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Is the scale your boss?

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

How much power do we give a mechanical object that takes up residence on the bathroom floor? That object can be an absolute authoritarian ruler, a dictator, the Big Boss of our lives.

That sounds absolutely absurd. Ridiculous. Preposterous. How can a mere object possess so much power? Well, for many people it can be, when it’s the bathroom scale.

Does this ritual sound familiar? You get up in the morning. You make your trip to the bathroom, use the facilities, and then step on the scale. Barefoot, of course.

Imagine, brave souls exist who get weighed in doctors’ offices with their shoes on, usually because it’s too hard for them to take off their footwear, while voicing a request to subtract 2 pounds or so.

But the daily morning weigh in is definitely done sans footwear. Sometimes sans anything if that will give a better result.

So, you guardedly step up onto the scale. Then you get off and move it somewhere else where it might give a better, ie, lower number. And You move it again and again and again, until you’re absolutely resolved that it’s finally showing the lowest number possible.

Now begins the analysis. Do you like the number? Is it lower than the one that showed up on the scale’s face yesterday? Then you give a fist pump: Yes!!! And your upbeat mood sets the tone for the day. Everything is going to be great. You’re on top of the world.

Now, if you’ve followed your diet yesterday, or, in other words, you were “good,” you pat yourself on the back for a job well done that was rewarded by the slavedriver.

And if you cheated and slipped a little, you’re relieved that you were able to somehow manage to fool the scale and get away with it. Whew!

Now, if the number is higher than the one on the previous day, the black clouds of doom descend upon your mood. Ugh! It’s going to be a lousy day. A really lousy day.

No matter what good happens later on, it will take a lot to overcome the punishment meted out by the exacting taskmaster.

If your food intake was less than squeaky clean, then you hang your head in shame and disgust as you tell yourself, “I deserve this. Why, oh why did I succumb to temptation and indulge in that fattening meal or even a mere morsel?”

What if you had truly stuck to your food plan, but the number doesn’t reflect your effort? Uh oh! This does not bode well.

A typical response is to sneer at the scale and say to it, “So this is how you reward me for holding myself back from eating what I really wanted to and going to the trouble of really watching? I really tried hard. I didn’t cheat one single bit. Forget this, it’s just not worth it. I may as well eat what I want if I’m only going to gain weight anyway.” And there goes your diet.

How accurate is a daily weigh-in? Professor Google will give you different responses based on different studies. And yes, some people do recommend daily weighing for weight loss. Some recommend it for maintenance.

But what influences that number? Maybe you ate something salty and are retaining water. Perhaps the healthy food that you consumed is causing your liver and your muscles to store glycogen, which also causes water retention. Maybe you have food inside your digestive tract that hasn’t worked its way out yet. Maybe the number just hasn’t caught up to your efforts. And, of course, there are hormonal fluctuations.

Whatever the reason, it’s time to stop granting the scale so much power over your life.

Take that scale off the throne. Fire that boss!

Are you held hostage by the scale? Are you sick and tired of letting that number on the scale dictate your mood for the day? Do you want the freedom that comes from releasing that self-loathing? Contact me at for more information on what coaching can do for you.


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