About the Scales

- POSTED ON: Dec 04, 2017


Should I weigh?
If so, how often?

Should I throw my scales away?

This issue is frequently discussed by those dealing with diet for weight-loss.

After a lifelong battle with food and with weight (see ABOUT ME), I’ve established what works for me.

Over the years, I have just about every reaction possible to the Scales.

  •  I've eaten because they showed a loss,
  •  I've eaten because they showed a gain.
  •  I've eaten because they didn't move up or down.
  •  I 've felt bad because they went up,
  •  I've felt good because they went down. 
  •  I've felt bad because they didn't move at all,
  •  I've felt good, when they didn't move at all.

Over time, I tried different variations to my use of the scales.

I tried weighing whenever I felt like it, even if it was many times a day.

I tried weighing once a day, and once a week, and once a month; twice a day, not weighing myself, but having a club or doctor weigh me. I spent several years not weighing at all.

I've bought many scales of various kinds, and I've thrown away many scales.

I finally came to realize that my problem is not with the Scales themselves. My problem is dealing with the Reality of objective truth  - which is shown by numbers that the Scales repeatedly registers.

Here is my basic and ultimate problem:

I hate the Reality of the fact
I cannot eat everything I want to eat, all the time.


THAT is what I feel frustrated by, and THAT is what sometimes angers and disgusts me. The Scale is merely a Tool that shows me an objective number, and that scale number tends to force me to face my Denial of the above-stated Realty. 

Like many overeaters, I have a strong tendency to lie to myself. I find it extremely easy to lie to myself about how much I eat,  and ... when I don't use the Scale regularly... it's not hard to lie to myself about how far away I am from my preferred weight. 

n order to face Reality, I need an Objective Standard. So....

  • I weigh every morning after using the bathroom, but before I dress.
  • I write that weight number down.
  • I then record that weight number on charts and graphs that I keep.

I feel emotions during this process, just like I feel emotions about lots of my other daily activities.

I can emotionally eat because I do or don't like the number the scale tells me,

I can emotionally eat over something I hear in the morning news.
............or over anything at all.....

Facts are facts, and emotions are emotions.

I continually work to avoid excessive emotional eating, no matter what the cause. But, not facing the truth of facts is no solution to emotional eating.

Some mornings the scale shows that my body is up 2 or 3+ pounds from the prior morning.
.................. I don't like that.
However, I KNOW my body didn't really gain 2 or 3 or more pounds of fat overnight...
...................because I'm not a moron.

 I know that it's the Big Picture that counts, ...  rather than one individual day, or one individual weight. ... It takes eating somewhere around 3500 calories above what my body burns to gain 1 pound of fat, and I know that the calories I took in the day before was far less than the amount that could cause a 2-3 pound fat gain.

I also know that eating salty foods, or an especially large volume of food, will affect my body's salt/water/waste levels for several days. This means that my body will register numbers higher on the scale.

Whatever the reason, when I see higher numbers on the scale, I know that for the next few days I will need to eat smaller amounts of lower calorie foods.

Sometimes I feel frustrated by this.  Sometimes I am angry and disgusted. But......
I am determined
to stay the course and view the numbers on the scale in a positive way.

Accepting the Reality of the fact that I cannot eat everything I want to eat all of the time, is an ATTITUDE CHOICE, which isn't always pleasant or easy to repeatedly and consistently make.

Here is something I find to be an ultimate Truth:

I must face Reality

Change what I can
Accept what I can't Change.

 NOTE: Originally posted on 1/29/2017.  Bumped up for New Viewers

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Existing Comments:

On Jan 30, 2017 Kae wrote:
i really appreciate when you share these types of posts :) it is not often that one thing or another that you share doesn't speak to me on a personal level .. such as in this article i can totally relate to your different reactions to the scale and i work every day to curb emotional overeating and like you even though it is uncomfortable even difficult to accept that i can't eat everything i want whenever i want i am determined to stay the course and work to view the numbers on my scale positively :)

On Jan 30, 2017 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks Kimber, it is always a pleasure to hear from you.

On Jan 30, 2017 gnelson651 wrote:
Thank you for your reflection on this subject. As I started dieting 12 weeks ago. I noted that I have increased in weight by 2-3 lbs this week. I know that this last week I hit a couple of speed bumps by not staying on the diet and eating what I should not be eating. Now I paid the price with some weight gain. I have seen a steady decline these past 12 weeks in my weight until now. I suspect that my scale is not accurate but does it matter if it is off by a few pounds? It is what it is and is does show a number that is my weight which is a point in time I can relate as how I am progressing. I have thought about throwing out this scale and buy another but will that change anything? That being said, I know that I am on a long journey here and that a few speed bumps will happen. The only thing I can do is realize that I must maintain focus and stay on course until I reach my target weight. Then I will adopt a healthy eating lifestyle to maintain that weight and monitor my progress as I go. Speed bumps happen which only means that adjustments should be made. I am in this for the long haul.

On Jan 30, 2017 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi gnelson, it is true that maintaining focus is the key. The bathroom scale is merely a TOOL that tells us the weight of everything that is inside the body or on the body when we stand on it. I think that the most important function of that TOOL is that it RECORDS your weight CONSISTENTLY, meaning if it isn't exactly accurate, its weight should always be the SAME amount off. If it is half a pound different from your accurate weight, then it should always be half a pound off. The same thing if the scale weighs 3 lbs too high, then it should ALWAYS state your weight as 3 lbs too high. When a the scale sometimes weighs 2 to 3 lbs too high and sometimes weighs 2 to 3 lbs too low, it is telling you that your weight is somewhere up or down inside a 6 lb range. That is something I would not personally tolerate, but I see it like a faulty screwdriver ... one that doesn't exactly fit the screw slot, and will tend to slip when I use it, but if is the only tool I have to fix a loose screw, it's better than nothing. Should you invest in getting another scale? Some people would use the inaccuracy of their scale as a Rationalization or Justification for overeating. Whether you should replace your scale depends on how important watching your weight is to you, and whether or not you can budget the money to get another one. I've experimented with lots of scales, and have had a great different types and brands, both very expensive and very cheap. my own personal preference is for a very simple Tanita digital bathroom scale. I see that Amazon has one now listed for around $35, which is a very reasonable standard price for any good bathroom scale.

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