Back when I was pregnant with my first son, Jason and I went down to our local Walgreens and bought two tubes of Chapstick. In reality, we bought one tube of Chapstick and a rotary bathroom scale, and somehow the clerk really messed up. We didn’t realize it until we got home. Anyway, this particular scale became a regular household fixture in 2000, and I weighed myself on it nearly every day for well over a decade. I went through my entire original weight loss journey on that scale. But halfway through said journey, I noticed something odd. The Wii Fit used to always be six pounds higher than my rotary scale, but suddenly it was more like four pounds higher. My weight continued to drop on the Wii, but not on my bathroom scale. There seemed to be a little bit of a reliability issue on the rotary scale – common for those, no?
I continued to use this scale anyway, for sentimental value. Then for Christmas in 2012, Jason gave me a digital scale that supposedly measured numbers like body fat percentage, and I began using both scales plus the Wii. (Do you remember how much I love data?) The new scale was identical to the Wii for weight, both about four pounds above the Chapstick scale. Still, I loved my Chapstick, and didn’t get rid of it until we moved to Boston in 2014. However, I found that the digital scale – which I didn’t use nearly as often as the rotary one – didn’t make a reliable daily scale. That was frustrating. I used it the whole year we were in Boston, but when we moved back to San Antonio, it broke in transit and I needed a new one. I bought and returned four scales in a row because they were grossly unreliable (you could step on it five times in a row and come out with five wildly different weights) before finally finding a decent scale from (ironically) Walgreens. This is what I’ve been using since then.
Of course, I don’t like my numbers to be inconsistent. When I first switched over to the new digital scale, I continued to keep my weights consistent with the rotary versions, so that my data wouldn’t reflect a big jump up when there wasn’t one. Unfortunately, since the Boston scale broke during the move and it took two months to find a scale that actually worked, I had no comparison numbers between the Boston scale and the new one. At the time, I decided to just assume they were the same (since the Wii showed about the same as the new scale). Rather than continuing to adjust the numbers to match up with the Chapstick scale, I just adjusted my original journey up to the new system. I know this is all ridiculous, but I really like my data to be consistent. Which made my recent predicament frustrating:
I noticed that my digital Walgreens scale was starting to act funny after almost three years of use (not to mention two cross-country moves). The little footies kept coming off, and even though they’re only a millimeter thick, the loss of one makes the weigh-in completely different, by plus/minus three pounds! Rather than waiting for the scale to become entirely broken, I decided to get a new one and compare the two so that I could adjust accordingly. Only it’s HARD to find a reliable digital scale! I bought one that was supposed to be good, only to have it vary wildly. It could be anywhere from 1-2 lbs off my previous scale, and could change by half a pound from one minute to the next. Sigh. Research time.
After scouring multiple credible review sites, two brands appeared to pop up most frequently for accuracy: EatSmart and Tanita. EatSmart also was noted over and over for excellent customer service, so I decided to go with them. I put in an Amazon order, and received the scale early last week. Immediately, I put the two scales to the test. Day after day, test after test, I found extremely reliable results on my weigh-ins. The numbers were slightly different, of course – I’d already known my Walgreens scale was becoming unreliable – and I was pleased to note that the new scale with about a pound under the old one. That makes an easy adjustment to my numbers for consistency’s sake. Yay!
As for body composition, my old Walgreens scale never did a very good job with that. It tells me, for instance, that my entire bone structure weighs only 5 lbs. Um, no. I only used the body comp function once a month as a general trend-tracker, and even then, I’ve mostly disregarded the numbers that it comes up with. I mean, when your body fat percentage can vary 5% from one day to the next, you know the measurement is highly inexact! Now, I know that these measurements are entirely estimates anyway, but I wanted something to be at least somewhat consistent for trend-tracking. The EatSmart scale is definitely that! I’ve measured in multiple days now, and it’s almost always around the same body fat percentage and other measurements. So in all ways, this scale ends up being a winner!