A Tale of Two Scales [Updated]

Please see the update below.

If you’re a UAMS Weight Loss and Metabolic Control Program patient or you’ve visited the clinic, you’re probably familiar with the scales that we weigh on.  They’re not your typical bathroom scale.  They’re bariatric scales, and they’re enormous.

The clinic has two scales that they use to weigh patients.  One is located just inside the patient area, and the other is further back past the examination rooms.  Both are different makes and models.  I started my weight loss journey on the “back” scale, and I’ve always made an effort to weigh there.  When I’ve asked in the past, the weigh-in technicians have accommodated the fact that I’m a “creature of habit,” and let me stand by until the back scale was free.

In the 30 or so weeks that I’ve been in the program, both of the weigh-in technicians who worked for the clinic when I started have since retired.  I weighed with a new technician today who seemed set on me using the “front scale.”  When I stepped on it, I couldn’t believe my eyes — I had lost 14.1 pounds, or so the scale read.  I again asked about the availability of the scale in the back, but I was told that it was occupied.  The technician wrote down the figure, handed me my slip, and congratulated me.  I wasn’t thrilled.

Back at home, I weighed again on my bathroom scale.  I learned early on to keep two sets of books.  The figures posted on “The Progress” page show fully-clothed weights from the clinic around 5:00 PM on weigh-in days.  I also have hand-written records of fully-clothed weights at home around 7:00 AM two or three times per week.  Here’s a snippet of those:

So the difference between my June 6 morning weight of 314.2 and my June 13 morning weight of 308.0 is 6.2 pounds, which seems reasonable taking into consideration the water weight situation from last week.

To summarize, I don’t know what I weigh right now, but I don’t think I lost 14.1 pounds this week.  Because of the uncertainty, I’m not going to move any ping pong balls to the jar, I’m not going to update “The Progress,” and I’m not going to be upset next week when the clinic tells me I’ve gained weight.  I’m going to ignore the clinic figure until I get a chance to weigh on “the back scale,” and I hope I’m never strong-armed into using “the front scale” again.


The clinic reached out to me this morning and arranged a time for me to come in to weigh again.  Betsy, the program’s manager, is to be commended for her dedication to the program and its participants.  What great service!  I’ll be updating The Progress this evening.

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7 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Scales [Updated]

  1. Sarah Bibles says:

    That is crazy!!! I also started on the back scale and i have weighed on the front scale twice. I definitely think they are different. The first time i used the front scale I asked if they were different and they told me they were basically the same so I trusted that. But i’ve always been skeptical. 14lbs in one week seems a bit extreme… I can’t believe they didn’t question it themselves but i suppose you definitely lost a good amount!!! Im interested to see about next week on the back scale:)

  2. Julianne says:

    I’m definitely a fan of the back scale as well but I’m also very superstitious. I also like the size of the room in the back and the front scale seems to be stuck in a tiny little room that is designed to make me feel huge.

  3. Claibanne says:

    I haven’t really been superstitious about either of the scales, but do always like the back scale better – probably because of what Julianne says – the tiny room in front is TINY! I wonder about the difference in scales now too. I know the ladies have retired and were so accomodating, but Daniel, you’re right – we shouldn’t be strong-armed into anything…we are paying for this service. They work for us afterall.

  4. tracey campbell says:

    I am so glad that I am not the only one…..I like the back scale too; I always seem to have a weird weigh in on the front one.

  5. Molly Jones says:

    Don’t forget you only had the .9 loss the week before so that makes 14 lbs. not sound too crazy if you average the two weeks. Either way you are the bomb diggity.

    • Thanks, Molly! Based on past performance, I usually lose 0.6 pounds per day. If we smooth it out, I should have expected to have lost 8.1 pounds or so. I’ve been invited back to weigh again today. I’ll update this post when I know more.

  6. The clinic contacted me today and allowed me to weigh on the back scale. I’m 7.6 pounds heavier on the back scale than I am on the front scale.

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