No Bathroom Shame: Why a Heavy Duty Scale Might be the Wisest Option
It’s true that a person can’t fix a problem without taking a good look at it, but there are so many steps between wanting to the know the truth and gathering that data, many don’t bother to try.
In this case, the problem would be a total body mass in excess of what a health professional would consider healthy.
For most folks, it’s a matter of hopping on the nearest scale, after which they make a promise to finally join the gym, and cut back on certain foods… that sort of thing.
The story ends there.
There are, however, a number of people who struggle to start the story. They discover that a standard scale doesn’t have what they need to find out the ground truth because they’re too heavy.
These folks have few options outside of finding the nearest industrial weighing station. (Talk about anxiety!) Nobody wants to go through that embarrassment.
Heavy Duty Defined
Contrary to how the name might sound, heavy-duty scales are not designed for one to throw them out a second story window in frustration (as much fun as that might be).
Heavy-duty, in terms of scales, refers to the maximum load capacity of the device. They can weigh items in excess of the mean maximum weight. In this case, we’re referring to human bodies.
Such scales fall into the heavy-duty category. The maximum weight for a standard scale is 150 kilograms, but sometimes those scales go as high as 180.
The Galileo 2 from MyWeigh, for example, weighs users up to 150 kilos. It’s the sort of scale most homes have in one of their bathrooms.
While those types of scales account for a large percentage of the population, there is an untold number of Australians who weigh more than 180 kilos.
We couldn’t say exactly how many Aussies need a more substantial scale, but as of 2015, almost two in three were overweight or obese.
That’s not to say that all overweight people will require a heavy duty scale. In fact, most won’t.
But, if it is any indication of the number of people who fall into this category, the 250-kilogram heavy duty scale from MyWeigh remains one of Medshop Australia’s best selling items.
Read that last sentence again.
It’s not only one of our best selling scales, but one of our top selling items.
Most overweight people will still find a standard scale is sufficient, but for those who are tall and overweight or even morbidly obese, a standard scale won’t cut it.
This is the population of people who must consider a heavy-duty scale.
Bathroom Scale Philosophies
Is it a good idea to weigh in every day? Week? Ever? Is the bathroom scale evilness incarnate?
When it comes to stepping on the scale, there is a popular opinion making the rounds on social media that one should ignore the scale in favour of other metrics, like how clothes fit or what the mirror says.
The problem with those “other metrics” is their subjectivity. A day started from the wrong side of the bed could make everything fit too tight. A bad day could turn the mirror into an abject liar.
There’s no way to know if one is making progress on weight loss goals without getting a benchmark from an objective source, like a scale.
Total weight is not the whole story, but it’s a starting point, like the way a bank balance tells only part of the story. It’s a beginning.
The question for folks who outweigh the 180-kilo scale, is where can I find the balance of my body mass? A heavy duty scale may be the only private way for those folks to know exactly what they weigh.
Regardless of where one lands on weigh-in philosophy, there’s no debating the value for establishing a benchmark to measure variances.
For the individual too heavy to use a standard scale, there are few options. As mentioned, trying to access an industrial scale could be embarrassing.
Most doctor’s offices won’t be able to accommodate above 180-kilogram individuals. They’ll have to estimate based on height.
One viable alternative, which is a good idea regardless, is to measure and track changes in body fat percentage. Using the bank balance metaphor, think of body fat as a pending negative transaction in your ledger.
If one’s body fat percentage is going down, that’s a good sign for someone who is overweight as nobody is trying to lose muscle mass.
If you decide to measure only body fat percentages, you won’t know how much weight you’re losing, but you’ll know if you’re making positive progress.
Most scales measure only total mass, bones, organs, skin, muscles, fat, and whatever else goes on the scale. There are a few ways to measure body fat, using callipers, the water tank method or bioelectric impedance.
Jumping in a water tank is a pain. Tanks for measuring body fat are hard to find and hard to use.
Body fat callipers have limitations too. Most people who can’t use a standard scale won’t be able to use callipers. That leaves bioelectric impedance.
About half the scales in Medshop Australia’s catalogue of bathroom scales come with a bioelectric impedance feature, but one can usually get a reading from the doctor’s office or a local gym.
Call ahead to ask if they can offer bioelectric impedance body fat measurements. Make sure to go in properly hydrated for an accurate reading.
The greatest undiscussed aspect of heavy duty scales is how they work for everyone, even the lightest weight person.
Because heavy-duty scales have to handle serious data, they are tightly calibrated like a fine watch. And, they’re designed wide enough to accommodate a comfortable stance. In many ways, they are the premium option for the bathroom scale industry.
If you’re someone who needs to consider a heavy-duty scale, think of it like buying the Cadillac of scales. Only folks with discerning tastes invest in such devices.
In all seriousness, don’t let the scariness of the truth stop you from getting down to brass tacks. Once you know the reality, you can get to work on setting goals and making plans.
You can finally set about balancing your life.