Local Woman Uses Wii To Lose Weight
FORT MILL, S.C. - 33-year-old Julie Maloney used to weigh more than 220 pounds. Now, she weighs about 120. The Fort Mill mother of two says she lost an incredible 100 pounds by playing video games like "boxing" or "in line skating." She says, "I have gone from a size 16 to a size 4."
A freelance writer by trade, Julie started blogging about her experience and quickly gained a following. Her "Wii Mommies" blog has nearly one thousand members, including people in Australia and Canada.
She shares motivation and eating tips with her online community and says while the video games are a big part of her weight loss, so is portion control. Julie says she doesn't deprive herself of the food she loves, she just uses one simple trick while at home or dining out:
"(I) would immediately cut the burger in half, take half the fries off, half the burger, put it in a to go box and put it beside me,” she explains.
There are conflicting opinions on whether video games provide real health benefits. An endocrinologist in California is using a grant from the American Diabetes Association to "explore the power of exergaming." He's quoted in one article as saying "there are no published studies that the Wii system leads to a change in BMI (Body Mass Index). If you really want to burn calories, you have to move your whole body."
Tell that to Julie. She says she feels fabulous and she's not going to stop exergaming anytime soon. "Now, I know when when I'm walking through a grocery store and someone's looking at me, I know they're thinking, 'Yes! That's a hot one right there!' and I earned that.”
Health experts warn that using video games for exercise can lead to injury because of overuse and improper warm up. Julie says she always urges safe use of all gaming equipment.
Julie also says she doesn't get paid by any of the game system companies, but since they caught wind of her weight loss success, they have asked her to help test new products.