My Relationship With My Scale

Jimmy Lem
3 min readSep 27, 2014


Before I dig into this, let’s recall some weight-loss rules —

1 — Everyone is different, generalizations and advice, (including this article), do not replace experimenting, learning and seeing it happen with your own eyes. over the course of a few months or more.

2 — Your state of mind matters, sometimes more than the calories. Stress can drive the body to retain weight for instance…and understanding what self-confidence actually is can help very much.

3 — Numbers are not always the whole story. Use your metric — be it weight, waist size or whatever — but realize that some things cannot be quantified.

Back when I had much less self-confidence, here’s what I did with my scale — I didn't use it. Oh, I tried…once a week turned into once a month turned into constantly tripping over it in the bathroom and then finally putting it away…the next time I fished it out from under the sink…I had outgrown it…so I bought another scale…did the same thing…eventually ended up right next to the older one. I ended up in the hospital…

When I came out of the hospital, I dug the scale out, cleaned it off and set it right down in the kitchen…right between the stove and the refrigerator. 20+ months later, it’s still there.

I get on that scale every morning, just as sure as I shower and brush my teeth. It’s entirely part of my routine. I wanted to trip on it when reaching into the fridge, when using the toaster oven, when grabbing a glass over the sink. I wanted to remind myself that I could get very very sick again or even die if I didn't do this one simple thing every day.

It was much more than that though. I kept a spreadsheet and I posted my weight — often without explanation — as a Facebook status every day. I had to practice at being aware of every little upswing and every plateau as well as every loss. By making myself look at the numbers, I made myself deal with it. You have to deal with it. You are not going to get far if you don’t deal with it. That’s why I weigh myself each day. I want to deal with it. The alternatives are not acceptable. I want to be aware. To be aware is to be alive.

Stop avoiding — stop thinking that you can trick reality, you can’t.

Take a look at these numbers —

1/13/2013 — 366.4
1/14/2013 — 366.4
1/15/2013 — 365.4
1/16/2013 — 365.8
1/17/2013 — 364.2
1/18/2013 — 364.4
1/19/2013 — 364.4
1/20/2013 — 364.4
1/21/2013 — 364.4
1/22/2013 — 364.4
1/23/2013 — 362.6

Look at each one…then look at them all and notice the overall pattern and shape — down, up, down, steady and down again. You get used to this…you get used to the up and down, to being exposed, to being not the best all the time, to well-meaning comments that hurt…all of it…and 130 pounds later, it barely matters to me anymore. Imagine that?

How did I do that? I just kept going — and I am still going…

As you do this more and more you also come to realize that overall, you are doing a great courageous thing…you are doing something that you were not doing before, you are now taking ownership…and it doesn't matter what anyone else says, if anyone “likes” your status, or if you lose weight on any timeline…it’s about confidence, self-confidence.

Self-confidence is not some mystical quality that some people have and some do not…because it is not about preparedness…or certainty…it’s not about beating yourself up or calling yourself names…it’s not about what anyone else thinks…most importantly, it’s not even about how much weight you lose.

Think about these things…preparedness, certainty…how can you see into the future? …and when you sit down with someone else to eat a meal, eat what you are supposed to eat because you know what it does to your body…don't imagine that eating differently in any way reflects on your worthiness, your politeness…don’t get your confidence from others…get it from yourself. Have courage to be yourself.

It’s about courage. Courage to DO. Just DO.

Don’t sit there and read this anymore, stop thinking about doing and just DO…get out there, experiment, learn, be aware and be courageous!



Jimmy Lem

Jim Lemanowicz (Jimmy Lem) has been producing works of sound, word and visual art ever since he can remember.