Me Versus the Scale

The New York Times:

The scale and I have reached détente. That is: I leave it alone, and it affords me the same courtesy. I rarely step on it, and we’re both better off.

I have earned the right of refusal. As someone who weighed herself almost daily between the ages of 10 and 25, who spent six years at fat camps and traveled around the Middle East with a scale buried in the pit of her backpack (I know, I know…), I’ve done my time. I won’t even weigh myself at the doctor’s office. Nothing good can come from the knowledge that I’m three pounds lighter, or two pounds heavier.

“People are obsessed with it — they go crazy over a tenth of a pound,” said Jim White, a registered dietitian nutritionist and a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I’ve had clients who are losing major inches and body fat and looking and feeling great, but if the scale doesn’t budge they get defeated. The number defines them.”

David A. Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University who has conducted studies on the efficacy of daily weighing since 1992, believes that daily self-weighing is necessary to help prevent weight gain.

“I don’t see any way that we are going to tax fats or tax soda or have people exercise more in order to control their weight,” he said. “There’s enough data to show that doesn’t work. But if you step on that scale first thing in the morning, that’s protective of those subtle cues in our environment that make us eat a little more than we expend.”

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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