I’m 23 years old. When I was a kid, scales did one thing when you stepped on them: the little needle jumped to your weight on the dial.
Now however, you cannot just “step on a scale” – what, you thought it would be that easy? Now scales require you to tap them first, let it calibrate itself, find your profile, and scroll through your previous weigh-ins all on a display that is faintly reminiscent of the digital watches that were so popular in the 80s.
When I set out to purchase a scale, I merely went to the nearest Target. The Target I went to made a critical mistake in merchandise planning, however – they put all their scales on an end cap. That thing that is right out in the main aisle for everyone to see… and gawk… and stare… yeah. There was also a few clearance scales on the back of an aisle nearby.
So rather than imagine what people walking by were potentially thinking (“OMG, she’s so fat, why would *she* buy a scale?”) I looked through the scales on the clearance shelf. All of a sudden, I was assaulted by choices. Did I want one that displayed hydration level? Had the ability to track weights of multiple people? Could tell you what percentage of body fat you had? Did I want one from the fine people at The Biggest Loser? Various weight loss programs? Black? Chrome? Glass? White?
In my state of sensory overloaded panic, I just picked one that was highly overpriced but was made by the makers of my weight loss program, so I figured I would be okay. Well, when I brought it home, it sure looked fancy – glass, chrome, big digital display. Then I tried to turn it on. It had a big sticker that said “Tap here!” So I tapped. I rapped. I poked, and finally I stomped. Nothing. For $35, I had a new paperweight for the bathroom.
Then I decided to be smart. I’d take the scale back, read online reviews, and then select a scale. That worked out much better. I went to Walmart (who also has issues with bathroom scale placement – you’ll find it in the hardware section, somewhere between Swede saws and claw hammers) and bought a HealthoMeter scale, white, with body fat and hydration analysis. So far it works very well – you tap the “Select” button twice and wait for it to tell you to hop on.
And then: the moment. You gather all your hope and step upward. For those few seconds when the scale is calculating your weight, the anticipation is such that you don’t dare even breathe. (Besides, oxygen might make you heavier… right?)
There are only two outcomes: deep disappointment and euphoria. Unless, like me so far, you’re not all that invested because you haven’t started the race known as weight loss. Right now the numbers are just a simple confirmation of what I already know – that my jeans really have been getting smaller, not merely shrinking in the wash.