Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bathroom scales

I put myself on a scale this morning for the first time in probably a year. I did this because I recently went to the doctor and they insisted on telling me my current weight. I don't know why, but this seems to be the only test they require of you at each visit. They did not: check my "vitals," test my blood for fatal diseases, put a tongue depressor in my mouth, check my blood pressure, strike my knee with a tiny hammer, vaccinate or medicate me. It's like the only thing they want you to be aware of is that you should probably lose some weight. Not only that, but they weigh you fully outfitted in jeans, wool socks, winter boots, t-shirt, numerous sweaters, a parka, your winter hat and gloves, your purse and all of its contents, and do not account for having recently eaten a large meal or wearing an extensive amount of makeup. I stepped onto the hospital scale as she handed me a large medicine ball. I even looked the other way as if they were giving me a painful shot (what I don't know can't hurt me), but she shouted out my weight loudly so that not only could I hear the number clearly but so could patients down the hall. I cannot take this seriously.

So this morning I stepped onto my bathroom scale to prove them wrong. I devised my own system of deductions to get as accurate a measurement as possible of my actual body weight.

Just stepped out of shower, weight of moisture in hair: Deduct 3 lbs. (we have hard water)
Conditioner left in hair as result of hasty shower: -2 lbs.
Weight of towel: -3 lbs.
Contact lenses: -.5 lbs.
Weight of breakfast just eaten: -2 lbs.
Moisturizing lotion: -2 lbs.
Organs, which should not be counted because they are necessary to sustain human life and do not contain fat: -22 lbs.
Extra muscle gained this weekend from a lot of skiing, which has not formed yet but is still in early growth stages: -11 lbs.
General "water weight": -9 lbs.
The chocolate I ate last night because someone yelled at me on the subway, which should not be counted toward actual weight because strangers should not be yelling at me for no reason in particular: -5 lbs.
General scale inaccuracies: -7 lbs
Effect of slightly uneven apartment floor on bathroom scale: -6 lbs.
Bad lighting: -5 lbs.
Over-inflated ego: -9 lbs.
Unexplained gravitational pull inside bathroom this morning: -10 lbs.

According to these scientifically accurate measurements, I should weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 14 pounds. It's a bit like lying on your tax returns, except everyone wins until the next time you have to visit the doctor.

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