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My Master, My Scale

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My Master, My Scale

It beacons me from across the room. “Come to me now! No excuses. Get naked if you must, but it won’t really matter. Just come.”

I don’t want to. I hate weighing myself. I hate my scale. My relationship with my scale has never been a good one. It is my demonic Dom. We have played a game of non-consensual S/M for as long as I can remember. There is no negotiation and there are no safe words. And what’s worse, I never know what it’s going to tell me as the numbers light up its sneering digital face. There is absolutely no way to prepare myself for each encounter.

For years, I simply stopped weighing myself. Even though everyone told me that if I wanted to be a successful dieter or, even more important, a successful weight maintainer, I would have to make friends with the scale. If I wanted to lose weight, my counselors advised, I would have to “weigh in” once a week. If I was on a maintenance plan, I’d have to engage every other day. There are different weigh in strategies depending on which circle of weight control hell you’re in.

The experts and my mother didn’t really understand what my scale could do to me. Oh sure, if I was “good” and the numbers dropped or held (depending on my goal of the moment) I would feel fabulous. There might even be dancing or a ritual weight loss meal that included a forbidden treat to celebrate the moment! After all, I earned it.

But if the satanic beast’s glowing numbers went up, I came unglued. There wasn’t enough mood disorder medication in the world to stop my self loathing. I had to flee that toxic relationship. I couldn’t take the ups and downs. The scale was unrepentantly abusive.

Oh sure, lots of people encouraged me to stay in the relationship. They advised counseling, and group therapy like Weight Watchers where I could weigh in with the knowledge that I’d be safe. There would be support and strategies for coping with the constant fluctuations that were the barometer of my life. But I knew better.

My separation from the scale lasted exactly 10 years. That decade of freedom allowed me to heal many of my issues around body image and my relationship with food. I was into size acceptance, eating intuitively, and plus sizes. I was the living incarnation of a chubby, chic, sex goddess. I labeled myself “Curvy” and I even wrote a book about my transformation and sexual awakening that was in part due to ditching the diet and dumping the scale. It all worked for me. It even launched me on a new career path–author, life coach, sexuality and weight  provocateur/blogger. I thought I had beaten the scale. But no one never ever beats “the Dom.”

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Read more: Beauty, Blogs, Body Image, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Fitness, General Health, Health, Recharge Your Life, Self-Help, Women's Health, , , , ,

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Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is an Integrative Life Coach Specializing In Women's Issues: Sexuality, Fertility, Body Image, Wellness and Rejuvenation. Pamela is also author of the best selling memoir Shameless (Rodale, Jan 2011), and founder of The American Fertility Association.Her websites BeingShameless.com and her daily blog, thefertilityadvocate.com, are a breakfast essential for reporters, writers and policymakers.

53 comments

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6:44AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

I see what you mean. I get really down when I add one pound even though my BMI is 19 and it's muscles (I do weights a lot) because it just feels so bad to numerically increase. It's most demotivating.

2:31PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Not my master!

8:25PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

So familiar with this twisted relationship.

6:53PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

I don't own a scale, haven't for many, many years. I try to watch what I eat and how much I eat and I refuse to worry about it. If someone looks at me and thinks I'm too heavy, that's their problem.

5:32AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

i cant vouch for it working or not (i have not used it), but in the back of the paperback "soul communication" book by zhi gang sha is a cd based on soul healing for weight loss. It isnt the only thing to consider but may help along with other ways to look after your body

3:07PM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Eat for your health and throw that f***in scale away!

7:27AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

thanks for the article.

1:02AM PST on Jan 26, 2012

I don't use scales

6:31PM PST on Jan 24, 2012

Never use it. If my clothes start to feel uncomfortable, I check and adjust my food/exercise routine.

5:11AM PST on Jan 24, 2012

It is a very important to check your weight.There is a chart that shows the weight according to the height.Specialty for growing children to adjust their diet

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