a new tool: the zero scale.

by Janetha on January 11, 2012

in product review

first things first: it’s my best friend’s birthday today! chances we are out celebrating right NOW. happy birthday, kristen, i love you so damn much!!!

ok.

you guys know i don’t weigh myself. in fact, i don’t think i weighed myself in all of 2011 (except for when i had to get anesthesia, which makes sense so they could give me the right dosage, but even then i didn’t look.) i just really think the scale is a big joke. i don’t care how much i weigh. yes, i care about being in shape and i care about fitting into my clothes and i care about not being overweight.

none of that has to do with the number on the scale, telling me a specific number, telling me how much i weigh.

in my late teens and early twenties, i was obsessed with the number 117. i thought i HAD to weigh 117 pounds to be happy. what the crap, janetha? why 117? eventually that number crept up to 124.. and then before i knew it i was 137 pounds—20 pounds over my beloved weight of 117.

i definitely did something about all that. i started body for life and the number on the scale started dropping.. and dropping.. and dropping.  i eventually ended up at 114—wow! lower than my ideal weight of 117!  after that, i developed an unhealthy addiction with weighing myself. i stepped on the scale morning and night. i always wondered how much i gained after eating five meals and drinking a gallon of water every day. my weight usually fluctuated about five pounds from morning to night.

i was stepping on the scale WAY too often. as i began gaining weight (and letting my healthy habits slide) i started getting pissed off every time i weighed myself. i gave up the scale—cold turkey. i hopped back into fitness, eating clean all of the time, and being diligent with my healthy habits. i know i lost weight, because my clothes started to fit again. i felt great! i didn’t care about how much i weighed! and i wasn’t just saying i didn’t care like i had in the past. this time, i really didn’t care.

then, i went to the doctor. i stepped on the scale for the first time in a long time.. and i weighed 127. what? 127? but i feel so great! my clothes fit! i was in such good shape! why was i 127 pounds? why was i 10 pounds heavier than my old “ideal” weight?

oh, wait, who cares? 127 pounds or 117 pounds—it didn’t matter.

i was fit, healthy, and happy. my clothes fit. i liked my reflection in the mirror. the number on that scale did not matter a single bit.  full disclosure: i still hated the way it made me feel. knowing that number was 127 and not 117 messed with me! it was all in my head. i really just didn’t like it a single bit. so i haven’t weighed myself in over a year.. actually, it’s almost been two years now that i think about it. life without knowing my weight is pretty great, i must admit.

HOWEVER.. yes, there is always a however!.. i think that the scale can be a useful tool.  not if you take the “i need to weigh myself day in and day out, morning and night” approach.. but if you use your weight as a gauge.  a few examples:

  • if you are overweight and are trying to lose a large amount of weight (read: NOT the last 10 pounds) then using a scale is a great way to check in each week to see your progress. i said each week.. not each day. weight fluctuates so much that daily weigh ins are enough to make you batty.
  • if you are underweight.. using the same type of guidelines as i just stated in the overweight bulletpoint and use the scale weekly to check in.
  • if you are in maintenance mode and you weigh yourself once a month or even once every few months to check in with yourself.
  • if you are not actively trying to build muscle. the scale is not going to do you any favors.

again, those bullet points are my opinions.. that’s when i think the scale is a valuable tool. but that’s just me. i know tons and tons of people who use the scale daily and it’s a great tool for them to stay fit. they have a healthy relationship with weighing themselves and can do it without the number messing with their head.

i am not like that. even if i were to use the scale while maintaining my current figure, i wouldn’t want to know the total number. it’s a mental thing. i feel great with my body right now. i know i look good. shit, i have been working hard! but i still don’t want to know how much i weigh. like i said before, it messes with me! and i honestly do NOT want to know my weight. i have gone nearly 2 years not caring what that total number is, and i don’t want to care ever again. the only way i do care is when i see it. i am in damn good shape right now, and if i stepped on the scale and saw something like 130, i would be crushed. my self esteem would go out the window. it would. i am just being honest. and i know some of you can relate.

while i don’t want to see that total number, i think it sure would be nice to be able to check in with myself once a month to make sure i haven’t gained ten pounds.. or fifteen pounds.. i mean, i eat a lot of cookies. it could happen.

enter: the zero scale.

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i saw this scale on monica’s blog awhile back and was ridiculously intrigued. i emailed the company and asked if they would send me one to try out. they said yes. well, first they said no. and then i think maybe they looked at my blog and decided to say yes. i was happy.

i received my scale quickly and it was very easy to set up. the batteries were included and it even came with a pedometer. i don’t walk very much.. but if i did, boy that sure would be handy. read: i need to walk more. my desk job is killing me slowly. i digress.

the zero scale functions just like a regular digital scale, but it has a secret: your weight. it doesn’t tell you how much you weigh. ever. unless, of course, you want to know.. then it will tell you. the zero scale is your new best friend! it will tell you when you gain or lose weight, but it won’t shout your total number from the rooftops, making you hang your head in shame.  because really, let’s be honest, hearing a number that is not necessarily what we think is “ideal” is something that can really get us down on ourselves– FOR NO LEGITIMATE REASON.

the zero scale has enough room for four users.

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PERFECT! why is that perfect, you ask? well we have four people (okay, two people, two dogs) in our household. everyone gets to use the scale!

marshjanetha

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okay. maybe not penny. she wouldn’t get on the scale. she’s scared of it.

i wasn’t going to tell you this, but penny is watching her weight. she’s packed on the pounds and has been forced to cut back on the cookies lately. she doesn’t want to know that she weighs a whole 32 pounds.. she’d rather just know that she’s losing. hearing a number anything over 30 pounds makes her very self conscious.

so does the fact that her head is too small for her body.. but that’s a story for another day.

the first time you hop on the scale, you select your user number (i am number one! woo!) and wait for three dashes to appear. once they have, you stand on the scale and it will secretly store your weight in the depths of the digitalness that is the zero scale. it’s that easy!

the next time you step on the scale, it will tell you four things:

  • how many days since your last weigh in
  • how much you have lost/gained since you last weigh in
  • how many days since your first weigh in
  • how much you have lost/gained since you first weigh in

the scale functions in both pounds or kilograms so you can use the measurement that you prefer. the reading (gain or loss) is a number and it clearly says “gain” or “loss” on the digital reading.

i first hopped on the zero scale at the beginning of phase three of the livefit training program i am doing. this was on monday, december 5th.. so a little over a month ago.  the first week of phase three went well. i rocked it. i was very diligent with my eating. i hopped on the zero scale a week later and the scale said i had lost 1.3 pounds. yep, i was happy about it. that is what i was aiming for, because i have to strut around in a bikini at the end of january in front of all my bosses and co-workers. so yes, a loss is what i was (and am) after.  sure, my total weight is still nowhere near that pesky number 117, but it didn’t matter. what did matter is that my hard work had paid off and it was working. baby steps, folks.

after seeing the reading on the scale a week later, the only thing i could say to myself was “go me!” instead of “yeah, i lost 1.3 pounds, but crap.. i still weigh way more than i want to!” the zero scale eliminated the ability to feel bad about a total number.. which i shouldn’t even feel bad about in the first place. because i am fit.

fast forward.

thanks to dedicated december, i stuck with my workouts throughout the month. however, there were several occasions where i HAD to eat treats. you know.. like christmas. and new years. and when i broke my nose which required me to eat frozen custard by the pint because of self pity. i haven’t been on that scale since a week after the initial weigh in. until today.

not going to lie, i was nervous to see what the scale said when hopping on this morning. even though i wasn’t going to see my total weight, i still was hoping to see a loss, since i have actively been trying to drop fat. trying really, really hard to drop fat. yes, i am also trying to gain muscle, so i kept in mind the fact that my weight might be the same or even may have gone up due to all the lifting.  in the back of my mind i knew it didn’t matter either way.  none of my jeans fit anymore (in the sense that they are now too big) and i just feel better about my body.. so i really was convinced that whatever the scale said would be ok. but there was still that weird, nervous feeling i get whenever i am face to face with a scale.

i hopped on and the scale told me four things:

  • 29 days since my last weigh in
  • 1.7 pounds lost since my last weigh in
  • 37 days since my first weigh in
  • 3 pounds lost since my first weigh in

of course i was happy about this. from december 5th to january 11th i lost three pounds, ate a whole bunch of crap over the holidays, was laid up briefly due to a car accident, and still managed to stay in shape.

i KNOW that had i hopped on the scale to see a total number and that total number was in the upper 120s or lower 130s, i would have been bummed. but not now. i am stoked on myself. go me. no shame.

i am going to be working hard at my fitness for three more weeks, then it’s off to mexico. when i get back, i want to maintain my figure. when i had great success with body for life, i did a horrible job of maintaining. i was basically like “WOOHOO! I’M SKINNY AND FIT!” then went back to eating whatever and quickly gained weight again.

stupid.

this time around, i am going to STAY in shape. i am in better shape now than i have ever been in my life—even after body for life—and i don’t want this hard work to go down the drain. i am going to use the zero scale once a month to check in with myself and make sure things don’t get too out of whack. i also plan to get my body fat percentage checked as soon as i can make it up to the university, because i truly believe the healthiest way to gauge your weight is by body fat PERCENTAGE, not total weight. since i have put on a fair amount of muscle these past four months, i think knowing what my body fat percentage is would be a valuable bit of info.

if anyone is interested in the zero scale, you can purchase it on their website. the scale is $60 and includes a pedometer. here’s my disclosure and thoughts: i wish i could say they are offering some super sweet discount to meals & moves readers or giving one away, but the truth is i wanted this product. i went to them. at first they said no when i asked them to send me one for review, and then i got an email a few days later saying they’d send one. i spend a lot of time and effort on my blog, so i am glad i was able to use it to get a free scale. and no, i wasn’t paid for this post. i do think that $60 is a fair price for this product. i would have definitely paid for one now that i know how awesome it really is.

so, that’s that. it’s a cool product and a great option for those who do want to use weight as a tool to check in with their overall health goals without going too overboard with worrying about numbers.

the end.

Q~

what do you think about the zero scale & the concept behind it?

xo. janetha g.

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glidingcalm January 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

i think soo many women have gone through the scale obsession!! I rarely weigh myself now, and much prefer it that way! totally could relate to this post.

and again, i love love love your honesty and REALness. respekt.

ONE.

-GC :D

Elizabeth January 12, 2012 at 10:12 am

Yes, yes, yes to all of that! I can relate 100%. I have a scale in my bathroom, I walk by it each time I am in there & I have a fear of it. It’s like a scary bug that won’t move & I try my best to ignore its presence. :) The Zero scale sounds awesome!

Allison January 12, 2012 at 10:28 am

Such an inspiring post! Throughout high school and college I too was obsessed with keeping my weight around a specific [and unrealistic] number… Since changing my mindset and accepting that I do not need to define my health by a number, I have been so much happier and healthier! I like the idea of having a scale to monitor my progress and not telling me a number, I’m def interested! It’s like an at-home version of Biggest Loser!

lindsay January 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

thats a pretty nifty scale. Smarter than me, thats for sure. Or maybe just a better memory. hehe. Great tool for those needing to stay accountable, like randy.
;)

Felicia (Natural + Balanced) January 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

awesome concept, and i loved this whole post!! the pictures of the dogs are the best hahaha

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy January 12, 2012 at 10:53 am

Great post, Janetha! The scale can be such a mind game. I stopped regularly weighing myself a few years back and am so glad I did. I occasionally hop on due to curiosity, but it’s no longer evil like it once was. Now, I freak out over the holidays thinking “man, I probably gained like 5lbs over christmas” and then come to find out, I maybe gained 1 lb or something. Yay, no big deal. This scale does sound interesting though. Nice work on staying fit!

TiffAnY January 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

Wow. What a great tool. I too believe the actual number does not matter. What is 117 on you is 117 differently on a different person. I weigh more than I look due to muscle so sometimes that actual number can be scary. However that number isn’t a concern. Body fat is. Just having the ability too see if you are up or down in pounds is just what I like to see and a lot of others as well.

Thanks for sharing! I’m a new reader to your blog and love following you so far. I just started my own this year and hope to keep up with it and reach out to others as well :-)

Janetha January 12, 2012 at 11:52 am

Thanks for reading, Tiffany! It’s best to include your URL when you comment, so others can check out your blog :)

TiffAnY January 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm
Erin January 12, 2012 at 11:29 am

First of all, congrats on your amazing success through the holidays! You’re inspiring! Secondly, right after I read this my boyfriend told me about a scale he heard about that tweets your weight as soon as you step on it so that are motivated to keep losing. Or, in my case, to never, ever step on that scale…

Janetha January 12, 2012 at 11:49 am

What! Wow, talk about accountability…

Melissa January 12, 2012 at 11:38 am

Very interesting, i’d never heard of that before.

I didn’t own a scale when I was losing weight, I didn’t buy one until I made my goal. Even now, I don’t use it. I only weigh in when I go to WW and that’s just to make sure i’m at or under my healthy goal weight I set.

My sister is very much obsessed with the number on the scale. So much so, that she lost too much weight and was at an unsafe weight for her height. She didn’t maintain that number very long and now she wants to go back :-( She even has it taped to her fridge!

Paige @ RAN January 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

Wow, that’s pretty freakin’ cool! I have friends who jump on a scale if it’s in whatever room we’;re in…it makes me sad.
I used top think I had to be in the 140’s. I don’t really weight myself now, but I know that 140’s is too thin for me -to (I feel I appear to thin and don’t get to eat as much as I’d like to.)

Kelly January 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

This is what I need. I also refuse to weigh myself because it makes me a crazy person and no matter what the number is I’m not happy with it. I’m ok with how I look right now, but I know if I saw the number it would send me into a tailspin. I would, however, love a way to keep myself in check because I know I bounce around a lot. I’ll have to find a way to fit this in my budget soon!

Emily January 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I actually had to be weighed today for my life insurance policy, and I hadn’t weighed myself in a long time (I refuse to replace the batteries in my scale). Anyways the number was higher than I was expecting, and it has really left me bummed. Ironic that it was 127. But I feel great and my clothes still fit exactly the same. Thanks for the reminder not to get to hung up on a stupid number. This was just what I needed!

ps – I just found your blog a few weeks ago and I love it. Your body for life pictures are amazing!

Kiah January 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

This post is why I love the blogging community. My ex-boss and great friend Lara just wrote a post about debating whether or not to weigh herself. Obviously, the circumstances are different, but I’m going to link her up to this…I think she’ll find it useful, and perhaps the zero scale is a healthy medium for her. Thanks, Janetha!

Roz@weightingfor50 January 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm

OMG….I almost spit out my coffee ’cause I laughed out loud at the pics of the dogs on the scale. Well, ONE dog on the scale, but Penny has the right pose!!! So fun. LOVE the idea of the zero scale. Right now, I’m on weight watchers so I step on there, but don’t weigh myself at home between meetings. Like you, I got a bit obsessive and it made me crazy. Thanks for this great post. Have a good day.

Laura (LunaChickRuns) January 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Interesting concept. This is something I have really been struggling with lately. I admit I am a daily weigher, but this week I decided to stop and haven’t been on the scale since Sunday. I am freaked out but not as much as I anticipated. I think the zero scale looks cool, but I wonder if I would still get obsessed over it.

RunEatRepeat January 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Tell Penny she doesn’t have to be afraid of the scale. It’s just a number and doesn’t define her as a pup.

Michelle @lipstickandlunges.com January 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Love, Love, Love this post. I have always been obsessed with a number, too. I refuse to weigh myself anymore for that same reason. I try to focus on how I feel and how my clothes fit. That scale is quite the invention…I might have to purchase one. Great post!
— Michelle

julie January 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm

this is interesting! i hate scales like HATE them. i am not stepping on one ever again unless the doctor makes me haha and its hard lately because i know i’ve been gaining weight (which i’m fine with) but still like why would i really want to see that haha but i would like to know my body fat %!

Jen@FoodFamilyFitness January 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Have I told you lately how awesome you are?! Seriously, you freaking ROCK!!!
The scale is in my life right now, because, well, I need it, but I weigh in once a week at Weight Watchers and that’s it. The scale is banished from my house and that’s the way I like it…otherwise I will become obsessed! At this point, I don’t even have a goal weight, I just know it’s less than what I weigh now ;)

Therese January 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I love the idea of a zero scale! I had no idea such a thing existed. I threw away my scale almost a year ago due to almost exactly the same story you just shared. It would be nice to check up on things every once in a while, though. I may have to start saving my nickels and dimes :o)

dana @ my little celebration January 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

The scale seems like a cool gadget to me.

I too found myself clinging to an ideal number in my younger years but have since let that go because I realized it wasn’t healthy or realistic. For that reason I don’t own a scale anymore, but if i was to buy one again, I’d probably choose this one. Thanks for sharing!

BroccoliHut January 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

OMG I love this! I hate the way the scale makes me feel, but it’s kind of necessary that I use it every now and then to monitor my hypothyroidism. Not having to hear the number would be a great advantage for my overall outlook, I think.

Jessica Corbin January 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Wow, this is so awesome. $60 is rather a lot, but I guess if I have some extra mula I would buy it. I hate to weigh myself and I was at the point you were of weighing myself like twice a day and even WRITING IT DOWN! Yeah, obsessed. So, I haven’t weighed myself much, but I know how I look and feel and its the best I have ever felt, I think LOL.

I do think this would be awesome to have, someday, someday.

denise January 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I say why bother with the Zero Scale if you don’t care what you weigh. I am trying very hard not to be concerned with the number but how I feel in my clothes. I also have to realize that i am not 25 anymore and maybe I need a few more pounds on this body. I am not there yet but getting there. I too did body for life and LOVED it but became a little obsessed with not eating or freaking out on the inside if I got off the plan at all. Anyway the last time I weighed was for my annual female appointment and I was 25 pounds higher than I want to be:(

Katelyn Block January 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Hahhahahaha. I just laughed out LOUD at those four pictures. First I was like heheheh janetha is making a funny face and then I saw the dogs …. it was game over.

I think body percent composition is waaaay more important than total weight, because if you think about it, so many people have completely different body widths and structures — could be a lot more bone with wider hips, more muscle if you’re an athlete, etc — soooo this scale is bombtastic. I approve.

Kristi @ Sweetly Fit January 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

i love that idea! I can’t believe you got Randy to stay on the scale like that. My golden wouldn’t be having any of that!

Sarah @ The Healthy Diva January 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm

WOW….they scale looks super cool! So funny about the timing of this post cuz I just did one on self esteem and loving yourself just the way you are. We (me included) tend to place our happiness on a particular weight, but it’s not healthy. I like the concept behind the zero scale though! And congratulations on the weight loss!!!!!!!!! Hard work pays off :)

Theodora January 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Fab post…per usual. While I do have a number that I try to stay under (that I feel is a realistic one), I am more interested in how I look/feel than a number. I’m under “that number” right now, but feel like I don’t look as strong/fit as I’d like, hence why I’m doing my strength challenge thingy right now. I think that scale would drive me nuts though–I’d need to know the actual number, but more power to people who are secure/smart enough for this scale!

Toronto Girl West January 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm

This scale is awesome!!!!! Takes away the whole attaching self-worth to a number thing!

Jessie B. January 13, 2012 at 4:58 am

Thank you for talking “numbers”! So many people avoid it, which I get, but I am a numbers person! From my job to my lists to my daily weigh ins, I like seeing numbers.

Biz January 13, 2012 at 9:24 am

I got the Zero Scale too. The only thing I don’t like about it is that he advocates a Paleo diet, which I didn’t want to strictly follow – the guy keeps emailing me that if I just followed the Paleo diet for 3 weeks, my diabetes will be cured.

Um, pretty sure my pancreas doesn’t work anymore so that’s why I need insulin – not sure how eating steak and steering clear of whole grains is gonna make it start producing insulin again!

But I do like the scale! Happy Friday J!

Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 13, 2012 at 10:03 am

Love the honesty! I think it could still mess with my head (just because of disordered eating and my issues with the scale)–esp since I am the fittest I have ever been (and getting fitter! whoo!), so it could mess with my head. But it is cool to see losses–GO you!

Jeralyn January 13, 2012 at 11:06 am

This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for! I can’t stand the scale but need to check in once in a while to make sure things don’t get out of hand if you know what I mean. Thanks!

Kristen @ notsodomesticated January 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Very interesting!! I guess I would just wonder if you could still get “obsessed” with seeing how much the scale goes up or down … if someone is overly obsessed with a regular scale, I think they could also get obsessed with this scale. But I do like the overall concept! I think it could be good for someone trying to maintain a healthy weight, who just wants to step on every now and then and make sure it isn’t too far from “zero.” :)

Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life January 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Thank you for being so honest! I found this post through Ashley’s post and it really resonated with me. The scale and weight can be an extremely difficult struggle to navigate. Although I like the idea of not hearing the number of my weight, I would still get upset if the scale said I gained 1.5 pounds instead of lost. I probably would feel just as down as if I read the actual weight. I too try and avoid scales for sanity purposes! :-)

steph January 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Poor Penny :(

Since we rescued German Shep puppy, our lab/golden mix is looking so hefty compared to the skinny puppy. We can’t decide if the lab has gained weight or if it’s an optical illusion. None the less, we have been upping their exercise. We typically get them weighed at the vet or the husband jumps on the scale, weighs himself, and then attempts to pick up apprx 95 lbs of baby love to figure out dog lbs.

If you do switch up her food – a trick that has worked well for us is adding pumpkin to the dog food for some extra fiber.

Good luck!

Janetha January 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Oh! Haha. It was a joke :) But I do like the idea of adding pumpkin to dog food, thanks for the tip!

Yolie @ Practising Wellness January 14, 2012 at 1:40 am

I love this so much! It’s awesome. :-) What a wonderful concept for a scale – so much better than having a horrible number stare you in the face. I agree and relate completely with what you said – I used to always want to stay at 110lbs, then that gradually went up to 112-115, and now, after not weighing myself for like a year, I stepped on the scale and I’m at 127-130! But you know what? I really don’t care either, I’m happy and healthy, and look good, yo! ;-) Just not like a very skinny person. And I am down with that. <3 Thank you for sharing your REAL thoughts and HONESTY! Love it heaps, and really appreciate it. Awesome review, too! xyx

Stefanie @TheNewHealthy January 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Well, I’m an avid scale user. I use it to make certain I’m maintaining my weight loss and it works for me. However, I can totally see how this would be an awesome tool for maintaining/gaining/losing when you’re prone to getting hung up on that one number.

Ashley January 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm

UGH– I just read the thoughts in my head. Girl, you’ve got an empathetic friend right up-in-heea!
p.s. Insta-friends reassures our similar likings in food, etc. ;)

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