Saturday, December 3, 2016

Weighing In: The Yay! Scale

Weighing ourselves.  It’s an activity fraught with anxiety for many (most?) women.  That’s understandable as we’ve been raised to measure our worth by what we weigh.  So when we get on the scale,  if it doesn’t tell us what we want, whatever mood we were in is destined to head downhill.

Knowing our weight can be important sometimes, such as when the doctor needs to know the proper dose of a medication to prescribe.  But do we really need to know our weight at other times? Some people will argue that it helps them stay on track.  My experience with the women I work with is that while that may happen occasionally, it much more often works like a diet — when we’re doing well with a diet (a balanced one, that is), it might help us eat healthier.  But when we’re not doing so well, it’s usually a recipe for disaster.  Although that analogy breaks down on the front end — I’m not sure weighing ourselves, unless it’s for a medical reason, ever truly serves to help — it holds up when we’re not doing so well.  Indeed, those of us who struggle with eating and weight often don’t do so well.  And stepping on the scale just exacerbates the struggle.

So can a scale ever give us any good information outside the doctor’s office?  If you use the Yay! scale, that’s guaranteed!  What is the Yay! scale?  It’s a scale that sends you a compliment every time you step on it, designed by the fabulous Marilyn Wann.  Amy Herskowitz used it for an experiment on International No Diet Day this year.  She tells a very engaging story here about her co-workers’ reactions when they stepped on it.  They ranged from giggles and broad smiles to pure delight.

I loved her response to co-workers who thanked her for making their day after they got the compliment from the scale.   “It’s not me making your day; it’s actually you thinking differently about yourself. Wouldn’t it be great to feel this way about your body all the time? Wouldn’t it have such a beneficial effect on your daily outlook and self-esteem?”

In a word, yay!!

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