Scale Fail

Given that we’ve been having some relatively warm days recently (meaning my relatives would laugh at “warm”), I spent five minutes the other day putting on a pair of shorts.

This is my personal philosophy, you understand.  Anything that is theoretically possible, if perhaps unlikely, can be achieved, depending on how long you can hold your breath.

I wore them for a while, took a little walk to the store, and they looked fine and actually fit mostly OK, but snugness is fine for certain things and not fine for others.  Certain areas are not meant to be snug, so I ditched these for another time, thinking they’d be more comfortable if I lost five pounds.  Maybe eight.  Not out of the question, and even though we’re warming up this weekend I can live without shorts.

Julie found them somewhere the other day, in some basket somewhere, and after I peeled them off I read the label and understood.  These were 2009 shorts, probably Santa Fe shorts.  Explains a lot.

That summer I dropped 10 or more pounds, unintentionally, just the result of busyness and some stress, a crosscountry road trip, my daughter’s wedding in New Mexico.  I got home and the scale said 168, a number I never saw again and might not in my lifetime, no big deal, but now it makes sense.

I’ve managed to lose some winter flab this spring, some in a burst of dedicated stationary biking, the rest just changing a few things.  All without getting near a scale, a personal triumph.  I haven’t stepped on one of those since last summer, and with some discipline I’ll avoid doing that until I’m in a doctor’s office, at which point I hope I turn my head away.   Some things you’re better off not knowing.

Which is my point.  I spent a lot of time with the scale and have, over the past few years, until, like staring at the word “sausage” too long, it became too abstract.  It’s a dumb device with no nuance, telling you what you weigh without taking into account the two cups of coffee you just drank (that’s a pound of fluid right there, at least) or how bulky your shoes are.  I stood on it too many cold mornings, naked and shivering and dehydrated, hoping for the best, and now I’m done.  I quit you, scale.  Go spoil somebody else’s day.

The iPhone helps, or a couple of fun apps, one that tracks via GPS my walking routes, miles and minutes and calories, and another that just lets me keep track of intake.  I started doing that last June, using the scale only to calibrate and make sure I wasn’t crazy, and sometime in late August I was done with that.  I still keep track of everything, self-quantifying as always, but now I have a virtual scale that goes up and down in my mind with no nakedness involved.  Totally cool.

And it works, for me.  Those jeans that don’t fit until I’m at least under 185?  Pulled them on at 184 on the virtual scale and snapped them shut.  Now they’re loose and comfy, and my VS says I’m a hair under 180, which means the Santa Fe shorts should fit but maybe be snug…and there you go.  I won.  I’d throw the scale away if my wife didn’t have bouts of masochism from time to time.

Because I’m nearly 54 and I’m not trying to impress or woo or fix a cholesterol level, I just want to be comfortable and not have to search for clothes that fit.  I want to sit in a tiny airplane seat and not be miserable, or make others miserable.  That’s it.

And I’m at a time in life, maybe, when I don’t want to be bothered by things I can’t control, stupid political posts and gossip and strangers on the street and certainly lima beans, and the whims of a spring scale.  Been there, over it.

I could be delusional, too.  I think I weigh around 178, and maybe it’s really 210, and the pants have stretched out and the world has gone crazy, and I don’t care, and I’m real sure you don’t.  Also, you’re probably still staring at “sausage.”  Stop.



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