Weigh This Instead!

Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

Weigh-In at The Doctor’s Office–Bad for Your Health?

It strikes fear and shame in the hearts of many. It’s the prospect of having to go to the doctor for a true medical issue and knowing you’ll be asked to step on the scale before you see the doctor.

Recently a client told me she had an appointment to have a small mole removed. Still, she knew she’d be asked to weigh-in. 

Many women avoid going to the doctor because of this issue. As health advocates, most of my colleages and I encourage women to make any/all visits to the doctor fit their comfort level and health needs!  If weighing makes you uncomfortable, if it keeps you from getting regular check-ups, pap smears, mammograms, medical care when needed, ask yourself, “Currently, do I have any medical condition that truly requires the doctor track my weight?” If not, where is it written that you have to get weighed at the doctor’s office?

When the nurse asks me to get on the scale, I simply say, “No thank you. I don’t weigh.”

If a nurse tells you the doctor requires it (this has never happened to me), simply say, “I’ll be happy to discuss that with the doctor”. I have never had any nurse question my choice. If they want to check my height, they are welcome to do so. For that you get on the scale backwards…

If saying, “no thank you” does not feel like enough, try one of these…

“No thank you. I don’t find getting weighed to be very helpful.”
“No thank you. The scale doesn’t tell me anything I don’t already know.”
“No thank you. I’m working on emotional eating issues and getting on the scale doesn’t add anything useful to the effort.”

You are entitled to health care. Please don’t let a mechanical box make you sick!


Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in emotional and binge eating issues. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com


  1. Beth Harrell says

    I went to the MD for an eye issue and knew they would not need a weight for that. When I told the nurse I didnt need to weigh, she stated “Then the doctor might not see you”. To this I replied, “I will take my chances”. She told me I could weigh backwards if I didnt want to see, and I told her that would not be necessary. Of course the doctor saw me without the weight.

  2. Ellen Shuman says

    Sort of ironic for doctors standard office procedures to be so focused on something they historically have had no success impacting..might as well be amused by it.

    I’ve heard A Weigh Out Contributors Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel (Diet Survivor Sisters) ask, “Where else in health care would medical professionals continue to offer a treatment of choice that has a 95-98% failure rate and then blame the patient?”

  3. Thank you! thank you! Thank you! I have a HUGE problem with the weighing-in part of my visit. I avoid going because of it. First, it makes me feel like a 4H project. Second, they always have it in the middle of a public thoroughfare and I’ve had more than one nurse belt the results out at what I considered to be an unnecessary volume (and by unnecessary volume I mean anything louder than her pen scribbling on my chart). And third, if this guy went through medical school and he still doesn’t have the observational skills to approximate my basic size for health/medical purposes (hello, he’s not fitting me for a prom dress.), I’m not sure he’s the professional for me. You have made my day. And given me the courage to call for an appointment 🙂

  4. Ellen Shuman, Emotional Eating Recovery Coach; A Weigh Out says

    I’m so glad, Betty! You deserve great medical care!

  5. I am so glad that i came accross this website. I don’t go to the doctor as often as I should because of this weigh in issue. When I was asked to step on the scale, I said, “you first !”…she wasn’t amused and I didn’t get weighed !

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