Why I Trashed the Scale

Trashed the Scale

Why I Trashed the Scale

About six weeks ago I threw away my bathroom scale.  I needed to for my mental health and emotional well-being.  Like many people who are trying to lose weight I weighed myself just about every morning.  To be clear, I don’t need to lose ten or twenty or even thirty pounds.  Fifty would put me where I was when I married; I cannot bring myself to say how much to no longer be overweight.  I went to the doctor for various blood test results and they were all great; the most important of them down to the normal range so I was very pleased that my hard work was paying off.  But that’s never enough for me.  The scale was my judge and jury, my mood maker and mocker.  I decided I was done. A friend suggested to not weigh myself when I was feeling down or extra tired or in a bad mood so I tried that for a time, but it sat there, mocking me and daring me to get on and check.  I could not figure out what to do.  So I prayed about it, which at the time seemed so ridiculous.  Truly God had other more important concerns and I know my prayer list had more compelling needs to be answered.

But God cares about all our needs and I received an answer: do what you know works, keep moving forward with the same plan and trust that it will work. This is from Ignatius Loyola’s Rules of Discernment, specifically the fifth rule.  I know Ignatius was applying these rules to the spiritual life, but the more I learn about them, the more applicable they become to all my daily living.  So the scale went into the garbage and all my clothes still fit.

During Advent this response from Morning Prayer “You will see his glory within you; – the Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty” spoke to my heart about who I am as a child of God.  What is inside is far more important than my exterior appearance.  I must take care of myself and do what is necessary for me to have good health.  I do not need to obsess over numbers on a scale.  My desire is to abandon myself to God because as St. Ignatius said, “There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace.”

Copyright 2013 Deanna Bartalini


About Author

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. She and her husband Deacon John have two married children and a grandson. Deanna loves teaching about Catholicism and how it fits into our daily lives. She writes at DeannaBartalini.com, serves as the editor of the NewEvangelizers.com blog, and is a contributor there as well as at AmazingCatechists.com. Deanna contributed to A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion published by Ave Maris Press. She has written “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” one book in the series of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women published by Our Sunday Visitor. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.


  1. Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp on

    Great article! I totally understand your choice in throwing the scale away. I have never been overweight but as a teen and a woman weight has always been an ISSUE. So, when my soon to be husband and I were deciding on what to register for our wedding I said “We will NEVER own a scale!” We never have owned one (It’s been 15 years). The freedom and relief to not see a scale in my house is empowering. I have 3 sons and 1 daughter and I have no need for the damning effects of a number on a machine to effect who they are as people. You made a very wise choice. I wish more women would do the same!

  2. You know, that’s a really good idea. I need to lose some weight and develop some healthier habits to help control things like high cholesterol and blood pressure. I need to want it because it is good for me, not because of some numerical tyranny.

  3. I’m on a weight loss journey, too, with a long way to go and I understand your feelings! The scale seems to control me, even playing a part in my self-worth. I’ve had to forget about the numbers and just focus on the healthy changes I’m making and the improvements I’m seeing. Thanks so much for this post, Deanna!

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