The scale does not lie. Or does it? Perhaps it doesn’t tell the whole truth.

Each day this week I have diligently weighed myself and have been horrified each day to see the trend moving in the wrong direction! After all, I hiked the Great Wall of China and followed that with an 8-mile walk around the Forbidden City. Surely that was some serious caloric burn!

Admittedly, since then I only did exercised once. I was extremely sore after my weekend activities, but managed to work past it on Monday. Then I had to go out to dinner with friends on both Wednesday and Thursday, which seems to have contributed to my delinquency. First, because I didn’t have time for a workout. Second, because I found it very difficult to track what I was eating.

I know in my heart that tracking is the key to my success with weight loss. My tool of choice these days is MyNetDiary. There are three versions—Free, ProApps, and Maximum—so you can compare and choose the one that fits your budget and compulsion to track things.

Because tools are this week’s assignment for GetHawt, let me explain why I like MyNetDiary. It’s extremely flexible and I can use as much or as little of it as I like. I can switch between the online web app or one of my mobile devices, depending on where I am and what I’m doing. Plus it gives me charts to monitor progress and I can export data when I’m ready to get geeky. (Seriously, I have plans to use some of the tools that I use in my professional life to analyze various foods, but that requires more time than I have at present.)

When I was using Weight Watchers Online, I could track food there or with a mobile app, but I couldn’t download the data which was the only downside from my perspective. But I’m probably not a typical user in that regard!

So knowing that I should be tracking my intake, and having the various tools at my disposal, what happened to me this week? In the beginning of the week, I thought perhaps I was not getting enough water and fiber into my diet and that I was probably eating too much at the breakfast buffet in the hotel (even though I did manage to track what I ate).

I have a tough enough time remembering to drink my water, but my hotel room provides a 1.5 liter bottle in my room that I took to work with me on Thursday. I forgot it on Friday. See what I mean? I really need some help here.

I did bring some fiber bars with me on this trip, so I can make up somewhat for not getting what I need elsewhere, but I can’t live on fiber bars alone. I do have to be social and I think it would be wrong to go out with clients and friends and eat my fiber bar while they eat something else.

Another problem that I had the last two days is that eating out in a Chinese restaurant means eating family style. Add to that problem the fact that I had no idea what I was eating. Ok, I had a general idea – that’s fish, that’s pear and lotus root, and so on. I didn’t eat anything I didn’t recognize or controversial (like the shark fin soup I saw at both restaurants sadly). But I couldn’t figure out how to track it, and it’s not very polite to be whipping out the smartphone each time I put a morsel in my mouth. I ate until I was full and these days it doesn’t take much to fill me up, so I don’t think I ate excessively, but it’s hard to tell.

No tracking for two nights of family-style dining, and look what happened to me! A net gain of 4 pounds this week. Argh! Now my accountability partner tells me that it’s impossible to put on 4 pounds of fat that fast, citing the statistic that it takes 3500 calories to gain 1 pound of fat. Seeking the facts, and nothing but the facts, I found an official medical opinion, Extra Calories Cause Weight Gain – But How Much?

As much as I’ve been eating, surely I have not eaten 14,000 extra calories this week. (Okay, confession time – I did have a brownie and a few pieces of chocolate, but that does NOT add up to 14,000 calories!)  The food I’ve been eating, some of which shown above in the photographs, doesn’t look fattening…Plus I am walking nearly 2 miles each day to get to and from work. That has to offset the treats, right?

For now, I will console myself that I am not a bad geek girl. It’s probably just water retention. What can I do to shed myself of water? I’ll be researching that topic next, and anxious to hear any suggestions you might have!