Note: I totally meant to write this last week, however other tasks came up that stopped me. So this is actually two entries at once. The bold part is what I’m writing today, and the part that begins “Nearly 4 weeks ago” was started last week (albeit finished today). Before we get to thoughts on owning a scale, let me talk about the graph above. It’s my weight loss pattern for the past month that I’ve been keeping accurate records. As you can see, for the past 2 days I’ve been under 400lb. This was my first goal. Next goal will be 380 or so. We’ll see how long that takes. Of course, I’d have no idea what my weight was if it wasn’t for this:
Nearly 4 weeks ago, I bought this scale. One reason why I bought it is because until March 19, 2011, I had no idea how much I weighed. This probably seems like something a person in denial about their weight would say in place of the real number. I realized this a few years ago when I had a conversation with someone at the Microsoft MVP Summit that went something like this:
Unnamed Person: Hey, we’re both big guys, I know how it is. I weigh XX – if you don’t mind me asking, how much do you weigh?
Me: I don’t know
Unnamed Person: Seriously? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.
Me: Honestly, I have no idea how much I weigh
Unnamed Person: <stares in disbelief>
Apparently the idea that one does not know their own weight is really foreign to some people. A friend emailed me the following shortly after the first RCIP post:
Interesting. It seems though that the concept of “watching your weight”, and severely overweight = dangerous to your health is drilled into [Canadians] from an early age, so not having a scale is something that would never occur to me. That would be like not having a toothbrush in my mind.
But as hard as it is to believe, I was scale-less for about 15 years. Scales I did encounter up until March 19 were all limited to about 300 lb, which rendered them useless for me (and believe me, I tried to use them to figure out my weight if I saw them at a friend’s house or somewhere else). This also brings up an interesting point: I didn’t avoid scales for fear of what they might say – I just hadn’t encountered one that would give me the information in an easily accessible manner (or at all). For me, it all comes back to apathy, not avoidance, which I believe is a reason for obesity that isn’t often explored by mainstream media, fad or crash diets, or even doctors. We hear about “avoiding cravings” or “self control”, we never hear about “giving a damn” or “free high-capacity scale day”! I’ll explore the whole apathy thing, as well as what motivated me to buy this scale, more in a future update, for sure. (I actually have a list of RCIP topics – just have to write them up!).
Oh, and on a side note, I should mention that my friend’s Canadian perspective is interesting. However one argument that I think is complete nonsense is that it is somehow the U.S. government’s fault for our raging obesity problem in this country. While yes, the government can do certain things to promote healthier lifestyles, and definitely can provide healthier things in school lunches or government-run eateries, I do not think the government should “force” people to stay healthy. Similarly, I am in favor of the idea of people who engage in unhealthy behaviors paying more into programs that support them than people of a healthy weight. If I cost my fellow taxpayers X amount more than the average person due to my weight, I should pay more. It all comes down to personal responsibility in my mind – I have never even thought of blaming someone or something else for my excess weight – it is simply not their problem. I chose to eat unhealthy things too frequently, just like I choose to change my eating habits now!