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 and triggers for people with eating disorders as the number it reads out is translated into a measure of self-worth and whether or not the person has ‘permission’ (from their ED) to have a good day or to be happy that day. It can even be problematic and stressful for many people who don’t have eating disorders.

For this reason, I typically recommend that clients get rid of their scales completely.

This can be a really difficult thing to do, as it is symbolic of giving up some control, and trusting that the professionals on your treatment team (or your physician) can monitor any changes in your weight for you. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun or choose a meaningful way to retire you 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 I’ve seen it 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. I once had a client who was dating a man in the military. In a show of great support for her recovery, he took her to the shooting range and hung up her scale on a target – and she shot it up! She loved it and related to me that it was so empowering to so powerfully destroy something that was contributing to her own pain. If you aren’t comfortable with or don’t have access to firearms, there are many other ways to 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.

Give it a new job. This is an idea I only really recommend to 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 around your house. 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.

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