Always Use the Same Scale

The other day my girlfriend was pretty freaked out. She stepped onto my Omron scale and was afraid she had gained 5 pounds. I assured her that what it reported was 5-7lbs over what other scales said. She was only half convinced.

Later that evening I yanked out my trusty old Tanita and confirmed my tale. The Omron seems to give consistent results while the 6 year old Tanita that now leaves a rust stain on the humid bathroom floor had a 0.9 pound variance over a few consecutive tests. It was also about 5 pounds lighter than the new Omron.

Now I know what all of you are thinking…can I borrow you’re old scale? Sure, you can have it. The point of this post is to illustrate there are variances in scales.

I was at the gym last night and noticed the generic white bathroom scale on the floor. I decided to test it and see what I came up with. My results were 210 the first time and 205 on the second try. I walked the two blocks back to my house stripped down and according to my scaled gained between 10 and 15 pounds in less than 10 minutes.

All of this brings up another interesting point. Does weight really matter?

For a long time my goal has been to get my 6’2″ body down to 195. As many of you may recall I began this journey anew when my weight peaked at 285–according to the 5lb forgiving Tanita. At that time I was squeezing myself into special order size 40×32 J.Crew khakis and size 18 Brooks Brothers shirts. To the left is a gross picture of me in an XL Gap tshirt. I’ll admit that this photo was taken at a horrible angle with a wide lens that has a bit of barrel distortion but thats what the camera and most other people saw. The little dog is Tilley, she’s a miniature Australian Shepherd and currently weighs about 14lbs.

So I’ll admit I don’t have any official measurements other than clothing size but I am currently wearing a pair of Gap Classic Fit jeans in a size 34. I have on a belt to keep them from going plumber style and exposing my ass-crack. I’ve downgraded to size 16 1/2 Brooks Brothers shirts that I comfortably wear a tie with. The buttoned collar of size 18 dress shirts used to choke me.

Anyway, if you’re going to use overall weight as a gauge use the same scale at the same time of day to weigh yourself. I always weigh a few pounds less when I first wake up due to hydration and other factors.

It’s important to keep in mind that hydration can have a massive effect on your weight. In the hot summer months I would weigh myself before a 20 mile bike ride and again after getting back. Even while drinking an entire 3 liter hydration pack I could sweat out 4lbs of water.

Here’s a little metric system primer: 1 liter of water weighs 1 kilogram. So drinking my 3l hydration pack was 3kg of water.

3kg x 2.2lbs = 6.6lbs

What that really means is that my body was sweating and respirating almost 5 liters or 5 kilograms of water over the course of the ride. That’s 10.4 pounds.

Wiegh yourself at the same time and under the same conditions every time. If you’re trying to win a weight loss competition sweat a lot before the weigh-in.