Body scale with affirmations instead of numbers

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21 Responses to “Body scale with affirmations instead of numbers”

  1. Anonymous says:

    When I visit a doctor, the fact that I am fat is quite obvious. It’s not as if I have some secret no one can see. The exact numbers are irrelevant. Shaming me by weighing me on a scale in a hallway is treatment I won’t permit.

    • HotNachos says:

      Amen! As someone who has more-or-less recovered from teenage and 20-something eating disorders, one of the ways that I keep myself from relapsing is by banishing scales from my life. I don’t own one, and I don’t use one regularly. This includes at the doctor’s office. It was a revelation to me that I could politely refuse to be weighed every time I went to the doctor for a sinus infection and still get excellent medical care! Giving the doctor a rough estimate of your weight is perfectly adequate for calculating dosages of most prescriptions generally healthy people will need.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t that well made of a model. At the doctor I was “cute,” but at my home scale it said “Ravishing.” Would not buy again, crappy spring.

  3. IronEdithKidd says:

    “…and people who are trying to get or stay fit have an interest in their actual weight.”

    [citation needed]

    Hells, no. The weight number is meaningless without an understanding of your percent body fat. A better metric for someone like me, working toward pre-pregnancy level of fitness, is “do my old pants fit yet?” or “do I have to buy new pants this month because the pants I bought two months ago are now falling off?”

  4. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE this idea! I become horribly depressed no matter what the scale says – but if I could hop on and see I had lost weight and gone from Perfect to Hot, or over the holidays I had gone back to Perfect, well, that would not be so debilitating, but could still give me info to work from to improve my weight. Dang, I’m going to go operate on my scale right now.

  5. Phikus says:

    I like the added bonus of it looking like a flat pink tribble. You know -to step on!

  6. Tremodian says:

    I’m surprised BB didn’t take note of the scale sending one’s weight to “doctors or contacts of your choosing.” I’m increasingly disturbed by the trend of products to give us opportunities to eliminate our privacy, let alone those that don’t give us a choice in the matter. It’s like product designers are trying to destroy privacy as a cultural value. Frankly, it’s freaky.

    As to the main thrust of the post, the debate seems to be between trying to reduce obesity, combating ubiquitous negative body-image messages, and worrying that positive messages about one’s weight will encourage apathy or self-deception about it. I’d guess that people buying this scale would self-select into the group worrying about body-image more than any other. People who are actually self-deceptive about their weight don’t look at scales, and people who are trying to get or stay fit have an interest in their actual weight.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, I can see how such a device could be helpful to a cripplingly underweight individual suffering from body dysmorphic disorder and anorexia and/or bulimia by keeping their doctor in the know about their weight while taking the patient’s focus off the numbers.

      • apoxia says:

        “Well, I can see how such a device could be helpful to a cripplingly underweight individual suffering from body dysmorphic disorder and anorexia and/or bulimia by keeping their doctor in the know about their weight while taking the patient’s focus off the numbers.”

        Except that the most commonly used CBT treatment model for eating disorders (Fairburn’s) uses weekly weighings and reporting of the weight to the client.

    • Anonymous says:

      do you think that getting weighed at the doctor’s office is an invasion of privacy? If someone is struggling with their weight and wants help from a medical professional, I think that that would be a very useful tool. You would have to buy the product, and the information goes to an intended contact. It’s not like normal bathroom scales are secretly sending our weights to people.

      • Anonymous says:

        To #5: Doctors NEED to know what you weigh for many reason, one of the most important being medicinal purposes. If you weigh 110lbs, sometimes the dosage of medication will be different than if you weighed 180lbs or 250lbs. I’m sure they don’t give the same amount of meds to a teenager on the swim team as they do pro-football players. Just something to think about. Weight is just one important factor that MDs need to know. The same asking if you smoke, if you exercise, and if anyone in your family has ever had cancer.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      People who are actually self-deceptive about their weight don’t look at scales, and people who are trying to get or stay fit have an interest in their actual weight.

      Unless you’re morbidly obese or severely underweight, weight’s not a particularly good indicator of health or progress.

    • PapayaSF says:

      People who are actually self-deceptive about their weight don’t look at scales

      Really? You must not read personal ads. I’ve seen many, many from women who say they are “curvy” or have “a few extra pounds” and then (as one I saw recently) admit to being 5′ 4″ and 215 pounds.

  7. Aloisius says:

    My point is that a device that sends your medical information to your doctor is one facet of a culture (or training regimen, if you will) to feel okay with releasing personal data into a web of databases of unknown security and network relays of mysterious ownership.

    It is hard to argue weight is some sort of private information when based on your visible height, width, sex and apparent levels of fat, one can basically guess it with fairly good accuracy.

    I hate to mention the Internet scale that tweets out your weight every time you step on the thing. Though public shaming is probably the best motivator to losing weight.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think this can be valuable, because this isn’t just a scale that displays randomly produced words or phrases – you *can* see if you’ve gained or lost more than a couple lbs. Since many women with eating disorders have an unhealthy focus on the number on the scale, this can help them in their recovery because instead of thinking they need to gain 10 or 20 or however many pounds, or go up to a certain number, they can think that they need to get up to “perfect” or go up two more “compliments”. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, you can’t see if you’ve gained or lost a pound or two, which is fine because such fluctuations are normal, and women often put too much value into those.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You know what makes me feel good about myself? Not owning a scale and tying my self-worth to a number.

  10. takeshi says:

    “But is there any potential value in a technology that delivers non-stop good vibrations, not at all reflective of our actual behaviors?”

    Maybe we should consult the Magic 8-Ball.

  11. Vidya108 says:

    “But is there any potential value in a technology that delivers non-stop good vibrations, not at all reflective of our actual behaviors?”

    Since body weight has, especially over the long term, very little correlation with “actual behaviors” for most people, I don’t see the issue here.

    “…people who are trying to get or stay fit have an interest in their actual weight.”

    Actually, there are plenty of folks trying to improve their fitness levels who have little to no interest in their weight. (Ideally, this would be the case for *everyone* interested in his or her own fitness.)

  12. Tremodian says:

    To anons #4 and #5: Of course one’s weight is good information for your doctor to have, and being weighed at the doctor’s office is no more an invasion of privacy than giving them any other information. That is, it’s not an invasion if you’re giving it away, but it is a reduction of privacy. This shows that there are situations where privacy is less valuable than other concerns, like providing your doctor with necessary information so they can treat you effectively.

    My point is that a device that sends your medical information to your doctor is one facet of a culture (or training regimen, if you will) to feel okay with releasing personal data into a web of databases of unknown security and network relays of mysterious ownership. It’s laying the groundwork for acceptance of actually invasive privacy violations.

  13. Seadragon6 says:

    Aloysius: Are you kidding? Do you think maybe fat people currently get lots of positive reinforcement from the public, or even get ignored? Believe me, if shame worked as a motivational tool (and also fixed health problems), we’d all be skinny.

  14. Caroline says:

    As somebody with a past eating disorder — although I’m at a healthy weight now — the idea of an affirming scale almost makes me cry. It’s still incredibly hard for me not to turn the number on the scale into a judgment on my worth as a human being.

    As others have said, body weight is not a tremendously useful measure of health, and it’s not something people have a huge amount of control over. Yes, exercising and healthy eating will tend to decrease your weight if you are overweight to begin with — but the amount and speed of the decrease aren’t within your direct control. It truly is not as simple as “calories in, calories out,” because metabolisms are complicated and nonlinear and have various feedback mechanisms. Your body does not burn calories at a constant rate regardless of how much you eat or exercise.

    Focusing on the “input” of healthy habits, rather than the “output” of weight, is a better way to go.

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