November 19, 2014

The Weight Loss Roller Coaster

Sep9

weight scaleI’m tackling a subject matter over over the course of the next week that I have been avoiding for too long.

A topic that steps on toes. A topic that pulls at the root of many womens’ emotions. A topic that can offend, even when not intended. A topic that hurts. A topic that no one truly understands unless one has walked that journey before.

That topic? Women and their weight.

Is it any wonder why I get emails asking to share my weight loss journey, and I avoid addressing it, with a passion? Many people who follow my Frugal Fashionista posts always have one comment – “Well, it’s easy for you to find thrift store clothes because you are skinny.”

They have no idea. The truth of the matter is that my weight has fluctuated within forty pounds of where I am right now. During my college years and early twenties, I was in an unhealthy bondage to food. There’s no other way to put it.  I thought about it all the time, and made drastically unhealthy eating choices.

Any one who has ever struggled with their weight knows, it doesn’t matter how much weight you have lost over the years, if it’s ever been a struggle, you can close your eyes and all the emotions you dealt with during those years comes flooding back in an instant.

That’s why I am sharing my journey, and no one elses. I can’t begin to try and walk in your shoes. I have my story and you have yours, but we all have different chapters which have been written.

Society is judgmental. I know that’s harsh, but it’s a fact – especially when it comes to body image, shape and looks. As much as we know we shouldn’t judge, women are the worst. We get caught up in that comparison game that takes us down an emotional roller coaster, often leaving us parked at the bottom of the hill struggling to find a way up. Some of you may have seen pictures of me on this blog and have already formed an opinion such as, “Well, she could never know what I’ve gone through,” or “She can probably eat what ever she wants and not gain a pound.” That’s why I am finally getting around to sharing on this topic, even though I want to go kicking and screaming in the other direction because it opens us up to a topic that is hard.

Right now, I have fallen off the “maintaining the weight” wagon and am finally saying, “Enough is enough.” Even though for me, it’s been a subtle gain of a few pounds here and a few pounds there, (I know we’re not talking tons and tons of weight,) but it’s still the emotional roller coaster that is coming into play.That affects many aspects of life, and I have dealt with those repercussions years ago and am not going back.

I love food, but food can’t rule me. I hate to exercise, but I know it’s a necessity for healthy living. I love french fries, but too many, without moderation, is a recipe for an undisciplined life. I hate a sore body, but I know that it’s part of that roller coaster I need to embrace in order to get to the other side.

Tomorrow, I’ll go back in time a bit, but it’s always a pretty story. It reaches its peak with a chocolate cake and a garbage can….

Please know that where ever you are coming from, whether you have 100 pounds to lose, or just realize you need to get back to making healthier eating choices, we are in this together, and if we encourage one another along the way, we CAN do it!

Starting Monday, I am taking back the physical aspect of my life and beginning Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. Twenty minutes a day of sheer torture, but if we do it together, I think I can manage. I can do anything for 20 minutes, can’t I? (Amazon said it shipped yesterday, so I have no more excuses.) A group of us are holding each other accountable. I will be checking in here on the blog and on my Facebook Fan Page, where I already announced it. Many of you are excited to join in and I’ll post more details about it tomorrow.

(Read through the posts about this experience under 30 Day Shred)


Comments

  1. Good luck on the shred! I can’t wait to hear more about it!! I’ve been gaining and losing the same 5 lbs. for months! I have a LOT to lose! Yuck! I agree, encouragement is completely necessary! Thanks!

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  2. I am SOOOO there with you!!

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  3. I will join you! I already own the DVD. I definitely went into excess over the summer and need to step up my exercise and cut down on my food. The only thing I don’t get with 30 day shred is that she never really specifies if you are rally supposed to do it everyday. She is very vague, but I don’t think it is really all that great not to take at least one rest day for your muscles. But perhaps because it is only 20 min it doesn’t matter?

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    Jens Reply:

    Samantha – since I haven’t watched it yet, I am so glad that you brought this up. I will be taking a day of rest…on Sunday and maybe on Saturday, I will just do some slow walking. So glad you’re joining us.

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  4. Well, silly me, I just started my blog and entered my website info backwards in the previous message! LOL!

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  5. Kudos for your bravery in tackling this subject (which I completely relate to)! I’m really looking forward to the coming posts. P.S. The Shred will kick your rear in a good way!

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  6. I will do this with you. I have own the DVD for a little over six months and tried to do it once. The first 5 minutes kicked my butt. I need the motivation and encouragement.

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    Jens Reply:

    Nicole – I have heard this. For me, it’s just going to be about the consistency. We can take it at what ever level, but we just need to keep moving and hopefully, by day 7-8, we can stick with the whole thing. :)

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    Nicole Reply:

    @Jens, I blogged about my first day today! I can’t wait to see the success. Follow my blog http://lifestoosimple.blogspot.com

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  7. I’m with you! I have done so well the past 6 months, but the past couple of weeks I have been really slacking! I was at 217 when my youngest daughter was 8 months old and I said enough is enough. I completely changed my eating habits and started tracking everything that went into my mouth and now 6 month later I am at 171. I have been sticking at this weight for about 3 weeks, but I still have about 25 lbs to lose so I NEED to get back on track.

    Good luck! (And I hate exercise too. That’s the thing I really need to start)

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  8. Oh man, Jen, I think you & I were separated at birth! I’ve battled anorexia twice in my life, both times when my weight was the only thing I could control, and boy, did I control it! Of course, the end result is a lifelong battle against my body, as it now wants to hold onto each and every calorie I give it.

    At 5’3″, people think I’m tiny, but 3 pounds makes a HUGE difference in my body. I think you’re taller, so your body can “handle” a little more weight, as it were. But I’ve got 30 pounds to get rid of, and like you, I LOATHE exercise.

    I’ve done Jillian several times, and it does work well & quickly. You will see your shape beginning to change, which is always a good motivator. I’ve given up on the CD because I’ve gone back to work, & can only squeeze in a brisk walk before my shower in the morning. But I am motivated to lose this weight, so I’m with you on this journey; we’re just on different programs.

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  9. Wow how I needed this right now!! I’ve been off the maintaining wagon for about a year now. I actually just bought the 30 day shred at target yesterday based on a friends recommendation. So glad I now have others follow on the journey toward a better me!! Thanks

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  10. So funny how sometimes blogs are plopped onto our screen for a reason. I just saw the extra 5 pounds on my scale this morning and decided I have got to STOP making bad choices and START moving again. Won’t even attempt doing the Shred as it sounds way too intense for me, but that’s ok – I’ll do something and that’s better than I’m doing now. THANK YOU for opening up about this as there are so many of us that struggle with it.

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  11. Hi Jen – LOVE your blog. A must read for me. Would it be possible for you to pass along some ideas from the DVD for those of us who cannot afford to buy the DVD (or even don’t have a DVD player)? I would love to try this along with everyone else.

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    Jens Reply:

    Carole – do you have a DVD player? If yes, can you please send me your mailing address?

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    Carole Reply:

    @Jens, My mailing address is 8504 Breezewood Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 – but I certainly don’t want you to go to any expense. Just reading a few tips will help greatly.

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  12. netspartyof6 says:

    I found your blog through Happyhousewife, and now read everyday.. I love your blog.. The 30 day shred is awesome.. I did it for my parents 50th Anniversary a year ago.. I think I will start back up.. Good luck sweetie.

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  13. Girl, this is something we’ve talked about before. You are such an encouragement to me. I used to think I was “fat”…then I got pregnant, was put on bedrest and then I really got fat. I’ve lost 40 lbs since having Ridley and since weaning him the weight is wanting to creep back up. Ugh.

    I’ve got to lose 30 lbs to get back to my pre-preggo weight. Thanks for this encouragement. I’ve been on the treadmill for 2miles/day this week and I’m encouraged, but I have to STICK with it!

    I’m joining in the challenge! ;)

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  14. Hi my name is Ashley and I have been battling with my weight for many,many years.I put most of it on over the 20 years I have been with my husband and having 7 kids.I’m almost 38 now and I have lost 85 pounds and really need to lose more.I have also fell of the wagon and want to get back up.I hate looking at myself and don’t want to feel this way anymore.I would love to join you also on this journey.Also I hate to ask,but could you also send me a copy,I could send stamps if you need them.Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
    Thanks Ashley
    4856 Mcallister Road
    Middleburg,Florida 32068

    Thanks Ashley

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    Jens Reply:

    @Ashley, hi Ashley – I didn’t receive any, I just bought it out of my own money, but due to the many people wanting one, I am going to offer a giveaway on it so someone has a chance to win one.

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  15. Oh, how much I’ve felt like this. I get the same reaction by people. I have battled with my weight since I was a child. Felt like I was a yo-yo with lots of dangerous unhealthy behavior. I say I am a closet eater, as I can do well eating in front of others but when it comes to being at home when no one is watching – HIDE the goodies! Good luck on your journey!

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  16. What a great idea Jen! I have a good bit of weight to lose since giving birth to Ian. I already have the 30 Day Shred. It is brutal but it is effective. I’m excited about joining in. :)

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  17. I have a blog where I have been talking about weight loss. Since 1/09 I have lost 83lbs. Please check it out. Check back often for new ideas.

    Good luck!

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  18. I’m really close to the weight I want to be, so now it is a matter of eating right and exercising. I haven’t really exercised since my group at church stopped meeting. It’s the accountability that keeps me going!

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  19. Well Hello There!
    Delighted to find your fabulous self!
    Love your blog!
    And I am ALL about chatting about WEIGHT and fitness!
    I’d love to be apart of this challenge!
    I have done The Shred many times over the past year or so…and it does KICK some BOOTY!
    I mean you’re SWEATING…big time …in like 5 seconds!
    Only problem is…it’s rough on the knees!
    And I’m nurturing a pull/tear right now in my knee.
    So I will have to opt for another dvd!
    But I am in!
    I’ve got a BIG event…you know…one of those we all like to LOSE~WEIGHT for! {why am I always trying to lose weight for EVENTS!}
    So!
    This next month really COUNTS for me!
    I LOVE the name of your blog!
    I’ve been struggling with BALANCE and have just recently created a button for my readers to grab:
    Promising to: Balance the Beauty Within!
    You may want to pop over and grab it!
    I’m just delighted to find you!
    ANd I’m going to follow you like CRAZY now!
    And I just adore TidyMom!
    She’s a really good friend! And I see she’s following to!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Looking forward to all of this chatting/sharing about WEIGHT!!!
    xoxoxoxoxo

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  20. Just grabbed your button for my blog! Yeah!
    And!
    Following you on twitter!
    Can you tell I am LOVIN’ your blog!
    xo

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  21. oh boy oh boy! About a month ago, I decided that I would “loose weight as soon as the kids start school” The kids started 3 days ago and I’ve done nothing! I think I’m joining you and I will be blogging about it too and linking back to you for more inspiration. I’m about 70 pounds heavier than I was 13 years ago, and I feel it in my bones and all over my body! I need accountability!

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  22. I am in!!!!! :D May we post our progress on our blogs and link back to you???

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    Nicole Reply:

    @Kassandra Wood, I like this idea. What is your blog so I can follow you as well. I think it would be fun to connect with each other throughout the week. Mine is http://lifestoosimple.blogspot.com

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  23. At the end of May I decided enough was enough. I started the Jillian Michael’s DVD and began to count calories. To see how many calories you should consume check out this web site: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

    I would recommend doing the Jillian Michael’s workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday you could do another type of DVD or go for a walk. Just mix it up–that’s better for your body and will be more effective in your goals.

    Since I began my lifestyle change–counting calories and exercising 5 days a week–I’ve lost 15 pounds and I’m in the best shape of my life. I am 36 and have given birth to 4 children. The changes have been wonderful in many areas of my life.

    You CAN do this LADIES!!!

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  24. I am so excited to start this! After reading everyone’s comments and your post, Jen, I know I CAN lose this blasted 10# (I hope no one finds it! ) thanks for the encouragement :)

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  25. Jennifer R. says:

    Jen–I am so in! I did the Shred all this spring (and can say I have a love/hate relationship with that dvd!), alternating it with jogging on my treadmill to lose the baby weight from my 4th child (which I did through blood, sweat and many tears!). Since May though, God has led us on a big move from Ohio to Michigan (and we’re still in a temporary apartment in MI) and I have done NOTHING since then & can tell…and ready to get back into it.

    I guess the part I struggle with is (litterally) obsessing over the number on the scale versus taking care of my body “for the glory of God” (eating and exercising, etc. in a way pleasing to Him) and not only leaving the results to Him, but being content and thankful for the body He has given me. Such a hard journey to get to the latter place. Although “I have not attained it, I press on…”

    May all of us who struggle with our weight remember that regardless of our shape, size and figure, we have a Father in heaven that sees us as precious in His sight, and that while we are called to take care of this “temple”, He wants us to also (and even more) put the right “spiritual food” into our hearts and work out those “spiritual muscles” to not only honor Him but to ultimately grow closer to Him!

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  26. I started a healthy eating plan in January after reaching my all time highest weight and developing diabetes and high blood pressure. The diet changes helped and I lost 37 pounds and am keeping the blood pressure and diabetes under control without medications! I lost the weight without exercise, but I really need to start. I don’t think I can do something that intense right now, but I will start walking more now that it is cooler.

    Hope it goes well for you!

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  27. I’ve been working to lose 40 lbs since March. I’ve already lost it once. This time I’m five years older and it’s not coming off as easily. It’s ironic I just got done doing the 30 days shred. This is my new plan of attack since I haven’t lost any weight in more than a month. Still exercising and probably not watching the food as closely as I should. I will win this fight and you will too!

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  28. What an awesome post!! I’ve been working on this 10-15 lb baby fat stuff for the last couple of years!! Believe it or not, I actually “re-started” my Shred video just about an hour ago! This will be such great motivation to stick with it!! Thanks!!

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  29. That’s one of my favorite workout DVDs. I’m in.

    For those who want to play along without buying the DVD the routine is as follows:
    1) 30 sec high intensity strength (think push-ups)
    2) 1 min compound strength move (upper and lower body)
    3) Repeat 1) and 2)
    4) 2 min cardio (think boxing or jumping jacks)
    5) 1 min abs (think bicycle crunches)
    6) Repeat (do 3 6-minute circuits total)

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  30. I started back to exercising last week. I am alternating between one of Leslie Sansone’s more advanced workouts(Walk Your Belly Flat), which is 45 minutes of torture, and walking for 45 minutes on my treadmill at 4.2 mph. I switch off depending on my mood. I am burning at least 300 calories per day, and I have cut my food intake quite a bit. Actually, I am eating very well. I just cut the junk. No fast food, only a taste of a sweet if we have it.
    My daughter had a birthday this week, and I cut that cake for the kids and only ate 3 crumbs!!! I was so proud of myself.
    I have 25 lbs. to lose, and have lost 2 already.

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  31. Jen,
    I love your site, first of all. I bought the 30 Day Shred right before school ended this summer, so needless to say, it has been collecting dust until NOW ;) I look forward to this challenge! I can always stand to tighten up some of those unsightly places…

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  32. I’m joining you!! My littlest goes back to preschool on Monday, so I’m planning on jumping back into my running/shredding routine. I’ll be running Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and probably Sunday (love the smell of bacon on my Sunday runs!). I’ll be shredding on Wednesday and Thursday, since that fits better with our schedule.

    I can’t wait!

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  33. I’d definitely like to do this as well. I just started doing the 30 day shred this past week. The first day is a killer and it took me a couple of days to recoup. But, each day since has been easier…still hard…but easier than the 1st day. Can’t wait to follow everyone on this journey. I definitely need the motivation. I do not like exercising at all. I lost 20 lbs. last winter on WW but have gained 10 back over the summer. Ugh. I’d like to lose 20 more pounds and actually keep it off. I think exercising is the way to do it.

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  34. You’re right! It’s so hard to change bad eating habits. Sometimes the way society makes women feel about their bodies is so depressing it encourages people to eat even more. It’s encouraging to see someone talking about this honestly and I wish you luck in your 30 day shed goal!

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  35. The DVD is 8.50 on amazon. If you sign up for the new amazon mom amazon.com/mom you get a 3 month free prime membership. You also get a 4.00 video on demand credit when you buy the DVD. So free shipping and the 4.00 credit seems like a pretty good deal :) I just ordered mine :/

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  36. My hubby and I were just talking about what we could do to lose weight. I was doing it more to support him, but then I stepped on the scale this morning. It wasn’t very nice to me. So dh and I are working toward losing 10 lbs each by Thanksgiving. We have a Wii and will use that along with what we can get from what our cable provides. (since we are already paying for that, might as well use it right?).

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  37. Jen – thanks so much for being open, honest and vulnerable – especially since you know you’ll get some people who will judge and be harsh. So, thanks. It’s good for all of us. This isn’t one of my struggle areas, but I have one that is even uglier I want to work on on this month. So, I’m in! And I’ll be encouraged by your physical workouts to keep on top of my emotional ones!

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  38. Thanks, Jen, for the inspiration. I started exercising this week after a “break” this summer. I just did the 30 day shred today to remind my body about how it feel to really move it. I look forward to sharing in this adventure!

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  39. Wow, those are some great comments to read! I have the 30 Day Shred and have done it “here and there” but never consistently. It is HARD on the knees (someone mentioned that), but it’s also a kick butt workout for those 20 minutes. Just remember, it’s only 20 minutes so GO FOR IT!! Good luck all, I’ll be making my decision to jump on with the Shred or not :)

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  40. Thank you for some motivation, Jen. I purchased it on Amazon after reading this post last night. I hate the constant guilt trip I give myself. Time to ACT instead of whine. I am a night owl. I wonder if I should exercise then or try to wake up earlier?

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  41. This is great that you are sharing this. I can understand where you are coming from as a few years ago I also lost about 45 pounds and can relate to the very slow and little weight gain…but still weight gain. It is a life strong struggle…to maintain…and to hit points where we need to bump it up a notch and loose the few we gained…it almost seems like that is how to maintain at times. Thanks for sharing your story though, I am sure many women, and myself will be encouraged. :)
    Ashley

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  42. I have been trying to “shrink” for the last 6 weeks or so, I’ve lost 10 pounds. Not earth shattering, but I feel good about it. I would like to lose about 30 more. I’ve been using a 15 minute program called T-Tapp and love it. Other than that just limiting the quantity of food I’m eating and making better choices.

    I think the way we deal with this issue can encourage our daughters (and sons) to be healthy or to be obsessed with their bodies. At church today, I heard a young girl (14) say she ran a mile this morning because she is fat. She is not overweight, she is developing into a woman! I know this girl and her family and she might have said it to get attention or she might have said it because her mom makes comments about her unhappiness with her own body and how she is continually trying to fix if through dieting, coloring her hair, having her “ugly” nails done, etc. Please understand I don’t think there is ANYTHING wrong with watching what we eat, coloring our hair or having our nails done. I’ve done all these things at some time or another. But I think that how we voice our dissatisfaction with ourselves can have a tremendous effect on our children. I have a daughter who is ten and so far has not fallen into the “I’m fat and/or ugly” trap, and I pray that she doesn’t and that as I lose weight I do it in such a way as to encourage her and not discourage her.
    Sorry for the novel.

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  43. I hope the best for you, Jen! I get the “oh, but you’re skinny” comments, but I always stop short of saying that it doesn’t come naturally – it’s a lifestyle of moderating how much I eat. I look forward to seeing how this month goes for you!

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  44. Jen – I just found your website yesterday and I love it! It is now my favorite blog site. Thank you for all the inspiration and encouragement.

    For those of you trying to lose weight, I highly recommend the following website (see below). I have been using this for two years and have lost over 20 lbs. and have not cut out anything from my diet – through careful planning and counting. I don’t believe in eliminating your favorite foods completely – i think it is a recipe for gaining everything back.

    Anyway, I have been wanting to try the 30 day shred!

    Here is the link to the website I use for both losing and maintaining my weight:
    http://caloriecount.about.com/

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