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Hello everyone! Vanessa here this week. 

Have you ever encountered, maybe in a classroom or office, a reminder to consider your words before you speak them? Or maybe you've read the Sufi poet Rumi's words, "Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself, 'Is it true?' At the second gate, ask, 'Is it necessary?' At the third gate, ask, 'Is it kind?' ” Believe it or not, this can be a helpful framework with which to consider macros. I'll explain.

Macros ARE a thing. A real and true thing. Macros is short for macronutrients, which is a family of essential dietary elements that our bodies use in the largest amounts: carbohydrates, fats, and protein. These elements give us the energy, in caloric form, to function. So are macros true? Yes.

Are macros necessary? Yes and no. Yes in the abstract sense that they're essential for human existence. But does this necessity mean that you need to elevate it to any importance greater than general awareness or to center your idea of healthy eating around tracking macros? No, it does not. Tracking your food intake and/or macros for the short term, say two weeks, can be very helpful to see your behavior patterns, learn where there might be an opportunity to add in certain foods to your meals and snacks and reconnect to your feelings of hunger, fullness and satisfaction. But in no sense should this tracking become a long-term behavior. If it does, I would invite you to consider your intention behind the tracking.

And that's where we come to the third gate. Are macros kind? Too often, they are not - or at least the intention behind tracking them is not. If tracking your macros means that you are not treating yourself with compassion, are judging your every food move, and are obsessing with getting things "right" by not eating "wrong" foods, then macros are certainly not serving you in a helpful way. If you have been down this path before, you might ask yourself if this kind of surveillance is really what you need. Consider what your macros are really bringing to the table.