Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Zombie Apocolypse Prep - [Dawn]

This isn't an overly geeky sort of post, but something a bit more personal, and even more so it's something to hold myself accountable. I also figure it's something that more than a few people can relate to, even if it's not something they actively admit to.

I, like many people, am not happy with my weight. (As I said, if you were looking for an attempted witty and/or funny entry about games and geekery, this isn't really going to be one.) I was a chunky kid late elementary school through middle school, and then the summer before my starting my freshman year of high school I started down the road to a decade long battle anorexia, or rather EDNOS as I was never underweight enough to be considered an anorexic by definition.

When I became pregnant a few years ago, I decided I just couldn't live like that anymore. For one I wasn't so selfish that I would risk the health of my unborn geekling by starving myself. Secondly my anorexic tendencies left me exhausted and feeling like crap all of the time. This was just something I couldn't afford to deal with on top of taking care of an infant. As a result, I ballooned up to about 200 lbs by the time I had given birth to our daughter in January 2010, most of the weigh being packed on in the second half of my pregnancy. After my pregnancy, I opted against stepping on a scale for a long while, and also opted against playing the starvation game.

September 2010 rolled around. We had been at our new base for a few months, I was fat and unhappy, and at a bit of a loss. A neighbor of mine came over with some birthday cake left over from her husband's birthday, and told me she had overheard me talking to a mutual friend about how I had wanted to lose weight and so on. She decided she wanted to start going to Weight Watchers that Saturday, and asked if I wanted to join her as she felt silly going by herself. I was a bit apprehensive, because when I imagined a WW meeting, all I could think of was Kathy Bates and her character in Fried Green Tomatoes. However, asking me while presenting me with leftover chocolate cake was underhanded, but it was effective. I agreed.

That Saturday we went to our first WW meeting. I hadn't been on a scale in months, but figured I was probably in the 160s, 170s at most. You can imagine my surprise when I hopped up on the scale and it told me I was 185 lbs. (I'm only 5'3", so 185 was NOT a flattering weight for me.) It was definitely a real eye-opener, but I was determined to make it work. This left me wanting to lose about 60 lbs to reach my goal. I stuck with the program for a little over a year, but I eventually stopped using eTools and hadn't been going to meetings. It was better for me to cancel my membership, rather than continue to spend $40 for a program I wasn't actively using like I should have been. By the time I had canceled my WW membership though, I had gotten down to 145 lbs, and lost another five pounds after that. All this loss was all with no/minimal exercise. While 140 didn't put me at goal, it did put me at a healthy weight, and one I was definitely happier with than 185. Fast forward about a year and a half, and I'm now back up to about 155 lbs. Which 15 lbs in 19 months isn't a huge gain, it is definitely more of a setback than I would have liked to experience.

tl;dr weight loss roller coasters suck

Now onto the reason for this particular entry. I have decided I want to jump back on the wagon, so to speak. The problem is I loathe exercising and running. Oh yes, I'm one of those geeks. Though where my 360 controller would win out over running laps around my neighborhood almost every time, I'm not so bad that cool ranch Doritos trump granola, and soda doesn't trump green tea. So at least I have that going for me, right?

Some people are quite comfortable in their own skin, regardless of their body shape, and that's absolutely amazing. I'm very sincere when I say that I'm truly jealous of those people. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those individuals. That said, I'm not doing this for anyone else but myself. I want to be comfortable enough with myself and my body to be able to cosplay a character other than Moira Brown and wear something a bit more flattering than a Vault jumpsuit. I want to wear all the awesome shirts I've gotten from TeeFury, Ript Apparel, and the like without feeling like it was a mistake to get the fitted shirts instead of the unisex sizes. Though one of the best reasons I can think of to get in better shape;

I don't want to be zombie food, ergo the title choice. Frankly I don't think anyone wants to be zombie food, but I'd at least like to stand a decent chance. Going to the gym really isn't all that feasible for me, and DVD workouts just aren't my cup of tea since they offer no actual feedback. It doesn't seem like there's much out there fitness wise that caters to gamers and geeks, although that's not totally true. Here are some of the things/titles I currently have at my disposal in my house;

  • Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix series (Xbox) - I only own the original Xbox installments of the series. DDR is great cardio, as jumping around on a plastic dance pad for 30 minutes is still a better workout than spending those 30 minutes sitting on the couch. You may look like a total idiot doing it, but you look like an idiot in the comfort of your own living room. You don't have to be super coordinated, or even super good at the game to enjoy it and get the benefit of a workout.
  • My Weight Loss Coach w/pedometer (DS) - I recently picked this up from Hastings for a whole $0.99, and it was a new copy to boot. Though because I just picked it up last week, I haven't actually put it in my DS yet to poke around with it. The main drawback of this one is that the original DS/DS Lite is required to use the pedometer, as it plugs into the GBA slot. Luckily I still have my original DS that I can use specifically for this purpose. If nothing else, I got a pedometer for $0.99.
  •  EA Sports Active 2 (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - I used this title before. It's not perfect, but it's not the worst thing ever either. The heart-rate monitor is a nice addition, when it actually works as intended, but the same can be said about the Kinect itself so... Yeah... In my opinion the biggest downside of EA Sports Active 2 was it isn't fun at all. It is strictly a workout program devoid of mini-games and other things like that. However as far as a fitness title goes, it does its job. (NOTE: Apparently EA took the online services for EA Sports Active 2 for all systems offline in April 2012. I don't know how this will impact the playability of the software. -
  • Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - This one I bought because EA Sports Active 2 lacks yoga, however I wasn't too impressed with what little yoga I did try in Your Shape. I also wanted something that would provide more amusement than watching paint dry in the middle of an Alaskan winter. I haven't dabbled in Your Shape nearly as much as I have with EA Sports Active though. The lower calorie burned count can be a bit depressing after using EA Sports Active 2 due to the absence of the heart monitor, but the mini games make it a bit more fun and it feels less like a chore.
  • UFC Personal Trainer (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - I actually don't have any personal experience with this one. I had snagged it because my husband had shown interest, and it was part of a B2G1 deal on Amazon, so I got it for free anyway. However it is still at my disposal, so best to include it anyway.
  • Dance Central (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - While not a fitness title, like DDR it's great cardio, but unlike DDR it's more than just jumping around. Since you're actually dancing, or at least attempting to do so, you're working more than just your legs. Unfortunately I never picked up any of the later installments in the series, but I may have to look into remedying that.
  • Kinect Adventures (Xbox 360 w/Kinect) - Again, not technically a fitness, but it does the trick, especially if you're trying to reach platinum on all of the activities. Anyone who has a Kinect, unless they bought it secondhand, should have have this game. If not, it can be found for relatively cheap.
  • Zombies, Run (Windows Phone, also available for Android and iOS) - I know some of you may be thinking "buwha-?" but let me explain. Zombies, Run makes running a lot less of a chore, even for someone who absolutely loathes running. I loathe running more than I loathe the yearly announcement of yet another Madden title. However Zombies, Run is a really unique and clever app. Personally I'm more than a little bitter than they dropped support for the Windows Phone, especially since they did so quietly and didn't bother to make a real announcement about it, but I'm getting away from the point. Zombies, Run puts in the shoes of Runner 5, quite literally. It's a running app scrambled with a radio drama, however you're actually part of the scenario that's playing out.
I'll elaborate a bit more in-depth about Zombies, Run and the other tools as my disposal in later entries.

When I was using EA Sports Active 2 before, I would typically do a workout and then pop in either Dance Central or Kinect Adventures and play those until I was just too tired to play anymore. I'll probably try to get into that habit again some nights, I just may need to expand my non-fitness Kinect selection a bit, as the only other two titles I didn't mention were Rise of Nightmares and Once Upon A Monster.

more tl;dr blah blah blah, fitness games and stuff

I only plan on making entries about my "zombie apocalypse prep" progress once a week, maybe twice if I feel there's just something that can't wait until the weekly update. Don't want to turn this into a fitness blog or anything like that, I just know some other geeks can relate to this sort of thing. Finding time, motivation, those sorts of problems. I can also probably guarantee they won't be nearly as long as this one.

I'm going to dive head first into this on Monday, June 10th. This gives me a chance to work out my schedule, get things set up, find my measuring tape, and also gives me a chance to break in my new shoes. I'm currently getting my My Weight Loss Coach profile set up, so I'll probably start keeping track on that this week to start getting into the habit of it. I do plan on taking before and after pictures, as well as measurements, however these items may not be posted right away. Depending on how active this blog gets with other stuff, I may give this project its own separate blog entirely.

If anyone else wants to jump on the wagon with me, THE MORE THE MERRIER! I'd love to hear about other experiences with this as well.



  1. I have one URL for you.

    you're welcome :)

  2. Firstly I'd like to say well done for putting this out there, it's refreshing for me to hear this from another female gamer as you always feel like you're the only one. I myself am in the process of trying to lose weight (mainly for health reasons) but am not doing the best. Also I am attending a hen party in August and for that we are doing the 2.8 Hours Later zombie run. I am out of shape, massively and am not a runner, I went out for my first run last week and haven't been back out. The app sounds amazing and I shall be straight on google play to download it. I definitely don't want to be zombie chow! Not for the hen night and certainly not when the apocalypse actually happens! You have inspired me and I may even track my progress on my own blog (it hadn't occured to me before now). I look forward to reading about your progress! Good luck, and thank you :D

  3. 2 gamer girl friends and I were having this discussion today about getting back in shape. And how we could motivate each other to stick with it. So I too am on the wagon! Good luck! :)

  4. Thanks for sharing this and I'm looking forward to your Zombie Apocolypse Prep posts. I've been feeling the same way recently and am hoping to lose 20lbs to get back to my goal weight. So far I've lost alsmost half a stone in a month, just through sorting out my diet as like you I'm not one for running or the gym.

    Best of luck with your goal and I'll jump on the wagon right along side you!


  5. This sounds so much like me. My husband and I love to bike and we have gym memberships but we just haven't been able to get our acts together consistently. We are both gamers and love to go to C2E2, Gen Con and are one day getting to San Diego Comic Con. We want to cosplay but I am in NO WAY gonna be the fat Ms. Marvel!! I would love to hear about your ideas and feel like I am not the "only one out there" even though that is exactly how we feel. I am subscribing to this blog right now. Congrats and Good LUCK!

  6. I managed to get myself up to 217 lbs when I was about 29 ( I am also 5'3"). I knew I had gained weight, but I didn't realize how bad it was until I saw myself in a picture. I cried, it was awful. My sister and I started using the Wii fit at her house and going on walks every Wednesday. At first I could barely walk a few blocks without feeling exhausted, but eventually we were walking about 3 miles in about an hour. I managed to get down to 172 pounds before I got pregnant last year and then gained 45 pounds. I had a c-section, and wasn't able to exercise really at all for 2 months, but by the time my baby was 6 mo. old, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I lost it mostly because I'm breastfeeding, but I also watch what I eat, and I go for a walk every day that it's above freezing or not raining. I completed the squat challenge, and I think I might do it again, just for a little extra exercise. I am now at 165 and counting, although for my body type, my ideal weight is closer to 145-150. I think the neatest part of losing 50 pounds is picking up a 50 pound weight and realizing just how much fat was on my body, and how much easier it is to walk around without that 50 pound weight. I only have 15-20 pounds to get to my goal, and I'm sure I'll feel even better once that is gone! Good luck to you, I hope you stay motivated and determined and reach your goal in a healthy way!

  7. Would love to join you in this. Feeling the same way...don't want to always wear the frumpy cosplay and your comment about wearing the fitted t-shirts TOTALLY hit home.

  8. So there with you. That is why I went back to work 4 hrs a day 3 days a week. Now I walk as often as I can push myself out the door. I felt so silly playing the games on the Kinect but they are fun. So I am on the wagon with you and will tell you my scores if you share yours...grin. Platinum baby here I go.