Sunday, December 27, 2009

Turning Over a New Leaf

Santa brought my children a Wii Fit Plus for Christmas this year. Before the ripped wrapping paper hit the floor the girls were off in a flurry of pink and red flannel headed into the family room to begin play.

As I was cooking Christmas dinner, the four girls and my husband were having a blast playing on it. Hooting with laughter, they yelled into the kitchen and asked if I would like to join in. ‘Sure!’ I shouted back (Santa brought me Madonna’s Greatest Hits; Borderline, Like a Prayer and Crazy for You were shaking the walls of the kitchen as a chopped, diced and sautéed.)

First you have to make a Mii—it’s a mini you that plays inside the game,’ my middle daughter, Camille explained. No problem, I thought. And it was fun; I got to choose her hair colour and style, even the colour of her shirt.

Okay, now step on the Wii board for your body assessment’—WHAT??? I choked. ‘It’s cool’, said my skinny-as-a-reed ten year old girl, ‘It measures your BMI, that’s Body Mass Index and takes your height and weight.’ I stared daggers at her. She continued, ‘It says that I should be careful because I am underweight...’ she said solemnly. I searched her face without speaking for a good twenty seconds then said ominously, ‘Your day will come...’ and I took the step up onto the board. I made everyone look away as I typed in a password. Then again after it had finished its assessment and revealed my BMI and weight.

Surprisingly, my girth has not changed (thank God!) in four years, but my body mass(ive) index has fluxuated just a wee bit. There, on the screen with friendly pink lettering it stated that I have moved from green ‘normal’ range and was now just this side of the orange ‘overweight’ colour-coded zone.

I am officially overweight.

What really hurt was meeting my Mii character for the first time. She was noticeably chubbier now, after attaining my body assessment results. So fat, in fact that it looks as if I might have eaten the skinny, little twig standing next to me on the screen, my daughter Camille.

But there would be no going back now. Miss Piggy would greet me every time I stepped on the Wii Fit whether to play a balance game with the girls or something more aerobic by myself—she would be a constant reminder, there smiling, taunting, practically yelling at me to get my fat-ass moving.

I can dodge floor-length mirrors for the most part, but if I wanted to interact with my children in the next half year (until June arrives, warming the English countryside to a balmy 65 degrees and the children play outside for three months until blustery September arrives, blowing them all back indoors) there would be no avoiding the mini Mii and all her pudge.

This morning, rather than a plate of cold stuffing topped with a fried egg (my all-time favourite post-holiday breakfast) I had whole wheat toast for breakfast. I played on the Wii with the girls (after 45 minutes it announced that I had burned just 120 calories... sheeze). For a snack I had a cup of scorching hot beef bouillon with dried onions (warming and honestly really tasty) and a salad loaded with veggies, fresh parsley, chick peas and tuna for lunch.

I am not a dieter. I tried Weight Watchers once and it worked, but I hated the way I thought about food after that—all numbers and points—that’s just not me. I’ve always been the girl who passionately loves her food. I cared not a bit about the fat or caloric content.

It seems that at 41 years old, those days have passed.

I still won’t diet, but I may have to curtail the amount of food that I eat—maybe skipping the platter of cold stuffing, fried eggs and bacon-wrapped sausages for breakfast the week following Christmas.

A little moderation.

And perhaps a bit more time just spent with my girls and Mii.

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