How a Videogame Stopped Me from Being a Fatass

This is me a year ago.

That is not a thick coat. In fact, it is a thin trench coat. All of the padding you see is me. At the time, I weighed 230 pounds. My knees ached all of the time. I couldn’t climb stairs without huffing and puffing, relied on albuterol to keep me breathing easy, and the last thing I thought about was physical exercise. I was more likely to be found on the couch than in the gym, I slept endlessly, and candy was a mainstay.

Now, this is me in high school.

I honestly don’t know what caused me to get that way. Back in high school, I weighed around 130 pounds. I was healthy. Due to some arthritic issues, my knees did hurt all the time, but it didn’t slow me down at all. I rode horses. I walked three miles a day. I worked on a farm. But slowly, over time, things started to change. If I felt uncomfortable, or scared, or even just really, really lonely, I ate. I ate to numb the pain away in the same way that others drink alcohol.

For four or five years I regret to say I was a total and complete fatass. I didn’t care what I looked like — or at least that’s what I told myself. I felt fine. I didn’t need to lose weight, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the nagging of my doctor, or the slow but steady upward creeping of the scale. I told myself that right up until about six months ago, when I met this game.

I don’t know how many of you have played In the Groove before, but for someone who’s horrendously out of shape, it’s more than tough: It’s nearly impossible. For about three months I resisted playing at all. That changed about mid-December, at a gathering at a friend’s house, a friend who happened to own a machine. I don’t remember who convinced me I should play, but I took them at their word, mostly so I would stop being asked.

It was the best decision I ever made, because I discovered I wasn’t half-bad at it. Sure, the song I started off on was novice-level difficulty — a 4 out of 18, with a very slow tempo and not that many steps — but over the course of that weekend, I’d worked all the way up to a 6. It was hard, sure. I was sweating and my knees hurt while I played. But I didn’t stop. I didn’t stop until I left two days later on a Sunday afternoon.

The journey didn’t stop there. Every weekend I got back, I got a little better. I started to notice muscle definition in my legs. I noticed that my legs didn’t ache as much and although I still do and will probably always have to use albuterol, the amount of pain was continuously decreasing as I transitioned from using albuterol constantly to just using it before exercise.

The big changes, though, took even longer. Before I knew it, my diet was changing, and without my thinking about losing weight; in fact, wanting to get in shape wasn’t involved until several months in. But pretty soon, out went the potato chips and in went the seared salmon. I started foregoing ice cream for broccoli and peanut butter for cookies. I started to feel better. My hair got shinier, I could walk five miles without breaking a sweat, and my skin cleared. Soon after that, I returned to the gym. The focus this entire time wasn’t on losing weight. The focus was on getting better at ITG.

It’s now eight months later, and although I have had my moments of slippage, I’ve lost nearly 45 pounds. I’ve gained tons of self confidence, a lot of new friends, and a few new muscles. I’m busier now that school has started, but I still go to the gym to keep my stamina up and also to become a fitter, healthier person. My weight is around 185 pounds. I enjoy the changes I’ve made to my body, and I’m comfortable now saying I want to lose weight.

Although not starting with a weight loss mindset helped me initiate the battle, it’s time to win the war.

  • dude

    Still looks like a fatass to me

    • Josh Wirtanen

      Wow, you’re a dick.

    • Lawson

      This world would be a much better place if people like you didn’t exist. Remember that.

    • Eoin

      Kill yourself.

    • Nathan

      Yeah get lost mate. No need for that. Stop being a child.

    • Alcoholic Luigi

      Wow, really? Really?

      Why do we allow these kinds of comments to get posted?

      • Violet

        Lol. Thanks for the backup. I don’t need anyone else to be happy for me. I am happy with me and that is really all that matters. I bet this guy is 300lbs and incapable of climbing a flight of stairs, so it’s okay, really :3

        • Bob Hope

          I hope you realise saying that makes you just as bad as him.. if it makes you feel better saying stuff like that about random people just because they tried to be offensive you might want to rethink your mental state.

        • Nilm

          There was a high road, I wish you would have taken it, now you’re just as bad as him, and yea, still fat.

          • Alcoholic Luigi

            No. Violet is the agreived party here. You don’t get to tell a victim how they are and are not allowed to respond to their aggressor. That shit is wrong. Fuck you with the horse you rode in on.

    • Defender of the Faith, Lord of the Three Mountains, Earl of Grautinshire

      The Dude would never be such a dick, so you must not be the Dude.

  • Opininated

    Whether someone takes the high road or not, it takes balls to talk about your struggles. I think she has ever right to defend herself and as for all the comments about her being just as bad; if someone were to attack you personally, how would you have reacted any differently? Until you put yourself out there, and write an honest article, you should probably shut your pie hole. All the people who put ‘she is fat’ on here need to take a long fucking look at themselves in the mirror. Are you perfect? I think not.