Larry Teckenbrock, Eagan, 64, 'Wii Fit’ addict, information technology professional
Larry Teckenbrock had been avoiding scales since turning 60. But last Christmas, he got a Wii for Christmas. Now 64, he has put the video-game system to good use: He has lost 25 pounds, which he attributes mostly to plugging in to "Wii Fit" most mornings and "ExerBeat" most evenings. By combining smaller portion sizes with regular exercise, he's hoping eventually to get his weight down to what it was when he was an avid runner and climber in his 30s.
AVOIDING THE SCALE: "When I hit 50, I kind of lost my legs. My knees went, and I couldn't jump and play volleyball anymore. And our kids were at the age with a lot of activities going on, so there was always an excuse not to work out. The next thing you know, you're on the scale and you see numbers you haven't seen before. I hate to admit it, but when you get older, it's a lot easier to keep it on. When you're younger, you can almost think about it and you lose weight. My energy was down, but I attributed it to aging."
NAYSAYERS: "There are people who say Wii doesn't work. It is a little limited -- the most you can do at a time is five minutes. I use that as a warmup, and that's what works for me. The main thing is that it tracks me every day. It weighs you on the balance board, and you see exactly what's going on. If your weight's going up, there's a category to explain why you gained weight. You realize, 'Oh, I had a second helping of this.' It made me realize I needed to take smaller quantities. And if you skip a day, it says, 'Oh, I haven't seen you.' Sometimes it's annoying, but it makes you conscientious. You want to get in there so you don't get that little scolding. You get a little stamp when you do it everyday, a little reward."
OFF THE COUCH: "I do a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes in the morning [on 'Wii Fit'] -- aerobics and stretching and yoga. I use a different program in the evening for more aerobics: 'ExerBeat' has dance routines and aerobics, and you can do anywhere from 2 to 30 minutes. I also try to bike in the summer whenever we can on weekends, and cross-country ski in the winter. But, realistically, that only happens four or five times a winter."
NO SUPER-SIZING: "Mostly, it's thinking about the portion size. How much is there, and how much do I really need to eat? It's eating smaller portions and then stopping, realizing you don't have to eat all that, putting snacks in a dish rather than taking handfuls out of the bag -- just little habits."
ENERGY BOOST: "I've firmed up my abs, I feel better and I walk better -- and my knees don't hurt. I feel like doing active things. Last weekend, we were in Wisconsin hiking up a steep trail, and I could do it [without problems]. I sit at the computer all day, but we have a courtyard at work, and I'll look for opportunities to go out for a walk."
BONUS: "It's a lot cheaper than a personal trainer."
SHEILA MULROONEY ELDRED SPECIAL TO THE STAR TRIBUNE