Taste of Home is sponsoring a company weight loss program based on our new cookbook, The Comfort Food Diet. I asked one of the participants, Associate Web Editor Heather Gergen, to share with us her journey to a healthier lifestyle.
I think I’ve found the perfect form of exercise.
I can do it at home while wearing my PJs. It’s considered “family time.” And it’s fun.
It’s “Just Dance 2” for the WII.
Even though video games are ingrained in our society, I’ve managed to pretty much avoid them much past the Atari and Nintendo days of my youth. A couple of Christmases ago though, we broke down and bought a Wii Fit system.
We used it a lot for the first month, but after that, only occasionally. I don’t like the idea of my kids getting addicted to video games. Plus, I didn’t like how my avatar on the game kept getting plumper and plumper the longer I stayed away from the game. That’s a little too much reality in the virtual world for my taste!
Every winter, we vow to use the Wii more. This year we might actually do it. Last weekend, my daughter spent the night at a friend’s house who uses the Wii a lot. She dusted off our pile of Wii games and took them over with her to play.
The next morning when I picked her up, she was raving about this fun game she played called “Just Dance.” The other girl was interested in my daughter’s “Hannah Montana” game, so we swapped for the week. (I highly recommend swapping for a week. It’s like a rental without the fee.)
As soon as we got home, she popped the game into the Wii and music started blasting from the TV. The first song on the screen was “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha. Last summer, I saw a little girl dancing to this song at “Kids Night at the Zoo.” She had more moves on the dance floor than a young Beyonce. I was quite impressed and a bit perplexed. Now, I’ve solved the mystery. The kid must have had “Just Dance.”
I’ll admit it right now. I am a music lover. I love to dance around my house with the fervor of Tom Cruise in “Risky Business” until I inevitably step on a Lego and blow my buzz–or my ankle. And I love to rock out at a really good concert.
I couldn’t resist and had my daughter give it a try. Basically, you hold the Wii remote and mirror all of the dance moves of the character on the screen. Before long, she was shakin’ her groove thing and having a great time.
It looked like fun and I wanted to give it a try. So, I picked a song that I knew well from my teen years – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham. Those of you of a certain age will remember George Michael doing the dance while wearing a “Choose Life” t-shirt in the video from the 80s. I used to do this dance in front of the TV all the time as a kid, how hard could it be?
It started off pretty easy. Then, next thing I knew, I was doing coordinated kicks and the Jitterbug. By the end, my heart was beating fast and I was feeling a little out of breath — kind of the way I feel after exercise. Wait a minute, could this be actual exercise? I think I like this idea of working up a sweat without even realizing it’s exercise.
Next, my son joined in to do the “Monster Mash.” This game has dances that suit both boys and girls. My son’s favorite is now “Rasputin,” which features a guy with a long beard doing a hip-hop version of a Russian folk dance complete with leg kicks on the floor.
Before long, my husband joined in and the whole family was dancing. In fact, we’ve rolled up the rugs and have been dancing all week.
My daughter has done dance duets and dance-offs with all of us. She is definitely the little dancing queen. The rest of the family just rotates as her partner while she stays on the “dance floor.” She does a “Proud Mary” that would make Tina Turner proud, but her high score is on Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”
I have to give a little history to explain how tightly my daughter has my husband wrapped around her little fingers.
My husband and I pretty much gave up on dancing together after taking ballroom dance lessons in college. My toes were really sore after getting stepped on so many times. He is a great dancer on his own though. Like a Muppet, he just dances to the beat of his own drum. And that’s cool.
Now, he’s doing Bollywood dance numbers on the Wii with her. I can’t decide which one was cuter, Harry Belafonte’s Caribbean themed “Jump In The Line,” the Saturday Night Feveresque “Hot Stuff’ complete with a disco dance floor or the Bollywood “Katti Kalandal.”
After one marathon night, my daughter ended up with “Wii wrist.” Much like tennis elbow, it comes from holding the Wii remote too long. We ended up putting an ice pack on it and sent her to bed. It was fine the next morning.
After this week, I’m envisioning a whole generation of kids clutching an imaginary Wii remote in their hands while on the dance floor at their prom.
While playing Scrabble the other day, my daughter tried to use Wii as an actual word. Is this getting out of control?
I’m sad the game has to go back on Saturday, but I’ve checked around and found a friend with the original “Just Dance” game to swap with next week. I’m on the lookout now for someone with the Michael Jackson Experience. Let me know if you’re up for a swap…
You Might Also Like