Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Theory About Scales

Last Friday, I noticed a scale in the Women's locker room at the Caine Halter YMCA. The scale is set up right in front of the mirrors with the hair dryers where everyone lines up to get ready.

I have seen scales in the weight/ cardio rooms before, but not in a locker room and especially not such a huge electronic one. To be honest, I am not happy about this. I think scales are helpful to keep track of your weight or your weight loss, but I don't like to be surrounded by them.

Coming from the background of having lost a lot of weight myself fairly recently (in 2008), I am throwing out my observations (this is not a study and I don't have any proof for that):

1. you are overweight and deny it, you don't even own a scale
2. you are overweight and know it, you might own a scale, but don't step on it (what's the point right?)
3. you are currently trying to loose weight, you own a scale and use it
4. you are at a healthy weight and never had any issues with your weight, you most likely don't own a scale
5. you are at a healthy weight or underweight, you own a scale and use it

People in the category 1/2/4 are not going to use the scale in the locker room.

People in the category 3/5 are already concerned/ obsessed with their weight and with the scale in the locker room, you give them just another opportunity to step on a scale and fret about their weight. Truth is, a person's weight varies throughout the day and can vary several pounds throughout the same day. It doesn't make sense to torture yourself.

I know what I am talking about! I used to be one of those people that stepped on a scale several times a day. I was never underweight and not overweight since I crossed the line between normal and overweight on the BMI sometime in 2008. Still, I tortured myself with every fluctuation in weight since then.

Don't get me wrong. I believe that weighing yourself is a necessary tool to keep the weight off and a lot of studies do support this statement. But we are talking about weighing once every couple of days or once a week. So there is a place for a scale in your home or even in your gym, especially, when you are trying to loose weight and to keep the weight off that you already lost, BUT you have to make sure that it doesn't become an obsession.

I thought about this a lot since I saw that scale in the locker room. I believe that scales are more "dangerous" for people that have a tendency of being unhealthy by being too skinny and not by being too big... that's why I left this note this morning, before I headed out for my run:

No picture of the scale, because cameras are not allowed in the locker room!

So long!

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