Goodies Galore

Learning to focus less on dieting and more on overall health and wellness

scale talk

I broke my scale earlier this week and haven’t decided if I’m going to ask Len to fix it for me. Something about not having the ability to weigh myself is kind of liberating. We’ll see. I don’t have an unhealthy obsession with the scale so I think I’ll miss my weekly weigh-ins. In the past I’ve been scale obsessed but not anymore. It’s actually helpful for me because it doesn’t allow me to be in denial about eating crappy.

When I began losing weight in high school by restricting and exercising compulsively, my mom would take me for weigh-ins at the doctor and I would chug tons of water beforehand to get my weight up.  These days, I can’t imagine manipulating the scale to see a gain. Eating disorders are a crazy thing. When I was at my lowest (116 pounds and I’m 5’6) I could not for the life of me see how skinny I was. Everyone was terrified because  you could see all my bones, I wasn’t getting my period and clearly I was sick. But when I looked in the mirror I saw a fat person. Who was this person that other people were seeing? Surely not me, I’d think. One day I went prom dress shopping with my mom and was searching in the size 12 section. The sales lady came over and asked me what I was doing there. Puzzled I thought to myself, “I’m shopping you donkey” but before I could say anything she guided me to my proper size–size 4. I have pictures of that time tucked away somewhere but don’t often take them out for various reasons.

Body dysmorphia, though hard to explain, is real.If you’ve been lucky enough to have a healthy relationship with food and your body, this may sound like crazy talk but the mind is strong and powerful. It’s a scary thing when you’re striving to be skinny and when you get skinny it’s impossible to see. Anyways, this post wasn’t intended to go in this direction but apparently the scale brings up some history for me.

Do you guys think the scale is a blessing or a curse?

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September 4, 2010 - Posted by | eating disorder, Weigh In

21 Comments »

  1. Yesterday, I weighed myself three times back to back, and the scale gave me three VERY different answers– a difference of up to four pounds each time?!? It really pissed me off, and showed me how inaccurate the scale can be. I think I’m about to toss ours and not replace it– I’d rather go by how I’m feeling and how my clothes fit than a stupid number, you know?

    Comment by Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg | September 4, 2010 | Reply

    • and now that you threw out your old “fat” or “skinny” pants you’ll be good to go!

      Comment by lpskins | September 4, 2010 | Reply

  2. Your entire entry deeply, deeply resonates with me. Honestly, I felt as though the words were expelling direcctly from my mouth. For me, personally, I have been actively suffering from anorexia for more than 6 years. It’s ruined a lot of opportunities, relationships, and experiences for me. I recall back when I was in high school and first began losing weight, I, too would flander over to my usual size while shopping, unaware and unfazed by the amount of weight I lost. It was only when I began to constantly adjust my pants, grabbing them as they all but fell to my ankles while navigating the school hallways, that I realized how much weight I’d truly lost.

    It scares me how much our minds can deceive us and almost even deceive us into starvation or obesity. It’s frightening, but I try to remind myself, that while I am in the throes of the disorder, I need to try my best to trust the medical professionals and my family members, aware they are being honest and upfront, as I try to silencet the disorded aspects of my mind.

    I think the scale, for me, is usually a curse, but I think if we re-format our perception of it, it can actually be a reasonable resource. I don’t think I would refer to it as quite a blessing, but more so as a reference, for medical professionals to keep us in check, if need be. That said, I truly feel it is best to base the way we feel on our physical sensations, whether we have energy, drive, and motivation, and not solely a number, which by any means is quite often insignficant. I know that inside, my self-esteem never budged when I was 10 pounds less or 10 pounds more. I now know, its something I need to work out internally, aside from any number on the scale.

    It’s not worth it to quantify myself anymore.

    Thanks for posting this… it means a lot.

    Comment by Melissa | September 4, 2010 | Reply

    • thanks for such a candid response. such a great point about following our physical sensations.

      Comment by lpskins | September 4, 2010 | Reply

  3. I definitely don’t consider the scale a blessing and while I know it CAN be helpful to people, it’s been a curse to me. There have been so many times that I’ve wanted to just throw them out (we have 3..) but my mom and sister just won’t go for it. My mom struggles with disordered body image so while I live in her house, the scale isn’t going anywhere. It’s going to have to be ME that leaves.

    Comment by highonhealthy | September 4, 2010 | Reply

  4. I think the scale is a lot like food- good in moderation. I think weighing yourself everyday (which I’ve gone through periods of doing) can just give you anxiety. And seriously- like you did, having water or a cup of coffee can make a huge difference. Same as if you go to the bathroom, and uh, drop the kids off. So of course your weight is going to fluctuate.

    Now, there’s a scale at work (they tried a “get fit” program that lasted 2 weeks but the scaled stayed) that I jump on occasionally (maybe once a week) just to check myself. I know where my natural range is and just try to make sure I’m in it. Takes a lot of stress away! 🙂

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness | September 4, 2010 | Reply

    • sucks that program only lasted such a short time!

      Comment by lpskins | September 4, 2010 | Reply

  5. I weighed myself all the time when I was losing weight. Once I reached my maintenance point, I had to stop. I always felt accomplished when I was losing, but staying the same felt kind of sucky. I knew it wouldn’t end well, so I had to step away. Now I use my clothes as a guide and I don’t pay much attention to the scale. It’s what works for me.

    Comment by Becky | September 4, 2010 | Reply

  6. Personally, I think scales only drive us crazy. I never weigh myself anymore other than when the doctor weighs me. I put my scale away forever and refuse to let it define who I am inside my head.

    Comment by homecookedem | September 4, 2010 | Reply

  7. I weigh myself obsessivly I weigh myself every morning as soon as I wake up thenI ‘ll do it after I work out (b/c I know the # will be lower) then I weigh myself before bed so I know how much the morning weight will be. Obsessive? big time! I lost 30 pds since high school (i’m 34) and i”m so paranoid about gaining it back. I hope i can kick the habit and weigh once a day as I have a 5 year old daughter and the last thing I want to do is rub it off on her .

    Comment by Kelli | September 4, 2010 | Reply

  8. I prefer the Audrey Hepburn method of “weighing” herself (or at least this is what my mom told me. She had a pair of jeans that fit her perfectly when she was at her healthy weight. Depending on how they fit let her know her size. I used to put too much importance on what the scale says, so no scale for me unless I am at a weigh-in. I have a little black dress that lets me know what it thinks instead…

    Comment by Annelies | September 4, 2010 | Reply

  9. The scale blessing vs. curse is in the eye of the beholder and how you see the number it shows. For most it’s a curse, but for a few it’s a tool.

    PS – You realize the comments on my blog are public right? You’re crazy.

    Comment by Runeatrepeat | September 5, 2010 | Reply

  10. Very insightful. I am not sure where I stand on this–I think if you can limit yourself to weighing in say, once or twice a month it can be beneficial, but when people step on it numerous times a day, everyday, it’s better to do without it. Your beautiful no matter what though!! 🙂

    Comment by CaSaundra | September 5, 2010 | Reply

  11. Scales are a great, healthy idea in theory. Its when our society and comparisions take over that they become a curse. No one should have an obsession with their scale-that is not healthy. But to keep yourself on track i think they are a good idea.
    You are beautiful woman! <333

    Comment by thebeautifulbalance | September 5, 2010 | Reply

  12. For me it’s a curse, I don’t like weighing myself everyday, it becomes an obsession to try to beat the last weigh in…it’s not fun…that was a major downfall for me with my obsession to lose weight when I was younger. It seems to trigger something for me, but I think if you can do it once a week and not be obsessed over it then it can be healthy…it’s getting upset and beside yourself if the once a week weigh in doesn’t go down or it goes up, I don’t think that is fair for anyone to do that to themselves.

    It is truly amazing what the mind can do. It can achieve so much and can be wonderful or play spiteful tricks on you and it can be the demise of who you are.

    I think if you try to eat healthy most of the time and exercise, you will be healthy no matter what the scales says or what your pant size says…I say if you look good then rock it!!!!

    I say if you are okay with it then have Len fix it as long as you know it won’t bring you down…

    Comment by lori | September 5, 2010 | Reply

  13. For me it can be a curse, when you are obsessed about your weight and very insecure. The last thing you need is some stupid machine not telling you the weight you want to have.
    It can put a damper on your day.
    I think once or twice a month (with regular constant exercise) a month isn’t bad just to keep in check, and is useful. I weigh myself every other month. I rely on how my clothes feel (tight/loose, etc)

    Comment by Claire | September 6, 2010 | Reply

  14. It’s been a curse for me. When I was losing weight, I always felt accomplished when I lost weight. I never knew what I was supposed to feel like when I reached a healthy weight. How do we know when we’re supposed to stop losing? I had a hard time figuring that out and still do. I need my scale now because I’m trying to gain weight, but it’s a curse.

    Comment by MelissaNibbles | September 6, 2010 | Reply

  15. hate the scale! HATE IT! i hid mine a long time ago .

    Comment by actorsdiet | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  16. I am right there with you. i hate the scale, yet have one, but am trying my hardest to not use it…or just smash it myself. i still deal w/ the body dysmorphia today at a good/healthy weight and it’s hard to get rid of that mentality…even years later. but one day, we’ll be free of all that torment!

    Comment by Melissa | September 8, 2010 | Reply

  17. For me, it’s a curse. I stopped weighing myself a long time ago. When I would get on the scale, no matter what the number was, it was never good enough. If it was 160, I’d want it to be 155. If it was 155, I’d want it to be 150. I get more satisfaction from being able to fit into smaller clothes and hearing people say “wow, you look great!” So now, when I go to the doctor and I get weighed, I turn my head and ask them not to repeat the number.

    I think it’s more important to feel good about yourself as a whole- mind, body and spirit. Your weight is JUST a number.

    Love you my BFF!

    Comment by Shell | September 9, 2010 | Reply

    • you too shelllll

      Comment by lpskins | September 9, 2010 | Reply


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