I am not the biggest celebrator of birthdays. Let me go for a walk or watch a movie and I will probably be content. I put a stop to getting gifts a few years ago. (My shelves are full enough, thanks.)
Yet, my work never asked if I wanted anything. They have one of those programs where you are rewarded points when you do something grand or it is your one-year anniversary, or, apparently, when it is your birthday.
The options that my points afforded me were fine. I have blankets, so I do not need a yoga mat. I have headphones, I do not need earbuds. Etcetera. But they offered a scale. And I had gone over four decades without ever owning a scale.
I was told that my metabolism would slow down after college. Then I was told it would stop working so well in my thirties. And T.V. kept saying I would get pudgy in my forties. People say lots of things.
When I visited my parents earlier in the year, I hopped on their bathroom scale and found out that I weighed more than I ever had. I argue that an endless stream of homecooked meals and candy contributed to this. It is called “pound cake” for a reason. And I do love me some pound cake. I tend to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. It occurred to me that I could start showing some restraint.
Staring down the screenful of less-enticing options from the store, I picked the scale. Not just any ol’ scale. Nope. This one,
…not only shows body weight but also syncs data to your app including Body Fat, Water, Muscle Mass, BMI, BMR, Bone Mass, Protein, Skeletal Muscle and other data.
I have no idea what most of that means. Look at the middle word on the instruction manual. Fat. It feels like that is what the manufacturers want you to focus on. It is similar to how cholesterol can be good and bad, but we only focus on the bad. You need some body fat; some reserves to draw on.
But my thinking is that the scale manufacturers want you to see the word “fat” and keep trying to lose weight. You should use their product over and over and over. Get more information on your body until you get every single measurement how you want it to be! Use the product, darnit! Never cease striving for perfection! Weigh, weigh, weigh!
Well, I weighed my options. Using the fancier features required downloading an application, connecting the scale with Bluetooth, and a wireless internet connection. I gave it five minutes of futzing. Then I figured, “A scale is a scale. Leave it be.”
Know what I have learned? My weight is pretty stable. I more or less weigh what I have the last ten years. If I go for my typical Sunday run, I shed 1.6 pounds. Water weight.
“But why put in all that effort to jog all that time? That’s a terrible return rate!”
Sure, or I could be measuring the fact that I like running. That it soothes me. That endorphins count for something. That going outside, shedding the stress of the week, and breathing fresh air is worth the effort.
I do not check my weight every day. I do not look in the mirror after my morning hair-comb. The scale thinks I should know every piece of data about my body. The world of products thinks I should buy a leather jacket or a sports car.
I spent the day at work with coworkers that like me. I spent time on my hobbies. I received messages from people that love me. And my cat napped on my reasonably-healthy body. I may be older and a little wiser, but I have yet to find a device that can measure any of those.