Does the scale lie?

I normally only weigh myself once a month. I have an Ironman Innerscan Body Composition Scale by Tanita (Model BC-554). It’s a fancy piece of machinery that not only measures weight, but body fat, water weight percentage, muscle mass, BMR, metabolic age, and bone mass. It also gives a physique rating and a visceral fat rating. So you can see why I only weigh myself 12 times a year. Otherwise, I think it would be information overload.

While Everyman qualifies as a Clydesdale, I think I’d fit into the Flyweight division if there were such a thing in triathlon. Why beat myself up over my weight, when I can pick on other things – like my bank account or my propensity to procrastinate?

So when I returned from my marathon, I decided to see if I lost any weight. I was down a pound. No biggie. Then I noticed my fat rating: 25.4%. I told a couple of people my body fat % - and they both protested vehemently. “No way!” they said. I didn’t really care to be honest. But then, being a gadget girl, I felt like I had to defend my scale’s honor.

You can see the problem though. Just scroll down to the post below. Does it look like I have 25.4% body fat? I decided to call Tanita and find out what gives. Turns out I had it set to “female” not “athletic female.”

One little flick of the switch and now I have 20% body fat. The customer service rep reminded me this measurement is not external fat. It’s visceral fat. (Or as those same two friends swear, invisible fat.)

And if I’m ever feeling the least bit old, all I have to do is step on the scale. It used to say I was between 21 and 23 years of age on any given day. But now that it recognizes me as an athletic chick, my metabolic age has dropped to 16. It’s hard to deny. Just scroll down two posts.

Yup, this scale is more than a scale. It’s a conversation piece. It’s a source of entertainment. But I’m not writing this post to brag about my weight. Notice I haven’t even divulged my weight? (Such a girl!) Nope, what occurred to me is that for all those folks who own an Innerscan scale and really do sweat those numbers, please check to see if you have it configured to “athlete mode” if you do workout regularly. You might suddenly feel like you stepped on the podium instead of a scale.