A scale that doesn’t show your weight.
Is this some kind of Zen joke?
How much do you weigh?
I don’t know.
Think about that Q&A for a second.
Imagine how freeing — how liberating — it would be to never know your weight.
To navigate the world in your skin, judging what to do with your body based on how you feel. How you look when you view yourself through unflinchingly honest yet lovingly compassionate eyes. How well you move. How well your body works. Your energy and physical exuberance. Whether your clothing makes you feel foxy or strangled.
A female acquaintance recently said to me, with a worried face, I never weigh myself. My doctor weighs me once a year. Everyone around me knows their weight — and they’re all trying to lose it. I just like how I feel. Am I doing something wrong?
I wanted to hug her right there.
No. You are absolutely right. Keep being awesome. Everyone else is screwed up.
She smiled, relieved. And went on her merry, weightless way.
Worrying about weight adds weight to you, in the sense that it adds one more burden of responsibility that you cannot really control.
Stress comes from low control and high demands. Weight is like a cat — it comes and goes when it pleases, in a way that is only loosely connected to your inputs and outputs. The high demand of maintaining a particular weight combined with the low control you have over your body’s homeostasis is the perfect setup for a freakout.
But let’s say weight is one part of the larger picture.
It isn’t completely irrelevant, of course. A 300 lb person looks different than a 100 lb person. Losing 50 lb is losing 50 lb. You will get smaller, regardless.
Weight is one indicator of changes in body composition. It isn’t a great one compared to things like skinfold calipers, but it’s not a bad proxy for significant long-term body composition changes.
I believe in daily weight observation as a useful gauge of progress. Wait — bear with me here.
If you can do it sanely and not use it for evil, it’s helpful to weigh yourself daily. You can see daily changes in hydration, menstrual cycle, sodium levels, etc. You can track weight changes and correlate them with behaviours. Informed daily weigh-ins, where you remember the big picture and look for naturally occurring patterns, can help you learn about your own body and what is “normal” for you.
However, daily weigh-ins, where you focus on small details like the actual number, freak out over small deviations, and get hung up on what you should weigh, are not good.
Enter the Zero Scale.
Yep, it’s a scale that doesn’t show your weight. It only shows changes in your weight. So, you will know if you’re gaining, losing, or staying the same, but not the exact number.
You can also track changes over time, so you can see how your weight’s changed from day one.
The scale is calibrated for four different users.
To test this, I set myself up as User 1, then had my husband step on the scale. Presto — 75 lb gained! Woah, shouldn’ta had that extra donut!! Hoohah!
The scale is exquisitely sensitive, and it measures in tenths of a pound. For measurement nerds like myself, this is nirvana.
I had a coffee and got on. 1 lb. Grabbed my SLR camera to snap a photo. Gained 2.2 lbs. Neato!! (That’s one gravid lens.)
I spent the rest of the day eating and going to the bathroom, seeing if I could confuse the scale.
Zero remained calm and collected, cooly reporting change like a BBC newscaster whose prim facade never cracks even when s/he’s reporting that an asteroid has hit the Earth and we’re all going to die in a ball of flames.
It’s easy to use the Zero Scale. If someone else screws it up — say, if your partner or child or heck, your dog gets on the scale without setting it to their own user profile — you can easily re-calibrate it back to yourself.
The great thing about the Zero Scale is that it keeps you informed but subtly shifts your focus. You end up less preoccupied with any given number, and more oriented towards where you’re going. You can keep adding up little mini-victories and high-fiving yourself for heading in the right direction over the long haul.
Because, after all, isn’t that the point?
Whether it’s losing, gaining, or just keepin’ ‘er steady as she goes, you are more than any one number.
Life is change, and so is physiology. Focus on what really matters!
For more about the Zero Scale see TheZeroScale.com.