Tag Archives: technology

The Right Way

An absurd moment of relief hit me this summer as I sat in a small office in the ER as a nurse was taking my vitals, getting my medical history, and asking me questions. I was in pain with the mysterious malady that ruined my July, zeroed out my appetite, and put all my fitness aspirations on hold. But what really got my attention was the number on the hospital scale: 162.

“At least I’m still under my goal weight,” I remember thinking.

That is messed up thinking, folks.

It is several months after the ER visit, and I want to think my body’s on the mend. As I said before, my team of doctors thinks what happened was I tore something in my abdomen related to my gallbladder surgery, and it took about a month for the initial healing. It may take longer to completely heal, it turns out. To me, that meant no more attempted running, take it easy on the stairs, and don’t walk too far, too fast.

With these behavior caveats in mind, I’ve taken care of myself as best as I can with decent eating habits, taking care of myself when I’m sick, and walking the doggies around the hilly neighborhood (girl, my calves are going to be uh-mazing).

I got a new digital scale over the weekend. Its decimal places settle my need to know what fraction of a pound I lose by taking off my socks before stepping onto the arbiter of progress. It reads the same weight no matter what way I turn it on the hardwood floors of my new home, so I have faith in its accuracy. And with that accuracy comes a clean, reliable knowledge of the fact of my weight. There it is! There’s no doubt stemming from the vagaries of an older scale that has an adjustable wheel for calibration and imperfectly spins numbered black lines past a red line. There’s no squinting, then putting on my glasses, to read the tiny marks all the way at my feet. Like the hospital scale, this new sucker’s electrical. It’s digital, it’s clear, and to me, it’s like my achievements are being narrated by Morgan Freeman.

An image of actor Morgan Freeman from Evan Almighty with a number superimposed over his chest

The Morgan Freeman-Narrated Weight Scale. People would buy it. They would feel reassured about their weight. If the makers included a voiceover with eating and exercise guidelines, they could probably solve the majority of obesity problems in the Western world.

This morning, my digital scale told me as clear as a bell that my weight was 165.┬áThis is great news for me! And I’ll tell you why:

  • At 162 pounds in July, I was nauseated and not eating, dehydrated, and miserable. At 165 pounds this November morning, I am taking long walks with the dogs nearly every day, I ate 4 pieces of chicken for dinner last night, and physically, I feel pretty dang good (albeit a little lightheaded from a lingering ear infection).
  • Despite life being extremely tumultuous this year, I’ve kept within 8-10 pounds of my goal weight of 163.
  • I kept to my goal weight the right way. I haven’t starved myself. Not everything I’ve eaten or drank this week has been on my diet, but most of it has. Not every morning has found me working up a sweat or working up enough body heat to keep my nose from falling off, but most have.

I am really proud of myself for not only my accomplishment and the way I achieved it, but also for holding onto it through hard work and good habits. It gives me hope that I’ve got my weight problem licked.

Speaking of spending time outdoors, I picked up some more winter wear this week, and I’ve resolved to start wearing my ankle brace again, at least until I buy new sneakers.

An aging pair of sneakers with one shoe insert on the floor next to them

Sad shoes. They served me well for quite a long time, but I had to put new inserts into them a month or two ago, and even those are now wearing out.

I wore my ankle brace and knee brace once last week. That was an immediate relief for the soreness I was experiencing, and I didn’t feel the need to wear my ankle brace again until after my morning dog walk today. As long as I wear it as needed and get some better foot gear, that shouldn’t be a problem.

My post earlier this week discussed appropriate outdoor gear for cooler weather and the adjustment I had to make when I moved from Texas to Kentucky. Something I’ve picked up since then is my new favorite accessory (move over, Batman beanie): a fleece neck gaiter. I didn’t know what it was called and spent quite some time with image search, shopping search, and browsing outdoor gear websites to find out that it was different than a balaclava.

Woman wearing a black fleece neck gaiter in four poses

The many looks of a neck gaiter. Bottom right is my toddler niece’s favorite. Probably everyone else’s favorite, too. Because everyone I know is a jerk.

I found this one at Wal-Mart with a headband (which I gave to my sister because I have an assortment of awesome headgear and would never wear it) for around $7.00. I’ve already put it to good use and am in love. As you can see, you can wear it many ways, and it helps complete any look.

RIP, Digital Scale

My digital scale is probably broken forever. At least it didn’t break while I was on it.

I bought it in 2005 or 2006, so it’s had a long life and has survived a couple of moves. Sadly, it did not survive this new year’s weekend kitten illness.

One of my cats was sick and had to be cooped up in the bathroom for several days. My SO and I had to clean the bathroom out completely of our things, and in moving the scale, it got set on top of a non-digital scale that a former roommate had left behind when he moved years ago.

Shortly after the scales were moved, I decided to weigh myself with the digital model (the standard model was, at the time, a glorified paperweight), which I hadn’t done regularly since the end of the last 90 Days Goal round. I was quite surprised when the scale showed my weight in stone and pounds instead of calculating pounds to tenths.

The internet, to my mild surprise, was ABSOLUTELY NO HELP in trying to figure out how to solve the problem. I tried pressing buttons and messing with the batteries in the back, and nothing worked. I was a little frustrated.

My boyfriend turned out to be the genius who took a careful look at the bottom of the scale and figured out the problem: on the NewLine body fat bathroom scale, model SAF5339, on the bottom near the battery, there is a switch that allows you to change the reading from kilograms to pounds to stone and pounds. The switch was flipped at some point when the digital scale was set on top of the other scale.

He found out something else was wrong, too, though: the scale then displayed an error message when stepped upon. No amount of switch flipping, battery removal and replacing, etc. was able to change that. What good is a scale that can’t calculate weight at all?

I suppose it’s for the best – not being able to see the number every day might keep me from focusing on and obsessing over the few pounds that I keep losing and putting back on. But at the same time, I love details and statistics and tracking my progress. Don’t take this from me! And I still have to weigh in for the 90 Days Goal challenge next week. Ugh! Oh, well. I suppose that measurement can be in whole pounds. I can always buy a new, more precise scale if I want to get nitpicky about it. And if I do, I will hang onto its instruction manual in case it starts giving me my weight in something other than my preferred measurement.