What your scale doesn’t know

Your scale doesn’t know much, but that may not stop you when it comes to letting it be the sole judge of well you’re doing with your weight-related goals.

We step on the scale waiting for it to render its judgement. Are we a success or a failure? After a second or so, the judgement comes in – sometimes pass, sometimes fail. Sometimes it’s what we expected and sometimes we’re blindsided.


“What! How can that be? I was absolutely perfect all week! How could I gain a pound! Not fair!”


“What! How can that be? I didn’t have a single good day. I blew it every single day and I lost two pounds! No way!”


The scale isn’t in a position to judge us.

There is too much about our lives and our actions the scale will never know. The scale doesn’t know what challenges we faced or our reaction to the challenge. The scale doesn’t know who tried to sabotage our efforts to get us off track because our weight loss was changing their world.

The scale doesn’t know what’s going on inside our bodies. It doesn’t know the ratio of carbohydrates (which cause fluid retention) to protein. It doesn’t know if we’re taking  meds such as prednisone which causes weight gain. It doesn’t know if our bellies are full or food or empty or if our bladder is full or empty.

The scale doesn’t know what upset us this week. The scale doesn’t even know how those upsets affected us. Maybe we were too upset to eat. Maybe we were so upset we ate to forget or to soothe ourselves. Yet we think the scale says, “you’re good,” or “you’re bad,” without knowing or having any empathy for what happened to us.

The reality is the scale doesn’t know much. It can measure things but it doesn’t know why the object it measures weighs as much as it does. It doesn’t know how hard we work to affect its change. Sometimes we didn’t work hard at all and yet it tells us we did a good job. Sometimes we work harder than we’ve ever worked and it tells us we are failing.

Nowadays many people use digital scales. Digital scales work by pressure sensors called piezoelectric transducers. They create an electric current when compressed. The more you weigh, the more current is produced. There is a electronic circuit connected that measures the current. The current is converted to an equivalent weight measurement.


Whether you stand on a digital scale or an older model that uses springs and a dial with a needle that points to your weight, remember that the scale doesn’t know anything. It’s not judging you nor should you deceive yourself to believe that it is capable of judging you.

Deciding how well you did is for you to decide and it doesn’t depend on which way the number on the scale moved. You know what success you achieved in making positive changes to your habits, your actions and reactions. You know how many challenges you were dealt throughout the week and how big they were. You know if you did your best, and that’s what counts.


So don’t let a bunch of metal, springs or electrical currents tell you you’re not making progress. Although you’re shooting for a weight goal, which does happen to be a number, success is measured and maintained with changes that go beyond the scale.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.