10/14/2014 10:58 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I Threw Out My Scale and I Think You Should, Too

My parents still own the scale that lived in the bathroom all through my childhood. It's old school, no fancy digital output here, and the last time I saw it was a couple of months ago when my husband used it so he could try to figure out how much our baby daughter weighed between her well child checkups.

You see, we don't own a scale, and it's been that way for eight months.

I bought my first scale when I was 21, just finishing college and going on my first diet. I bought my second scale, a digital one that was much more precise than the previous model, somewhere in my twenties, so I could know, in even greater detail, how much I was worth.


Ha! Did you catch that? I used the scale to measure my worth! What a silly, silly thing to do! I am sure I am the only person to ever, ever get upset if the scale said something I didn't like! The only woman to ever have a crappy day because the scale was up two pounds! Right? It was just me?

Oh, wait, nope, not just me. Practically every single person I've ever spoken to who has food/body image struggles has let the scale dictate how much they'll eat that day, how good they feel about themselves or how much bounce is in their step.


So that brings me to why I threw out my own scale. I knew that as long as I had it, it would be sitting there, waiting for me to falter, to pull it out and use it to measure how good I was (or more likely, wasn't). I was also pregnant with my daughter when I threw it out, and I was most certainly thinking ahead.

Did I want her to see that the scale was something that should be in everyone's house? That knowing her weight was in some way important, or that it would add to her life? Did I want to risk her seeing me being owned by a little box that had nothing relevant or important to say?

I think you know the answer to that.


I don't want to make it sound like getting rid of the scale suddenly made the entire world sparkle like diamonds and get rid of every single problem I ever had, but it certainly has improved my life in some small ways, and I think it could for you, too. Here are three reasons I think you should toss that scale off a cliff.

1. It doesn't measure health in any way whatsoever. It just doesn't. Weight is not a good indicator of health. Waist size is a better indicator of health, however, and I've never met a scale that could measure that.


2. There are other ways to see if you're meeting your goals. If your favorite pair of jeans is getting a little snug, you already have a great way to see if you're they're getting looser. Do you know what it is? Just put on the jeans. See? No scale necessary.

3. The scale never makes anyone's life better (unlike, say, a pair of walking shoes). Sure, if the scale is down one day you might feel elated, so perhaps your day is "better," but if the scale has the power to bring you up, it certainly has the power to smash you back down on the pavement.


The bottom line for me is that a scale doesn't measure anything worth knowing, yet it certainly can wreak havoc in the life of its owner. I don't think they're worth owning, and I think life is better without them.