• Jill

The Scale, is it the Devil?

Can you relate to this? I have bought so many different types of scales over my adult life. The scale that just showed my weight, the high tech scale that not just read my weight, but also my BMI, Body Fat Analysis, Water Weight, Bone Mass, Muscle Mass, Body Age, Basal Metabolism, Fat Free Body Weight and Skeletal Mass, and finally the scale that does all that but, also will send it to your phone. My goodness isn’t modern technology incredible?

It is amazing where the evolution of the scale has taken us from the one you would find in a doctors office, where you step on the scale and and move some sliders around to determine your weight to what we have now. The, issue with all these scales is that they are not always accurate or if at all.

Getting your weight from a doctor’s scale is based on how much you have eaten before getting weighed, how heavy your clothes are (ever notice you might be lighter in the summertime), and how accurate the nurse can get the sliders in the right place to balance it.

With the high tech scales, how many of the other functions, besides weight, do you understand? Don’t get me wrong it is very appealing that you can find out this information about yourself all by stepping on a scale. I have one with all those functions at home (I don’t use it anymore, but I have one). Much, like the doctor's scale there are a lot of variables that go into what your weight will be that day. Yes it is more accurate than a doctor's scale, but there are still things that could affect the outcome.

With that said, every Saturday morning I would wake up, pee, go into my closet and take out my scale. I would make sure it was flat and there was nothing under to throw it off balance. From there I would strip naked and tap the center of the scale to make it come to life. I would wait for the zero to appear and step on. The amount of excitement and anxiety I would feel in that short amount of time (though it felt like forever) for it to get my stats was agonizing.

When the number came up most of the time I had a feeling of disappointment. While, yes, I lost some weight (half a pound), it was not as much as I had wanted and then the other numbers would show up. The two important ones for me being the BMI and Body Fat Percentage. If those two didn’t meet my standards, the rest of my day went down hill. I would binge eat and then try to figure out what food I should cut out and how much more exercising I should do so, I could lose those extra few pounds.

This cycle happened for a while and eventually I ended up with exercise bulimia. I under ate and over worked out. Everytime I had a piece of food I would do some sort of exercise. Most times it was crunches. My thinking was if I did an exercise I would burn off the food I just ate. Over time I realized what I was doing was hurting me and found help with a nutritionist.

I am sure you are wondering what this has to do with a scale being the devil. Heres, what it comes down to. A scale is a great way when you are first starting to lose weight to watch the pounds come off. As you get leaner and start to build muscle the number on the scale will go up because you are adding muscle mass. Now, you look at the scale and get frustrated because the number goes up and you start to cut back on the amount of food you are eating to fuel your body while working out. Every time, you step on the scale you get anxious, because you want to see that, what you are doing and all the hard work you are putting is giving you the results you want.

Not everyone will have this experience but, there are some that will. So, I ask the question, is the scale the devil, because of the way it can mess your mind? Take what you see on the scale as a guideline, because there are so many different variables that go into what your results will be. Use, other ways to see your progress. Like, how your clothes are fitting and how your body feels and looks to see how the weight is coming off and the muscle is going on. Just, don't let the devil scale mess your mind because that is one rabbit hole that can take a while to come back from.