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When Weighing In Brings You Down
By Rallie McAllister
Of all the appliances in my home, I have special feelings of contempt for my bathroom scale. It has caused me more anguish than my vacuum cleaner, electric can opener, and toaster combined. I'm pretty sure that most Americans 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 scales.
Most of us are entirely too concerned about the numbers displayed by our scales, and we spend way too much time and energy trying to lower them the old fashioned way. If you've been under the misconception that you have to exercise to the point of collapse or subsist on starvation rations to achieve a favorable reading, here's some good news.
You can achieve the weight of your dreams without so much as breaking a sweat. You just have to develop a strategy to ensure that the number displayed by your scale represents your desired weight, regardless of how much it deviates from your true weight.
Here are a few pointers:
- Before you even approach your scale, be sure to rid yourself of any excess baggage. Trim your nails, shave unwanted body hair, exfoliate your face, and empty your bladder. Remove all clothing, personal accessories, and appliances, including jewelry, hair bows, hearing aids, and dentures. If you wear glasses, it's probably in your best interest to remove them as well--you're much better off not seeing the numbers anyway.
- Don't weigh while you're wet, because water is deceptively heavy. If you have recently bathed, allow every droplet of moisture to evaporate completely from your body.
- As you step onto the scale, exhale fully, emptying your lungs completely of unnecessary air molecules. While you're at it, think lightweight thoughts. It is most helpful to imagine yourself a dainty butterfly lighting gracefully on a delicate flower petal.
- Find the point of minimal gravitational pull in your bathroom. This is best accomplished by scooting your scale inch by inch across the bathroom floor with your foot, weighing yourself at every point until you find the spot that gives you the absolute lowest reading. Scale scooting is hard on your floor covering, but it's actually good for your body. When performed properly, it tones and strengthens the muscles of your toes and inner thighs.
- Lean on something. Supporting yourself on a countertop or towel rack is a smart precautionary measure to take while weighing. Not only does it prevent personal injury in the event that an unflattering reading causes you to pass out, but it is also a time-honored method of lowering your 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 if you stand on one foot, while others work better if you stand on your tiptoes. If you're coordinated, you can try jumping up and down on your scale to produce a wide range of numerical readings from which to choose.
- Learn to make adjustments to your scale. Sometimes, tampering with your scale becomes absolutely necessary. By setting it back five or ten pounds, you'll get a reading that more accurately reflects your true desired weight.
- Unless you are a serious athlete or a serious masochist, don't ever make the mistake of weighing yourself on one of those machines that simultaneously measures your weight and your body fat. People who use these technologic torture devices usually require years of professional counseling to recover from the emotional trauma they inflict.
- If you're serious about weighing less, pack up your scale and take it to a tall building. Standing on your scale in an elevator going down will net you a good two to three pound weight loss. Better yet, pack up your scale and take it to Denver--you'll be even lighter at a higher altitude.
- Weigh yourself in kilograms. The United States government is long overdue on its plan to convert to the metric system, and its inconsiderate delay is causing needless suffering among countless innocent Americans. If you remember that one kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds, you'll feel much better knowing that your true metric weight is less than half your weight in pounds.
If you try all of these scale-scamming moves and you still aren't able to achieve your desired weight, your scale is obviously defective. At this point, your best bet is to step away from the scale, and go get a bite to eat instead.
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