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I Hate the Hospital Scales

Editor’s Note: The following article mentions details surrounding the author’s experiences with body image, which may be upsetting for some readers.

When I was in my finals year at Uni (the second time around) in 2013/2014 due to stress, I was at my lowest consistent weight for ages, which was 9 stone 2 pounds (128 pounds). For few weeks right at the end, I went down to 8 stone 13 and that was the dream!  To say I was in the 8 stone bracket made me so very happy.  And everyone tells me I was too thin then; but I didn’t see it. I just saw a flat stomach and hip bones and no bulge when I sat down, and this was good.

Why I hate the scales

At 5ft 6 and a half, arguably I was too thin. But in my head I was happy. I am now 9 and a half stone (133 pounds), and I don’t like it. Getting weighed at the hospital is the bit I hate the most. Digital scales to 2 decimal places. Not good for my mental health. And it’s hilarious.  As I write this I remember years ago when I weighed 10 stone and more, that I dreamed to be 9 and a half stone, and now that I’m here, I want to be thinner.

I always want to be thinner.  I definitely want to be back at 9 stone 2 pounds, but nothing I do seems to get me there. And I won’t starve myself and limit my food intake.  I can’t. With rubbish energy levels that would mean that I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.

I think this is where my natural weight is.  I just wish it was less….

I don’t like the fact I can’t go running, well, jugging anymore because of my fatigue. I miss it. It made me feel good and I hated my weight less. Made me feel less guilty about having cake occasionally. I have since January been looking after a dog during the week, which has made me walk more. And I manage it. I really do my best to do 10,000 steps every day. And when the summer is here, it’s wonderful. And I feel good for it.

Finding a new exercise routine

A few weeks ago after a really bad time of not liking how I looked, I decided to start doing exercises at home that a cancer charity had given me. When I’m in a bad place I don’t tell myself nice things.  Mainly criticism about my thighs and my abdomen.  All those photoshopped photos of models are so damaging.  I look at photos and think ‘that’s how I want to look’.  And then I walk past a model in London when they are on their way to a casting or a shoot and think, “You are too thin.  You need to eat something!  You don’t look healthy.”  So I am aware of the ridiculous yo-yo of thoughts in my head.  It’s hard to let the logic overrule the emotion at times.

I’ve managed to do the exercises 3 times a week for the last 3 weeks and I think it’s making a difference. I’m at the hospital in a few days, so I will see what the scales day.

I don’t worry about my appointments, blood tests, results, leukaemic rate. None of that. I worry about how much I will weigh. I’m always terrified that my cancer weight loss will go, and I’ll be that fat child again.


  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    10 months ago

    Katie, I so get it. The scale can be seen as an enemy, and that’s not good at controlling our stress. Some people are not phased by their weight but others feel like that “number” means something worse than what it really is. It’s important to go forth in not beating yourself and think of the positives, as so many have lost so much weight because of their treatment. As long as you keep moderation and consistency in diet and exercise, things like your weight will seem less taxing. Best!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    10 months ago

    I’m sorry you are so focused on your weight. While it’s important to be at a healthy weight, I don’t think it’s good to be obsessed with it. Next time you see you doctors maybe they can help you. Good luck.

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    11 months ago

    @katieruane I had the opposite problem for a while, but I also have the same problem too. My mom always says stop dieting, but I’m worried I’m going to go back to the way I was before cancer. So I get the whole scale-phobia. When I want it to be higher it’s lower, and when I want it to be lower it’s higher. Good post, although the whole stone thing still confuses me. Ha ha. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

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