Weighing in Can Bring You Down

Like most Americans, I have accumulated an assortment of household gadgets, electronic doo-dads and appliances over the years. I appreciate the fact that most of them make my life far easier than it might be otherwise.

I enjoy using these modern marvels of technology, with the notable exception of my bathroom scale. It has caused me more anguish than my vacuum cleaner, my electric can opener and my microwave oven combined.

I’m pretty sure that most folks feel the same way. At one time or another, we’ve all been disappointed, surprised or even horrified by the numbers offered up to us by our bathroom scales.



Many of us are entirely too concerned about the numbers displayed on our scales, and we spend far too much time and energy trying to lower them the old-fashioned way. There’s really no need to exercise to the point of collapse or subsist on starvation rations to achieve a favorable reading on your bathroom scale.

You can alter the number reflecting your weight without so much as breaking a sweat. All you have to do is develop a strategy to ensure that the number displayed on your scale represents your desired weight, regardless of how much it deviates from your actual weight.

You can accomplish this feat in several ways. First, you must rid yourself of any excess baggage before you even think about weighing in.

Trim your nails, shave unwanted body hair, exfoliate your face, and empty your bladder. Remove all personal accessories and appliances, including jewelry, hair bows, hearing aids and dentures.

If you wear glasses, it’s probably wise to remove them, as well. You’re better off not seeing the numbers on the scale, anyway.

Don’t weigh yourself while you’re wet, since water is deceptively heavy. If you have recently perspired or bathed, allow every droplet of moisture to evaporate from your body.

As you step onto the scale, exhale fully to empty your lungs of any unnecessary air molecules. While you’re at it, think lightweight thoughts: It’s helpful to imagine that you’re a butterfly lighting gracefully on a delicate flower.

Find the point of minimal gravitational pull in your bathroom. This is best accomplished by scooting your scale, inch by inch, across the floor with your foot; weighing yourself at every point until you find the spot that gives you the lowest reading.

Scale scooting is hard on your accutane cheap prices floor covering, but it’s good for your body. When performed properly, it tones and strengthens the muscles of your toes and inner thighs.

Leaning against a countertop or hanging on to a towel rack while weighing is a smart precautionary measure. Not only does it prevent personal injury in the event that an unflattering reading causes you to faint, it’s also a time-honored method of lowering the scale’s readout by a good 10 to 15 pounds.

Work with your scale to determine your ideal weighing stance. Some scales offer a more favorable reading when you stand on one foot, while others work better if you stand on tiptoe.

If you’re coordinated, you might try jumping up and down on your scale while weighing. This produces a wide range of numerical readings from which to choose.

Feel free to tamper with the internal mechanism of your scale. By setting it back five or 10 pounds, you’ll get a reading that more accurately reflects your desired weight.

Unless you’re a professional athlete, don’t make the mistake of stepping on a scale that simultaneously measures your weight and your body fat. People who use these technological torture devices may require years of professional counseling to recover from the resulting emotional trauma.

If you’re serious about weighing less, pack up your scale and take it to a tall building. Standing on your scale in a rapidly descending elevator will create the illusion of a 2- to 3-pound weight loss.

Better yet, pack up your scale and take it to Denver. You’ll be even lighter at a higher altitude.

If all else fails, you can weigh yourself in kilograms. Since one kilogram equals roughly 2.2 pounds, you’ll feel much better knowing that your metric weight is less than half your weight in pounds.

If you are not able to achieve your desired weight after performing a variety of scale-scamming maneuvers, your scale is obviously defective. At this point, your best bet is to dispose of it and replace it with a nice toaster oven.{jcomments on}

Rallie McAllister, M.D. is a family physician, speaker, and co-founder of www.MommyMDGuides.com, a website featuring tips from trusted doctors who are also moms. To find out more about Rallie McAllister, M.D., and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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