Counting Macros in the Motherhood Transition? Ask Yourself Why


Counting macros (or the amount of proteins, fats, and carbs in food) is an incredibly useful nutritional tool. It brings structure, certainty, and results to those who abide by the rules. Unfortunately, I see a lot of anxiety and pain around this tool, which ultimately negates its utility.  For a pregnant and postpartum woman, the macro draw is even more enticing as she seeks to buffer her transforming body. We are frequently asked “how do I adjust my macros for pregnancy, breastfeeding, or for losing weight postpartum?” Before we ask how, we must start with why.

I want to know what lights you up. Who are you called to be in this world? Does weighing and measuring your food help you get there? Or is it a distracting investment of your life force? We spend too much time chasing shallow goals. Let’s go deeper. Take a moment to reflect on your food and body goals.  By achieving this goal, what will be unlocked for you that is currently unavailable? Now, what will that new thing unlock for you? Repeat this question and reflection until you get to the golden nugget in the center.  The golden nugget is your bigger goal. It’s a state of being that is driving you towards your greatest self and is potentially manifesting as counting macros.

In my recent past, I used food in many different ways: to feel a sense of control in an uncertain life, to make myself physically smaller and less of a target, to look strong, lean, and powerful. When I perform this reflection, I start with my goal of a strong, lean physique. I imagine that will unlock credibility. Perhaps having credibility will unlock a platform to share with and love others.  This ability to share and love will unlock leadership, of which I feel a deep calling. With this bigger goal of leadership in view, I see that counting macros doesn’t make me a better leader. Being in action around leadership right now is where my life force is best applied.

After all, one does not simply arrive at a body and life they love by walking a path of punishment and lack. They arrive at punishment and lack because that is their habit of presence. In my commitment to leadership, I’m here to tell you that your body--exactly how it is right now--is perfect because it is your soul’s interface with the world. I get to experience your love and light because you inhabit this body and I am eternally grateful for all of it.

If your why includes counting macros, then by all means, invest your life force into the how and go be the best version of yourself.  If not, that’s okay too! Take a moment to see yourself as whole and complete. Now, who are you called to be?

Melissa Hemphill

BIRTHFIT Colorado Regional Director