Bill Lindsay’s weight climbed to almost 400 pounds but he stopped it before it got any higher with VR and fitness. We had a chat with Bill about the games he plays to keep his metabolism going full force, the importance of mods, healthy eating, and how he lost 90 pounds!
VRFI: You told us that you work as an IT systems engineer and have a desk job that isn’t very active. What was your moment of clarity that you needed to change your habits and get in shape?
B: For me, there was no one single moment of clarity, it was the combination of several smaller things adding up that pushed me to change it. It was getting harder and harder to find clothes without going to specialty shops (which are generally more expensive), not being able to fit into a booth at a restaurant or being completely out of breath after a single flight of stairs. I knew my health was heading downhill and decided to make a change before it really became an issue
VRFI: As a gamer, was it difficult to cross over to VR? Did you have any technical or physical challenges?
B: No technical challenges. Since I work in IT it was really easy for me to set up. It did take a little bit of work getting my 1 bedroom apartment set up with enough free space to accommodate VR, especially for Beat Saber.
VRFI: You’re a fan of BOXVR. There are so many workouts on BOXVR that have been created by fitness trainers. Which workouts do you use?
B: Since I shoot for about an hour, I usually do one of the ~40m (Super Endurance) ones + a 20m (Usually ‘Beast Mode’) workout.
VRFI: What are your favorite Beat Saber songs to play and do you play with modded songs too?
B: I think all of the built-in songs are enjoyable but $100 bills is probably my favorite. For the first month, I did not even realize you could do modded songs but I have been enjoying a lot of those lately, you can really appreciate the modded ones that the creators put a lot of time into.
VRFI: What does a daily workout look like for you?
B: The nice thing about VR is, since it is in my home (vs going to a gym) it makes it very easy to weave into my day. I always work out in the evening (not a morning person) and generally I try to work out for an hour. Right now, I do the VR workout every other day and the opposite of that I do some basic weight lifting.
VRFI: Wow, you’ve lost 90 pounds! That’s 10 pounds a month by exercising with your Oculus! That’s awesome!
VRFI: Did you also change your eating habits during this time? Can you expand on what you’re eating to fuel your workouts and weight loss?
B: For the first few months I just focused on eating less, kept eating all of the things I had been but keeping the portions in control. I also signed up for Nutrisystem for a few months to really drive home the portion control. I have since stopped that and I have had good success sticking to 1600-1800 calories a day and now I am slowly working in healthier foods.
For me, the diet has been the harder item to change vs the physical activity. Other than soda, I have not really eliminated any specific foods. I just keep in mind if I want that slice of pizza and its ~350 calories that it is a significant portion of my daily calories.
VRFI: You mention that you use an Alienware 17 R4 laptop with a solid state hard drive. That’s a powerful computer! Tell us how using a laptop instead of a desktop PC has helped other people around you gain exposure to VR. Has anyone purchased one after trying it?
B: Since I have had so much success with VR and how fun I find it, I have been telling everyone I can about it. The Oculus Rift is fairly portable and easy to set up so in combination to the laptop I can bring it with me just about anywhere I go.
I have a friend with a PS4 who did end up getting the PSVR and plans on getting Beat Saber for the PS4 since that is on the way, but unfortunately, VR is still fairly cost prohibitive for a lot of folks (more so the computer required for it and not the VR setup itself). I have a few more friends who are definitely interested in it
VRFI: How has adopting this healthier lifestyle with VR technology helped you with your health and in your everyday life?
B: When I first started this I knew I needed to get healthier but I didn’t really think I felt that bad. But after losing the 90lbs thus far, it is amazing how much better I feel. I am sleeping better, I have far more and more consistent energy throughout the day and both my heart rate and blood pressure have come down quite a bit.
VRFI: Lots of people stream VR gameplay, workouts, and talk about their progress on platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and the like. Do you film or stream? Tell us more about that.
B: I have recorded a few videos as demos but streaming is definitely something I am interested in with VR. With the success I have had with it I just want to spread the word as much as I can and maybe even inspire a few people along the way — especially if someone like me who was close to 400 pounds could do it.
VRFI: Do you have any advice for people who are sitting at their desks or are living a life that doesn’t have enough physical activity in it?
B: The biggest pieces of advice I can give is find something that works for you, don’t give up if you are trying things and they are not working at first. I have tried to lose weight a few times and it didn’t stick, but I’ve finally found it. With VR I found something that is incredibly fun and has been really effective for me.
VRFI: Thank you for sharing your fitness journey with us, Bill!
We can each learn something from Bill’s fitness journey — that VR is a hard-hitting workout that produces real results like weight loss, but most importantly improves our overall health and energy levels when we eat well! Bill found that getting in shape with energetic VR games like Beat Saber and BOX VR got him amazing results. His story reminds us that we are each on a quest for different reasons — for fun, fitness, health, or looking and feeling better.
What are your fitness or health goals and how does exercising with VR push you towards them?