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Lessons from Heartland #1: Be the Hummer!

I wanted to share with you some of the lessons that resounded with me during my time at the Heartland Spa. This first one was presented to me by Kim Onnen, M.S., who is the Program Director there. I hope I am able to convey the message as efficiently as she did!

When you think about cars and fuel efficiency you might compare a Prius and a Hummer. The Prius is small and runs on very little fuel while the Hummer is big and takes a LOT of fuel to run. When thinking about your body you might think that you want to be the small, fuel efficient Prius…but that’s wrong. You want to be the Hummer. You want your body to require a lot of fuel to run. When your body requires a lot of fuel, it means that your metabolism is firing away and it burns through those calories you put into it. If you’re the Prius, then your body runs on very little calories and it is easy to fuel up more than you need and therefore put on weight (see how we got there?).

So the question is, how do you become the Hummer? The answer is simple…build muscle! Muscle tears through calories faster than fat so being big doesn’t mean weighing more, it means having more of that lean muscle. I know this is hard for many of us women to understand. We are afraid of looking bulky and we have been told so often that muscle weighs more than fat. That knowledge combined with our constant desire to have a predetermined number on the scale prevents us from wanting to build muscle. But Kim let me in on a secret that helped me to view the process in a whole different way. Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat; muscle takes up less space than fat. If you looked at two women who were the same height and weighed the same but had different body fat percentages they would look very different when it comes to being toned.

So, remember, be the Hummer! Get out there, build some muscle and become a lean, mean calorie blasting machine!!!

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