I Don’t Own A Scale

Yesterday was a long day. A beautiful, wonderful and fun day but a long day just the same.

Although, who am I to properly judge what qualifies as a long day? Normally by 9:00 am, I have already put in a full day and would easily put my pajamas back on and call it a night knowing I accomplished blog reading and writing, a decent amount of miles, enough interaction with my son and two meals (yes, I eat twice by 9:00am).

Yesterday was my son’s fifth grade class trip which took place at a beautiful local day camp which I used to call my own growing up. I even worked there for a bit too.

crestwood pools

My son attends a different day camp during the summer but that is neither here nor there at the moment.

Anyway, the point of this post isn’t really about the trip or my memories as the camper who never wanted to go in the pool and get her hair wet, put her feet in the grass without a shoe on and certainly without a doubt would never climb this ladder in order to zip on a line.


My son is ten. Do you remember ten? Well ten today is more like twelve or thirteen when I was a kid.

I am convinced that modern technology has escalated the interests and knowledge of children today. I mean, I was still playing barbies at ten. And probably twelve (and thirteen, okay fourteen too).

Ten is that age where kids suddenly start noticing their bodies more. Noticing that they want to look a certain way, be a certain size – the perfect size.

A friend of mine recently informed me that some of the girls her daughter knows are beginning to not eat and my goodness – throw up.

As for the boys, I am hearing things about not wanting to show their stomachs when they put a bathing suit on because they feel they are too scrawny or too big.

It upsets me to hear these things.

Our innocent children are entering the world where puberty begins, kids are mean, body images become distorted and the media intervenes with all things weight loss and becoming as thin as possible.

Posing for selfies and constantly seeing themselves in a facetime camera cannot possible be helping here.

The child in me fears puberty for my son. The adult in me tries so hard without overdoing it when it comes to raising him to be active in sports and enjoy a balanced diet since I believe so strongly that those two things are the key to healthy life-long weight management success.

He is just like me – a good eater.

I never want to take that from him. It stresses me to read the ingredients sometimes in certain foods which I try not to bring into my house yet at the same time, I never want him to feel deprived.

I speak all of the time about filling up with unprocessed foods (fruits and vegetables!) yet he is a kid and kids eat processed foods.

I am not oblivious to this.


I even allowed this box of lemon ices which he requested by brand even though all I see when I look at the ices is the high fructose corn syrup listed second in the ingredients.

The one thing though that I won’t bring into my home is a scale.

As nutty as my son may find me for reading the labels on Gatorade, running a bazillion miles and trying to pass off bananas as ice cream, I am hoping that growing up without a scale makes some form of an impression on him that the number means nothing.

All of this just dawned on me the other day. There is no reference to numbers in our house. He has never once in his entire life seen me step on a scale or speak about gaining a pound or losing a pound or even discuss calories of the foods we consume.

When he mentions being weighed in school (which should be against the law) or discusses what he weighed when he stepped on a scale in someone else’s bathroom, I tell him that the number means nothing.

I explain my thoughts to him as to why the number means nothing and how every body is different. I dabble a bit into the world of muscle weighs more than fat, how some people naturally weigh more than others even though they may not look it.

I venture into the land of everything in moderation and fueling up properly to play ball most effectively. I use myself as an example in that as tiny as I am, I will always have shape to my legs and point out how much he sees me eat and how often I drag him for ice cream sundaes yet still look the way that I do without the use of a scale to monitor my size.

While sometimes I wonder if he understands what I am saying, I have decided that just being raised in a numberless environment may work like osmosis, subconsciously override the media and help to frame his future.

And perhaps, just perhaps, being raised in a house that forever smells of roasted vegetables will filter into his brain and taste buds to one day make them appealing.


Are you ready to call it a day by 9:00 am like me?

Did you attend summer camp as a kid? Day camp or sleep-away?

At what age do you recall worrying about your appearance?

What foods do you refuse to stop buying regardless of the ingredients?


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  1. Susan says

    I am up at 4 am so ready to call it a day (as in sleeping) by 8 pm on weeknights! Weekends a bit later if we go out. I won’t stop eating bacon even though I know it is terrible for me. I try not to buy it every week because if it is in the house, then I am having it every morning for breakfast. I just can’t help it. I also allow myself Coke Zero on the weekend as a treat. We do own a scale but I never get on it. Even though I am technically underweight and trying to put on pounds I still won’t get on it because I think it’s evil 🙂

    • says

      Totally understand. Even when needing to gain a few pounds for your health, the scale is psychologically frustrating. I have been there. Just focus on eating well and balanced.

      • Susan says

        Yeah, it’s weird. You know you need to gain weight but you see the scale go up and it never feels good. I did have a check up recently and weight was up 5 pounds from last year so I am just gonna keep doing what I am doing!!

  2. says

    I was raised by wolves (meaning I was the only girl in my household). I don’t remember ever weighing or worrying about what I ate until I went to college and lived with all girls. We even had a scale in our dorm room. Some of the girls I lived with had grown up obsessing about weight and food. It was one of the most eye-opening moments of my life. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eventually start falling into the same pattern of weighing and counting calories. Thank god I’ve moved past that!

    I love everything you had to say. Your son is lucky to have you!
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    • says

      Thank you – it waits to be seen if he knows he is lucky to have me lol…I am glad that I moved past calorie counting a long time ago, as well as a short stint with using a scale. Funny how both the scale and calorie counting seem to go hand in hand.

  3. says

    Summer camp was my life. It helped define who I am today and most of my closest friends are those I met at camp when I was 8. My children WILL go to summer camp though C and I have had many a discussion as to what kind of camp….he learned to tie knots and canoe at his camp and I learned how to straighten my hair…so yeah lol

    I grew up in a house with a scale that is still very much used everyday. I haven’t stepped on one (besides at the doctor) in 3 years. Seeing how obsessive my family was about it was a major turn off for me. I don’t ever intend to own one!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Best of May 2014My Profile

    • says

      I lived for camp and for my camp friends! I still talk to some of them to this day. I didn’t go to sleep away so I don’t send my son but since he is about three years old, he has spent his time in some form of day camp because that’s all I know. Summer = camp.

  4. says

    I remember starting to worry about my weight by the second grade, maybe even the first grade. I was a chunkier kid and was always eating. I remember trying on shorts in a store and thinking that they didn’t fit because I was fat. The scale part came into play in other moments that I still remember as well–height and weight charts at the doctors’ office, for example. I hate that there is such a cognizance about weight, but at the same time, it horrifies me to see how many obese children there are in this country. I wish they were taught more in school about how to eat healthfully, as I was, because it made a lasting impact on my perception of health, rather than my feelings as to what I should look like.
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    • says

      I was always hungry as a kid too. I was a super picky eater but had a good appetite so I ate a lot which didn’t go well with my slow metabolism and genes lol. I didn’t focus on the scale as a child but hating trying on clothes in the store because I was too chubby for a few years to wear what I wanted. They do attempt to teach kids in school today about the importance of healthy eating but unfortunately they are still weighing kids as well in class which I think should be against the law.

  5. says

    I love this. You are a great mom. My mom talked about balance a lot with us growing up but I think she realizes now that she went overboard with good and bad foods. We weren’t allowed to eat foods with certain ingredients and it definitely influenced me. We have a scale in the house but I haven’t stepped on one in 2 years and I actually threw mine out recently. I don’t need to see a number. I know I’m healthy and that’s all that matters. Great post 🙂
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Outdoor SportsMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you. I hope that I am doing okay with discussing the healthy stuff and balancing stuff with my son. I haven’t stepped on a scale in a while now either. And if I were to get on one, I wouldn’t even know what number to compare it to lol.

  6. Frank says

    My day is just getting started at 9am …
    I did a couple of years at day camp and a couple of years of sleep away. I have some very vivid memories of sleep away camp though nothing that I can discern had a major impact.
    Right around 13 appearance became an issue.
    Store bought (ala Entenmann’s) seem to always get a pass . . .

  7. says

    I can’t even imagine how much more difficult it is to grow up these days — it kind of terrifies me for how bad things will get by the time I have kids. I don’t remember ever thinking about my weight until I was in my late teens, and even then it was more curiosity than obsession… So to hear about kids as young as 8 being admitted to eating disorder inpatient units in hospitals just breaks my heart. What happened to an innocent, carefree childhood? 😕

    I own a scale, but I can’t even remember the last time I stepped on it. And when it comes to foods, I try to keep things healthy, but I never label anything as completely off-limits either.
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  8. says

    I COMPLETELY agree about not weighing kids in school. The earliest I can remember myself dieting was 4th grade. Because of the scale. I was definitely a healthy kid and played a bunch of sports and was “heavier” than the other girls but I also had serious leg muscle for a fourth grader. I get that it’s for “health” reasons, but I cannot once remember being taught about nutrition and healthy eating in school so I don’t see why they weighed us. End rant. Have a great weekend, Meredith! I think your son definitely has a good role model to look up to when it comes to this sort of thing.
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    • says

      Aw thank you! I don’t recall being taught anything about food and nutrition back in elementary school. They do focus on it more now (as I see with my son’s curriculum especially as the Nutrition Committee Rep for his school) but still, the weighing thing must go lol. I was always bigger than the other kids growing up which now is funny since I am shorter and smaller than most but it is definitely not easy as a kid when body image starts coming into play. Have a great weekend!

  9. says

    I have struggled with my weight since I was a kid, so weighing myself was something I literally did, everyday. And we ate like crap growing up, so I never learned about real nutrition until about 3 years ago. August will be 3 years since I finally stopped “dieting”, and just made a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. It’s been the most freeing decision of my life. I lost over 30 pounds. Stuck with running and working out. And started actually eating veggies. I quit all the “fat-free, lite, low calorie, Atkins, weight watchers, etc” diets. I HATE the term “diet”, and I hate the scale even more. Yes, after this past winter I gained a few pounds back (I could tell by my clothes, then when I went to the doctor and was weighed, it confirmed it), so I would like to lose some more weight again, but I’m still not weighing myself. I’ll go by how my clothes fit. And how I feel. I KNOW I’ve had a few too many “splurge days” as of late, but with marathon training coming up, I’m not worried about getting back on track. I’m just going on how my body feels. But ya know what? Even if I’ve been eating kinda crappy, I’m working out. My fitness is the same – if not better – so I feel healthy. And that’s success to me. I mean really, even if I was extremely overweight, do I need a scale to tell me how much I weigh? No. I would KNOW what I needed to lose to feel better.
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