Why We Lie About Our Height and Weight
What's really being measured?
A study in Men’s Health revealed that men lie about their height while women lie about their weight.
Which I guess is no big shocker, but it’s still disappointing.
Because why are we lying to one another at all? And does it concern anyone else that if we’re lying about actual physical traits of ours, doesn’t that open us up to worrying that a whole bunch of other half-truths, fibs, and outright lies could be currently concealed? Yikes.
And it’s not even a good lie. I can see right in front of me how tall you are—which I formally categorize as “tall, tallish, normal, short.” If you tell me you’re 5’8″ and you’re really 5’6″ that will be pretty apparent if we’re standing at eye level, since I’m, in fact, 5’6.” If I’m not looking up into your eyes, well, that’s a pretty good “tell” that you’re bluffing, isn’t it?
Likewise, I don’t know why on earth I’d tell you I tip the scales at one number when it’s really another. You’re not a carnie who makes his living guessing the weight of strangers passing by on the boardwalk, is it? Is that even a thing anymore?
My point being, do you really care what I weigh? Or do you care that I’m healthy? And that when you look at me you like what you see?
I think much less about the number on a scale than if I can walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. Or that I have good posture and don’t slouch. That I’m not trashily muffin topping out of my jeans. Which is good, because that’s all under my control much more than a pesky few pounds hanging around my hips.
And it works both ways. If you tell me you’re 250, but you’re really 270, what does that do for me, except make me feel like I can’t trust you when I spot your true poundage on your driver’s license. Just be honest.
Or even better, let’s just not talk about our height and weight!
That’s kind of weird anyway, right? Aren’t there at least 1,000 topics we could discuss before “Hey honey, I’m out of ideas on this road trip—let’s guess each other’s inseam and BMI’s.”
One to start with? How about, “How do you feel about the way you look?” Any conversation that kicks off a real discussion about how we feel about ourselves is a good one to have. And how you fit into your favorite jeans is way more important than the number on your scale, or the height you clock in at on your next doctor’s visit.
I guess I’m just bummed at the notion the Men’s Health study seems to imply—that it’s the number that the other party thinks counts. After all, why else would we be lying about it?
So the next time you think about fudging your vitals, think instead about how those figures translate to how you look, how you feel. Because I want you to feel good about your appearance, not ashamed of it! And I want you to have a shirt that fits, and I can’t buy you that if you’re not honest with me about this kind of stuff.