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Fooling the scale

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We don´t talk about it that much but I am sure we all do it - try to find out how to fool the scale in order to make it show less than it might be in reality. I read this post this morning from a fellow sparker that weighed in in the nude every morning and she got comments that said "yes, we too undress to weigh-in" personally I keep my underpants on but take off my nightgown.

I´ve been to weightwatchers a couple of timnes and it is interesting to see people take off their shoes and sweaters while they are waiting in line... me, I have always kept them on from the start with the sneaky intention to take them off if I need some extra help to show progress some week... as they don´t keep notes they will not know if you usually have your shoes on or not.

I developed this strategy when I was diagnosed with an eating disorder and was registered at the eating disorder clinic. I told them from the start that weighing in was not good for me, I tend to obsess and it will make me go ito starve-binge mode... but they could not cope, got too nervous so after two or three months of food journaling they needed to do weigh-ins..,. I accepted but demanded that they kept the number secret from me.

They did and maybe they believed that I really did not know, but of course I weighed in secret at home because I am a control freak and also a people-pleasing perfectionist, I had to succeed in thir eyes!

And then came the first week when I knew I had blown it and not lost... I could not start to take of my shoes because these people knew that I had them on... but luckily the pair of shoes I used at a most times where heavy winter boots - I weighed them and they were one kilo each - hooray, changing them to ordinary trainers (600 gr each) gave me an 800gr weightloss! Next week that tool was used, what about the jeans? Jeans are 800 gr, changing them to leggings saved about half a kilo...

This is so insane and kind of sad - but hilarious too, I do talk about it and it has given me many fun stories because when I tell, I learn that others are as silly as me. I have a friend in one of my twelvesteps groups that has gotten obsessed about her wieght, she has lost what she needed to lose and is at maintanance stage - and totallly obsessed. She told me that she knows exactly what all her different clothes weigh because she is obsessed with weighing herself and does it many times a day... I thought that sharing this with me was her start to get out of that obsession.

Its our secrets that destroys us... anyway, the scale triggers a lot of unhealthy things in me, having nothing to do with my health. At my former place I kept the scale far away in the basement, not to be tempted to weigh in too often. As I have joined a team that wants weigh-ins I have started to do it again - but really try to restrict myself to once a week. (I live in a house without a basement today and yes, I do weigh more than once a week, not every day though...

I think weighing would be more important if I ever reached my goal weight, to keep an eye on my weight would be important as I would want to take action any minute it started to go in the wrong direction. But today, I am too sick to use the scale in a sensible way, it is just triggering my obsession.

The pattern is clear - when I am doing good - love the scale and obsessed with it. WHen bingeing - avoid the scale at all costs...

And by the way: Underpants= 35 gr, nightgown = 240 gr - if you wondered...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SILLYHP1953
    The scale sits right by my desk at work. We got one when we started the weight loss challenge at work, and some days it motivates me and some days I just trip over it.
    2695 days ago
    I live in a tiny house, nowhere to truly hide the scale. However, I did put it in an out-of-the-way, other side of my bed, area that is difficult to walk to. Now, instead of the scale staring me in the face every time I walk by, it is over there, out of sight, and I only give in 2-3 times a week instead of a couple times a day!
    2696 days ago
    Dear Meddy, you forgot the best part, how I always have to make sure to take off my wedding, engagement and anniversary rings!! emoticon
    I actually weigh everyday not because I'm obsessed but because it motivates me. If the number is favourable I'm happy and work harder, if it's not I still work harder so that weigh in gets me to program my sub-conscience to get up and move and get the activity going that day. I always do it in the morning because I like to start the day off knowing where I stand and I can then adjust the rest of my day accordingly. Adding more water if I'm retaining or perhaps had a bit too much sodium the day before. I seriously have no clue what any of my clothes all. I always get on the scale before I jump in the shower so it's just easier to be in my birthday suit, that way i can't say oh it's the clothes...nope if i'm up it's all me and I accept that. i find the more consistent I make it the more accurate it is. And I'm also very careful to tell my fellow sparkers that what I do isn't necessarily the best for them, my situation is different, my job requires me to get in the best possible shape I can before February. I whole heartedly accept that I push myself very hard and that other's should not follow my example. In the end I really feel everyone needs to find what works for them and makes them happiest. And me wanting my sparkfamily to be happy is something I know everyone will agree i support 100%. emoticon
    2696 days ago
  • LILLI56
    emoticon love that scale emoticon
    2696 days ago
  • LUCYLIN101
    The scale has always been one foe of mine. Recently, I have invited it to be a friend. I find the saying, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" works well in this situation. After all we are on this journey together. emoticon
    Since joining the Lime Team and moving my weekly weigh in to Wednesday, I have experienced a new freedom. Before Spark, I never spoke of my weight. It was a deep dark secret that I kept alone. Being on a team that seems to just honestly put it all out there has been very freeing for me.
    emoticon emoticon
    2697 days ago
    Heh. And I play games to try to make the daily (yes, daily) weigh-ins as consistent as possible. Always when I get up, as dehydrated as I will be all day. I wear undershorts and a tee shirt, because when I started I would have been embarassed to be nude and what I wear is both light and standardized.

    Yes, it's biased toward a light weight. I figured if I built the bias into the standard, I couldn't cheat by ditching more clothes later on.

    A decade later, much of that reasoning seems overly picky; but I still weigh the same way. Right down to positioning the scale at a specific spot on the floor, so I know moving the scale around isn't a factor. But I don't worry about scale differences if I weight myself on someone else's scale when I'm on vacation.

    Consistent? Not totally. But I've done what I will for consistency, and I'm not going to obsess over making it more consistent.
    2697 days ago
    Oh the scale games, you have triggered some good discussion on this topic.
    You are right, our secrets keep us so sick. They can be deadly. Thank you for being honest!!!
    2697 days ago
    Those weight watchers people who stipped down always amused me. Someone asked me once how I could wear jeans when I weighted in. I told her I wore jeans every time. Didn't she understand that if you wear the same type of clothes every time, that your clothes weren't a factor in your actual weight. I told her if she are fighting for .2 of a pound (I think that is .09 kgs, if I used an accurate convertere), that maybe she wasn't approaching this whole weight loss thing with the right mind set....weight loss over time is important. Any way, I stopped going to WW meetings because they make me want to binge....(I agree with you Meddy, it triggers a lot of unhealthy things in those of us who are food obsessed.)
    2697 days ago
    This made me smile. I think your underwear weighs less than mine, I wear Thunderpants, check them out here, when they post them you get an email saying Thunderpants are go, hehehe.
    I should be weighing in today it I forgot and had breakfast first so THAT's not going to happen, LOL. And I am one of those in search of the antigravity spot in my bathroom. I shift the scales around and sometimes if I feel the need I lean forward, did you know that we weigh less when we lean forward? It is a fact! Perhaps we should all move to Sonoma where gravity works differently in some places, we will be able to fix our BMIs just like that. Oo ooh perhaps this is a new tourism idea?
    2698 days ago
    I can get very focused on the numbers on the scale also. I like to weigh myself with an empty stomach, bladder, and no clothes on. I have to practice only weighing myself once a week or less. I try to eat healthy and if I lose weight my clothes usually tell me. (they are not speaking to me now, haha). I completely understand this obsession with the scale.
    2698 days ago
    So funny! I do this stuff too. I have a chart where I list what each pair of jeans or slacks weigh. And, when I am to go to clinic I look back on my calendar and see what I weighed on that day. If I’m up a bit I’ll wear lighter weight clothes; if I’m down a bit I will wear the medium weight clothes; if I’ve lost well then I will wear my heaviest, so that when I have a gain I can still maybe show a loss or at least even when they weigh me again. Course if I show a major gain then I will wear all my heaviest clothes, cause then it doesn’t matter what the scale shows, but by wearing my heaviest I can have a little leeway for next time. Yes, it’s sad and funny at the same time, but also very frustrating that I keep going through this.

    2698 days ago
    I have become obsessed with my weight, and even on those weigh-in Wednesdays when I RATIONALIZE MY POUND OF "WATER WEIGHT," I go home and feel I'm entitled to eat/out, act/out my frustrations. I basically have a little passive tantrum which I only acknowledge in retrospect. Also, I DO NOT HAVE A SCALE IN MY HOME, ANYWHERE!
    emoticon for a emoticon blog!
    2698 days ago
    emoticon Been there, done are not alone. emoticon
    2698 days ago
    Okay, I just think clothes off is a more accurate measurement. I weight myself with just my jammies on and I hate it when I am at the doctor's office and have to weigh in with my clothes on, especially in the winter with layers of heavy stuff on.

    I also think when scales trigger obsessive thoughts, it is better to avoid them. We basically know how we are doing and there are other ways to measure progress. Weighing in less frequently is probably the best strategy.
    2698 days ago
    I know not to wear jeans when I am getting on the scale and do take shoes, watch, sweaters off before getting on the scale. Hubby doesn't even take his phone off before he weighs--can't believe it. LOL I haven't actually weighed any of my clothes but do not that some feel heavier than others.
    2698 days ago
    Myself, now, I've found that if I put the scales in one certain place on the floor, and lean kind of to the north-west corner, putting just a bit more weight on my left foot - LOL!
    2698 days ago
    Oh - how I relate to this. Clothes off - done it. Weight of all my footwear - done it.
    I know all the places in my flat to which I can move the scales to 'lose' a few grams. Picture me running around with the scales in my hands!! For all these reasons, I have started sticking strictly to weighing once a month - in the SAME place - clothes ON - shoes OFF. It does ease that pressure. However, my monthly weigh-in date is very close right now and I am getting nervous!

    GREAT blog -thanks - sure made me think - as you so often do.
    2698 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/21/2012 2:34:53 AM
    Good post

    I take my cell phone, keys and wallet out of my pocket and always try to wear the same scale. emoticon
    2698 days ago
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