‘Beat the Scale’ helps make the days brighter

Are We There Yet?

Lori Clinch

I saw a commercial on TV one night that had me writhing in my chair. I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing worse than watching a skinny woman describe, in detail, how she reached her weight-loss goal.

As I sat there in my fat cells, wearing a one-size-fits-all sweatshirt and a pair of jeans that the dryer had obviously shrunk two sizes, this woman bragged about how she lost pounds without so much as breaking into a sweat.

“I went from a size 10 to a size 4 in just two months,” she said as she held up two of her bony fingers. She was smiling so happily, so joyfully, and I would have sent her a card expressing heartfelt congratulations if it weren’t for one distinct point – I wanted to slap her silly.

I think I speak for all of womankind when I ask, “Who wants to hear that a gal considered herself to be fat at a size 10?”

It’s enough to make a person consider taking the laundry off the treadmill.

I may look like a before picture for a Weight Watchers commercial, but I’ll tell you this – it’s not for lack of trying. I exercise, I sacrifice, and if it weren’t for food, I’d be toothpick thin by now.

Being overweight used to really bring me down. But I’ve learned to handle it with a new game that I like to call “Beat the Scale.” It’s so compelling that I’m thinking of writing the networks to see if they’d be interested in making it a reality series.

Before “Beat the Scale” was born, I used to actually eliminate as much clothing as possible before checking my weight in the mornings. I’d remove my eyeglasses, corn pads and nail polish. I’d eliminate all accessories, including wedding rings and gold fillings.

Then I’d close my eyes and hold onto the wall in an attempt to transfer some of the weight. I’d cock my head to the left, shift my hip forward and hope that with the right contortions, I’d come in at a quarter-pound loss. I would stand there for what seemed like an eternity while I tried to drum up the courage to look down and actually read what the scale had come up with.

Despite my attempts and creativity, despite the fact that I’d removed everything possible and considered having any and all unnecessary organs removed, the scale would show me numbers that were unimaginable. I’d throw an all-out fit. I’d stomp up and down, kick the scale back into the closet for another 24 hours of isolation, put my jammies back on, replace my corn pads and head to the kitchen to comfort myself with a pot of coffee and a celery stalk.

Trust me when I say, it’s no way to live. That’s the reason “Beat the Scale” was born. I decided, “What the hey! Why not keep the wedding rings in place and the corn pads intact? Better yet, why not keep the pajamas on and blame the extra pounds on the nightwear?”

I’ve been happier ever since. Why, just last week the scale showed me numbers that I didn’t like, and rather than falling to my knees and flogging the scale with a makeup brush, I said, “Dang, remind me never to wear these satin pajamas to the weigh station again. Look at the extra 5 pounds those bad boys added on!”

Instead of throwing the scale, instead of banging it repeatedly with the linen closet door, I carefully slid the little appliance back into its little spot and walked away with a smile.

I think I’m a better person for it, too. My mornings are brighter, my demeanor is much better and my bathroom scale no longer looks as if it just came out of a boxing match.

I can face the day with a smile. I can walk the streets with confidence, knowing that although my scale showed me a weigh-in number that would rival that of Shamu, it’s not me. It’s my jammies.

And if I ever see that woman on the street who transformed her figure from a size 10 to a size 4 overnight, I will walk up to her with confidence and grace, sporting a calm and happy face – and take a minute of my time to actually slap her silly.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” Her e-mail address is clinch@atcjet.net.