Although numerous non-scale victories in the game of health are valid measures, the number on the scale still holds weight for the majority. Waiting for the number to drop continues to test our patience, affect our emotional well being, and antagonize us with its power. Though a number nor scale ever knows who represents it or stands upon it, the energy we give it occupies our consciousness. We allow the inanimate object to define our failure or success, affect our food intake, moods, and exercise regime, and enable havoc unnecessarily.

In turn, can we release the power we have given this square, inanimate, metal device? The pounds are solely a unit of measure, while other aspects decree golden victories, including pant size, muscle mass, and energy level. Yet waiting for the scale to move steadily or quickly downward awaits our baited breath.

I recall the first time the number signified more than just a number. Sixth grade, nurse’s office, and a public announcement of my weight and each of my classmates’ while standing upon an unsturdy, white-painted metal, rectangular prism. This memory establishes my initial relationship with this lifeless object. Recognizing the relationship began at that moment might have been a foreshadowing, but I was an unsuspecting victim of negative scale influence immediately. Defined by a number, a red flag flew for me to change promptly. Diet jargon became a language spoken fluently at home, and I listened, learned, and languished with low-fat, limited calories, and small portions for the remainder of my stay there.

Yet even post-departure, my nutrition research and knowledge development continued as information changed, recommendations were altered, and my success rate declined. My results deteriorated, the pounds increased, and a yo-yo of pounds and feelings illuminated upon a failure-ridden roller coaster. I gave the number the power to define my worth, decide my fate, and weigh upon my psyche. The losing battle plagued a great portion of my life until now. Three and half decades since that fated day at Flagg Street Elementary School, and I surrendered with a recognition that the scale can no longer have my power.

A scale shows no love, no emotion, no empathy, no compassion, nor does it give a shit whether I lose or gain a pound. Only I know my worth and giving that power away has always been a losing proposition. The pendulum has swung towards balance and stability, rocking in its center for a sane solution. Whenever I exclaim what I have been doing to improve my health, the scale still cannot grace the hills of my success. It cannot claim victory as I hold that title; my body, mind and spirit are the only ones to hold that heightened, weighty medal.

With this in mind, the release of the scale’s power has not released easily nor completely. It periodically still drives a wedge between sanity and delusion. As a tool of measure, it affects me when I allow it. Over time, my body shrinks, my energy boots, and the clothes fit. And if the clothes fit, I must acquit my guilty conscience from empowering the scale’s movement in either direction. My own fluctuation contains numerous factors the scale cannot measure. Reminded if its limited utility, I downgrade its assessment value.

If I wait for the scale to determine my success, I will allow the weight to weather my journey. The tumultuous storms previously encountered teach that sunny skies are on the horizon with change and perspective about the scale’s utility. Removing its hold upon me is a gradual process. Not a number, I am a person empowered to determine my own destiny. The scale carries no weight; the weight is mine to carry as I see, feel, and am fit.