Where I’m At With Health Coaching

I haven’t talked much about my health and wellness coaching lately because, well, I haven’t been doing it much. While I did absolutely love it and hope to really pick it back up in the future, I just don’t have time right now. School, work, interning, and my family is taking up all of my time. I haven’t been seeking out clients and haven’t really made myself too noticeable on social media lately.

I do have a handful of clients though and I love working with them! Like, really love working with them. I have definitely connected very well with one of my clients and I get so excited seeing her progress! I check in with her almost daily (although, our challenge group was going on so a lot of my check ins were in the challenge group, rather than via text or FB message).

I follow a lot of other fitness coaches too on Instagram and Facebook and I’ve realized what type of coach I don’t want to be.

Do you ever read the captions that go something like, “I really didn’t feel like working out today, but I still pushed play! 30 minutes later and I’m done! Push yourself! This is what changes are made of.” Great message, right? But come on. Rest days are GREAT for you. And it’s about balance. I wake up and don’t want to work out and you know what? I don’t. I take the day off until I feel ready.

My client texted me that she hadn’t worked out all weekend but was sticking to her meal plan, but she was in a funk and just felt off. Can you imagine if she had been looking at my Instagram every day and saw me posting statuses about how you have to push yourself and that’s how you make progress and blah blah blah? When you’re already feeling like you’re failing, does it ever help to see how accomplished other people are?

Instead, I told her that she has done great so far and I was proud of what an awesome job she has done. Everybody hits a wall sometimes and there is absolutely no need to get down on yourself about it. I am coaching because I want people to be healthy for the rest of their lives. Not for a 21 day challenge. Not for a few months.

I want their mindset to change. I want them to see that a few rest days or weeks or gaining a few pounds here and there or eating an entire cake is really nothing to stress. I want them to know that if they fall of the wagon, they can just get back on it. It’s not about pushing play every day. It’s not about choosing the broccoli over the cake every day. It’s about knowing your worth, making an effort to eat a wide variety of healthy foods, and to move your body most of the time.

I went through an entire year after having Jackson where I barely worked out and I ate terribly. I still classified myself as a healthy person overall. I knew it was temporary. I understand that my clients have jobs, babies, husbands, LIVES. My most recent client told me that she does great for a little while with working out but gets depressed when she misses a day. Why?! I miss days all of the time! The difference between me and them is that I have spent years working on this mindset. I’ve never had an (emotionally) unhealthy relationship with the gym, food, or my weight, but I also haven’t valued health in the same way that I do now. I accept off days and they don’t affect me (except for injuries- those are just frustrating). I just keep on keeping on and I am 100% confident that barring any major medical issues, I will be active and eat well until the day that I die.

My client who texted me about her funk was very appreciative that I was realistic with her. She told me she needed to hear my response and that made me feel good. Because I can help somebody. I remember telling Jon how little I make from one client who only buys workout videos, but they are my client for a year. I wondered if I’d get in over my head by only selling the videos. But I reminded myself that to me, this isn’t about the money. I did this because I want to connect with people and that is what I’m doing. I absolutely love the connections I’ve made and becoming a coach has been completely worth it to me.

So, I don’t ever want to be the coach that tries to sell a false sense of motivation. I’m not motivated all the time. I do still work out when I don’t want to. Trust me, I do it a ton. I also genuinely love working out most days though. But I’m not going to act like I push play all the time or make excuses about why I needed to rest. I may tell a reason why I skipped a gym session, but I won’t have an ounce of remorse for it. I don’t live my life to work out. I work out so that I can live my life to the fullest.

 

Friday Favorites & Weekly Recap

It’s FRIDAY! It has been a busy week! Jackson’s sitter had some personal issues so didn’t have Jackson this week, and it was tough getting schoolwork done and making progress with my health and wellness business.

I’ve been taking the business slow since I knew school was starting soon, but now I’m really just anxious to be more productive with it on my own. I have a few people starting this next challenge group with me, but I want to run my own. I think over the next month, I’m going to work on getting everything ready to run my own. Hopefully I’ll be into the swing of things by then and it’ll be much more manageable. I’m really loving connecting with other like-minded women and am so excited for the time when I can dedicate more time to the business. Also, the UK launch party is in London the day that Jon and I were planning to fly back from Budapest in October and I think I may be able to swing it to go to the UK launch! I’m really hoping I can make it work because I would love to meet my upline coach and to meet the future UK coaches!

I’m feeling frustrated with my master’s program since most of my assignments are dependent upon discussions with my preceptor. Since I’m not back in Atlanta yet, I haven’t had any discussions with my preceptor yet and it’s halting my assignments. I totally understand that my preceptor is busy with the department and answering my email is not a top priority, but I’m still stressed because I have papers to start on and I can’t until I get information on our departmental budget.

Anyway, back to the week though! I’ve been trying to work in my schoolwork during nap times and in the evenings. We had mornings at the gym (because I need nap time for school!) so that Jackson could get out of the house. He’s been teething and I think he had a bit of a cold, so our afternoons have been pretty miserable. Lots of snuggling and not much of anything productive.

Laura came in town from Atlanta on Wednesday night, so she was here yesterday morning. We went to the Children’s Museum and then hung out at the house while Jackson napped in the afternoon. Laura left around 3:30 yesterday to meet up with her friend who was flying into Charleston, so I had a low-key afternoon.

That is really all that has happened this week! Being back in school has put a damper on doing anything exciting and it’s been stressful trying to juggle school with being a full time mom for the week.

We have a boring weekend ahead. Jon is going to be gone for a funeral all day tomorrow, so it’ll just be Jackson and me all day long. I’m hoping we can head to the beach on Sunday morning and then I can spend the afternoon doing school work. I wish this wasn’t how the last weekend as a family in Charleston was going, but I’m grateful to have my entire family happy, healthy, and alive, so I can’t complain too much.

I’m really hoping to start on Iceland recaps soon! I’ve been so overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I have to do on the computer and I am still not done with Jon’s Father’s Day album! Ugh! I could spend days on this dang computer and not be caught up on everything!

Alrighty, last of all, I’m not doing a real Friday Favorites because I rarely try anything new, but I had two major finds this week that I was SUPER excited about! If anybody is friends with me on Facebook, you already know about my excitement.

Betabrand Pants

I found pants that fit without being altered! Betabrand are YOGA dress pants! They are awesome! They’re so comfortable and they definitely fit the bill for dress casual! I wish I had found these pants before spending all of that money altering my other dress pants! I bought an XS petite short and they fit great, and I’m 5′ and 100lbs, in case anybody needs a reference. I also found that tons of working moms knew about these pants, but I live in scrubs for work and it has been years since I’ve needed to buy new dress pants. I have one power suit to wear for interviews, and that was what I wore to the two interviews I have been to in the last seven years! Other than that, scrubs FTW!

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Audrey Brooke Ballet Flats

I also found these Audrey Brooke Winny shoes that I LOVE! My right foot is closer to a size 7 and my left foot is closer to a 6.5, so flats never work because my feet are such different sizes. These are so comfortable and they fit both feet! They run big (these are a 6) for sure, but I am just so glad I found flats that work! I was in serious need of some new ones for my internship. I’ve seriously been wearing the same pair of Target flats for almost ten years now and they are ragged. The other pair of flats that I wear are dirty leopard prints flats (also from Target) that Crista was going to throw out and I snagged them. They’re so comfortable because she already wore them in, but they’re in rough shape too! I have a nicer pair, but they’re so uncomfortable and I hate them! They also have a big button on them and I feel like they look too childish to be wearing for business casual.

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This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked 21 Day Challenge

I finally completed my 21 day “This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked” challenge! The challenge included doing my home workout program, checking in with my online group, and drinking my superfoods shake daily. I had planned on following the Shift Shop program, which was 21 days with rest days on Sundays. The workouts increased from 25 minutes sessions in week one, to 35 minute sessions in week two, to 45 minute sessions in week three.

I actually really liked the workouts, but I quickly got bored doing the same moves all the time. I went to the 45 minute workouts almost immediately. I also continued to do my own workouts at the gym, so sometimes I was doubling up on workouts. I think I doubled up maybe 4 days total, just for reference. I took my first rest day on day 9 and had 4 total rest days during the challenge. I ended up switching and doing Shaun Week for the last week instead of Shift Shop (both workout programs), which was a lot of fun! Definitely my style of working out! But both programs had me working way harder than I thought I would at home! Towards the end, I would do either my own gym workouts or Shaun Week, but not both. With school back in session, I just didn’t have the time to double up anymore.

I missed one day of my superfoods shake, which I was fine with. I planned on having it in the evening and felt nauseous by the evening. But I played around with recipes and can honestly say that now I love my shakes! They’re so good! I have wanted to drink two every day because they’re so good! I feel like my energy is a lot more consistent throughout the day. Instead of having a mid afternoon crash every afternoon and needing coffee, I felt pretty energetic! I only had coffee if I was in the mood for it and chose decaf most of the days.

The accountability group definitely kept me more active. During the 21 days, I went back and forth to Atlanta twice (both with Jackson), Jon had surgery on his elbow and couldn’t take care of Jackson at all for two full weeks, we hosted family in town, and I started school again. I guarantee that had it not been for my accountability group, I would have taken way more rest days! I probably would have worked out only a handful of days that entire time. I am super consistent with my activity when I’m home, as I discussed before, but when life gets crazy, I take that time to just let my body rest.

My personal goal for the challenge was to give up grains. I didn’t actually decide that on Day 1, so I had sushi and ice cream on Day 1. It was after that that I decided to cut grains out since I felt so horrible after that meal. Later on, I had part of a brownie one night at Kassie’s birthday celebration, probably 1/3 pan of brownies in one day when we hosted Jon’s family (go big or go home!), and ice cream another night. But anything I ate at home (other than the brownies that one day) was grain free. So, not perfect by any means because I still had dessert, but more in line with how I want to eat again.

While I actually enjoyed the accountability for working out, I didn’t even try to stick to the meal plan for the program. I also feel like this far into my fitness journey, I just don’t need an accountability group. I don’t feel the need to go 21 days without dessert if I want it either. I took rest days when I wanted/needed them and was fine with it. I liked the accountability group and look forward to doing them in the future. Hopefully I’ll find a person to join me each time! I like the energy of being in a group where women are trying to get in shape and want to live a healthier life. I liked checking in daily and feeling encouraged to stay active by other people.

This business has been so motivating, honestly. Although I have generally surrounded myself with other active people through CrossFit or ClassPass, my close friends aren’t necessarily super active. They’re not huge into fitness. That is totally fine, obviously, but becoming a health and wellness coach has opened me up to so many other likeminded people! I love chatting with them and I love our team calls, where I get to talk to people who are motivated about making health a huge part of their lives. I love that these women run these accountability groups (and I will too!) and genuinely care about the health of women that they have never even met! Being in this huge group of other health coaches makes me so excited about the lives that I’ll be able to change in my future.

Now, on to the Before and After photos!

Unfortunately, I left my camera in Atlanta so the quality of my after photos is a little different. Also, I should have had Jon take full body photos, but it’s a little too late to go back and redo them! My goal was obviously not to lose weight. I actually didn’t have any specific goals for my body. My goals for this challenge were to cut out grains, to work out consistently, and to see how this program worked for my body.

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I did cut back a bit on the bloating! Overall, I thought the challenge was great, I loved my shakes, and I am excited to help others reach their goals with this program!

The Last Year of Grad School

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday! This week is flying by. Yesterday I started back to school! Ahhh! I’m already kind of stressed out looking at all of the assignments for the semester. I just have a hard time picturing a schedule that incorporates work, school, Jackson, fitness coaching, working out, and a long distance marriage that doesn’t run me ragged. And I’m even considering applying to a management position where I work, but I don’t know if I can even fathom that right now. I feel like I’m way under qualified anyway, so maybe I should apply just to feel like I tried.

When I checked my school email yesterday, I had an email from our program coordinator reminding us to apply for graduation! The deadline is October 1st. I can’t believe it’s time to apply for graduation! I know this year is going to be tough, but in nine months, I will be done with this chapter of life. I’m really proud of myself for pursuing this master’s degree. No idea where it’ll lead me, but I’m okay with that right now.

I spent yesterday morning running errands, as always. I returned my horrible adjustable weights to Wal-Mart and opted for two 10lb weights, two 15lb weights, and one 25lb weight. I have 5lbs and I think I may invest in 8lb weights also. Now I have a nice little workout area in my garage!

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I’m kind of bummed that this space is temporary. Since I’ll be moving back in with my parents in a few weeks, I’ll be doing my workouts in one of the bedrooms there. Or I could take them to the deck once it cools off a little bit. But I like this little area. It has been so nice getting my workouts in at home and not having to go to the gym. I still love the gym, but when I’m in a hurry, this has been huge. I’ll discuss this more in my 21 day recap that’s coming up soon.

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Jon and I decided to cancel the surgery to get tubes for Jackson’s ears. Well, Jon decided to. I’m just kind of going with it. He hasn’t had an ear infection in the last few weeks and typically, he’s not too miserable with the ear infections anyway. If Jon doesn’t want to do a surgery, then I’m okay with it.

But speaking of my little terror, life is rough with him lately. We’re in a huge hitting phase and it is driving me insane. He also is throwing tantrums when I pick him up and flails his body around. The kid is a big boy! He can be hard to handle. I’m feeling like I need to read some parenting books on how to handle these outbursts in a way that he’ll understand at this age. I definitely feel myself getting impatient and frustrated much more easily than I’d like at times. If we have a slow day at home, I can handle anything. I don’t get frustrated at all. But when we’re in a hurry or I’m trying to do stuff, he really gets on my nerves.

Last night, my neighbor (Ashley) was having a gender reveal party. I picked Jackson up from his sitter and got dinner together before we headed over there around 5:30. We ended up staying until close to 7pm. It was fun! I’m feeling sad about leaving Charleston! I know I haven’t met a ton of people here yet, but I have met a few people and I’m just content with where we are right now. I want to stay and pursue friendships with the people that I’ve met and build up more of a network.

Anyway, I should be hopping off of here. I’m trying to get some schoolwork done and I have a feeling Jackson will be up soon. I plan on making some Paleo pumpkin muffins this afternoon. Jon should be home around 4:30 and I’m excited to see him. I was in Atlanta all weekend and then Jon stayed in Savannah last night, so I haven’t spend any time with him lately. My sister-in-law and her family will be here tomorrow night.

Long Weekend Updates

Happy August, y’all! Today is my parent’s 36th wedding anniversary. I just counted that like, 10 times to be sure, but it is. Thirty-six years is a long time!

Jon and I had a long weekend together since he had elbow surgery on Thursday. I had actually planned on dropping him off and getting some stuff done in the morning before his surgery, but he was a little nervous and he never gets nervous, so I decided to stay with him. I ended up getting a ton of work done at the surgery center since I had about six hours there. Thankfully, everything went well and we headed home in the late afternoon. The rest of our Thursday was pretty low-key, other than some errand running since Jon was out of commission all day and he was tired from the anesthesia.

Jackson went to his sitter on Friday, so I had the whole day to myself for the first time in awhile! Unfortunately, after going to the gym, I had to clean our bathrooms and do some other adulting.

Since Jon was off work because of his surgery, we decided to take advantage of our freedom and go out and get some lunch. He had been waiting on his coworker to come by the house to pick some stuff up so we got a later start than we had planned on, but we still had plenty of time to go grab lunch downtown at Fleet Landing. Jon is still mostly keto and I’m eating grain-free for now (and hopefully forever), so we went with a seafood place. I ended up getting the meal of the day, which was fish tacos. They were only $10 and they were actually pretty good! I resisted dessert because, well, 21 Day Challenge. I need some abs or something to show for this, and I’m not going to get them from dessert.

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I skipped the tortillas and had them make a fish salad, and I didn’t eat the rice.

We spent Friday night hanging around the house, as usual.

On Saturday morning, I headed out to the gym with Jackson since Jon can’t really care for him solo with his cast on. We didn’t get out of the house until later on since we were just relaxing at home in the morning, so by the time we got home, Jackson was ready for his nap. I completed my at-home workout and got ready for the day.

Jackson took a super long nap on Saturday! It was fantastic! I drank some coffee and did work on my new health & wellness business after getting ready until he woke up.

Once Jackson was up, the family headed to the Children’s Museum downtown since we hadn’t been in awhile. It was super packed there but Jackson had tons of fun going down the slide 10,000 times.

Our Saturday night was low-key again because that’s just how life is with a kid who goes to bed at 7pm. I’ve been Googling “questions for your spouse” and Jon and I have been reading them and answering them together, so we did that. It’s kind of fun to do something different, instead of just watching Netflix together.

I typically love my Sunday morning gym time because nobody goes to the gym on Sunday morning and I have it all to myself, but they don’t have childcare on Sundays so I was stuck at home with the boys. I took my workout to the garage and did a 45 minute speed session. Jon and Jackson played outside while I got my sweat on. After finishing my workout, I got ready, had lunch, and did more work during nap time.

After Jackson woke up, we decided to go to the Fire Museum in North Charleston. We weren’t sure what to expect with a toddler there, but it was only $6 for each adult so we didn’t have too much to lose. Jackson actually loved it though. He ran around and looked at the fire trucks and had fun pressing all the buttons on the displays. They even have a simulator of driving a fire truck, so we took him in that so he could drive. It was kind of loud and bumpy, so he wasn’t a big fan but it was still cute!

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After bedtime, Jon and I watched What the Health to see what the hubbub over that movie is all about. I actually thought I had watched the documentary, but turns out, I just read the description and then watched a different documentary. It wasn’t until I saw a clip of the video on Facebook that I realized I had never seen it. I think this article gives a good rundown of why I thought the documentary was total BS. I do agree with it being backwards that large foundations are backed by the food industry and wish that wasn’t the case (down with big pharma and Monsanto!), but that’s just how we roll in the US. Maybe one day, money won’t run everything, but our country is just not there yet. Other than that though, the movie was just crazy talk and did a good job at creating fear in those who never research anything else about nutrition.

Jon had a light day Monday for work, so we hung out around the house a bit on Monday morning before Jackson and I headed out to the gym. Our mornings look the same most of the time. Jackson has breakfast, I have breakfast, I clean up, I get Jackson ready, I get myself ready, we go to thy gym, I give Jackson a snack, he goes down for a nap, I eat lunch, I get ready, and I do work until he wakes up. We did throw in a little walk outside since it was nice out before his nap. This dude loves being outside!

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Since it was magically beautiful out in Charleston yesterday, I decided to take advantage of the weather! I took Jackson to the park in the afternoon and he found a 9 year-old boy that was obsessed with playing with him. We did a quick dinner and bath when we got home and relaxed for the evening together.

After Jackson went to bed, Jon and I had our third marriage counseling session. We talked about my love of travel most of the time (Jon thinks I travel too much and I think I don’t travel enough). We’re still in those early counseling stages, so I’m not sure if it’s made a difference, especially because we’ve spent a ton of time apart since we started going. But I still think it’ll end up being a good thing for us in the long run! We mostly decided to start doing marriage counseling just to work on our communication, but that also makes counseling hard because we don’t really have any major issue to overcome. So I think it’ll take more time to pinpoint how to make improvements, but I just like that we’re working on our marriage together and have a sounding board to tell us if we’re both just crazy.

Jackson went back to this sitter this morning so this if my first real free day in awhile! Since I’ve spent a lot of my summer traveling, I’ve been using all of our days at the sitter for when I’m out of town, or for things like Jon having surgery. School starts in 8 days (WAHHH!), so I decided to get in a few days with the sitter so I could do some major relaxing beforehand! I ended up heading to the beach this morning. Although I’m still doing my “This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked” 21 day challenge, I decided to take today as a total rest day. I’ve been continuing with my own heavier lifting workouts in addition to my at-home workouts, so there is no way I can do 21 days without a rest day. I feel like my body needs it today, so I decided to make today my rest day, which meant that I got an earlier start at the beach. It was so incredibly windy on the water and I kept getting covered in sand, but it was beautiful out! Loved every second of being out in the fresh air, as always. I swear, I was made for the ocean.

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I got some iced coffee after the beach and headed to Whole Foods to pick a few things up before coming home to do more work on my business. I am so pumped to be doing this health & wellness business. I love talking fitness and nutrition and am so excited to help other people feel comfortable with their bodies. And because I work out and am strong AF these days (I wish I could make the laughing face emoji here so you guys know I’m being sarcastic), I carried our brand new ottoman up the stairs today! It was awkward because my arms were too short to reach around the box, but I did it. Jon didn’t want to order this until his cast is off since he didn’t think I’d be able to get it up the stairs. Bish, I work out!

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And that’s my whole looooong recap! Thanks for sticking with me, guys!

This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked Challenge Week One

Hey guys! I’ve been doing the “This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked” challenge for a full week now. I’ve actually really enjoyed the challenge group, surprisingly. I figured I’d do weekly rundowns during this challenge so I can track my progress.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working out regularly because I’ve had tons of free time. Going to the gym is a huge priority when I’m home. But that’s the problem- it’s a huge priority when I’m home. I work out five days a week when I’m home, and then I don’t work out at all when I’m out of town. I spend quite a bit of time out of town so that’s a lot of days where I’m not fitting in my gym time!

With this challenge, I have to work out everyday, but I can do it at home. I also have to drink my superfood packed protein shakes every day. Each workout program has a meal plan with it (including all of the recipes), but I’m not following the meal plan. I actually love the meal plan with my program though because it’s grain free and that is huge to me! But in order to make this program doable for me, I just can’t be spending that much time on food. So I’m sticking with some old trusty faves and just worrying about getting in my workouts and my shakes.

I check in to my challenge group daily on Facebook. This has actually been one of the best parts for me because it holds me accountable. I actually went to the big girl gym on Friday and Saturday this week but then I still had to do my workout program at home to count it for my challenge. There have been a few days where working out definitely wouldn’t have happened had I not been in the group too. The day Jon had surgery on his elbow? I worked out at 8pm and absolutely did not want to. But I have a group holding me accountable, so I did it.

Aside from working out daily, I’ve cleaned up my eating too. I’ve been wanting to give up grains for a long time again (I fell off the grain-free wagon when I got pregnant and Jackson is 17 months old now soooo…) and even with Jon doing the keto diet, I was still holding onto a few grain-filled items. Because I want to see results in this challenge, I’ve finally given up grains again. Aside from two sushi rolls and ice cream on Day 1 (I was hanging out with Laura), I’ve stayed grain free and have cut out all desserts. I’ve even eaten out two other times and didn’t give in. This is the first six days being grain free since I was pregnant. I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I feel.

I also think the last big push to cutting out grains again was how I felt when I was eating them. I had cleaned up my diet a bit lately so I wasn’t eating grains regularly. So when I did eat them, I really felt it. After having sushi and ice cream with Laura on Day 1, I went home and was all out of sorts, as I typically am when I pack grains and sugar into the end of my day. My heart was racing, I felt gross, and I couldn’t sleep. This happens every time I eat grains now, so I knew I just needed to cut them out again. And the bloat was getting unreal at the end of every day when I wasn’t eating clean.

So, one week in and I feel great. I actually love the protein shakes. The chocolate tastes like dessert and today I made a frappe out of the cafe latte flavor and some cold coffee. I’ve been rocking my workouts at home, even though I still don’t love working out at home. And the push to clean up my diet was much needed and it feels so nice not to look pregnant by the time bedtime rolls around every day because of bloat.

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Frappe made with Cafe Latte protein powder, cold coffee, and ice.

I’ll post the official “Before” and “After” pictures once the challenge is over, but I decided to get a nice Day 7 photo with Jackson since he came outside with me for my workout.

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