Let’s talk about Pokémon GO for a moment. Everyone’s playing. I’ve never seen parks or historical sights more full of kids and adults. I’ve never seen so much support from an online community than I have seen with Pokémon GO. I could spend an entire post explaining how amazing (and broken) the game is, but I’ll save that for another day.

Right now, I want to talk about what this app means for gamers like me.

Look, there’s no beating around the bush: I’m fat. I’ve let myself enjoy one too many slices of pizza and completely stopped moving.  Most of my time off is spent on the computer or in front of the TV playing games or reading books. There is nothing wrong with doing any of those activities, but add on poor eating habits and I’ve found myself in a not-so-great position.

Please don’t mistake my desire to lose weight as a way to “fix” a self image. I enjoy my body type. Short, stocky, I’m fine with that! I clean up nicely and look handsome as hell when I want to!  Sure, I wouldn’t mind top surgery (as a transman, that is an entirely separate issue), but otherwise, I’m very happy with my physical appearance.

The motivation to go out and explore and simply move is because I’m tired of not being able to do the things I once loved to do for extended periods of time. I miss playing sports, I miss riding my bike, I miss hiking and camping.

I also miss inexpensive clothing. If you’re not a big person, you simply wouldn’t understand the struggle of trying to find not only comfortable clothes, but nice, traditional clothing. Buying a suit has been an embarrassing experience.  Paying $2-5 extra for t-shirts? That adds up. All big-people clothing is upcharged exponentially when compared to standard sizes.

The biggest and most important reason for me to heed the call of the PokeWild is for health issues. My joints hurt. I’ve got arthritis in my knees and I’m not even 30! I’ve been seen and treated at the hospital for chest pains and other heart problems.  Health issues could run in my family, and to best avoid having a heart attack by the age of 35, my best fighting chance is to lose the weight.

So Why Not Just Diet?
Come on. Dieting doesn’t work. We’ve all tried every latest fad (granted, I had very good success with Weight Watchers!) and that’s all diets are: fads. I need to make a lifestyle change.  Home-cooked meals, better proportions, better foods, and hey, I may even have to eat those really nasty fake little trees people keep telling me are called broccoli.

The physical activity is what can make the biggest impact on my life, and I fully intend to exploit the brilliance of Pokemon GO as a fitness application tool than anything else. The iPhone offers more advanced tracking in regards to fitness information, but PoGo provides the fun and encouragement I so desperately need.

In the past few days since Niantics’ launch of the app, I’ve seen more people at parks and more people out walking around than I ever have before. It’s beautiful and it’s absolutely inspiring.  The first day the game was released I got in my car and headed to the nearest Pokestop which happened to be a frisbee golf course (I’m not even going to acknowledge that I just said frisbee golf course….). I walked for a mile just chasing down Pokemon.  The next day, I walked 2 miles. And just yesterday I walked, INTENTIONALLY, at work, around the building, for another 1.5 miles.

Pokémon GO Team InstinctI’ve planned my entire week around walking the dog, going out for a bike ride and then walking some more.  All of this crazy thing called exercise just so that I can catch a couple of Pokemon! There’s nothing better than a game that encourages physical activity in people that have found comfort in a resting state. For a person that simply doesn’t move, I could not be more proud of myself.  The greatest part about just getting up and moving like that? I cannot wait to do it again.

Pokemon GO inspires me “to be the very best, like no one ever was!” While there are plenty of other fitness nuts out there, with this game as a fitness tool, I’ll certainly become the very best me.