Tyler, like most of us, worked at a job and had created a lifestyle that led to weight gain. He got an Oculus and has since had a 65-pound weight loss by playing BOX VR, Beat Saber, and other VR games. Here’s how he shook up his lifestyle and is making progress towards his goals to cosplay Iron Man and beyond!
VRFI: You mentioned that you were a stay at home dad and that caused you to put on weight and now you work in law-enforcement IT. Did you exercise then or were you mostly sedentary? What did that look like for you?
T: During the time I was at home I didn’t really have the motivation to exercise. It was easier to say “I’ll do it tomorrow” or make jokes in general about my weight. I figured because weight gain was common in my family, it was also going to be common for me. I was mostly sedentary because between being a full-time parent and husband, I was going to school full time online.
VRFI: How much weight did you gain during that time?
T: During the time I was at home with my child, I gained around 70lbs.
VRFI: You told us that fitting into a cosplay of Iron Man was a huge motivator for you to lose weight. Was/Is there anything else motivating you?
T: So far fitting into my cosplay suit has been my main motivation for losing weight. At the beginning of starting my cosplay build, I set a weight goal for myself. Once I had that, I set up a virtual model of myself and based my cosplay measurements on that. This way I would have something to look forward to as I lost the weight and would also be able to fit into it.
VRFI: Was VR gaming a new concept for you or have you played video games before?
T: I had played normal 2D games in the past however VR gaming was a totally new concept to me. I had tried Google Cardboard in the past and thought it was kind of cheesy. One day I was walking through my local electronics store and they had a demo of Oculus Rift. From that point on, I’ve been hooked and rarely play 2D games.
VRFI: Were there any challenges to playing VR in your Oculus at first?
T: At first I was afraid the motion sickness that I’d heard about online would get to me. After I did little bits at a time I got pretty used to it. The only game that threw me off, even though I was used to VR, was Lone Echo. The simulated zero gravity really messed me up at first but I eventually got used to it.
VRFI: You told us that you play BOX VR a lot. BOX VR is an excellent choice for getting a well-rounded workout, especially if pressed for time. How many times a week do you play it and for how long?
T: I usually try to play 4 to 5 times a week with a day break in between workouts. I generally try to do the 20 min workouts, and for me, this can burn anywhere between 300 to 700 calories at a time. When I’m not working out I keep a diet of around 1500 to 1800 calories. I think with my diet and VR workouts, it has “jump-started” my metabolism.
VRFI: Do you play any other VR games that are great for fitness or that target specific zones of the body?
T: I’ve played a few other games that I think are good for fitness are Audioshield and Beat Saber. I think those are pretty good because they target your core and arms plus they make you get up and move around with some speed.
VRFI: Since your first day with the Oculus, how much weight have you lost?
T: Since I’ve had my Rift, I’ve lost about 65 lbs or so. I don’t intend on stopping even if I meet my goal for my cosplay.
VRFI: How did you change your diet to help support your weight loss?
T: I completely changed my diet when I started working out. My family and I would eat out probably 2 to 3 times a week and now that number is down to maybe one time a week. If we do eat out, I typically consider that my cheat meal and then continue on with my diet. Since I work in an office environment, I like to take fresh meals that I can stick in the microwave. We also used to eat a lot of processed food and now that has been almost eliminated. Now we mainly eat fresh food with lean meats.
VRFI: With a healthier lifestyle, have you seen any other changes in the way you feel, energy levels, etc.? Did you get to cosplay as Iron Man or are you working towards it?
T: With my new lifestyle, I’ve noticed I have much more energy than before and I also feel much better overall. As for my Iron Man cosplay, I’m still working towards and plan to have that done by around March 2019.
VRFI: What would you say to our readers who are considering making the move to VR for fitness, weight loss, or a lifestyle change
T: I would look to VR for weight loss because if you’re like me and hate going to the gym, VR is my go to. It allows me to lose weight and burn calories because I can be in any environment I want and tune out any outside distractions. My Oculus Rift and BOX VR have definitely been a life changer for me.
VRFI: Thank you for talking with us, Tyler!
We at VR Fitness Insider enjoy seeing people change their lives with VR fitness! Tyler lost 65 pounds and continues to lose weight by using VR games to torch calories. He has had success in making changes in the way he and his family eats and that has helped accelerate his plan. He reminds us that having a motivator like fitting into a cosplay outfit or even new clothing helps give fit gamers a fun and tangible goal to work towards to keep fitness as a priority!