Six Fun Things to Do With Your Scale Besides Weigh Yourself

Close-up of feet on a scale
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The scale can be an incredible source of anxiety for people with eating disorders. Weekly weighing is an essential part of certain eating disorder treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and family-based treatment (FBT). However, research has shown that frequent self-weighing by patients with eating disorders can be associated with increased eating disorder symptoms. Frequent weighing can also increase anxiety and depression in people who do not have eating disorders

In our current cultural environment in which thinness is often equated with goodness, the number on the scale is often translated into a measure of self-worth. For a patient with an eating disorder, it can also determine whether or not he or she has "permission" (from their eating disorder) to have a good day or to be happy.

For some, a potential solution may be to get rid of the scale entirely!

This can be tough because it means giving up some control. It requires you to trust that the professionals on your treatment team (or your physician) can monitor any changes in your weight for you. It requires you to trust that your body can ultimately regulate itself.

You might decide to have a little fun and choose a meaningful way to retire your scale. Here are some creative ways to ditch the scale:

Take Your Scale Apart Piece by Piece 

Breaking your scale up into its parts can be interesting and fun, but also can help you recognize what your scale truly is – an appliance or a piece of machinery.

Appliances and pieces of machinery do not have the ability to judge a human’s self-worth. They also do not have the ability to determine whether you are worthy of eating or worthy of having a good day.

Turn Your Scale into a Piece of Art

It is sort of an ultimate irony to turn something that can be so painful into a beautiful and meaningful piece of art.

You might do this with the pieces that you’ve taken apart or with the scale as a whole.

If you choose to do it with the scale as a whole, you may want to make sure you remove the batteries or another integral part of the scale so that you will no longer be tempted to use it.

Create a Positive Message Scale 

This option requires a non-digital scale and also requires taking the scale apart and putting it back together, but it can be done and it can be really cool.

Essentially, you would remove the ‘number wheel’ that reads out weights and replace it with a new wheel with body-positive messages and affirmations on it such as “You are Beautiful!” or “Have a Great Day!” Then, if you remove some of the actual scale parts, you can make these messages turn up randomly.

Host a Scale Funeral 

Yes, you read that correctly. If funerals and memorial services are meaningful to you, then you might consider having one for your scale. You can bury your scale and say a few words about what it has meant to you in the past, and then most importantly, say goodbye to it for good.

Destroy Your Scale 

Some ideas might be to use a sledgehammer (with eye protection!) to smash it, drop it off of a high point, or see if you can take it to an industrial shredding company. An eating disorder nonprofit, Southern Smash, organizes empowering events where people smash scales with hammers. Their motto is, “Destroy what destroys you.”

Give it a New Job 

This final suggestion is only recommended for people who don’t actually have an eating disorder and just need to stop worrying about their weight, as you would technically be keeping the scale in your home. You could use your scale as a plant stand or hide it with your luggage and only use it to avoid heavy baggage fees when you fly.

Sources

Pacanowski, Carly R., Emily M. Pisetsky, Kelly C. Berg, Ross D. Crosby, Scott J. Crow, Jennifer A. Linde, James E. Mitchell, et al. 2016. “Self-Weighing Behavior in Individuals with Eating Disorders.” International Journal of Eating Disorders 49 (8): 817–21. doi:10.1002/eat.22537.

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