Posts Tagged ‘scale’

Topic Tuesday: No Weigh!

Awhile ago, I heard about this new contraption - The Quantum Scale.

It's a scale that doesn't show your weight. Hmm, how in the world does that work? Well, you set your base weight with the scale (shows up as 0.0 not your weight) and then, when you go to weigh-in, the scale will simply read out the amount gained or lost from your base weight. I was very intrigued by this concept and got to thinking about it more and more.

As women, I find that we will often compare ourselves to others. One of the ways we do this is by comparing our numbers - weight, pants size, , measurements, and more. What if there was a way to eliminate one of these "oh-so-important" numbers? Could it really increase our self worth? Could it make a difference in our confidence? Or is it just a hoax that is really going to end up being the same song, just a different tune?

For the record, I have not stepped on a scale in at least three months. Well, I take that back. I did step on one at my doctor's office when I was sick BUT....I did not look. I have no clue how much I weigh. And I feel extremely liberated. I don't have something to compare myself to others, or even to compare myself to previous weights I have been, which is the hardest comparison for me when it comes to my body image. I now focus on working out and eating healthy because I enjoy it and know it is beneficial to my health, not to be a certain weight. I use my clothing and the mirror as a reference and it is by far enough for me to know I am maintaining a healthy body. So would this Quantum scale have any benefit to me now? Or would it just cause stress about weight in a gain/loss realm and wanting to keep my number at 0.0 instead of X lbs, reverting me back to still an obsession with weight, just in a different way?

On the other hand, I think the scale can be useful as one of many variables when tracking progress - whether it be to gain weight for health after an ED or to lose weight for health or after a baby for instance. 😉 When I gave up the scale, my main goal was to maintain and keep myself at a healthy size. So clothing and the mirror worked for me. But when working towards a specific goal dealing with our body's makeup, sometimes the scale shows progress when other things aren't quite there yet. For example, you can usually see a drop in the scale before measurements or pants size. A scale should, in my opinion, never be the sole tool to track - measurements, progress pictures, and clothing are WAY more reliable and are what show up in real life - but it still can serve a purpose.

But then there is the aspect of when using the scale to track it can drive you insane. I  used to get on the scale at least once a week. And with as much as weight fluctuates naturally, I would always have days that my confidence would drop if the number went up. Back in the day, whenever I was working to lose weight or more recently when working towards the competition, I would unquestionably have a moment where I would hop on the scale and the number would not match what I expected from all my effort. Which would then ensue the "Is it even worth it?" dialogue in my head and in fact, lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy of my hard work falling apart, along with my sanity.

As you can see, there is a never ending list of pros or cons and rebuttals to each on whether a scale is an evil invention that decreases our own self worth or a useful tool in our quests for healthy living, and then where this Quantum Scale fits into it. I've compiled a list of some pros and cons I can think of related to this scale.

PRO - No worries about a scale weight and it not being your "ideal" weight. Yet, still able to track gains/losses/maintenance. I think the tracking can be especially beneficial so you have information to help adjust your plans if progress is not being made. We all know about plateaus and sometimes information is necessary to help change your plan of attack in order to bust through plateaus and reach your goals.

CON - Still having something extrinsic affect your self worth if it doesn't spit out the number you hope to see. There is no difference between expecting to see a 2lb loss show up as -2.0 on the Quantum Scale or as an actual weight 2 lbs less than your previous weight. Both circumstances could lead you questioning your weight loss efforts.

PRO - Beneficial to those with an ED working on gaining weight. Don't have to see a new scale weight, but can instead focus on the gradual progress of gaining? *I'm not extremely familiar with ED treatment, so please forgive me if this is out of touch with the needs of those in recovery.

CON - Seeing a scale go down could become an obsessive habit. Even if you reached a healthy weight that would normally be your "goal weight" it is possible you wouldn't realize it with the Quantum Scale and instead be obsessed with losing, leading to an unhealthy body, eating disorder, and focus on losing as much as possible.

In general, I believe a scale is completely unnecessary while just trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I always say we don't wear signs that show our weight or pants size, but our body does show signs of health, strength, vitality, and fitness. So we should put our focus on what matters and focus on health instead of trivial numbers. However, health journeys that have weight as a factor are a part of life, along with plateaus and the need to have tools to track progress. So, at times I feel a scale can be useful. After my next pregnancy, when working towards losing baby weight and wanting all the information that can help me do so available, a scale might make it's appearance in my bathroom again. Although it is also possible clothing,  a tape measure, and progress pictures would provide all I needed for reaching my goals anyways. We'll see when that time comes. But one thing I can tell you, however, IF a scale does make its way back into my would probably be this one. So I can see progress but not have a number to compare myself to attached to it.

What are your thoughts? Do you use a scale regularly? Does it affect your body image? Do you ever compare your weight - to others or previous weights of your own? Have you ever tried living without a scale? What has it done for you? Or do you think a scale is useful? Share away! I would love to know what you think!

Posted by on March 2nd, 2010 22 Comments


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