Monday, October 17, 2011

The Rise and Fall of The Queen of the Scale

Since we’ve spent the last several weeks talking about the emotional side of eating, food, and body image, I’ve decided today to take a look at the one of the more tangible roadblocks on the path to a healthy weight and self-concept. ..

The Scale.

To some, those can be the two most terrifying words on planet Earth.

Most people (myself included) with weight and body image struggles, attribute far too much to what number flashes upon the tiny black screen of their bathroom scale. It’s a lottery, really. If the number is “right”, then I feel affirmed and every outfit looks fabulous and my arms look especially toned, and I imagine everyone is admiring my figure and ignoring the appearance of my 4 disheveled children as I herd them into the grocery store. I am the conqueror of food, it has no sway over me so I can eat as little or as much of it as I like because I am The Queen of the Scale.

And then the next day comes.

The scale reflects a different number this time. Sure, perhaps it’s only up a pound or two, but suddenly The Queen is usurped and she’s bumming around in over-sized sweats bemoaning how her thighs rub together, while eating all the leftover cereal in the kids’ breakfast dishes and envisioning herself 500lbs heavier and being lifted out of her bed by a team of 10 barrel-chested men and a gurney.

Scales suck.

I actually haven’t owned one for about 15 years. The only time I weigh myself is when I’m visiting my parents or at my in-laws’ house, so it’s usually 3 or 4 times a year. And each time I weigh myself, I am reminded of why I hate those little gadgets: they have far more power than they should. A machine should never tell me how to feel about myself yet every single time, it does.

So why do I feel compelled to weigh myself when the opportunity presents itself? (I have my own ideas of “why”, which I will share next week, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.)What’s your take on The Scale? Does it help or hurt you on your journey?


  1. HATE the scale but am always so tempted to jump on when I see one. Maybe this is the masochistic side of me? A long time ago, I decided to go by how I feel about myself and how my clothes fit, rather than that number. Most of the time, that works...but still, every once in a while I see that horrible device calling me from under my husband's side of the bed. Grrr.

  2. Sarah, I too have committed to going by the fit of my clothes and it works every time, and a tight pair of jeans somehow feels less assaulting than an undesired number on the scale, but I still feel the inevitable pull of the blasted machine!

  3. I began weight watchers almost 3 weeks ago and have dedicated myself to ONLY weighing myself on the check in days (Monday mornings). Of course this morning, I was only down 0.4 pounds from last week and though, well, I enjoyed a lot yesterday, I'll check it Tuesday morning and it'll be down, I'm sure. But you just encouraged me NOT to weigh myself. I look forward to the time I can judge by the fit of my clothes.