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The Tyranny of the Scale

Hard on Heels | The Tyranny of the Scale
Hard on Heels | The Tyranny of the Scale

It’s Monday morning and the alarm goes off.  My eyes squeeze shut as I realize it’s time for the weekly weigh-in. So tempting to sink back into oblivion. Pretend it’s still Sunday and I can lay under the duvet a little longer. I turn my head over to the cool side of the pillow. I try to force back into my last pleasant dream but the alarm won’t shut up.  It’s time to wake up and the day can’t be avoided. 

My eyelids flutter and I wake up but stay laying on my back.  My fingers press in to define my stomach muscles. I pinch the fat around the sides.  Am I pinching more or less than last week? Can’t tell. 

I pull the covers away and lift my thighs to the half-light. Is there more or less definition than last week? Can’t tell. 

I push myself to a sitting position at the edge of the bed stretching my muscles. Trying to see if I am properly sore from yesterday’s workout or if I should have gone harder.  I’m taking my time and I know it. I'm delaying the time when I’ll have to step on the scale. 

I stumble into the bathroom and pee first (just in case it makes a difference).  I stare at the white bathroom scale laying in the corner. Will you be friend or will you be foe? I hesitate because I know it determines not only my mood but also my week. I lose weight, I get to keep my workout and food the same. But if I don’t lose weight … ughhh. I am in for more cardio and more restricted foods. 

I pass by the scale without a look and wash my face. Wretched scale. I gargle with mouthwash and brush my teeth while giving it a sideways glance. Detestable scale. I put on eyeliner. I brush on mascara. Accursed scale. That damn white scale with the non-slip surface. (Why non-slip? Do people actually slip while getting on a scale? Or do they just faint away when they look at the number?) 

No use waiting. It’s got to be done. So I step gingerly on the scale, thinking of butterflies, balloons, anything light and airy. I plant my feet flat, say a prayer and gaze down. The digital bar dances around the display screen and I’m still holding my breath. (Maybe I should stop holding my breath? Does holding my breath increase or decrease my weight? Every ounce counts.)

Finally, the bar stops its dance and settles in. An error message? Really? 

Off the scale again. And back on again. In the seconds before the final revelation, I visualize my future. The joy of the “Yes!” When the number is good. The deflation of my very soul when the number is bad. 

The digital bar does its interminable dance all over again.

Good week?  Bad week?

Come on. Don’t tease me.

Will you be friend or will you be foe?

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