The fullness factor: A key to post-holiday weight loss

This is the time of year when people begin searching for that motivation and method for shredding some weight before spring.  For some this is weight acquired during the holiday season.  For others, it is weight they’ve been hanging onto for too long, hoping for a way to start letting go.

We’ve all heard the all-to-familiar weight loss formulas…counting calories, counting carbs, counting the hours in the gym, counting, counting, counting…

In reality, there is SOME truth to all of these weight loss formulas.  However, there is also a major obstacle…when we get hungry, we EAT.  Therefore, for any weight loss or lifestyle change to be successful, we need to address the Fullness Factor.

Hunger is both a physical and emotional state.  Both will be addressed but to start, let’s address the physical.  Below are some simple steps to get you started.

  1. Plan.  Don’t make it complicated.  Plan a day or two at a time.  Prepping some food makes us not grab for the first available (often high calorie) option.
  2. Drink water.  Again…don’t make it complicated.  There isn’t really a need to count your ounces here.  Simply drink 2 full-size glasses of water when you wake up, before each meal and 2 hours before bed.
  3. Add fiber.  Fiber makes us feel full and then we eat less.  There are several options for fiber but the important thing to remember is timing.  Many people eat fiber with their meal and while that provides nutritional and intestinal benefits, it takes 30-60 minutes for the body to recognize the fiber in the stomach and send a signal to the brain stating that you are full.  So…ingesting fiber is important 30-60 minutes BEFORE eating other food.  For most of us, we don’t want to eat a small fiber item, then wait 30 minutes to eat the rest of our meal.  Luckily, we have another option.
  4. Take Glucomannan 30 minutes before your meal.  It’s a simple capsular form of fiber that has been around for over 1000 years in oriental medicine.  This fiber provides the great benefit of making us feel full.  In studies, people watching their food intake plus taking Glucomannon, compared to those just watching their food intake, lost significantly more weight over a 5 week period (30-45%).

Remember that when you are considering supplements, quality matters.  Talk to your provider about recommendations for supplement companies that are 3rd party tested.

Using these 4 simple steps will get you started on your weight loss journey easily and allow you see to results quickly.

Best wishes on your health journey and stay tuned for how to address the emotional Fullness Factor in future posts.

For more information on Glucomannon or weight loss strategies, contact Dr. Skinner at jskinchiro@gmail.com

Where did the time go?

How many times have you asked yourself that question?  There are many events in life that can spark reflection about how quickly time goes by.  Children grow up.  Milestone birthdays with elaborate celebrations come and go.   We lose someone we love too soon.  We look in the mirror and see an extra wrinkle, dark circles or gray hair.  These past two weeks, I’ve been reminded of how valuable our time is and how quickly time goes by.  My reminder was the loss of a friend.

Yesterday we celebrated the life of Steve “Grimey” Grimes.  I got to be a part of his funeral service and was further blessed by listening to his many family and friends talk about their fun time with Grimey over his full 38 year life.  Today, when I reflect on the past two weeks, I have a better appreciation of time.  We measure time in seconds, hours, days, weeks, months and years.  When I think about these measurements now, I’ve decided to change my mind about how I view time.  When looking at Steve’s life, quantity does not define it.  He lived a full life.  Everyday.  As his uncle said yesterday, he was a passionate man.  His passion for life was pretty unparalleled actually.  Many questioned it at times – myself included – because he didn’t always passionately pursue the things others thought he should pursue at the time others thought he should pursue it.  He did things on Grimey time.   When I think about that now, I actually think he was pretty inspirational.  His life path had a LOT of forks in the road.  He was on the path of an elite baseball pitcher when a rare form of Leukemia interrupted his life.  And the forks in the road that came as a consequence of the treatment for Leukemia – those twists and turns are unimaginable for most people at any point in life – but especially a 19 year old. Even with all the challenges, this guy had a laugh and a smile for anyone at pretty much anytime.  He could talk to anyone.  He could be both awkward and genuine.  And the guy followed his own path to the fullest.  Do I wish we all would have had MANY more years with him?  Absolutely. However, I think his life was pretty darn full.  I can’t imagine Steve every having wondered “Where did the time go?”

Maybe there are lessons we can take from Grimey.  For one, none of us are every promised tomorrow.  So when we find ourselves making a mental or physical list of things to do, shouldn’t we have the mindset of doing the things we are passionate about today.  Secondly, we really spend a lot of time worrying about the small stuff (that feels like HUGE stuff at the time).  What does any of that worrying ever get us?  Instead, when there is a task ahead of us, why not spend that “worry energy” jumping into our plan of attack. Lastly, Steve found fun in everything.  If only we could get our mental attitude in that mindset, wouldn’t even our most boring tasks become a little more enjoyable?  Wouldn’t we find ways to align our lives in ways that we were passionate about? Wouldn’t we smile and laugh and develop that contagious positive energy that fuels a great life that doesn’t need the constraints imposed by the concept of time?

Next time you find yourself asking “Where did the time go?”, what will your answer be?  I want my answer to be this…I spend my time loving, laughing and living in this moment.  And all these little moments add up to a really great life – a life that no concept of time can ever measure.

The thumb has no report

I am reminded of the phrase “the thumb has no report” today when thinking about the complexity of the mind/body relationship.  I have a friend who is a highly trained orthopedic surgeon.  She and I would discuss at length the mind/body relationship because we both understand deeply that there cannot be a separation of parts when dealing with any human condition or injury.  One day while doing our own internal body surveys, she says outloud, “the thumb has no report.”  We burst into laughter for several minutes before continuing to check in with our bodies for any signs of tension or distress.  Looking back at this funny little interaction, I am reminded that while, in the moment, there was nothing particularly interesting about that part of the body, the thumb actually had a useful role in that body scan.  We both had busy and sometimes stressful jobs and we NEEDED the laugh.  Now as I teach my patients how to better listen to their bodies, I am reminded that even in silence we learn something about ourselves.  Maybe next time you sit still and listen to what your body needs you will get a loud PAY ATTENTION TO ME signal.  Maybe you will get silence or the urge to giggle or a thought will randomly pop into your head when scanning some random area of your body for information.  If it’s a thought, write it down.  If it’s a giggle, let it out.  If it’s silence, breathe and sit in it.  Just the 2-3 minute routine of paying attention to your body and mind can bring about insights you never imagined and have the GREAT benefit of addressing symptoms of problems before louder symptoms occur.  So get going…start your scan…what does you thumb have to report today?

Dr. Google or Dr. You

With the popularity of Dr. Google and Dr. Wikipedia today, most of my patients come into the office having an idea of what their diagnosis is likely to be.  Dr. Google and Dr. Wikipedia, even Dr. Mayo Clinic and Dr. WebMD, provide us with important information about what might be going on with our bodies.  I think these resources are nice to have to give us an overview of different health conditions, different laboratory tests and even different treatments.  But do you know who the greatest resource of information about your health condition is?

YOU!

Every human being has an internal guidance system that tells them when things are going well and when things are not.  Many times we forget this important aspect of self.    We look outside ourselves for the answers instead of inside.  We ignore early indicators that something is wrong.

Our bodies have indicators that we often pass off as being normal.  I hear the phrase “normal aches and pains” all the time in my office.  It’s so difficult to bite my tongue when I hear that phrase – many times I don’t.  Pain IS NOT normal.  It is our body telling us that something needs to happen differently.  Sometimes the thing that needs to happen isn’t the top of our priority list such as exercise, stretching, de-stressing, eating well, sleeping, taking prescribed medications and supplements, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, talking about our feelings, etc.  But…in most situations, there is something that we can do to stop the pain cycle.  Think of your body like you would your car for a moment.  When the gas light turns on, if you ignore it what happens?  What about that service needed light?  Tire pressure light?  Check engine light?  How long will you ignore these indicators?

Your body’s indicator lights might not flash or beep constantly at you but they are there if you are paying attention.

How is your energy? How often do you feel rested? Do you have pain? Are you comfortable when you sleep/sit/stand/exercise? Do you have “normal” headaches? (Another phrase I just love to hear.)  Are you retaining water, gaining weight, losing weight… This list could really go on and on.

I’m not suggesting we all become hypochondriacs and believe every body indicator is a sign of a disease in progress.  However, I do believe that if we pay attention and take care of the small indicators, we can prevent many diseases from occurring or progressing.

My challenge for you this week is this…Check in with your body.  Figure out what questions you need to ask yourself – what are the indicator lights you are ignoring? What are you willing to do to help your health and prevent future disease?

 

Breaking through the weight loss plateau

Getting started on a weight loss program can be overwhelming.  There are so many choices out there.  Some are certainly quick weight loss fads and others are a more balanced and long-term lifestyle change approach to health.  The purpose of this short blog is to address that looming “is this worth it?” mindset that happens during the weight loss journey.  The truth is…there are fairly easy and relatively inexpensive ways to keep you going on your weight loss journey (or get you started on one that works for you and keep you going on it).

I would say 75-80% of my patients who ask me about weight loss have already started their weight loss journey but have reached that annoyingly frustrating weight loss plateau.  For many, when a plateau is reached, the first action is to CUT more calories or foods out of their diet.  This is exactly the opposite thing to do if you want to be successful at getting those pounds off, building lean muscle mass and ultimately staying at your goal weight when you reach it.

My patients and I work through their weight loss plateaus primarily by doing two things: removing (or at least decreasing) any stresses causing interference with their body’s ability to have an optimal metabolism AND using specific pressure points in the body to boost metabolism, decrease cravings and promote healthy digestion.  So many times the body starts to actually store fat because we get to the point where the body thinks it is in starvation.  The body is made to survive.  It does that by increasing stress hormones and increasing fat storage.

Have you reached your healthy weight goals or do you need a little help to get through your weight loss plateau?

I am here to help!  Weight loss sessions typically only require about 10 minutes of your time and only cost $10 per session.  If you are ready for a change, go online to http://www.skinnerchiropracticcenter.com and schedule your 10 minute weight loss visit.

When everything is new…

Much excitement exists around the “New”.  For many at this time of year, it’s New Year’s Resolutions – a time for new goals, increased effort and greater investment (in those things we value such as family, community, career, health, etc).  For some the “New” lasts for months and months while for others maybe a few days or weeks.  When asking a variety of people why they believe New Year’s Resolutions don’t last as long as people intend, I get a diverse set of answers with one common thread –   People Get Stressed! Something else becomes a priority and then life becomes unbalanced and stressful.  Life happens and as we all have certainly experienced, change is the only constant.  So the question becomes – “What can we do to keep that ‘New’ excitement momentum when the stressors of life start to get to us?”

Here are 3 recommendations:

  1. Whenever possible when making a new goal, plan out potential obstacles and create a variety of options for how to navigate the obstacles.
  2. Enlist help.  This is a MAJOR reason that life becomes unbalanced.  We tend to not want to ask for and take in honest feedback when we get it.
  3. Use some traditional stress management techniques: prioritize, eat nutritiously, get adequate sleep, exercise, take 15 minutes a day of “me time”, do something enjoyable every single day, laugh, breath, sing, dance…you get the picture.

You might be asking why a chiropractor is writing about stress…

First – Stress is universal.  I have to do things daily to manage stress at a healthy level.  Luckily – I have learned over the years to do the above and for the most part, it WORKS.  Secondly, I GET ADJUSTED.  I have learned that there are enormous stress reduction benefits from chiropractic techniques.

Did you know…There are techniques which require no “cracking” – really no force at all – that are focused on balancing the autonomic nervous system.  These techniques keep the systems of the body in balance which in simple terms means this…Healthy elimination of the physical effects of stress, improved ability to physically and emotionally cope with stressors, and…LESS ILLNESS which happens more frequently in individuals experiencing high levels of stress.

Maybe a low stress New idea in 2016 is to give chiropractic a try.  Ask your chiropractor if they will use a technique to balance your autonomic nerve system to help you manage stress in a healthy way!

3 SIMPLE Ways to Improve a Monday (or any day)

Starting off the week just gets easier and easier.  Yes – you read that correctly.  In the past year I’ve discovered many things about myself, about starting a business, about finding my niche and about keeping things simple.  Like many, I always tend to be drawn the the complicated.  I believe I am hard-wired to excel best in complicated environments with complicated dynamics.  As a child, teenager and young adult, my energy in life went primarily towards two things – music and sports.  I wasn’t content with playing just one instrument – I had to play them all and I had to challenge the most difficult songs and as many competitions as I could.  I would not “just pick one.”  No way!  As an athlete, I had to play every sport available to me.  I even ran cross country at one point and trust me – I am NOT a distance runner.  Ultimately, I focused mostly on softball.  But, of course, I had to be a catcher despite my small stature because I had to be involved in every aspect of the game at all times.  This served me well though because college softball paid off well during my undergraduate education.  So how does all this apply to keeping things simple?  This is what I’ve learned most this past year.

1) Keeping it simple means DOING WHAT I LOVE.  Even when it may seem to the outside word that it’s “difficult”, “challenging”, even “exhausting.”  Doing something that I love everyday – no matter how “complicated” – gives me LOTS of energy and lots of calm at the same time.  It’s who I am.  Don’t fight who you are – that takes energy.  Instead embrace it! So to improve your Monday (or any day), do something that you love.

2) Keeping it simple means QUIETING THE INNER CRITIC.  We all have thoughts that jump into our brains at random times throughout the day.  Find a phrase that works for you and stop those thoughts IMMEDIATELY when you recognize them.  If you pay attention, and you will now that this concept is in your awareness, then you will recognize this inner critic voice and you will put it on mute much more frequently.  I used to have some specific phrases I would use to quiet the critic such as: “I am enough.”  “I am talented.”  “I am…”.  Now I’ve even simplified this process.  Now I just see a picture of myself hitting a MUTE button.  And I laugh internally as I feel empowered by my true self.

3) Keeping it simple means SPEAKING IN GRATITUDE.  Words are incredibly powerful.  They have so much physical, emotional and spiritual energy.  I understand the muscular and neurological components that go into the the formation of a thought and conversion into a spoken word.  It’s complicated.  It’s also a simple thing that we do many times a day without conscious awareness.  Make a commitment to speak one gratitude at the start and the end of everyday.  I promise you will be amazed at how this simplifies even the most challenging times.  It changes our internal energy which simply changes everything.  SIMPLY.

Give it a try.  Make a simple.  And ENJOY!!!

Weekly update

Mental Attitude: Learning to Play Music Improves Kids’ Brains.

MRI scans of children who received musical training showed greater thickness in the areas of the brain that influence working memory, self-control, organization, and planning for the future. The research team claims their findings “underscore the vital importance of finding new and innovative ways to make music training more widely available to youths, beginning in childhood.” Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, December 2014 Health Alert:

Cancer Death Rates in the US Continue to Drop.

Death rates from cancer in the United States (US) continue to fall (down 22% since a peak in 1991), according to the annual report from the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS argues that continuing the fight against cancer across all segments of the population could lead to even greater reduction in cancer related deaths. Dr. John R. Seffrin, the CEO of ACS adds, “The change may be inevitable, but we can still lessen cancer’s deadly impact by making sure as many Americans as possible have access to the best tools to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.” American Cancer Society, January 2015

Diet: Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!

A 24-year study including 9,112 Japanese men and women found that those who ate the most servings of fruits and vegetables each day had a 24% lower risk for total cardiovascular disease, a 20% lower risk for stroke, and a 43% lower risk for coronary heart disease when compared with their peers who ate the fewest daily servings of fruits and vegetables. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2015

Exercise: Daily Physical Activity Helps Maintain Vascular Health.

Researchers have found that reducing daily physical activity for even a few days can lead to decreased function in the inner lining of blood vessels in the legs of healthy, young individuals. However, their work demonstrates that it’s possible to start the repair process by walking at least 10,000 steps a day. Study co-author Dr. Paul Fadel adds, “The best treatment is to become more active, and our research lends proof to that concept. If you do not realize how harmful sitting around all day and not doing any activity is to your health, this proves it.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, December 2014

Chiropractic: Lumbar Manipulation & Exercise for Knee Pain?

A new case study supports the use of lumbar spinal manipulation for anterior knee pain and quadriceps weakness. A 20-year-old man who underwent ACL reconstruction of the left knee with continued knee pain and quadriceps weakness presented for chiropractic care. He was prescribed exercises to improve his quadriceps strength and received side-lying rotational spinal manipulation. After a course of eight weekly treatments, he returned to pain-free participation in recreational sports. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, December 2014

Wellness/Prevention: Water Coolers at School Encourage Students to Drink More.

When water dispensers were installed in a few New York City schools, students drank three times more water at lunchtime than students at schools that did not install water coolers in their lunch rooms. Researchers found that 80% of students noticed the water dispensers, two-thirds of those who noticed them actually used them, and 50% who noticed the coolers actually drank more water at lunchtime. Officials plan to install water dispensers in over 1,000 New York City public schools. American Journal of Public Health, December 2014

Quote: “It is better to be alone than in bad company.” ~ George Washington

Weekly health update

Weekly Health Update

Week of: Monday, November 17th, 2014
Courtesy of:
Jennifer Skinner, D.C.

1175 W. Grand Blvd #100
Corona, CA 92882
(951) 399-9296
“Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery,
by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief.”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Mental Attitude: Mental Stress Affects Male and Female Hearts in Different Ways.
Past studies have suggested that mental stress can influence heart health. Now, researchers have found that women under mental stress are more likely than men to experience reduced blood flow to the heart and are also more prone to clots due to platelet aggregation. On the other hand, men experience greater changes in blood pressure and heart rate in response to mental stress. Researcher Dr. Zainab Samad adds, “The relationship between mental stress and cardiovascular disease is well-known. This study revealed that mental stress affects the cardiovascular health of men and women differently. We need to recognize this difference when evaluating and treating patients for cardiovascular disease.”
Journal of the American College of Cardiology, October 2014

Health Alert: Possible Link Between Breast Implants and Cancer.
An international research group has concluded that breast implants can cause a new subtype of rare, yet malignant, lymphoma known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). This type of cancer is usually found in lymph nodes, skin, lung, liver, and soft tissue, but is not usually found in the breast. The researchers found that cases in which ALCL developed in the breast were almost exclusively involved individuals with breast implants. The actual reasons why breast implants can cause lymphoma are currently unknown, but the research team suspects the cause is an abnormal immune response. In many cases, the lymphoma subsided once the implants were removed.
Mutation Research, August 2014

Diet: A Chemical in Broccoli May Help Treat Autism.
Sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, shows promise for improving some behavioral symptoms of autism. Researchers found that about two thirds of participants who received sulforaphane saw their scores on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist reduced by 34%, while their scores on the Social Responsiveness Scale fell 17%. They hope to discover the biology underlying the effects observed and to study them at a cellular level.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2014

Exercise: Heavy Exercise Can Produce Asthma-Like Symptoms in Healthy Kids.
Researchers have found that children who undergo brief periods of intense exercise can exhibit lung dysfunction and other symptoms similar to those experienced by asthma patients. These symptoms can happen even when the child has no history of asthma. Lead researcher Dr. Alladdin Abosaida adds, “We did not expect to see pulmonary function abnormalities after short periods of heavy exercise in such a large number of healthy children in our subject population.” Further research is needed to determine the mechanism of lung dysfunction in children following heavy exercise and identify possible interventions.
American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 2010

Chiropractic: Immediate Changes in Brain After Manual Therapy in Patients with Pain.
New research focused on the effects of manual therapies on pain modulation has revealed that therapies such as chiropractic spinal manipulation, spinal mobilization, and therapeutic touch have an immediate effect on the functional connectivity between brain regions involved in processing and modulating the pain experience. The results were gathered by using functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain combined with measurements of pain sensitivity and intensity. The findings suggest that manual therapies may lead to neurophysiologic changes that result in pain relief.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, October 2014

Wellness/Prevention: Babies Benefit if Mothers Follow Lifestyle Advice During Pregnancy.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers gave nutrition and exercise advice to pregnant women who were either overweight or obese. Women who received such advice increased their fruit and vegetable intake and reduced saturated fat intake. They also engaged in 15-20 minutes of brisk walking on most days of the week. Their babies were more likely to have a healthier birth weight, less likely to have a moderate to severe respiratory distress syndrome, and were able to go home sooner than babies born from mothers in a control group that did not receive any diet or exercise advice. The researchers hope that by following some simple, practical, and achievable lifestyle advice, overweight pregnant women can improve both their own health and the health of their babies.
BMC Medicine, October 2014

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Weekly Health Update

Mental Attitude: Dementia is a Significant Problem for Those Under Age 65. Younger onset dementia (YOD) is defined as the onset of dementia symptoms before age 65. Researchers in Sydney, Australia contacted local health professionals and hospitals to determine how many patients were classified as having YOD. Then, they compared that information with recent census data. The
research team found that YOD affects 11.6 per 100,000 people ages 30-44 years and 132.9 per 100,000 people ages 45-64 years, with an overall prevalence rate of 68.2 per 100,000 people for ages 30-64. International Psychogeriatrics, October 2014
Health Alert: No Proof Vitamin D Prevents Development of Type 2 Diabetes. Previous research has suggested that high levels of vitamin D may protect individuals from developing type 2 diabetes; however, a new study has found no evidence that high levels of vitamin D can prevent type 2 diabetes and that the only proven way to prevent type 2 diabetes is through a combination of diet and
exercise. Study author Dr. Nita Forouhi writes, “Our findings suggest that interventions to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing concentrations of vitamin D are not currently justified. Observational studies that show a strong and consistent higher risk of type 2 diabetes with lower levels of vitamin D may do so because they have thus far not been able to adequately control for distorting or confounding factors, such as physical activity levels.” The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, September 2014
Diet: Organic Foods May Offer Greater Health & Safety. A survey of prior research concludes that organically grown foods are about 48% lower in cadmium than conventionally grown foods. Cadmium is a heavy metal that has become a major cause of vascular disorders, common cancers, osteoporosis, kidney disease, and can damage the reproductive and neurological systems. Researcher Dr. James J. DiNicolantonio adds, “For years, nutritionists and consumers have struggled with the question, ‘is organic really better?’… What analysis of this research reveals is that, due to the serious health impacts of cadmium exposure and the markedly lower levels of [cadmium] in organically grown foods, the long-term consumption of such foods is likely to be notably protective with respect to a
wide range of common pathologies.” British Journal of Nutrition, September 2014
Exercise: Exercise Less Daunting When Focused on Target. Physiology researchers have found that having your ‘eye on the prize’ makes exercise less of a chore. They found that when walking, individuals who stay focused on a specific target ahead of them feel the distance is shorter and they walk faster towards it. Researcher Dr. Shana Cole writes, “Interventions that train people to keep their
‘eyes on the prize’ may play an important role in health and fitness. When goals appear within reach, and when people move faster and experience exercise as easier, they may be especially motivated to continue exercising. Given the alarming obesity epidemic in America, strategies that encourage or improve exercise may be particularly important for aiding the nationwide effort to combat
obesity and promote healthier living.” Motivation and Emotion, October 2014
Chiropractic: Joint Stiffness Associated with Higher Risk for Disability in Older Population. Using data provided by 680 seniors (age > 70 years) regarding mobility limitations and joint stiffness upon waking, researchers say that morning joint stiffness more than one body site is associated with a 64% greater risk developing new or worsening mobility problems over the following 18 months.
The authors of the study recommend that doctors discuss strategies for improving joint mobility with their patients to prevent or slow the progression of age-related disability. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, October 2014 Wellness/Prevention: Living Close to a Highway May Raise Your Blood Pressure. If you have high blood pressure and you live close to a major highway, you may want to move. According to a new report, participants in a study who lived within 109 yards (~100 meters) of a busy road had a 22% higher risk for developing high blood pressure compared with those who lived at least a half a mile away (~.8 km). Further research is needed to determine if reducing exposure to traffic noise and traffic-related air pollution can reduce a nearby resident’s risk of high blood pressure. Journal of the American Heart Association, October 2014
Quote: “Don’t confuse poor decision-making with destiny. Own your mistakes. It’s ok; we all make them. Learn from them so they can empower you!” ~ Steve Maraboli

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