Whether it’s an appointment at the doctor’s office, your turn at the Weight Watcher scale, or your day in the privacy of your own home to get on that scale, you’re going to do everything in your power to make sure that the numbers that show up are as low as possible. You’ve taken your diuretic and have peed 8 times in the last 5 hours. If you are at the doctor’s office or weight loss group, you’ve taken off every stitch of clothing possible that won’t get you arrested for indecent exposure. You are left wearing lightweight shorts, a tank top, and flip flops (since they instituted that pesky rule no longer allowing you to remove your shoes), regardless of the snow, rain, or freezing temperatures outside. If you’re home, you are completely naked, as you place one foot on the scale, while holding onto the doorknob. Then the next foot goes on as you slowly let go of that doorknob and look down. You see that it’s 4 oz. over your last weight. What can you do about it? You try repositioning the scale. Three times. When that doesn’t budge the numbers, you think about what else you can do. Well, you are still wearing your watch; you are still wearing your glasses, and is that a tiny pressure on your bladder? You remove your watch, your glasses, and you go to the bathroom one more time, but before you step on the scale again, you remember the earrings. How much could earrings possibly weigh? It doesn’t matter. They must weigh something, so off they come. You step on the scale one more time. Success! 5 oz. gone. You’ve lost weight!
These are the games we play to make that scale cooperate. These tactics are not limited to women. My husband struggled with his weight most of his life. I always accompanied him to his doctor appointments so the three of us could discuss his medical issues together. However, before we went into the exam room, there was always the dreaded SCALE. Sid would stand there, looking at the scale, and then start removing items. First, he would hand me his belt. Then he would empty his pockets, and hand me loose change, keys, pocket knives, more keys, his wallet, and finally his cell phone. I learned to take a plastic bag along with me to these appointments to hold all the items that came out of his pockets as if they were a seemingly bottomless magician’s hat. Only when there was not a piece of lint left in any pocket would he step on the scale.
When digital scales replaced the balance beam scales at the doctors’ offices, I discovered a new tool in my “beat the scale” arsenal of weapons. I tried it at an appointment with my neurosurgeon to discuss back surgery. Because the nurse was concentrating on the numbers that appeared on the screen, I was able to furtively lean one hand on the bar that surrounds the scale. To my delight, I was able to shave 22 lbs off of my actual weight. When you are as heavy as I was, 22 lbs is barely noticeable, as evidenced by the fact that the doctor labeled me “morbidly obese” anyway and too fat for surgery. This tactic backfired big time when, 3 months later, I returned to the same doctor, and was watched too carefully by the nurse to pull any scale tricks. The doctor was horrified when he saw my weight. “You’ve gained 25 lbs. in THREE MONTHS, he exclaimed. Whoops. There was nothing I could say to that.
Do you think that my recent 123 lb. weight loss has cured me of playing scale games? Not a chance. As I write this at 12:30 in the afternoon, I am starving, having consumed nothing but a protein drink since I woke up at 7 am. Why? Because I have an appointment with the cardiologist in another hour. That scale looms large in my mind like a monster from my nightmares ready to hunt me down and crush me.
If you can relate or would like to share your scale stories, tell me in the comment section or talk about it in my Facebook Group – Weight Loss Highway – https://www.facebook.com/groups/681585125818457