The Danger and Value of The Scale

By : Zoe Simpson - Published On: May 24, 2017

The Danger and Value of The Scale

Living life and enjoying every single day that you are on this planet - should that not be our goal at this point?  With so many of us affected by the loss of loved ones either before their time or earlier than expected, the goal is to figure out how to be healthy and fit and make time for the things that we want to make time for.

As I approach my 59th birthday in just a few months, I know that I am not alone in struggling to remain healthy and fit in this last chapter of my life.  And in preparation for my last birthday in my fifties, I have been obsessed with reading Authority Reports to help keep me updated with all the latest health and fitness information for me to stay as healthy as I can be. I want to be on this planet for as long as I can, and I see a lot of my friends around me letting themselves go.

And surely when we're in our 60s, it will be even harder.

Or not.  It’s not at all clear what is happening to so many of my friends who seem to be getting larger and larger and larger and larger.  It seems like it was all downhill once we hit 50. And it was like once my friends started gaining more and more weight, they no longer cared so much anymore.  

No judgments from me; I get it. It’s hard.  Really hard. And it takes a lot of discipline too.  But to stop caring and stop wanting to be healthy. That I don’t get.

The Scale

man stepping over weighing scale I’ve tried to think for a long time about how it is that I can still fit into my size 10 jeans at the age of 58, and that my friends are, let's say, 75 pounds away from being able to do that. What has separated my experience from my friends' experiences?  

There are certainly differences, but the one thing that they’ve all told me is that they don't own a scale.  And that is what has always shocked me.  Most health professionals recommend that stepping on the scale once a week is best for people trying to lose weight or maintain their weight. Hop on that scale first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink.  And they even recommend to set up a day of the week to be weigh-in day.

But for me, that’s never worked. For the past 40 years, I have been a hop-on-the-scale-once-a-day kind of woman.  Yup, every single day, 365 days of the year.  I  never miss a day, and not only do I weigh myself but I also write it down in a diary. Or today, I've got an app on my phone.

In fact, research shows that more frequent (daily) monitoring of weight may actually be the better route to weight loss, or at least not gaining weight. In a study with more than 3000 people over two years, the people who weighed themselves once a day on average lost more weight than those who weighed themselves once a week or not at all.

And the why is obvious:  because if you begin to see your weight creep back up, you are likely to want to put a stop to it once and for all before it creeps up any higher.  The thought of losing 2 pounds is a lot less overwhelming than the thought of losing 8 pounds.  So frequent weighting allows you to tackle the weight before the numbers creep too high.

And if you’re like me, you can gain a few pounds every day if you are not mindful of what goes into your mouth; our metabolism slows down with each and every passing year.  If you’re like me, I don’t want to end up in danger of letting weight gain prevent me from doing the things I want to do and the places that I want to go.

So I’m sticking with my once a day weigh-in.  If anything, it keeps me honest.