Yesterday, I threw away my scale.

Just like that. Trashed. Into the dumpster.

I am a compulsive weight-checker, always keeping tabs on my poundage, and consequently tempted to feel either good or bad, happy or sad, proud or ashamed, jubilant or angry. It’s amazing how a great day can be ruined by a number – a NUMBER – like an ever-shifting scorecard for whatever level of healthful diligence I have demonstrated.

In the last few months, I’ve found myself increasingly frustrated at the number on the scale RISING – despite my ability to run further than I could ever run before, despite my capacity to carry on a conversation throughout a 60 minute jog, despite my clothes fitting the same, despite my energy and improved attitude. In the face of all of these accomplishments, the scale says that I weigh 10 lbs. more than I did before I started running last fall.

And for a girl who has been a dieter since age 11, this is traumatizing news.

Miranda has been telling me for years to just throw the damn thing out. She would get outwardly angry when she would see it in the corner of my bathroom, and, knowing the emotional stranglehold the scale has on me, would order me to get rid of it. But for me, to get rid of the scale would be to give up control – and then, maybe, to expand, expand, expand like bread dough.

At first, I thought that I would just take the scale and stash it beneath my bathroom sink – out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. For me, keeping my scale would be like staying friends with an ex-boyfriend on Facebook – an unhelpful temptation “just to check.” Sorry boys.

And sorry scale.

It’s time for a new chapter in my life – one in which I have no idea what I weigh.

Who knew that tossing out my scale would be one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done?



  1. Sarah Kate on March 10, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    First of all, Congratulations. This is huge.
    Second, Muscle weighs more than fat. I applaud you not being obsessed with the number.

  2. Greta on March 10, 2009 at 9:21 AM

    I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again: I AM SO PROUD OF YOU.

    After I got home from Africa, my “check-in” was simply: “Do my clothes still fit?” And they did, and I didn’t worry about it, and I was happy.

    Love you!!

  3. Deborah Barnett on March 10, 2009 at 9:35 AM

    well done!

    And yes, muscle is heavier than fat. And if your clothes still fit – than that’s exactly it. You are now officially “fit” not skinny. Skinny is not sexy. “Fit” is sexy.

    Wear it proud.

  4. Angie on March 10, 2009 at 9:55 AM

    big move, congrats!

    And can I just say that I agree completely and LOVE Deborah’s comment that “skinny is not sexy. fit is sexy.”

    Love that.

  5. Emily on March 10, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    Way to go my friend! I’m glad you did something terrifying to you :-)

    I’m facing the same weight issues… work out more, weigh more… get frustrated. I’ll take a lesson from you though and just stop checking in.

  6. Sarah D on March 10, 2009 at 9:57 AM

    Hi Annie,

    I haven’t known my exact weight for about 5 years now. I decided after some weight yo-yo-ing in college that I didn’t want to attach numbers to my body, numbers that are implicitly, subconsciously linked to feelings of self-worth. Instead, I wanted to use only myself as a reference point and accept my body and focus on being healthy and happy. It is very liberating. I hope you can feel the same sort of freedom from your decision after the initial scariness wears off.

    Best wishes,

  7. Mary on March 10, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    Annie, you are stronger than I.

  8. Sarah on March 10, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    Way to go Annie! I have thought about it for some time, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

  9. erin, with the fabulous hair on March 10, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    One day, I will also be able to wake up in the morning without immediately stepping on the scale and go to bed at night without THE number as my final memory. I’m so impressed and inspired, AP. I can only hope to go as far on my journey as you have on yours. LOVE YOU! And i promise, i will see you soon.

  10. Sarah on March 10, 2009 at 10:34 AM

    Your hot runner’s booty and killer abdominal muscles are making you weigh more, since muscle weighs more than fat.

    Get rid of that scale – and I will get my butt home to be with you tomorrow.

  11. annie on March 10, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    I haven’t had a scale for years. Good move!

  12. Tad on March 10, 2009 at 1:35 PM

    Way To Go Annie!!!
    Your hight-to-weight ratio was never a good measure for your health/looks anyway. I submit to you that the number on the scale is going up because you are putting on MUSCLE MASS and that’s good. You are getting stronger and coincidentally, muscle is heavier than that other stuff that everyone hates.

    You look stunning, amazing, beautiful, breath-taking and you always have. I’m so happy that you are choosing not to give a number Sovereignty over your self.

  13. Laura on March 10, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    I always gain weight when I start working out more seriously. Good move! Don’t buy a new one tomorrow ;-)

  14. Danielly Nobile on March 10, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    While in a Track and Field team (High School), I learned that people who exercise appropriately increase lean body mass while decreasing their overall fat level. Depending on the amount of fat loss, one can just not lose any weight, since muscle weighs more than fat.
    Besides, you ARE gorgeous and I am not the only one who thinks so!!

  15. Paul's dad on March 10, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    Grown men my age should know better than to comment on women’s weight, but…..there is in fact little correlation between low body weight and health ie thinner is not equal to healthier. Within a range. % body fat is the thing to watch and women athletes should stay above 14-15%. Women need some fat for metabolic reasons. You are in a healthy range I think (besides, you will find it near impossible to get below that). If you are happy with your aerobic fitness and the way your pants fit,,,,that’s all you need. Raise your heart rate to 80% of your max (220 minus your age) 20-30 min. 4-5 times a week any way you want. Eat more protein. Don’t eat carbs unless you intend to burn them immediately. Sleep as much as you need. You’ll never need a scale again.

  16. the handygraham on March 11, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    Annie, you do realize that your weight is meaningless anyway. This is all gravity’s fault. “**** GRAVITY, man!”

  17. the handygraham on March 11, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    Pardon my french…I just get so ANGRY when forces of nature attack my friends.

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