Are there any words more dreaded than these notorious nine— “Step on here so we can get your weight”? The scale—in the bevy of words I might use to describe a scale, “friend” wouldn’t be one. I’d more likely say, “nemesis,” “frustration,”and “disappointment.” For many of us, our actual weight is a secret guarded more closely than our age, income or true hair color. It’s widely accepted that few of us still weigh what our driver’s licenses say—if we ever did.
Scales can be omnipotent. Recall the thrill of seeing a weight much less than you expect—it's like a Lotto win! On the other hand, who of us hasn’t felt the devastation of seeing the scale register no loss or, worse yet, a gain when we know we've faithfully adhered to our plan. That feels like being hit by a truck that then backed up to run over us again.
The first news broadcast about us at birth is our gender—boy or girl. This is followed immediately by how much we weighed. Ironically, the heavier our birthweight, the healthier we are seen to be, but that’s the only time in life that heavier is seen as better. The older we get, the more traction is gained by “less is best”standard. From birth forward, weight holds a status that can overshadow so many aspects of who we are. I weigh 287lbs, down from 338lbs last June 1st, with 372lbs being my highest weight. I share this as I strive to stop being ashamed, defined or limited by scale readings. I have an idea of the goal weight I'd like to reach and maintain in this quest.. But what’s become far more important, than the number on the scale, is the total fitness of the woman on the scale. What does my confidence weigh— my peace, my self-worth, my hope? In the midst of muscle, fat, bone and water, how strong is my WEIGHT— my Willingness to Engage In Gaining Health Totally?
I love the definition of weight being “the numeric value of gravitational pull.” To me, that description is devoid of all the negative emotions I've felt about weighing. It’s scientific and holds no judgement.
To really F.I.T., Find Inner Truth, is far more than scale numbers. The scale is just a tool among the menagerie of things I use.
There’ve been times I've tried to divest the scale it of its power by not weighing at all. I’ve rethought that. I also have hypertension and having my blood pressure taken is important. A blood pressure cuff isn’t something to avoid—it’s simply equipment—and it’s H.I.P. – a Health Information Provider. So I have put scales in the same hip category! My weight plays an important role, but I try to keep it out of center stage so my entire health remains the star.
Would I call a scale “friend” now? That would be a stretch, but I can easily call it an assistant. If someone were to offer a magic pill that would enable me to get on the scale tomorrow and be 100 pounds lighter, I can’t say I'd refuse, but I would at least hesitate long enough to inquire it I would be fit. The question is not “what does the scale read, the questions is “What is my W.E.I.G.H.T.?”