Body by XBox?

January 18, 2011

Remember Mollie, Bunny’s workout buddy?

She had to go out of town for a while on family business. Bunny is watching her house, feeding her plants, taking care of things.

Since she won’t be around to herd Bunny to the gym, she put a new plan in motion.

Mollie has an XBox 360. She wants Bunny to use it while she’s gone. Mollie set up a profile for Bunny and showed her how to use it. Bunny has had a lot of fun setting up her avatar. An animated Bunny. Interesting.

This kind of device is completely foreign to Bunny. She is not big on video games. She only plays a couple of those stupid Zynga games on Facebook. This one has a device called a Kinect sensor. It is a mystical, magical eye that finds you, identifies you, and responds to commands you issue with a wave of your hand.

Mollie showed Bunny how to play two games. Well, games. Kind of games. Not really games. One is KinectAnimals (or maybe it’s KinectAmals? KinectAbleAnimals?). Bunny adopted a bengal tiger cub and can play with it. She pretends to throw a virtual ball, and the kitty fetches it. She can wrestle with her pet tiger on the “grass” by rolling on the floor of her living room. She scritches his head, and he purrs.

Bunny was having fun with this until she caught Mollie’s cat watching her. She stopped, turned it off, threw the real cat a real ball, snuggled him and petted him. He purred. This seemed to be a better way to spend her time.

But how do they do that? Bunny’s not really in to rolling on the floor, but speaking of that, the second thing Mollie wanted Bunny to play is called Your Shape Fitness Evolved.

Personalized fitness. Real results.


This is a trick. This is sneaky Mollie’s plot to get Bunny to play this fitnessy un-game.

There are games, and there’s working out. You can’t fool Bunny into saying one is the other. Unfortunately.

Fine, OK, whatever, Bunny conceded. What do I do?

The relatives Mollie is staying with, in one of those states that has all the snow, also has an XBox. Mollie set herself up as Bunny’s “friend.” This is nice. Bunny can look at animated Mollie and see when she was last logged on, and what games she has been playing. If Mollie and Bunny are logged on at the same time, Bunny can tell what she’s doing right at that moment.

Of course, that also means that Mollie can see what Bunny’s doing.

Sneaky sneaky.

So Bunny can’t fake it. She can’t say that she was doing the workouts with this Your Shape thing unless she actually did. Mollie would know. Even worse, Mollie can apparently set up a “party” and do the workouts WITH Bunny.

How awful is this?

So, after stalling for a couple of weeks, Bunny stumbled over to Mollie’s house early last Saturday morning, fed the cat, watered the plants, and popped the DVD in.

A nice, helpful voice came on, welcoming her to Your Shape Fitness Evolved, and telling her how wonderful it was all going to be.

MorningIt told her where to stand. It told her how to determine the parameters of her designated spot. It knew when she stepped out of the spot (I’m just reaching for my damned coffee, okay?) It asked her for her gender. It wanted to know her age (it started in the 20’s and went up two years at a time, so it took a while). Then it asked for her weight.

Bunny froze.

Is this the program where the lady tells you that you might as well give up right now because you’re such a fat slob?!

Nope, that’s that Jillian person on Wii. This lady was nice. Thank goodness.

When entering her weight, it started in the 120’s (HA!) and went up, again, two pounds at a time. She finished on Wednesday. Not really, but she WAS holding her hand in the air for a very long time while the two pounds clicked off dozens of times. In fact, she accidentally moved her hand the wrong way, and it stopped before she was at her real weight. Oopsie!

Is that ME?

Is that ME?

Next, a screen came up with a woman doing exercises. She was on the left-hand side of the TV screen. On the right-hand side was a large grayish blob that was moving approximately the same way Bunny was moving.

The large grayish blob was Bunny, as seen by the Kinect sensor.

Oh Lord, this just keeps getting worse.

When the voice cheerfully instructed Bunny to smile while they took a photo for Bunny’s Your Shape profile, the sweats-clad, makeup-free Bunny grabbed her unbrushed hair and ran into the other room.

“Please step back into the target area.”


Open the pod bay doors, Hal…

OK, this is just creepy! Bunny lost it. She grabbed the controller, shut off the XBox and the TV without saving or exiting the program, and sat on the couch, horrified.

Your Fitness Shape Evolved should come with a warning. You think you’re alone, but you’re not alone. We’re going to take your picture and show it back to you every time you log on. And we’re going to show every move you make, in the form of a you’re-going-to-wish-it-was-not-so-accurately-shaped blob. Put on your cutest workout clothes, and don’t forget to apply lipstick. We’re watching you!

This was followed by the equally horrifying realization that since she panicked and shut the system down so abruptly, she may have to go through the whole set-up process again. If so, she’s going to tell them she’s 22 years old, 136 lbs., and when they want to take her picture, she’s going to shove Mollie’s cat’s face into the camera. He’s very photogenic.

So far, this has been rather upsetting for Bunny.

Let’s see what happens next time. After the shock wears off.

Maybe she’ll actually exercise.

Ah, technology!

Thanks, Mollie. Come back soon.

Happy New Year!

Time to refresh, reboot, recycle, and review our priorities. WebMD must have thought so too, because Bunny received an email from WebMD, offering the 22 best diet tips ever. Before reading it, she decided to make a game out of it, and see how many she could guess. Here are Bunny’s guesses:Resolutions

  1. Drink more water. Get waterlogged. Water water water.
  2. Don’t eat late in the evening, and if you do, make sure it’s sugar-free Jello or something equally benign (and yes, boring).
  3. Watch your portions. Split a meal at a restaurant with a friend, or ask them to pack up half of it before you start eating.
  4. Make healthier choices. When your friend drags you to Fatburger, have a Diet Coke and a plain salad instead of a monster-super-fat-artery-buster-burger-with-triple-cheese-and-a-half-gallon-of-1000-island dressing.
  5. Exercise. Walk, dance, swim, whatever. Stretch, move, get your heart beating.
  6. Write down what you eat. The dreaded food diary.
  7. Don’t forget breakfast, the most important meal of the day.
  8. Snack a lot, rather than having huge meals.
  9. Eat a balanced diet, from all the food groups. Whole grains, veggies, fruits, protein, dairy, what’s that other one?
  10. Diet with a friend? Bunny’s not sure about this one, but it does help to have someone to diet and exercise with, so maybe that’s it. 12 more? wow…

OK, Bunny gives up. Let’s see what she missed:

  1. #1 is water. Hah!
  2. Nighttime snacks. Wow! 2 for 2, in order!
  3. Enjoy your favorite foods? Eat one cookie instead of the whole box. Portions! She got that one!
  4. Eat a bunch of little meals rather than a couple of big ones. Yep, got that one, too.
  5. Eat protein at every meal. Oh yeah, she forgot that one.
  6. Suck on a red-hot fireball. Huh? Oh, make things spicy so your taste buds will be titillated.
  7. Stock your kitchen with healthy, convenient foods. hmm… We suppose this is so that you can make last-minute healthy meals on no notice, instead of eating something hideous because it’s the only thing in the house. OK.
  8. Order children’s portions at restaurants. OK, that’s cheating. Portions again. Plus, Bunny’s not going to do that, she’d feel like an idiot.
  9. Eat veggies instead of pasta. File that one under make healthier choices.
  10. Always eat breakfast. See? Got that one, too.
  11. Eat fiber. Yep, the food pyramid.
  12. Don’t keep fattening foods in your cupboard. That’s good advice in a perfect world for people who live alone. Bunny doesn’t, and Buff likes cookies.
  13. Lose weight slowly. HA! No problem there!
  14. Weigh yourself once a week. Preferably at a Weight Watchers meeting, in Bunny’s case. It keeps her honest. When she does it.
  15. Get enough sleep. This is Bunny’s favorite tip! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  16. Understand portion size. A 6-ounce stead is one serving, a 22-ounce steak is 4 servings, and a McDonald’s chocolate shake is 40 servings.
  17. Eat fruit and veggies. Duh.
  18. Limit alcohol. Fattening, and it weakens your resolve.
  19. Chew sugarless gum. Bunny missed that one. She’s not even sure she agrees with it, but whatever. It probably works for a lot of people.
  20. Food diary. Horribly boring, but effective.
  21. Celebrate success, but not with food. Buy yourself smaller-size jeans as soon as you can get your buns into them. Good idea!
  22. Get help from family and friends.

They didn’t include exercise? OK, we suppose that’s not really a diet tip. Or is it? Sure it is. Isn’t it?

Either way, Web MD offers great advice, and these are all very good tips, great resolutions for the new year.

Happy New YearBunny has a few more:

  1. Tell your friends and family right away that you’re on a diet, and elicit their help. Do this while your resolve is strong, because it will fade. (Oh boy, will it fade!) Your best friend is the one who will remember not to order chips and guac, and will slap that cookie out of your hand.
  2. Make 5-lb. goals. If you have to lose 100 lbs., think of it as a series of 5-lb. losses. Don’t focus on how many. Just a few 5-lb. losses amounts to a lot of weight.
  3. When you’re stressed or bored or whatever emotion triggers your food monster, be aware of it, address it, and sooth it some way that doesn’t involve food, alcohol, or any kind of illegal or socially unacceptable activity. In other words, don’t punch anybody or start smoking or something stupid like that–rather, go with something like yoga or meditation. Play games on your iPhone. Tend your Facebook farm. Play The Sims. (Make a sim that looks like someone who is stressing you out, and exact your revenge by making that sim miserable. Don’t judge us, it works for Bunny, it’s fun, and it keeps her nose out of the fridge.)
  4. Stay away from fast food restaurants. Really. No good can come from them.
  5. Take your vitamins before a meal. The water you have to drink will fill you up so that if you eat a big meal you’ll be miserable. Drink water first, eat less, avoid the bloat!
  6. Make friends with one healthy food, and never be without it. Bunny’s friend is tomatoes. We’ve discussed this before. When she’s scrounging the kitchen looking for trouble, tomatoes bail her out more often than not.
  7. When invited to an affair that will tempt you with cocktails and yummy little finger foods, say no. Well, that’s not very social, so maybe go, but eat first. Get a glass of wine and make it last the entire party. Sip sip sip. Head for the veggies tray, sidestep the dip, and leave early.

What works for you? Please share.