I Weighed Six Outfits Today

by mathhbratt

Is this event blog-worthy? Probably not, but I’m blogging it anyway!

In a previous post I mentioned the single-blind weight loss study my husband and I are participating in. One thing that drives me bonkers about the way things are done in this program is that we are weighed in whatever we show up wearing. (I expected it to be like on The Biggest Loser where we’d be weighed in the same sports bra and bike shorts every week!)

This morning, I found myself weighing potential outfits for the day. You see, we started this program in summer when I was wearing light, flowing, airy dresses that weighed very little. Now the weather is getting cold, and I feel that the weight of my clothing is tainting the results of the program in the numbers being recorded for my weight.

You might be thinking, “Um… you are far too obsessed with weight loss if you are actually weighing your clothes! How do you even weigh clothing anyway?”

Well, let me answer your question first, and then I will address what I am actually obsessed with.

I weighed my clothing by putting it in a large bowl on a food scale we purchased for weighing ingredients in cooking. This is probably less exciting that you envisioned (perhaps me standing on a scale and holding clothes while doing the math to calculate the lightest weights), but it worked.


My outfits were all different weights, and most of them were around 100 grams away from the next. 100 grams is around .2 pounds! When I am only losing between 0.2 and 1.6 pounds per week, that .2 matters! But, that isn’t the real reason I found myself weighing my clothes.

My obsession (to the point of putting clothing on a food scale) is not with losing weight. It is with numbers and accuracy. I am a math person. I teach my students the importance of exact answers or approximating as closely to exact as possible. I do this all day every day! I can’t just shut it off. So when I see scientists recording data of our progress in the program they are studying so inaccurately as to weigh us in whatever we show up wearing, it makes me bonkers! Perhaps a 0.2 pound difference (or 1 pound difference if I had worn the outfit I most wanted to wear today) doesn’t matter to them enough to care, but I feel like it should. Why would you not want the closest to exact number to work with? Why not have us all weigh in wearing the same thing week after week to be sure our fashion choices are not skewing their results? I am baffled!

(I can’t get accurate numbers at home either, because our floor isn’t level, and we can make our scale say different things by just standing on it in a different position. I can’t remember from one week to the next exactly where/how I stood on the thing, so our home numbers vary perhaps greater than those at the clinic despite getting our home numbers naked.)

So, yeah. I weighed my clothes today, but it was for the sake of science!