It’s only been open to the general audience a few days and has already taken over the Internet. Every other newsfeed post on Facebook is either some clever meme or a screenshot of your friend’s gaming. In fact, I’m pretty close to being burned out on hearing about it. Yet, I can’t seem to get enough playing time. And yeah, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true.
I’m definitely not your typical Pokémon target audience being in my late twenties and married with a kid but I, like many older players, find a deep sense of nostalgia with the app. I watched it when I was younger and I’m definitely a die hard ‘90s kid. Oh, and did I mention that I’m a bit of a nerd? So this combined with the continuous flow of praise for the app got me to download it and check it out.
It started pretty innocently and I was surprised at how quickly it all escalated. I don’t play games. Like, at all. So, I figured this was going to be a download that I’d check out and then delete within the same day. However, it turned out to be pretty fun. In fact, it didn’t take any time for me to lap the office several times while hunting.
You see, I have your basic desk job and I literally sit all day. Normally, I don’t have much of an excuse to get up and stretch my legs. But as you all know by now, Pokémon don’t just hang out in one place. You really have to walk around to catch them, leading to multiple small breaks that have become really beneficial for me.
If you didn’t gather from the title, I’m a plus-sized woman. There are many reasons for this but there’s definitely a part that is credited to my disdain for physical activity. I often do workouts that tend to distract me like dancing, kickboxing, etc. I don’t like to focus on that fact that I’m actually exercising. So, when it occurred to me that I could get a good walk while Pokémon hunting, I was thrilled! It was the perfect distraction from me realizing how fast or far I was walking.
I know what you’re thinking, I’m a grown woman and this is weird. Yeah, I suppose it is but so is my fangirling over anything Harry Potter. It’s something I’ve come to accept about myself, and I’m cool with it. Make fun all you want. The way I see it, if I find a solution that helps me stay healthy, then shouldn’t I totally embrace that?
In fact, Melissa Gutierrez from the Thighs and Lows Blog Facebook group commented, “The first day I played, I walked 1.5 miles. The second day it was 3.5 miles. I didn’t even notice how much I had walked!”
As weird as it sounds, Pokémon Go is helping people get healthy, which is why I’m joining the hype. Perhaps you’ll try it out for the same reasons. Who knows, maybe we’ll bump into each other.
Jillian Pedersen is a plus sized mom from Austin, Texas. She is the creator of Thighs and Lows Blog and Thighs and Lows Blog Facebook group, an online community that encourages and empowers women of every size to appreciate who they are right now. Jillian is an advocate for the body positive movement.