February 10, 2006 at 1:42 pm
I sometimes wonder how the unit of measurement I use to track my weight affects my outlook. For instance, if I lived in Australia and measured in kilograms instead of pounds, I would only weigh about 109 kg, whereas here in America I weigh 240 pounds. 109 is such a smaller number than 240! If I ever flew to Australia, I could say I lost 131 units of weight just in conversion! I’d also get to travel into the future, what with the time zone changes. Then when I flew back I’d be going into the past, which is almost as good as inventing that time machine I’m always talking about (the one I want to use to smack some sense into my younger selves).
However, the advantage with pounds is that the numbers roll down a lot faster. I’ve had weeks where I’ve lost two pounds, which isn’t quite one kilogram. It feels a lot better to have lost two of something than almost one of another. I know in my head that it’s the same weight, but losing more numbers just seems like more of an accomplishment. It’s like that old riddle where they ask you “What weighs more? A ton of bricks or a ton of feathers?” Well, a ton is a ton, so they both weigh the same, but you’re tempted to say the bricks because it seems heavier. The mind, it plays tricks!
Also, you get different milestones depending on your measurement system. If I were using kilos, I’d probably get very excited when I hit 220 pounds since that’s when I’d be under 99kg. Whereas with pounds I have to wait until I’m 90.2 kg, or 199 pounds, to have one of those rolling-the-odometer-over moments.
Let’s not even get into the weirdness of stones, though I’m evidently 17 stone and 2 pounds. Thank you Google for making unit conversions so easy. Neat trick (other than the ones in my mind): if you just type the units you want to convert into the google search box, it converts it for you at the top of your search results. So if you enter “240 pounds to kilos” it tells you ” 240 pounds = 108.862169 kilograms.” Clever! It works for money too. This is why Google’s inventors are billionaires and I am still paying off my gall bladder surgery from 2003.