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Home » Cycling » Just what the World Needs, another Snowflake. A Different Theme on a New Meme; The Carleton University Scale Dust up.

Just what the World Needs, another Snowflake. A Different Theme on a New Meme; The Carleton University Scale Dust up.


March 2017

Trigger (heh) warning:  If you still wear diapers or pull-ups and are easily triggered to melt, this post is likely not for you.  You have been trigger (heh) warned.

I originally thought the story was a fake, it’s just too perfect.  University Athletics management removes a weight scale from the gym and leaves a sign:

A sign where the scale used to be stated it was removed to encourage people to focus on other ways of measuring their health beyond just their weight.

The sign stated the decision to remove the scale is “in keeping with current fitness and social trends.”

Social trends?  In a gym?  Fitness trends?  Which trends would they be?  Specifically.

Now, the meme diverges from there and suggests that the scale was removed at the request of one snowflake who was “triggered” by seeing the scale and asked that it be removed.  If that’s the case, I shudder for the future and am now considering working till I’m 80 so I don’t have to rely on that dipshit to provide for my health care and partial retirement.  Hey, only 33 more years to go.

Whatever the case, that part really didn’t “technically” make the original story.  The original story is way more fun to play with, from the snowflake perspective, anyway.

The sign left in place of the scale encouraged people to “focus on other ways of measuring their health beyond just their weight”.  Why is management suggesting those who use a scale are only using the scale to measure “health”?  You don’t use a scale to measure health.  A scale measures weight – and that is the only thing it measures – and nothing does that better.

It’s very simple really, a scale is a tool used to let one know if one is consuming too much food.  If one does, the number goes up.  If one doesn’t, guess what!  YES!  The number goes down.  If we are lifting weights in conjunction with cardio, that number stays there for a bit while the body trades fat for muscle.  Then it drops.  Rocket science this is not.

Let’s move on, now that I’m in captain obvious mode.

Bruce Marshall, manager of health and wellness at Athletics, said focusing only on weight can have a negative impact.

Bruce Marshall must not be doing his job as the manager of health and wellness if his people are teaching those who use his gym to only focus on weight.  I wonder why they wouldn’t teach balance like everyone else, but weight plays a part in that balance.

We don’t believe being fixated on weight has any positive effect on your health and well-being,” Marshall said in an email. “The body is an amazing machine and even when we are dieting and training it will often find a homeostasis at a certain weight.”

Marshall added it can take a long time to see a change in weight.

It takes weeks, even months to make a permanent change in your weight. So why obsess about it?” he said. “Why not look at other indicators?”

So anyone who weighs themselves once a week, or even once a day, is fixated on weight now, according to Bruce Almighty?

A great thinker once said he’d rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than the faculties at Harvard and MIT.  Bruce is why.  If he has people using his gym who are fixated on weight, why does he have to remove the scale and wreck it for everyone, why can’t he do his job and teach those few who do fixate on weight how to moderate?  To postulate that anyone who uses a scale is fixated on weight is silly and lazy.

The Great and Powerful Bruce then makes the next natural leap from fixation to obsession.  It just keeps getting better!

The last line is the best, “Why not look at other indicators?”

Hey, Mr. Wonderful, why not use all the tools in the toolbox?  Why fight with one hand tied behind your nuts (or vajay-jay)?

[It’s a funny visual though, ain’t it?]

Now here’s where we get to drop the Brucemeister into the dumpster.  Watch this…

According to Marshall, other indicators to look at include girth measurements, which can change “dramatically,” without much of a weight change. This involves measuring the circumference of areas such as the torso, legs, and arms to record progress.

He added people can also set goals in terms of cardiovascular fitness and overall strength, instead of only focusing on the number on the scale.

So, Mr. Fantastic wants us to take girth measurements?  Being fixated on the scale is bad but being fixated on girth is good, yes?  How about obsessed?  I wonder if Mr. Fabulous knows that being obsessed with girth is unhealthy!?  While we’re at it, what are the right girth measurements?  Please, Oh Wise One, bestow on us the proper girth measurements so we may obsess on them.  And oh, goody, we can “set goals in terms of cardiovascular fitness and overall strength” instead of relying on a number on a scale.  This is madness.  It’s such an easy concept but the waters must be muddied so that only a doctor can properly assess whether or not one’s ass is too big.

Here’s the problem:  I picked this article apart while watching Star Wars.  It was easy because Bruce has himself in the middle of his own one-man circular firing squad.  See, I don’t think he actually believes that gobbledygook he was spewing about scales.  His arguments were too simple to turn around and use against him because they’re based in rainbows, unicorns and hope.

Come to think of it, I’d bet the mirrors are next.   They are good as gone and I can’t wait to rip apart the note The Brucinator leaves in place of those.

Where this story really went off the rails was when a student chimed in on Facebook with:

“Scales are very triggering,” she said. “I think people are being insensitive because they simply don’t understand. They think eating disorders are a choice when they are actually a serious illness.”

One can only imagine how I, an ex-drunk, managed to recover from alcoholism.  Alcohol is everywhere.  We learn to disregard the trigger, I don’t expect the world to stop drinking because I’m an ex-drunk.  It takes a special kind of nincompoop to suggest a scale is a trigger that should be banished for those few with eating disorders.

I will put this as simply as I can, from a mountain of experience; If I am “triggered”, I am the problem, not the inanimate object that “triggered” me.  I need to be fixed.  Period.  [PS.  Those aren’t “scare” quotes.  They’re “stupid” quotes.]

One last tidbit from The Washington Democrat… err, Post:


Marshall told CBC, in response to the criticism the school has received, “We will weigh the pros and cons and may reconsider our decision.”

We can only hope that he doesn’t obsess over weighing those pros and cons on a scale.

I couldn’t resist.

This post was a result of reading my friend, Gail’s most excellent post on the subject.  I just wanted to take it in a different direction.



  1. Well, I read an article once in Running magazine in which a 128 lb world class distance runner with 3% body fat went to a weight loss clinic and asked them for help to lose some weight. And they agreed to do it. So there is a bit of preoccupation with weight, and claiming that you’re ex-drunk proves that you have discipline, but does it make you an authority on what does or doesn’t motivate others? Seems like the person doing the projecting here should look in the mirror.

  2. Gail says:

    ..and I love the direction you took it in. Well done.

  3. Gail says:

    By the way, you wrote that you’d bet the mirrors are next. Next? They were first, at least in the UK. I wrote a post about it in July of last year. Hang on to your bike panties…. As well, I think you’ll find this article about a University of Arizona classroom illuminating. The prof’s and universities are allowing this behavior. The children are our future, which is why I am considering erecting a ten foot high electrical fence around my property.

    • bgddyjim says:

      First, points for using “asstastic” in a sentence. Second, I am not surprised by that whole “oops/ouch” and microaggression weenie behavior. In fact, I’m teaching my kids to rise above that BS so they can run roughshod over people like that and get a cushy CEO job in the future. I’m like Dr. EVIL, only for good!

      • Gail says:

        I’m so glad I have no kids that I have to send to university. I have no idea which ones are normal and which ones foster this whole safe space/trigger/SJW environment. I’m sure there is a way to wade through it, but I’m sure it’s exhausting to do so.

      • bgddyjim says:

        After growing up in recovery and coming to the understanding of what it meant to be an adult, that crap is simply enervating – but that’s the idea, it’s that way by design.

  4. gracieonmars says:

    I often hear people claim it’s unhealthy to weigh yourself daily. It’s not unhealthy, but it can be for someone vulnerable to getting an eating disorder. I make sure my mentality stays “healthy” by knowing it is only a tool for monitoring my progress. It isn’t a definition of my worth and it isn’t the be all end all tool. There are many other measures. I didn’t realize until i started getting into fitness, how much fit shaming there is.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Ah, but no one can fit shame me if I don’t participate. Therein lies the rub. Once I know that someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business, I take their power. This does require two things of me though. 1. Discipline. 2. I have to be confident that I am doing what is right for me and my wellbeing (including happiness).

      People are susceptible to fit shaming when they know they’re falling short of either of those two. Simple as that.

      • gracieonmars says:

        Right. For me, the trick is to not let other people’s versions of the ideal me get in the way. It’s like they are offering up excuses not to take care of myself. I can’t let it deter me from my focus and discipline. In my mind I can be like: “That’s fine if you think the girls at the gym with low body fat are unattractive or unhealthy. That’s still what I am working towards.” I still have a ways to go to reach my goals, so I focus on the people who are achieving what I want to achieve.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I should have added, because I get rolling and caught up in the roll (it’s a terrible habit and I apologize), your comment is right on and a breath of fresh air. My bad.

  5. Gail says:

    Jim,if you have not seen this, you’ve just got to read it. Trust. So much win here. I love this guy.

  6. MJ Ray says:

    I’m surprised about this because of some of your past posts where you seemed to advocate avoiding triggers more strongly than fixing oneself.

    So I would have expected you to support banishing scales from the main gym to a weights-and-measures room because it would help people with a range of dieting addictions to exercise while avoiding their trigger. How about people recovering from eating disorders who live by a simple principle: Spend enough time in a barbershop, eventually they’re getting their hair cut? They know they’re particularly susceptible to something that will provide instant gratification but come with catastrophic long-term consequences. Weighing themselves will provide an immediate escape but comes with the ultimate escape – first through giving up everything that is good in their life to keep losing weight, followed by an early demise when their body shuts down from the abuse.

    To be frank, I agree with this post more than the older ones: it takes a special kind of nincompoop to suggest liquor aisles and pub meets are a trigger that should be avoided by those few with alcohol addictions. If someone doesn’t fix themself to stop pulling the trigger, if they’re not confident that they will choose the life they have now over the early demise, if they’re not happy enough with who they have grown into, have they really recovered from the addiction or only interrupted it until they don’t avoid their trigger for whatever reason?

    • bgddyjim says:

      I can understand why you would make this miscalculation. We’re getting into splitting hairs a little bit, but the problem comes down to the simple fact that my triggers are my problem. Avoiding the barber shop doesn’t mean I stop going to the grocery store that has an alcohol department – it means I avoid the alcohol aisles. Further, if I’m doing what I’m supposed to, to maintain my sobriety, my triggers become less of a problem (this goes back to “my triggers are my problem”). I can’t expect the world to hide liquor because I’m a recovering drunk. I have to learn how to live a life of abstinence in a world in which 90% of its inhabitants don’t have the problem that I do. Requiring the world to accommodate me, beyond an actual handicap, I find repugnant.

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