I Weighed Myself On 10 Different Scales, And This Is What Happened

by Nicole Romanella
Woman weighting herself on a scale
Science Photo Library / Getty

This is something I have been thinking about doing for a very long time. The scale is something I get asked about more than anything else. It’s shrouded in mystery. When it’s too high or doesn’t move, we question it’s accuracy. When it’s too low or too good to be true, again, we question its accuracy. We weigh more on certain scales and less on certain scales, and it drives us nuts thinking which one is right. And to make matters worse, everyone knows that every single ounce counts.

The scale is something we fear. The scale is something we hate. Yet most of us just can’t stop getting on it day after day and letting the number weigh us down.

So will we ever know which scale is the most accurate?! Will we ever really know how much we weigh?

I wanted to find out any information I could, so I set up an experiment. First, I had to get ten scales. Since I was hosting a brunch for my sister with my aunt this past weekend, I asked everyone coming to kindly bring their scale (nothing to do with the brunch I assured them).

First, I wanted to answer the question: Why do I weigh so much more at the doctors’ office or an afternoon weigh in? So I weighed myself for one week, every morning, and was the exact same weight. When it was time for the experiment, around noon, on that same scale, I weighed 3 pounds more. I was dressed, I had coffee and cereal. I had also gone to the gym. So that just proves that you do weigh more as the day progresses. It doesn’t mean one scale is more accurate than another.

Then, I lined up all 10 scales, and stepped on them one after another. I recorded each weight. I used my bathroom scale as scale 1, the point of reference, because it’s what I weigh myself on.

Here’s what happened:

Scale 1: My scale, my weight (or so I believe)

Scale 2: 2.7 pounds less than my scale (easiest 2.7 pounds I ever lost!)

Scale 3: The same as my scale

Scale 4: Up 0.3 pounds from my scale

Scale 5: Down 0.2 pounds from my scale

Scale 6: Back up 0.4 pounds from my scale

Scale 7: Up 1 pound from my scale

Scale 8: The same as my scale

Scale 9: Up 2 whole pounds from my scale

Scale 10: The same as my scale

Right there we have enough proof that no scale is “right” or “wrong.”

Then at the suggestion of one of the scale owner’s husbands, I put a 45-pound weight on each scale. The rationale being that whichever scale read 45 pounds was the most accurate scale. Well guess what…NOT A SINGLE SCALE WEIGHED 45 POUNDS. The scales ranged from 44.5 pounds to to 45.8 pounds.

And the scale that the 45-pound weight was heaviest on wasn’t the same scale I was the heaviest on, so…

I’m not a scientist, but I am someone who has let the number on the scale rule over them for way too long. So let’s take the power back from the scale. It currently takes up too much head space that we don’t have room for. That number doesn’t define us. It never did and it never will.