Ever Hear of the "Scale Dance”?

Maybe not - but you're probably doing it, anyway.

Ever Hear of the “Scale Dance”?

Maybe not – but you’re probably doing it, anyway.

-Jane Farrell

Woman standing on a weight scale

Studies have found that women dieters who weigh themselves frequently tend to lose more weight than those who hit the scales only intermittently, but it’s probably not a good idea to step on that terrifying machine more than you have to.

Joe Shrand, an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, told www.thatsfit.com that “the biggest reason for not weighing daily is that it can lead to an unhealthy obsession with the scale and ultimately…to eating disorders.” He suggested that while it can be good for some people to weigh themselves daily, “anyone who has had an eating disorder or is really bothered by the number on the scale shouldn’t.”

The website reported on just how much women are “really bothered” by the scales, citing an art installation called “Scale Dances.” Emily Caigan, an art professor, arranged her collection of fifty vintage weight scales (including a scale for Barbie that is always 110 pounds), and thatsfit.com writer Liz Neporent watched as women walked into the room and saw the scales.

“One woman shouted, ‘No, no, no!’ as soon as she entered the room,” Neporent wrote. “Another simply shut her eyes and walked out. One woman burst into tears when she came around the corner and found herself face to face with fifty bathroom scales. There wasn’t a single woman who didn’t have a strong reaction — whether fear, disgust or horror…” Men, Neporent observed, had a neutral or amused reaction.

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Caigan came up with the term “scale dances” after interviewing hundreds of women and asking them whether they engaged in any rituals when they weighed themselves.”

A dieter told Caigan that she weighed a five-pound bag of sugar on the scale to make sure it was accurate before she stepped on it. Another used two scales, “placing a foot on each and then adding the numbers together.” A third woman cleaned her scale with Windex and held her breath before checking her weight.

Anyone who’s that affected by weighing herself, thatsfit.com says, is better off getting weighed at the doctor’s office—and not in between visits.

So step away from the scale, girls; it’s time to end the dance. (www.thatsfit.com)

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0 thoughts on “Ever Hear of the "Scale Dance”?

  1. Carolyn88 says:

    Aye aye captain! :)

  2. violetgal says:

    That’s so depressing about the reactions to the scales

  3. ChattyCathy says:

    I wish women would stop worrying so much

  4. Talon says:

    Due to my illness my weight is of medical concern and an indicator of how my disease is acting at any particular time. So I guess I DO have a scale dance, I always get weighed the same way no matter where I’m getting weighed; ie without coat or shoes. That way it’s always a constant.

    I’m too ill to obsess about my weight anymore (I’m fat and refuse to apologize for it) unless it’s because I’m losing too much too fast (means my disease has kicked into high gear and my body is dehydrated, malnourished and I’m in for a rough road. People whine about wanting my disease because I lose weight so much. Pisses me off. You do NOT want this disease. If you’re over or underweight and otherwise healthy? Please. Enjoy your health, seriously.

  5. uptowngirl says:

    It sounds like that was a really powerful exhibit. The scale really does hold a lot of sway for many women.

  6. sugarpie says:

    I hope I wouldn’t have the same reaction to the scale as the other ladies, but I probably would.

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