Cheapass Challenge (CAC) W1D4: I’m BAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!

Hallo worried readers!

I’m back from two weeks of blissful vacationing, several days of finalizing my move and cleaning up the old apartment, and a week of trying to catch up at work. My team just started production on a new Sony PSP title, and I’ve been scrambling to research the licensed property (hint: It’s a popular animated series for girls), writing part of the design document, churning out graphics, and watching all the episodes from seasons one and two.

Oh, and I also received Animal Crossing: Wild World for the Nintendo DS and Eye Toy Kinetic for the Playstation 2 for Christmas and have been terminally addicted to both those titles and the Guitar Hero game for PS2 I bought Chris.

Animal Crossing is a cute little Sims-like game (without all the annoying micromanagement that made the Sims so tedious) that will appeal to kids and adults alike, especially those who um, enjoy collecting and shopping. My sister Carolyn (age 29) is a complete Animal Crackhead now. I, too, am insanely hooked on the game. Between this game and Mario Kart DS, my handheld DS is never more than three feet away from my body at any given moment.

Well, okay, I do leave it behind when I am working out.

Kinetic is a PS2 title that uses the Eye Toy peripheral to place YOU into the game onscreen. The gimmick is that this isn’t just a game–it’s a customizable workout program much like Yourself Fitness. You take a physical evaluation test to see where you stand physically, then you create your profile and choose whether you want to use the program in 12 week Personal Trainer Mode or in Routine Mode. Personal Trainer mode is like YF! in that you are given a computer-generated program to follow based on your test results and goals. It includes “toning”/weight training, cardio (aerobics), combat (fun, kickboxing mini-games), and flow (tai chi/yoga) routines as well as pre and post-workout stretching sessions. Routine mode allows you to create and save your own workout sequences, so if you feel like making your own personal workout consisting of 20 minutes of tai chi followed by 30 minutes of asskicking combat, you are free to do so. The best part about this exercise “game” is that you see yourself up on the TV screen punching, lifting, hopping around, or doing whatever else the animated trainers want you to do. This is fantastic because it lets you check your form when doing lifting exercises and aerobics or see yourself ducking, punching and kicking at virtual targets and enemies in combat mode. All this for $49.99 (Eye Toy included). Genius!

Guitar Hero…what can I say about this awesomely addictive game? You get a game controller shaped like a travel-size Gibson SG guitar complete with five fret buttons, a strum switch, and a whammy bar, and you get to rock out to a very nice collection of guitar hits, earning bucks and unlocking new guitars, songs, and characters along the way. The game has four levels of difficulty; I am only 3/4 of the way through Medium so far, but already I wake up in the morning with the opening riff’s of Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water playing in my head. If you or the man in your life has a PS2 and fondness for guitar-laden rock music, go get this game now. It’s fantastic at parties and much more accessible to shy music lovers than Karaoke Revolution or Dance Dance Revolution.

The Cheapass Challenge has taken a backseat to my various non-fitness-related activities these past few weeks, but I’ll get to work on the menus, cost lists, and other parameters this weekend.

For now, here is my first little tip:
If you don’t already have basic gym equipment (bench and several pairs of dumbbells) or a gym membership and live within 20 minutes of a Bally Total Fitness, you can print out a pass for a free eight week membership by signing up for the Discovery Health National Body Challenge 2006 here:

If you don’t see a link to print out a pass after you register, make sure you are using Internet Explorer. Firefox sometimes has issues with the site. Take advantage of this great freebie gym membership now if you can. If Bally salespeople try to “encourage” you to sign up for a paid membership, kindly thank them but say you will check back with them at the end of your free 8-week trial membership. Trust me, they will be offering you the same deals in a few months no matter what they say now about said deals being “limited-time only.”

Nutrition: Non-Training Day Menu

1: Peanut butter banana shake
2: 3 egg white, 1 whole egg omelette with 1 c. spinach and Brussels sprouts, 1/2 c. Kashi GoLean cereal, 1 small tangerine
3: 1 scoop whey protein, 1 slice pumpkin raisin bread
4: 3 oz. tuna, 1 navel orange
5: 3 oz. grilled tilapia filet, 1 c. mixed green veggies, 1 Mandarin roll
6: 1/4 c. oatmeal, 1 T. raisins, 40 g texturized vegetable protein

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter

Water: 16 cups minimum

8:00 AM LISS run (6.0 mph / 20 minutes)
4:00 PM LISS walk (4.0 mph / 15 minutes)
8:30 PM Yourself Fitness (30 minutes)

The Awful Truth:
1. Finishing off the Kashi GoLean cereal in the pantry…

Brownie Points:
1. Stocked up on chicken.
2. Baked two batches of pumpkin raisin bread.
3. Re-potted various veggie plants and moved everything into patio.

Short-term Goals:
1. Write up CAC meal plan, basics, and rules.
2. Fix remaining issues with Joomla migration at
3. Locate new Events module for PDB.
4. Upgrade Community Builder component at PDB.
5. Set up archived version of The Training Journal forum at PDB from Hershey Girl’s backup.
6. Take starting pics, measurements, and body fat.
7. Transplant new chard, tomato, basil, and pepper seedlings to larger containers.

6 thoughts on “Cheapass Challenge (CAC) W1D4: I’m BAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!

  1. Maggie-

    When I first say Kinetics – you were the first person I thought of – I KNEW it was for you.

    But – then I got one (a b-day present from my honey) and after trying it – I was doubly sure that you would love love love this game.

    My fiance and I are having a ball – I’m glad you’re finding it as entertaining as we have.

  2. Hey Maggie!

    Which do you like better? The Eye Toy Kinetics or Yourself Fitness? I’m going to buy one of them, so I’m wondering which one you think is better…

  3. Shawn– I LOVE Kinetic’s combat feature, though I haven’t tried the trainer mode yet. Might hook that up tonight. I took it into work to show the guys, and they are all hooked.

    Michelle– I think YF is more portable and easier to use because there are fewer options and set up requirements, and it doesn’t require a huge living room in order to use it, but if you have the space and lighting for it, Kinetic has more features (kickboxing/combat and tai chi) and more customizability.

  4. My girls *LOVE* playing Animal Crossing… Harvest Moon is another one they like. I really wish that the industry would come up with more of these types of games for girls. They are Rated E for Everyone, also they are very entertaining.

  5. Thanks so much for your info on Kinetic. I’ve been looking for Yourself! Fitness but I can only find it on E-bay. No trouble finding Kinetic since that’s what the sales people show me when they can’t find Y!F.

    BTW, nice to see you post again!:wink:

  6. Maggie, you crack me up! I also own Animal Crossing. My boyfriend got me into it and now I’m addicted! What kind of fruit does your town have? We should exchange friend codes!

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