Originally posted 2016-10-29 08:34:36.
Originally posted 2016-10-29 08:34:36.
Let’s just get this off the table.
I’ve gained weight. Numerically, about 20 lbs.
Some of you are judging. Some of you are letting outs gasps and saying, “Bless her heart.” . Some of you are texting your girlfriend to say, ” I told you that PCOS chick gained weight! Ha!”.
Whatever you’re thinking, well-STOP. First, because I want you to know I am completely accepting and comfortable with this fact. I don’t need your sympathy. I don’t need your comments. I don’t need your judgement. Because I am just fine.
And oh yea, because it’s NONE OF YOUR F*#king business.
My hesitation in writing this came from the fact that I am a health coach, and because of our messed up society that is stuffed full of diet culture, where worth dictated by numbers on tags and scales, I know many of you would find me hypocritical.
How dare she coach women about health when she clearly is not in control of hers?
Well I dare to because I think health is more than what the industry driven by shame and fueled by fear of not being what is currently considered ideal. I find nothing healthy about spending all my energy hating myself and obsessing over food.
Health to me is improving your quality of life. But what happens when your pursuit of physical health is destroying your mental health? What if the journey leads you down a road of obsession over food and using fitness and nutrition as a punishment and reward system?
In a season when every fitspo, home health coach will be filling your social media with their programs to “fix” you, I want you to remember one thing- you shouldn’t be shamed into health. You’re not broken. The health industry is, preying on our insecurities. Motivation driven by hating yourself doesn’t get you very far.
I gained weight. I don’t need to justify it. I just stopped equating my worthiness with my physical appearance. I didn’t “let myself go”. The only thing that I let go of is my fear of judgement about how my body makes others feel.
But regardless, I don’t owe anyone an explanation about my body. I could list the numerous life occurrences that some may accept as worthy of justification for weight gain. I could apologize about how I did XYZ to get here, and quickly follow up with how I am going to resolve it. I could explain to you that at my thinnest I still felt unhealthy and trapped in the diet cycle. I could make sure you understand why I’m still acceptable where I am, even though society might say differently. But I won’t.
Because my weight is not something that needs to be resolved. I’m heavier. And I am happier. To me, this is healthier.
I’ve found acceptance in the fact that health is individual. It is not one size fits all. It is a complex balance between mind and body, and the connection between the two is crucial to understand.
And for those who view me differently for it, I bid you ado. You are the exact unhealthy weight I need to lose.
I have gained. I have gained strength to break up my unhealthy relationship with connecting guilt and reward to food. I have gained the understanding that my confidence can come from something other than my body. I have gained the knowledge to see how closely related your mental health is to your physical health, and both need to be nurtured. I have gained the understanding that loving the hell out of myself doesn’t come with size restrictions.
And I have gained the strength to tell anyone who has something to say about my body that I don’t owe you an explanation. And I certainly don’t need your validation.
Originally posted 2016-12-10 23:44:21.
8 pounds was all that stood between myself and the great meltdown of March 2016 (Yes, it was that bad. Read on.)
As I lay on my bathroom floor, curled up in the fetal position, tears running down my face and unable to catch my breath, I thought to myself ,
Are we here again, Shelby? Is this who we are? You hypocrite. Muster up some self love. What would you tell the girls to do? Stop this right now.
But I didn’t stop. In fact, I lay there, right next to the heap of clothes I shed trying to convince that scale she’s a lying jerk, still clutching the phone displaying the progress pictures I took because I was sure they would prove my theory wrong about what the scale had to say. They didn’t. They reflected a person who had gained 8 pounds. I lay there wondering how I got there.
If you’ve been following me for a while, I’m sure you know I have lost weight. About 55 pounds from my highest. But what shiny, nicely laid out, strategically selected transformation pictures won’t show you, is that I have been battling mental weight.
Your health, mental and physical, is not a destination. It is fluid. It changes. It’s not like one day, you weigh X amount of pounds, and you are magically this happy, self confident person who has no problems. But you see, no one ever told me that. So when I reached my goal, and wasn’t happy, I was pissed.
I worked my ass off for this. I’m here. Where’s this so called happiness?
I had hyper focused on losing weight, and only weight, and only fitting in a pair of pants that, sure I knew how to work out and eat right and lose weight- but what else? Now what?
In comes life, like it always does. Kids to be raised. Friends to have wine with. Vacations with carbs around every corner. Working on personal projects and creating a life you want.
But with all that, comes stress. Pressure. Old self sabotaging tendencies. And weight.
8 pounds of weight, to be exact.
And, man, how heavy these 8 pounds are.
If you’ve lost a lot of weight, you know what I am talking about. The feeling of pressure to keep it off. The voice in your head that doubts you and belittles you.
You’ve put yourself out there as an example of someone who can do it. You messed up. You liar. You CAN’T do it.
You can’t be proud of yourself now, Shelby. That stomach roll and double chin is back to remind you how much of a failure you are.
No one will give a shit what you have to say if you can’t even practice what you preach.
As I sat last week, creating a challenge for other women to help them lose weight, as I accepted my certification from NASM, and as I got email after email about how inspiring I am with my weight loss, something in me broke. Snapped. That self sabotaging voice got too loud. It started winning battles with the self assured, confident, strong voice I fight so hard to have. And for the first time in a long time, I felt defeated.
And I know it’s just a number. I know that deep down, if I refocused on myself vs. pouring my everything into others, I could get it off. And I will get it off. But at what expense?
Sure, I have gained 8 pounds. But you know what? I have been happy. Stressed beyond belief, but genuinely happy and fulfilled. Some nights, that fulfillment has been in the form of Little Caesars Crazy Bread, but hey. Have I slacked on my workouts? Absolutely. Have I had 1 or 3 extra glasses of wine I could have skipped for the gym? 100%. And I am not sitting here saying that eating carbs and drinking wine and being happy trumps taking care of your body.
I am saying there has to be a balance. You can’t neglect yourself and your health and get lost in the service and happiness of others. You can’t spend your every waking minute on the treadmill praying for that number to go down. You can’t miss out on life because you’re too busy waiting around for the perfect situation. Perfect size. Perfect number staring back at you from the scale. And you can’t let the voice telling you you aren’t good enough to succeed or don’t deserve to love and embrace yourself, at all stages, drown out the bad ass warrior voice reminding you just how much you can.
Sometimes you wonder where to find your strength and confidence. Sometimes you forget how far you’ve come. Sometimes that old voice wins, and you end up lying in a puddle of tears and leggings on your bathroom floor.
This morning my old voice won.
But then I remind myself of all the things I am proud of. All the things that make me happy that can’t be measured by my pants or my weight.
Am I proud that I gained 8 pounds? No. Of course not.
Am I ashamed of it? Hell no.
I am human. We all are. There’s no super human woman out there that hasn’t slipped up or lost her way or doubted herself.
So as I picked myself up off the bathroom floor and wiped away my tears, I caught my reflection in the mirror. And I bust out laughing.
Was I really just in the fetal position crying into my Lu Lu Roes? Get your sh*t together, Shelby. There are people who need you. And today, that person is you.
**I share this story not because I am proud of getting of track and gaining weight. I share it because I want everyone to know that if it happens to them, they aren’t a failure. The only failure is quitting on yourself. There is no shame in falling down. There is no shame in breaking down. The same is in making others feel like they are any less for doing so. **
Here’s the progress pictures that broke open the flood gates. I wasn’t going to post them because I could name 2089 things that I don’t like about it. So that proved right there, I needed to do it. For me.
To forgive myself for my past. To accept myself as I am right now. And to focus on the future.
Originally posted 2016-03-28 15:42:24.
I may be dating myself by saying this, but the closest I had to social media when I was in high school was AIM. ( I had some killer away messages, let me tell you.) I was messed up enough in those socially formative years. I can’t even imagine if I was worried about how many followers I had or if someone was sending my high school boyfriend Colin DM’s on Instagram. In my younger years, I was impressionable. Hell, 3 years ago I fell for the whole “I have to tell you it works in the brand name to overcompensate for the fact that its just Saran Wrap and water weight you’re losing” bit. So yea, it still lingers. (News Flash- if they have to name it ‘ this shit really makes you lose weight’ or something similiar, it probably doesn’t)
It’s human nature to want to put your best self out there. It’s ingrained in most of us from birth to succeed. Win. Be liked. We are raised idolizing celebrities and sports stars that get paid to run and throw a ball or lay in bed and take a perfect selfie. But this idolization has grown. It isn’t just mainstream celebrities or limited to your 8pm shows or drive to the work on the radio. Hell, Kim Kardashian makes millions for… do we even know yet? Has this mystery been solved? (Seriously though- what the fuck does she do? )We strive to obtain the social norm of perfection.
In a day where everyone is constantly connected and flooded with pretty square pictures or the most craftily stringed together words the 140 character limit will allow, everyone wants to be popular. Get one more like. Gain one more more follower. There is article on top of article telling you what you should believe and what you should wear and how you should eat and when you should blink. Everyone has become a fitness expert. Everyone knows how to tell you what you are doing wrong and what you can improve and why you aren’t good enough. We spend our days comparing. It’s hard not to. But, my friends, comparison is the thief of joy.
So when I talk to younger girls, my heart breaks. I am on the last leg of my 30th year, and I still have to dig deep to find my self love and confidence every morning when I wake up. Then dig even deeper throughout the day. I’m like the archaeologist of digging for that self worth, yall. (Minus the degree and ugly brown get up they wear. Or is that just in the movies?) Not only are they worrying about what to wear, remembering their dance team tryout dance or their speech for student council, but they are constantly connected. I can’t imagine how I’d find ways to love myself, if every morning I wake up to my Instagram feed to perfect bodies. Or stepped away from my computer to, you know, LEARN at school, and came back to 2398 tweets, DMS and Facebook messages. I get overwhelmed when I set my phone down to go fill up my wine glass and have 2 notifications.
This is a recipe for self worth destruction.
So when I get asked,
“Why are you so real? You really put EVERYTHING out there. You’re brave.”
I usually smile or emoji politely and simply say,
“I strive to be an example of a real woman in a real world. That’s all.”
But the long hand version of that answer is this:
This world is scary. Especially for young girls. Especially today. I was one of those young girls. Cutting out the Victoria’s Secret swimsuit pictures and putting them on my fridge to stop me from eating. Buying the same outfit as Tonya, the cool girl, so people would like me more. Thinking I needed better boobs to be pretty. Now today’s it all about butts, who knew? But my point- No one is as perfect as their social media feeds. They all wake up with morning breath. And wear leggings on days they are bloated. And cry. And struggle. They just don’t show it. And it’s a shame. A damn shame. I needed someone to show me my mess wasn’t abnormal. My body was like 90% of other women. I needed someone to show me what it’s like to fail. I needed examples of women who have gone through some shit. Some really hard, down in the gutter, dark and twisty stuff- and survived. Because that’s all any of us are trying to do. Survive. Feel less alone. Accepted. Supported. And I don’t think you have to be a size two, living in suburbia former high school cool girl who married the hot guy to feel that. So here’s to the girls who don’t have their shit together. The ones who have cried in a bathroom. The one’s who have fought battles no one knows about. The one’s who keep working on themselves. The one’s who aren’t afraid to show the real them. The non highlight reel. Because those are the examples we need to see. That’s who fills my feeds. Who runs in my circle. Because real is so hot right now.”
So to you, the girl who just picked herself apart after endlessly scrolling your feeds- Stop. Stop this. Stop right now.
Unfollow anyone who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Online and in real life. Rid yourself of the obnoxiously unattainable “perfect”. Because, you my friend, kick ass. So go out into the world and keep doing that. Every. Damn. Day.
Originally posted 2016-03-19 19:07:05.
So I just finished my second Dietbet.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t win.
But that’s okay. You want to know why?
I stayed motivated because of it. I lost 5 of the 6 pounds I was supposed to lose.
It connected me with other women dealing with the same issues as me.
And I created a new one to start April 1st. (That way if the number is scary on the scale we can just say April Fool’s Fool! Just kidding, health is serious. So is my desire for King’s Hawaiian rolls sitting on my counter. They are so damn delicious. Longest side track thought ever. I digress.)
Because I am team Screw the Scale. (I need a shirt with that one it!) But it’s the motivation factor I enjoy. I stay a lot more accountable when I know 12,000 people are peeping my progress. And when I put money into it. I want my money back.
So tally so far:
January dietbet-0 Shelby-1
February Diet bet-1 Shelby-0
April Diet bet- I’m coming for you. And I will lose those pounds. And the Hawaiian rolls I just ate while typing this. We are all human, right?
If you want to join, come on down!
Originally posted 2016-03-14 14:09:55.
Oh, Monday. How you mess with my emotions. I usually like Mondays. I am the weirdo who thinks of them as a fresh start. Everyone always starts something new on a Monday. A diet. A workout routine. A new job. They quit a bad habit.
Because, Mondays are our fresh start. It doesn’t matter what you did before then- they are your fresh piece of diary paper. Rewrite your story. Starting now.
So for me, Monday’s rock. Because when I slip up, and I do- alot- I can start fresh.
But today I was just not feeling it.
I had a great weekend. But it was filled with all the really bad stuff that is so delicious. Beer. Mexican food. Staying up too late. Skipping the gym. NOT skipping the queso dip. Cookie Crisp at midnight, because WHY NOT? You get my point.
So waking up, I was the epitome of bloating. Not even my leggings were having it. Try again later when you’re not filled with salt and poor life decisions. We ain’t THAT stretchy girlfriend.
I felt exhausted. My body hurt. I regretted all the fun choices I made. And then I remembered it was the half way point of our Dietbet.
Shit. I have to take my progress pictures. What am I going to wear? I think the internet would frown upon a pantsless progress picture.
So I found the stretchiest pair of leggings I owned. I talked myself up.
It doesn’t matter what you look like, girl. It matters how you feel.
Oh right. I feel like shit.
I’m not doing this. I’ll take them later.
And then I immediately said
Get your ass in front of that mirror.
I was not going to put off progress pictures today. Because I am going to own every part of my journey. The good. The bad. And the bloated.
And let me tell you, I stress all the time don’t overthink what you see on the internet. Especially when it comes the weight loss and fitness pages. All those girls you follow on instagram? They took 2348235 pictures before finding that perfect lighting, perfect angle picture.
The results of my progress pics? Not great. But, not bad either.
I took them, took a quick glance at them, and then put my phone away.
I refuse to pick myself apart anymore. I have stretch marks. I have excess skin and fat pads. I have flaws.
But I also have things that no one can see in that progress picture. I have self love. I have self forgiveness. I have self acceptance.
And those things, are more important to me than how I look half naked after too many tacos.
So with that, I put on my running shoes, I turned on my gangsta rap, and I got outside. Sunshine is the cure for so many things. It’s my crack. (Crack is whack, kids.) It energizes me. Makes me happy. Makes me feel like I get accomplish anything.
I woke up not wanting to move off my couch let alone work out. But I changed my perspective, and put in 5 miles.
So here’s to Mondays. To fresh starts. To starting new. Starting over. Starting over AGAIN. Here’s to fresh diary paper. Here’s to forgiving your past, and focusing on your now, while moving toward the future.
Originally posted 2016-02-29 12:38:52.
Hi, I’m Shelby and I’m a recovering habitual quitter.
Well that felt good to get off my chest.
am was the girl who quit. My older sister was pretty and popular. My younger sister was smart. And I was the quitter. It was my thing.
I quit Daisy scouts before even going in because I was too afraid to go in the classroom filled with blue vests. I quit dance team one year because I felt like I would never be as good as the other girls. I’d quit jobs. Quit relationships. Friendships. I was a full blown quitter.
And once you get labeled something, you almost feel like people expect it from you. So many times I would want to sign up for a new activity and my mom would say,
“Now Shelby, if I pay for this, you’re not going to quit again, are you? ”
Well yes, mom. I probably will. The minute it gets scary or I feel inferior, I’m gone.
“Of course not, Mom.” Rolls eyes.
Two weeks later I quit.
I mean it’s like riding a bike. Once you have quit something, it gets easier and easier.
And I am not just talking about jobs or relationships or daisy scouts. I quit on myself.
Maybe it was because I was insecure. Maybe it was because I didn’t like myself. Maybe because I was scared.
But for whatever reason, I couldn’t stop.
When it came to my health, I was the typical yo yo dieter.
Try this magic shake. *Drinks one sip and checks if i’m skinny* Shit, this doesn’t work.
Do this workout dvd. *Can’t breathe or jump or move my body* Screw it. This is a joke.
Calorie restrict for 2 weeks to fit in a dress. *Dress doesn’t fit* Eat the entire kitchen.
See it’s so easy to give up. But eventually, you get tired. You get tired of people expecting you to fail. You get tired of failing yourself. You get tired of starting over. It’s just fucking exhausting.
It wasn’t some grand epiphany. Nothing significant or monumental happened to make it happen. But one day, I just got tired of my own bullshit. I thought to myself,
What will happen if I stop quitting on myself? What if I forgive myself for my mistakes? What if when a lightbulb burns out in my house of life, I don’t try to burn the whole thing down?
And I just stopped giving up on myself. It didn’t happen overnight. It was tiny choices and decisions made each day, each hour each minute.
*You can finish this mile, Shelby. Move your ass*
*Answer your damn phone. Your anxiety is not winning today.*
*So you didn’t lose this week. But you feel better, don’t you? You are not stopping.”
*So you ate a whole cheesecake? That doesn’t mean you don’t get your ass up and work out. You fell down. You aren’t staying down.*
*Share your story. Don’t let the people who don’t understand it make you stop sharing your heart.*
And just like that, I started realizing how strong I am. Strength truly comes from within. Proving the nasty mean voice in your head that tells you you aren’t good enough, wrong.
I am making big changes in my life. I am pursuing my dreams of helping others in their health journey-mentally and physically. I would have never in a million years thought I’d be 3 weeks away from completing what needs to be done to do that. I would have been on the wine wagon drinking away using the unused study flashcards as a coaster.
I am not perfect. I have a past. I have my failures. My flaws. My shortcomings.
I am a lot of things.
But I am NOT a quitter.
Originally posted 2016-02-26 14:32:09.
Oh, hey friends! Look who was a big girl and got her hair done (since the first time in September)? This girl right here.
I am so picky about my hair. I am not that obnoxious client. But I have had my share of hair traumas. You know, the kind where you say, ” I don’t care what you do as long as it’s not red!” And you walk out of the salon with fire engine red hair.
So after moving, I hesitated. Hesitated is too light of a word.
I avoided completely finding and trying a new hair girl.
Until I met my girl, Corbin. She’s in my facebook PCOS group. We met for what was supposed to be a big Georgia girls meetup and turned into me and her day drinking wine and eating calamari.
That’s a story for another time but I now call her one of my BFFs.
So I spent the day driving up to see her to get my hair done and have a girls night.
I went from this.
(If anyone is in Hiawassee, Ga and needs a good hair girl- let me know and I’ll get you in touch.)
What has everyone else been up to?
My son is off school all next week so I will spend it meal prepping and blogging and starting our dietbet. ( Cheat meal going downnnnnn tonight.)
I’ll be back soon!
Just had to pop in with this bomb dot com hair!
Originally posted 2016-02-14 11:05:28.
I’m gonna hit you with all the feels right now.
In our PCOS FB group, we’re doing a #positivitypause to take a break from all the sad and fill our wall with happy.
And I feel we need some perspective.
God knows I do lately.
I haven’t felt good. I have 2 cysts causing a lot of pain. And when I’m in pain, I’m a mean grumpy carb eating, not so nice words saying troll.
And I know it. But sometimes it’s hard to reel in. You get caught up in the negative. The pessimist mind set. Moaning. Complaining. Blaming others and life for all your misery.
And then last night, as I rolled my eyes and said something not so nice under my breath, which then made me star crying as I noticed my son watching my terrible behavior, he said to me…
” It’s okay momma. Just be brave. And be kind. ”
That was it.
My snap back to reality breaking point to get me out of the chunky dunk funk pool I was swimming in.
You see, I I haven’t yet talked on this blog about my sons health struggles, but if you follow me on Instagram or are in the Facebook group you’ve heard my sons story. The health struggles he’s endured. The life threatening condition hes lived with and handled with grace and dignity of an old soul is an amazing thing for this mama bear to see.
Throughout the rough years, the blood transfusions, the hospital stays, the fear- I was clueless. I didn’t know how to make his world better. And he’d ask me with his little 2 year old voice ” momma what do I do? ”
So I just kept telling him “Just be brave. And be kind. That’s all that ever matters”. And it’s become my mantra to him.
Over the last six years, I didn’t think he was listening.
They’re always listening.
And sometimes it takes your six year old to remind you to get your shit together, suck it up, life can be a lot tougher. harder. Scarier.
So today I will remember to just be brave and be kind.
Because, in the end- that’s all you ever need to be.
( This is one of my favorite pictures. Not just because of his damn chubby cheeks from lots of steroids. But because it reminds me if he can be that strong, GOD damn it- I can, too)
Originally posted 2016-02-09 08:28:11.
This month, I ran a Dietbet. I also must have been smoking crack or high on Christmas spirit, but I also committed #noboozeJanuary. And this month has felt like one long ass Monday without my wine. It’s been hard reintroducing the scale back into my life. I had broken up with her so long ago, and for good reasons. I was using it as the sole measurement of my success, and the truth was, it was hindering my progress. I gave it up and started using progress pictures and measurements and how I felt overall as gauge of my progress.
But I wanted to challenge myself. Not only to lose the weight, but also to break the mental mind game I had with the scale. I wanted to prove to myself that even if the number didn’t change, and I lost my 10 dollar buy in, I was still okay with myself because my success is not dictated by a number.
And most importantly, I wanted to help others. Even if I didn’t win, and didn’t drop a single pound, if it helped and motivated someone else to succeed, that was enough for me.
So the first weigh in happened right at prime chubby time- post holidays and all the carbs and wine and Christmas candy. I really gave literally no sh*ts about what I put into my body over the holidays. And the scale showed. I was up 6.4 pounds. And I was responsible for every single one.
Seeing the number on the scale, as well as the motivation I got from the 5oo women participating with me was enough to get my ass back on track. I got back in the gym. Not just when I felt like it. Every day. I tracked my marcos meticulously. I hit them most every day. And most importantly of all, I gave up the mommy juice.
I didn’t step on the scale for the first time until a week into it.
I have been kicking ass. The scale is DEFINITELY going to reflect it.
I am only down 1 lb? ONE?
And I knew it. Old habits were sneaking back in. I started doing the scale dance. ALL.THE.TIME.
*Step on scale*
Shit. This can’t be right.
*Step on scale again*
HELL NO. This thing is straight up lying to me.
Okay this is ridiculous.
*Trims split ends*
You get my point. The scale dance took over my life. And it controlled how I felt. So two weeks in, I finally did what was best for me. I put that thing back in the closet. I was not going to let it control how I felt about my progress. I knew I was kicking ass. I knew I was feeling good and healthy and making progress. I am not going to live in a state of being controlled by a plastic electronic device. Screw you, scale. You don’t know me. You don’t know my life.
This past week, I stepped it up. I started drinking all my water. I was getting extra time in at the gym. I ate cleaner than a ever. And most importantly I didn’t get on the scale.
Last time I checked, I still had 1.5 lbs to go.
I worked my butt off to try to get it off, but I also accepted that it might just not happen. PCOS can make weight stubborn and act like a rude houseguest that doesn’t get the hint to get the hell out. I had to be okay with it if it wasn’t where I wanted it to be.
So I woke up this morning, fully prepared for my goal not to be reached. I just chalked it up to a good motivation for the month, and was determined to keep on pushing.
I hyped myself up to get on.
For real? Let me just double check.
Oh man, scale. You just made my life. I hit my goal by the skin of my teeth (0.2 lbs)
I quickly snapped a picture and sent it in for verification.
I was ecstatic.
And I promptly went about making myself a plate of celebratory chocolate chip protein pancakes. I deserved the treat for this past month. And I started pulling down which bottle of wine I wanted to crack open tonight.
Until I remembered,
Shit. I am not verified yet. I might have to reweigh. And I won’t be where I was this morning after that glutinous pancake feast. Fool.
And I’ve been sitting here, stressing all morning. Waiting for the verified email to come through. Because I know if I got on that scale again it might not be as nice. I had pancake bites this morning that weighed 0.2 lbs. That .2 lbs stood between being a winner and being a loser.
And then I got my shit together, and realized- I’m not a loser at all. I kicked ass. I feel amazing. I helped others lose. I am proud of myself. So whether I have to reweigh or not, I know who the real loser is. The scale. Because it does not control how I feel about myself. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.
If you are interested in joining my next dietbet, let me know and I will get you the link! We will start February 15th, just in time to bypass the Superbowl snacks and Valentine’s chocolate.
Originally posted 2016-02-01 14:19:24.
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