When Scales Fly

When I was a kid growing up in the 70s, mood rings were all the rage. I wanted one so bad, but my parents couldn’t afford frivolous spends, so I bummed a read from friends that had one. If you’re not familiar with mood rings, they would change colour based on… you guessed it, your mood.

I’m not sure how accurate they are, but as a kid, they were the gospel truth. I remember working myself up into a tizzy to see if I could get it to turn black, or think about my crush to see if it would turn violet. How dumb… the only thing more colourful than a mood ring, was me!

Other tools we relied on to predict what kind of day we’d have were: Magic 8 balls, horoscopes, and the long dead biorhythm in the Toronto Sun. Thankfully, I don’t depend on those hokey devices anymore, but there still is one mystical gadget I faithfully turn to, that will not only predict what kind of day I’ll have, it will set my mood as well: my bathroom scale.

If it registers a number lower than I expected – I’ll have an awesome day! If it’s the same as the last time I stepped on – I’ll have a lackluster day. But if it’s higher… look out ‘cuz I’ll be in a foul mood! I realize many variables affect the read-out, like retaining water, or building muscle, but there is nothing more frustrating than not seeing results for your efforts.

I remember years back when I was married and the kids were little, I was on one of my countless diets. I deprived myself of anything delicious for months on end and I exercised daily. Every morning, after going to the washroom, and before having breakfast, I stepped on the scale. This was my daily ritual. At first I saw results, but over time, the losses were minuscule. Eventually, the darn needle on the scale played possum. No up. No down. No nothing. I figured I was on a plateau, so I went hard core for a few weeks – I took in less than 1,000 calories a day, revved up my workouts, AND I put the scale away. I felt that a watched pot never boils, so I vowed not to step on the scale for at least 2 weeks.

It felt like Christmas morning when I got back on again… the anticipation was palpable. I stuck to the plan 110% and since I hadn’t been naughty, I expected to be rewarded with a well-deserved surprise. I sure got one when I stepped on Carnac the Malevolent! That diabolic scale of injustice didn’t budge. I was soooooo mad, I literally picked up the scale and threw it out my bedroom window! I honestly and truly flung it out my second-story window like a discus thrower. I watched it propel through the air until gravity took hold and it shattered on my driveway below, spilling its lying guts about for all to see.

 Flying scale - c

I calmly walked downstairs and into the kitchen, where I buried my face in a plate full of Eggo waffles slathered with Nutella, marshmallows, and maple syrup. When I finished my glorious stupefied binge, I picked up the broom and dustpan, and walked outside my front door in my slippers and PJs, happily greeting my perplexed neighbours, as I swept up the disembowelled device from the driveway. Coils, springs, and numbers, oh my! It felt awesome!   Our home remained scaleless for many years after that.

I may have overreacted, but I felt like I studied for the exam and still got an ‘F’. It’s one thing not to see progress if you don’t do the work, but quite another when you do EVERYTHING “right” and don’t get the results you think you deserve. I guess by pitching my scale, I was contesting my mark.

Fitness experts keep telling me that I shouldn’t rely solely on the scale to measure my progress. Frankly, I don’t care how loose my clothes feel, or how much energy I have, I want to see the number on the scale say, “Hey chickie, you’re in the normal range now.”

I still can’t break the habit of stepping on the scale regularly… okay, okay – daily. The sum is not a prediction – it’s fact. I’m fixated on the numerical output that quantifies my resolve. It’s like when I got into size 14 pants on my last quasi-successful diet. I know that’s still huge for a lot of people, but after sporting a 22 for eons, I wanted to wear the pants inside-out so everyone could read the label.

Who knows what I’ll do when I reach my goal weight? One thing’s for sure, I won’t be pitching that scale out the window! Perhaps I’ll have it bronzed and display it alongside my collection of mood rings.

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To view my Week 15 food journal, go to the 12 in 12 tab at the top of the page and select 4. March 2015 from the dropdown menu.

8 thoughts on “When Scales Fly

  1. I haven’t thrown mine out the window (yet)… Thanks for always putting a smile on my face with your posts. xo

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  2. Lol…this was so descriptive and well said !! I felt each emotion … disappointment; anger; frustration,defeat and defiance….and i could visualize that scale flying out your window; and hear each piece of your scale hitting your driveway from one side to the other!!!! Grrrrr. Felt good, huh!!!?!!

    I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND AND CAN RELATE!!

    I used to weigh myself 3 times a day ; each day!! Yep, no word of a lie!!!
    Like i was magically going to see my weight drop cuz i starved myself…or drank only water n black coffee….cuz i walked 5 miles and sweat my butt off…or cuz i had abowel movement!!! Just plain stupid n wishful thinking!!

    Once i realized how absolutely ridiculous and insane this behavior was; and most importantly; what a bad example i was to my daughter (who scorned me for this) ; the scale was removed from our home. It was a sick obsession that is long gone.

    I now know how to gauge myself. I keep a journal of everything i eat each day. I know if i exceed, ill gain. Period. I also try on my skinniest jeans and jean shorts at the end of each month. If they look n feel better, then i know i lost and dont care how much. It could b inches and not weight. I just FEEL good about myself n the reflection i see in the mirror. 🙂
    Mar, u r lookin and feelin fabulous; and your drive and determination replace what any scale could ever tell you!!
    You go girl!! Keep on keepin on!!☆☆☆☆☆
    Luvya
    Zee

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  3. Thanks for sharing Zee… we’re not alone when it comes to being obsessed with the scale. I need to check-in monthly for 12 in 12, but once I reach my goal weight, I think I need to get rid of this one too.

    Luvya too!

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  4. The ABSOLUTE worst is when my scale doesn’t jive with the supposedly, regularly calibrated Weight Watchers scale! Talk about a bad day! One day, we will be a healthy weight with healthy food relationships and be at peace with that invention, maybe even recycle it for good.

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