For almost my entire life, I’ve been overweight. It’s something that’s not only affected me physically, but psychologically. Two years ago, I finally decided to do something about my weight. I started to finally be conscious of what, when, and how much I ate. As time went on, I started exercising. I wasn’t always consistent with either, mind you, and I can’t really describe how hard it was to change my lifestyle. I knew I was doing it the right way, though, without trendy diets or weight loss drugs.
Now, you may ask me how video games had anything to do with this experience. I know what you’re thinking, “This is another one of those ‘Gamer Loses Weight by Playing DDR,’ pieces.” To be honest, I hardly played the game at all in the last two years. The way video games helped me was more of a mindset imposed on me by the games I played. Playing adventure and role playing games has trained my brain to look at accomplishments in terms of numbers. In order for your character to improve in these games, they have to gain enough experience to ascent to the next level. Sometimes this ascension is a task that takes fighting many, many battles over and over for long periods of time. This process is known in the gaming world as grinding.
I know this may sound dorky to some people, but I honestly don’t care: loosing my weight was just like grinding to me, both in the short term and the long term. For instance, when I ran, I would do it on a treadmill. Every time I’d pass five minutes, I’d make the speed faster. Every increment felt like a little goal that I’d accomplish, a level gained then another started. I’d look at weight loss the same way. Every five pounds I lost was worthy of epic fanfare. I made little goals for myself so I’d gain that level each time and feel a sense of accomplishment in a shorter amount of time.
When I started, I weighed around 245 pounds. This week is very special to m because I’ve finally hit my all time goal of having an average body mass index (BMI) for my height (5 feet, 7 inches) for the first time I can remember. I now weigh 160 pounds, totaling my weight loss at 85 pounds. I went from a size 38 pants to a size 32 (and to be honest, they’re falling down to my ankles right now). I never set out to lose this much in the beginning, as getting below 200 pounds (I hadn’t been there since middle school) seemed impossible at the time.
The whole process is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but it was well worth the work. I just wanted to share with the readers of Siliconera that video games are a big part of my life and how I live it. I used how they influenced my thinking to my advantage and achieve something great.
Photo credit Vysethebold/Siliconera.