A Tale of Two Scales

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life40 Comments


Last weekend, I bought a new digital scale to replace my old, get-a-different-weight-on-5-successive-step-ons-in-the-span-of-one-minute scale. 

It was time.

I was tired of the old scale's annoying habit of never going back to "0" on its own, not to mention the "jump-up-and-down-a-few-times-until-you-get-the-number-you-like" factor.

I should back up a bit here: before I started my new fitness regime, I went to the doctor and had a full physical. I wanted to make sure I was cleared of any medical reasons that would prohibit me from beginning this new, healthy lifestyle. I think part of me was secretly hoping I would hear, "Cathy, I'm sorry…but according to your numbers, we feel it best that you should simply continue on a course of copious french fry eating and near-complete physical inertia. We'll see you next year!" But alas, it was not my fortune that day. All my numbers looked good. Except one.

When I stepped on that doctor's scale back in late December, I won't lie: I was shocked. 182. Hello ego bruise. I had been clinging to the 170s, deluding myself (thanks to my erratic home scale) that I was still staying out of the Obese category for my age and height. For me, it was a turning point and that's why I decided to begin anew in the new year.

The first quarter of Living My Best Life is going well. Inches are slowly beginning to fall off, and my tushka is taking up less and less couch space. Still, every time I stepped on the old scale, I got tired of saying, "Well…. it LOOKS like 161.5. I'LL TAKE IT!"

Enter the new scale. For all I know, it could turn out to be a piece of crap. The single online review simply says, "DON'T BUY!" But what this new scale gives me are concrete numbers. From what we can tell (the entire family has repeatedly been testing it out) it gives out those sames numbers, step on after step on.

So on Saturday, when I hopped on for my weekly at-home weigh in, I gained a cool 5.6 pounds just like that.

Now I know, I know…I didn't REALLY gain it. In fact, I stepped on the old scale, which congratulated me with a single pound loss for the week, after I jumped up and down on it a few times. Still…I'm moving on.

I promptly went back to my Weight Watchers records online and added 5 pounds to each week's numbers, changing my starting weight as well.

At least now I feel like I'll be comparing apples to apples. Or eating them anyway.

And while I know it's not just all about the numbers, I can only reply to that mind set with: Hi, have you met me?

Happy Monday.

p.s. That .6 pounds I neglected to count? I attribute that to holding my breath when I stepped on.  So that, dear blog readers, is a gimme.


Cathy ZielskeA Tale of Two Scales

40 Comments on “A Tale of Two Scales”

  1. #1
    Kristin Reinhard

    I have been thinking about making the step over to digital scales. Not even sure how old my scales are. At least a decade old. I had a check up with my Lady Dr and their scales added a good 4kgs – so something to think about.

  2. #3
    Christy Boron

    Oh, Oh my…you’ve just told my story!! Except, I didn’t go buy a new scale…I just keep kicking and abusing the heck out of mine. Now I’m mad and refuse to step on it at all. If my clothes are getting looser I’m just happy with that. I DON’T trust scales anymore~~~

  3. #4

    That sucks. I commend you for your honesty. I agree with Christy above… go with how your clothes fit, and how you feel.

  4. #5

    I made the horrible mistake of stepping on the scales at my parents house. I was so very thankful when I looked around and saw that no else had seen how much I gained from the journey over from my place!

    I’m considering going digital for my kitchen scales. If I apply the same logic I might get a few more chocolate chips into my cookies next time.

  5. #6

    Hi, cathy I feel your pain on this one . I think if
    I didnt go to the gym i would actually be smaller! Let me clarify because i go I justify every Grande Mocha
    or slice of pizza with “That’s why I go to the gym!”
    I applaud your efforts alot of people would’ve given
    so I am glad you didn’t

  6. #8
    Chubby Housewife

    I’m kicking my own ass and not seeing my scale move. Well, that’s not true. I had a trip to McD’s, from which I gained 1.5#, and now I’m back in the169# range. Where I have been forEVER!! I’m sweating and working out but I feel like if that number doesn’t move, it doesn’t count? It’s so wrong. My body IS changing and I know I’m doing myself good. But still I look at the number like it’s an accomplishment.
    I’m glad you’re continuing on. You’re INSPIRING….
    Now, I’m off to the gym. I didn’t work out yesterday and I missed it!
    And BTW, your honesty is so refreshing…

  7. #9
    Kiki Craig

    My grandmother couldn’t see in her last 5 years of life and had to weigh herself everyday do to a influx in her sodium levels…anyway, she got one that spoke – loudly. Now it’s at my mom’s, every time someone in the house weighs themselves, everyone can hear. Just be thankful you didn’t get a talking Mr. Evil!

  8. #10

    I have a WW digital scale. Depending where I place it on the bathroom floor, I get different numbers. Of course, I always place it where the numbers are the least. Yes, I know the floor is probably uneven but it makes me feel better to see the lower number.

  9. #11

    I too have had the unfortunate new digital scale experience! About a year ago my husband (aka…the skinny bastard) declared we MUST get a digital scale! I begged and pleaded with him not to. I knew what was going to happen when I first got on a digital scale. I knew just as you did that the numbers “look” better on the old type scale. But bought it he did…and so I got on. My numbers too were higher and I felt dejected 🙁
    But now I have learned to love it..no not for the low number but because even when it says .2 pounds I can at least say I lost SOMETHING!

  10. #12
    Penny Grimsley

    Awww – that stinks! But, now YOU KNOW consistently what you weight and way to go on having a great response to it! HANG IN THERE!

  11. #13
    Deb J

    You are such a hoot. I love the way you say things. Sorry about the upward change in weight with the new scale but I know how much better it is to have a consistent scale. We have a digital scale and while I don’t like the numbers it shows, I sure like that I can rely on it to be accurate each time. Good luck with the loss of those sneaky, stinky pounds.

  12. #14
    Melinda Wilson

    I love the story and totally understand! Our school board is having a weight loss/lower your blood pressure challenge county wide and I am on our local bus drivers’ team. (I was already working at getting better health numbers since going to the doctor in January and hearing the D word (diabetes – yuk!). Our digital scales at school always maintained the same weight but sometimes it didn’t work at all. Another teacher brought her’s and it weighs us two pounds lighter, but consistently. So my weight loss last Friday was 3.6 lbs. for two weeks – but I do go by my home scales so my total is 13 lbs since mid January, which I am very proud.
    So Cathy, no matter what the scales read (hopefully they don’t talk LOL!) I am very proud of your accomplishments and keep it up!

  13. #15
    Nicky Hurt

    I know exactly how you feel. DH decided to buy a digital scale and I gained 3 pounds in that few minutes going from the old to the new. But does yours remember what you weighed last time? Does it say *arrow up* 2.6 pounds? Mine does. Ugh. lol

  14. #17
    Tracy Johnson

    You crack me up. I too have a pesky doctor that didn’t recommend I keep up with my regime of non-exercise and monthly dorito/cheddar cheese binges. It’s slow going after age 50!

  15. #18

    I have a digital scale that also calculates my body fat percentage.

    yes, Virginia, there is true evil. and it’s called a “scale.”

  16. #19
    Courtney Walsh

    well, crap. I’m sorry! 🙁 What a total bummer…although you’ve still lost the same amount!!

    I had a crummy workout this a.m. thanks to a really out of whack back. now I fear my Friday weigh-in! Hoping I can make up for it this week!

  17. #20
    Jacquelin G

    Alas, you have entered the realm of digiscale reality – no longer can you lean side to side to get the loss you seek, nor can can you stansd onone foot and close one eye and celebrate the fact that you lost 10 pounds this week! I hear ya sister, but think how good it will feel whe you lose and KNOW that it is actually a loss, not just because you placed the scale on your “lucky” square of lino that magically makes you look 5 lbs thinner!!! Good Luck!

  18. #24
    Jen D

    OMG the SAME thing happened to me! Isn’t it annoying? I had actually convinced myself that the doctor’s scales were WRONG and mine was the right one. Guess which one was lower?? At least you know you’ve been losing weight, no matter where you started from!

  19. #25

    {sigh} This is what happens when a scale falls into the hands of non-professionals. Here is what you’re SUPPOSED to do: step on the damned thing (naked), first thing in the morning. Eat breakfast, drink your tea. After your morning poop, weigh yourself again (naked). The difference is how much weight you’ve lost that day!!

    Happy Monday!


  20. #26
    Jane S

    Cathy, I have a Mr. Good Scale just like yours, and I perform the same antics to get a good number including conferring with my husband on the algerbraic equation to calculate the real number. I should run not walk to the nearest store and purchase a Mr. Evil.

  21. #27
    Bits & Pieces is the Best!!

    I was having the crappest day ever – not least because despite getting up at 5.00 am I couldn’t read your blog until now, 14 1/2 hours later – and now you have made me laugh out loud and feel that if you can do this so can I! (There – does that burst of self confidence delete the calories of the two cookies I just inhaled?!) Thank you so much.

  22. #28

    You have inspired me to jump in. I started on NutriSystem a week ago. Yesterday I made a “page” that looks really similar to your journal pages. I’m blogging about it too, inspire-me.com. I’m not brave enough to post my page, I want some progress to show first. I hope to post them in May – 3 pages showing lots of progress!

  23. #29

    I figure the reason the one reviewer over at Target said not to buy the scale was because they were hoping the scale would show they weighed “126.4” pounds – and it didn’t! False advertising!
    – Lee

  24. #31
    Kate C

    OMG, I know just what you mean, except when I went from my old scales at home to my dietician’s scales, the difference was 14 kilos! Not pounds, Kilograms. Now I have a digital scale, and I love even those 0.1 kg losses, any thing that makes you feel good is a cause for celebration.

  25. #32

    Congrats on the new scale. I feel for you on the weight difference. But, you are a better woman than I. If it were me, I’d have been bingeing on french fries even though those 5 lbs weren’t real, if you know what I mean. Any excuse, I guess.

    Here’s a little funny for you from a WW meeting: a few women were discussing the points for apples and the difference between large apples and small apples. After several moments of this, the leader finally says, “Ladies, does it really matter if you’re off a point due to an apple? Let’s face, we didn’t get into this room because we ate too many apples.” I almost pee’d my pants from laughing so hard.

    Have a great day!

  26. #34
    bernice j

    Cathy, something to consider. The first photo you posted about the “evil” (scale, I presume), if you put that word backwards, you have the word “live”. Isn’t that an appropriate word for what you are doing for yourself by losing the weight. Good on you,Cathy!!

  27. #35

    Grrr. Tough numbers. Mine are too. I am drawing strength from your day in and day out excercise diligent routine. I have begun getting back on my treadmill, though not yet with the same clockwork routine, kids are currently out on spring break.

  28. #36

    No, never, don’t say it’s so!! No way will I succumb to the digital evil… I so prefer the bounce, lean, sway, step on & off, analog scale… *sigh, you’re such a better person than I…

  29. #37
    cindy johnston

    LOL about the scale! I went through the same thing when I went to a new digital scale! EVIL indeed! 😉
    Just wanted to say yet again how much I love reading your blog and thanks for sharing with us all!

  30. #38
    Lori Hudson

    I’m not good at math, but I am good at brushing my hair. Anyway haven’t you lost almost 20 lbs and doesn’t that totally rock??? PS I prefer my scale to lie to to me.

  31. #39
    Maegan Hall

    What scale did you pick and why? I’m hoping you’ll save me the agony of HOURS of google searches and Amazon reviews. We’re with you on this journey! Maegan

  32. #40

    I would have told you “DON”T BUY IT!”

    I went to my mothers for vacation. She had an old scale lurking in her bathroom cupboard. I decided I needed to get my life in order that moment! I hadn’t been on a scale in 6 months! I’d been walking, watching what I eat etc…I felt brave.

    I’d lost 15 lbs! yeah for me. NOT my hubby bought a digital scale and I gained all those back in one instance. Deep depression set in! Next time I go to my moms I’m throwing it in the trash! Evil is RIGHT! Deceitful too!

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