Wii Fit - guess what I may have paid $40 for the balance board, but I only paid $15 for Wii Fit Plus and Wii Fit was only $2.00.  And while that may not seem like a good idea or a good investment, we use it almost daily - especially me. 

For a long time I hated the idea of working out in public.  I still do.  Some of it, like most overweight people there is a sense of shame - after all you don't get back to 250 pounds purely by happenstance.   A year of deployment, a year of unemployment and three years for insomnia did not help me keep the weight off I had gone through agony to lose (year three was adjusting to a new home, in a new state, and away from my friends and family).  I am still self conscious about dancing to those dancing videos in front of Chris, and he's seen me give birth - you'd think I wouldn't care, but I do.  So at first, when the girls would watch me work out on the Wii Fit, I started to shoo them away.  One day though, Beka came running out to exclaim, "Way to go, Mom!  Hi Five!"  Somehow after that I didn't mind anymore if they saw me and my flab sweating it out as I work to remove the weight I regained after gastric bypass (it's a tool, not a magic bullet).    And by letting the girls join me and keep me company I not only show them the importance of staying in good physical shape, but I gain my own personal set of cheerleaders.    It is hard to not be motivated when the girls are jumping and cheering me on while I box until I break the arm off of the robot boxing bag which is always followed by a small Hi Five (she's only 4, her hands are that big).  

Do I think I'll purchase sedentary video games?  No.  Will I back down and let the girls have a TV in their room?  Absolutely not, I stand by our previous decisions that children should not have a TV in their room (it's about spending time together as a family - the TV in our room is for sleepovers, or when Mommy and Daddy don't have a little girl friendly movie).    However, I will most likely purchase the Jillian Michaels games and I look forward to trying out the Zumba game, I've heard it's a lot of fun.  And yes, I'll let the girls play with them, because if you can't be fit as a family then you will have a tough time keeping your family fit physically.  Given that heart disease runs in our family on my side, I would like the girls to heart healthy and I would like know that I'm doing everything I can to not be 45 when I have my first heart attack like my Grandfather and Mother.   More importantly, I want them to know it's important to take good care of your body.

I hope you all have a good week. 
In Christ,

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