Health And Fitness Update ~ March 21, 2017

Well I am almost 2 months into my “get healthy” plan and I am discovering so many things.  Like for instance, to chuck the fucking scale in the trash stay off the scale. scales humor weight loss I am not kidding ladies…the scale is truly our demon and we don’t realize how much our bodies fluctuate throughout the month between hormones, stress, and all those other shitty things that come along with being a woman.  So I have decided that I am officially staying off the scale for the entire month of April.

Currently I am doing something called carb cycling.  But I changed it up a bit from what I learned about it on the internet.  It goes in stages of 3 workout days and then a day of rest with some activity (mine’s usually house cleaning).

The first day is your hardest workout day.  This is also the day that you consume the most carbs.   I am really wanting to work my upper body and mid-section so on my first day of the cycle I do my back, chest, shoulders, arms, abs, and 20-30 minutes of cardio.  I also start off with 200 grams of carbs on this day in which the majority are consumed around my workout.

humor weight loss gym

The second day is butt and leg day.  Now I hate doing leg exercises and tons of squats but I am determined that since I have seen actual results of someone who has the same crack in their back, aka booty, that I do, transform into an actual butt, then I shall not skip butt and leg day.  On this day I take the carbs from the first day and cut them by a third.  Again consuming the majority of them around my workout.  Again I also do 20-30 minutes of cardio following my workout.

The third day is high intensity full body workout doing cardio using low weights with fast reps.  And on this day I only eat a third of the carbs I started with the first day.

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On the fourth day is rest day.  And let me tell you, if you don’t hurt from head to toe on this day then you aren’t working out hard enough.  I also try to stick to no carbs on this day or if I do have some it’s usually first thing in the morning.  And the best thing about rest day is you should feel a burst of energy.  Now, resting doesn’t mean lay around and do absolutely nothing.  You still should be active.  This is the day I usually try to catch up on housework, maybe walk to the park with the kids (that is if the weather is nice), eventually there will be some yard work and gardening thrown in there.  But nothing high intensity.

Then repeat the cycle.  I am going to do 4 cycles and of course will share my results with you when I am done.  Also keep in mind that you can play around with your carb intake.   If you are doing 200 grams on the first day but are feeling really sluggish and sleepy the rest of the day, after your workout, then you may want to consume more carbs or consume less around the workout and save some for later in the day.

If you are getting really tired and sluggish during the middle of your workout then this probably means you didn’t get enough carbs to keep you going throughout your workout.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Everyone’s body is different.

I try to do an ab workout everyday…even on my rest days because it is my least favorite area after having 3 kids.  I was lucky enough to never get a stretch mark but I am determined to not have to go under the knife or get lypo just to obtain the midsection I want.  If you want a great ab workout, click the video below.  The first time I tried this workout I couldn’t cough or laugh for two days.

And I didn’t do it at the gym…I used my bed post.

I finally broke down and bought a vegetable spiraler.  The first thing I used with it were a green and yellow zucchini squash.  I spiraled one of each and then lightly sautéed the spirals in some olive oil, freshly chopped garlic, and seasonings (I was lucky and found a bunch of organic seasonings on sale and bought a bunch).   I also made a little pesto to go with it using basil, spinach, lemon, pine nuts, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.

zucchini clean eating healthy

I think next time I will probably just try the zucchini noodles sautéed by themselves as my side dish of veggies.  I love pesto but until it starts growing in my garden I won’t be making it because  I don’t like spending the 3 or 4 dollars that they want to charge for a very small amount at the grocery store.  Basil grows like a weed, literally, and in the summer months I always have fresh basil.

My other favorite recipe was some sautéed shrimp lettuce wraps.  Just sauté some uncooked shrimp in a little olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, a little chopped cilantro, and some garlic salt and then place in a romaine lettuce leaf.  Sprinkle with some more cilantro, chopped avocado, and some thinly sliced jalapeños and enjoy!

Shrimp lettuce wraps

Chow for now,

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Health And Fitness Update ~ March 10, 2017

I have decided that not only do I want to share my progress with all of those who wish to read about it but I would also like to share with you recipes that I like, exercises that I am doing, and just anything else that comes to mind that I think might help others.

My newest found addiction was stumbled upon while doing my morning cardio on the treadmill.  I had decided that I wanted to find a knowledgable person who could give me some tips on achieving the goals that I wish to achieve.  And where else to find such a person but the glorious land of YouTube.  I found a girl by the name of Jen Heward and I absolutely am intrigued by everything she has to say.  Below is the first video I watched and I was instantly hooked.

The thing I like about Jen (besides her goofiness) is the fact that she gears towards women and how OUR bodies work.  She also has the same troublesome areas of the body that I do which helps in getting to my goals.

She’s also a great motivator.  If there is a morning…like today for instance…that I just want to sit in my chair, binge watch TV, binge eat, and have nothing to do with exercise, I just pull up one of her videos and am instantly motivated.  Even if it’s just a short workout, it’s still doing something.

If you would like to check out her website which has some awesome recipes and supplements just click here.  I recently purchased the BCAA powder in pink lemonade flavor.  It shipped to me in 2 days (even though it said 5-7) and I tried it out today and loved it!  Not only does it taste great but it gives you energy without the jitters and helps with muscle healing during and after weight training.

I have been trying to keep to a clean eating lifestyle.  It’s going to take some time and serious commitment, especially on days like yesterday when I had to take 3 kids to dentist appointments at the same time, we were there for nearly 3 hours, and by the time I got home they weren’t willing to wait for me to make dinner.  So to avoid them gnawing my arm off, I ordered pizza.  And of course I had to have a piece of said pizza.  And then I decided that since I was already falling off the wagon I mind as well just get off the whole damn wagon completely and indulge myself into a glass, or two, or entire bottle of wine.

And so I did.

My favorite clean eating recipe of the week was my salmon, asparagus, and mushrooms all done in one pan.

Heat the oven to 425*F

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray

Trim the bottoms of the asparagus

Cut the mushrooms (I used baby portabellas) into quarters

Make sure your salmon is thawed.  The best salmon to use for clean eating is wild caught.  They sell it in the frozen section at War-Mart.

In a good-sized bowl mix together about a cup of olive oil, fresh finely chopped garlic, juice of one lemon, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (optional) **likes her food a little spicey like her sex everyday life.

Mix ingredients well with a whisk

Place the vegetables in the bowl until well coated then arrange them onto the foiled pan making sure you have some liquid left for the salmon (which is set aside for now).  I also thought to myself if I had time and would have thought about it,  I would have marinaded everything in the mixture before hand but I will have to do that next time.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

Pop the vegetables in the oven for about 10 minutes

Take the pan out and place the salmon on the pan.  Drizzle the rest of the mixture over the fish and veggies and feel free to season the salmon as you wish.  (I use McCormick’s Steak Seasoning for EVERYTHING…I even sprinkled some on the veggies)  Pop the pan back into the oven for about another 5 to 10 minutes depending on how you like your salmon cooked and then plate and enjoy!

salmon asparagus mushrooms recipe clean eating

The best things I learned this week are that I should do my weight training before my cardio and that I don’t have to spend hours a day doing cardio.  I also learned that women shouldn’t be afraid to lift heavy.  You will not bulk up like a man unless you take steroids.  In that case you may end up looking like this…

women body building steroids

When I look at that picture I see a man with a blonde wig but who am I to judge what someone wants to look like.  I just want to tone the flabby parts, not turn into the Incredible Hulk.

I also bought some weights and a yoga mat (I’m tired of getting up from the rug in my bedroom to find myself covered in dog hair) from the store this week.  I like to try out some of Jen Heward’s workouts at home before making a fool of myself at the gym.  Let’s face it, no matter how good I think I am doing something right there are times I know I must look like this…

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Until Next Time,

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My Struggles With Anxiety, Depression, And Being A Stay At Home Mom

I think that there are so many other mothers like me that have daily struggles with anxiety, depression and the challenges of being a stay at home mom.  The problem is most of us aren’t talking about it.  I think this is because in many ways we feel weak or that somehow it’s our fault that something isn’t right in our head.

People who don’t suffer from it don’t understand it.  They think there’s just some kind of switch.  And the most common stereotype are those who look at your life, the life where you have more than most do, and they say to themselves “What in the world does she have to be depressed about? She has everything!”

Everything except the correct chemical balance in the brain.

Depression anxiety chemistry
I was put on Zoloft after I had finished nursing my 3rd baby.  I had an appointment with the doctor and I suggested to him that I hadn’t been feeling myself and he instantly just wrote me a prescription for the anti-depressant.  I had read a lot about post natal depression and especially from dissolving breast feeding, so I really had no concern.

I was on Zoloft for 3 years.  200mg a day.  And one day I realized I still wasn’t feeling myself.

So I decided to go off of it.  My mood swings were horrible, I still didn’t feel like doing things most days *like getting out of bed*, and so as most people would do, I decided to make the decision to quit taking something that I felt wasn’t doing a damn thing.

After experiencing brain zaps, body twitches and any other withdrawal symptom, I was finally returning to what I felt was normal.

About 3 months passed.

One morning I woke up and I thought I was having some kind of heart attack or mini stroke only there was no pain in my chest.  My heart was palpitating, I was shaking, my stomach felt like I needed to throw up, and I was dizzy and couldn’t focus on much of anything except trying to breathe.

Of course I didn’t go to the doctor.  I looked up my symptoms on the internet and everything was telling me to meditate, take deep breaths, and try some yoga positions because I was having a panic attack.

After several hours I finally was able to calm myself down.

In the mornings remaining I would always wake up in a state of panic.  Like feeling like the plane was going to crash, only I wasn’t on any plane.  I was in bed and just waking up.  But the feeling of dread was there.  Like literally I felt plagued with it.

Depression anxiety chemistry
About a week later another panic attack occurrred and I went straight to the doctor.  My blood pressure was through the roof and he confirmed what I already knew.  He said that being on the Zoloft must have kept the panic attacks at bay and even though I had been off of it for 3 months my body was still adjusting.

He put me on Kolonopin, an anti-anxiety medication.  I was to take it twice a day, morning and night.  Haven’t had a panic attack since.

In the beginning of 2016 I decided it was going to be my year to finally get in shape.  I started going to the gym, sometimes twice a day.  I found a love for Zumba and watched 28 pounds melt away.  I even got my Kolonopin down to once a day.

But even though I was feeling better, had more energy, and getting a good nights sleep, there were still days I was fighting with myself just to get out of bed.

The warm weather started to roll in and by end of May I couldn’t stand the temperature inside the Zumba room so I quit going.  And then a few weeks later the kids were out of school and so there went going to the gym too.

Now I realize they were bad choices.

But we had a busy summer planned with camping, swimming, and hiking.  But facts are facts and as the summer passed I felt myself feeling worse and worse.  I also found myself “self-medicating” by consuming alcohol on almost a daily basis and justifying it with the fact I wasn’t getting drunk, just trying to wind down from the daily struggles of being a stay at home mom of 4 kids.  Three of which were still very dependent on me every 2.5 seconds.

By the end of last year I started noticing that I had lost interest in everything that used to be important to me.  I stopped blogging.  I stopped being creative through my photography and designing.  I started distancing myself from family and friends.  I even stopped doing craft projects with my kids, which has always been a passion of mine.  And instead I started binge watching TV…something I just don’t do on an everyday basis.  Sometimes confining myself to my bedroom.

But yet the ambition to do any differently just wasn’t there.  I did the bare minimum of what it took to be a mother and a wife.

Depression anxiety chemistry
I decided to go through a series of medical testing through my OB/GYN and my family doctor to see if there was anything that would be causing me to feel so fatigued everyday.  I even started seeing a therapist hoping she would have some answers.  All my tests came back normal, which was good but I knew that this also meant I was faced with the fact that I will probably have to spend the rest of my life on some kind of an anti-depressant.

Both my doctors and my therapist confirmed what I already knew.  Only this time I was put on Wellbutrin at 150mg a day.

I’ve been on it a couple months now and have started getting back to the gym.  I’ve even started keeping my alcohol comsumption to a minimal in order to give the meds a chance to work.  

I quit going to the therapist as I felt completely drained upon leaving her office because she constantly wanted to drudge up a past that I buried long ago.  And also because my insurance only paid for a certain amount of visits and in those 6 visits I felt like I was 20 steps behind from when I started.

Therapy isn’t for everyone.  And it wasn’t for me.

I made a choice to try and work this out with the help of a medication I hate, but any person with a chemical imbalance feels that way.  We think that when we start to feel better we don’t need it anymore.

This is the start of my journey and the end of me beating myself up over something that has, and never will be any fault of my own.

One Day At A Time,

Cuddle Fairy

National More Herbs Less Salt Day

In the past I have written quite a few articles about the benefits of herbs.  You can read about them here … here …and here.

It just so happens that today is also the day that I have decided to get back on track once again.  For some reason I am just never very good at sticking to my weight loss goals during the summer months.  But I am happy to say that this summer, due to all the activity it has brought,  I have managed to only gain back 10 of the 28 pounds that I lost at the beginning of the year.

I keep falling off the horse but the important part is that I keep dusting myself off and getting back on.  And on and on and on….

falling off the horse exericise
I have missed Zumba tremendously!  And probably would have stuck with it had the room, in which it is performed, didn’t get to be 100*F by May.   I prefer to have a cold enviroment to work out in which is why on most 32*F mornings you will catch me out walking the neighborhood.

So as it being National More Herbs Less Salt Day, what a better day to start my health and fitness goals up again.  I said that 2016 was going to be my year and I still have 4 months to go.  I know that I can do this.

exercise humor funny
I have got the FitBit all charged up and ready and as soon as I drop the kids off for their first day of school this mama is off to the gym.  Now I will do good all week with my eating habits and no alcohol but come the weekend, we are attending a Red Sox baseball game where yes I will be indulging in clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl and consuming large amounts of beer.  And that will be my last hoorah with alcohol for 30 days.

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Yeah I wish I looked this good as a hot mess

I am going to find a 30 day cleanse and stick to it.  This will include a lot of smoothies with a lot of herbs in them.  I was just in the garden last night picking fresh spinach and basil.  Basil grows like a weed in case anyone is interested.  I cleaned out my garden beds at the beginning of spring.  Broke up all the soil.  And even put some new soil in there and the basil from last year…CAME BACK!

Here’s to getting on a health kick once again….(to be continued)

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Workout Wednesdays ~ March 23, 2016

It’s been awhile since I have posted about my health and fitness workout progress.  Not to worry…I haven’t given up on it…just been quite busy piling more and more stuff onto my plate, no pun intended,  and haven’t had a lot of time to write my weekly progress reports.

I am officially down 27 pounds since weighing myself Jan 1, 2016.  And lately I have been asked by a few people what I did to shed it.

First off, I didn’t drink or eat any junk food for an entire month…well 28 days but whose counting close enough.  I really think that this jump started my weight loss and tricked my body.  Just beware that if you are a frequent drinker, then suddenly stop completely, and you are female, it can throw off your cycle.  I am quite certain that’s what has happened to me.

I do a lot of cardio.  As you know I have fallen in love with Zumba.  But I also walk my neighborhood of hills when it’s nice outside, and when it’s not…and there is no Zumba…I resort to the frightful horrifying grievous dreadful treadmill.  Luckily I have learned to tread and blog without falling off (multi-tasking talent I tell ya)  which makes the time go by much faster.

I have also been taking GNC Women’s Ultra Mega Energy And Metabolism.  It’s a 30 day supply separated into one day packets of pills. GNC Women's Ultra Mega Energy Metabolism Pack It doesn’t make me nauseous or jittery and gives me great energy.  And whether or not it’t helping shed the weight, I don’t know, but I have been losing consistently, every week since I started it about a month ago.  The cheapest place I have found to purchase a 30 day supply is Amazon.

I usually take the one day supply about 1 hour before I am about to workout.  And on days that I forget to take it…I can tell.

I also do some weight lifting and weight machines with my cardio.  Usually in the mornings 3 times a week, as it’s always good to let your muscles rest.  In my 40’s my body is really good at letting me know when it has had enough needs rest.  I find a lot of workout routines on Pinterest…if you would like to check out some of the workouts I have found, just check out my workouts board.  I have been trying to add to it frequently.  And when I can’t get to the gym…YouTube is my best friend.  You can find any and all types of workouts there.  I usually like doing my ab workouts at home as I don’t like laying on the gym floor and the mats they provide look like they go way back and would probably be part of a science experiment.

As for what I eat.  My biggest thing is that I try to burn more calories then I consume.  I drink a lot of smoothies which usually consist of a banana, spinach, kale, cucumber, a small amount of frozen fruit variety, and either plain or coconut water.  I also like to throw in some chia and flax seed as it seems to make me feel fuller longer.  Below is one of my favorite meals.  Seared piece of tuna (found in the frozen section at Wal-Mart), and lightly sautéed kale and spinach mix.  Literally takes 5 minutes to make.  The seasoning I use is McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.  I use it to season pretty much every type of meat eaten in my house.

seared tuna spinach kale power greens yummy healthy food

I drink A LOT of water!  And I like putting lemon in my water.  And when I am craving some carbonation…I have Perrier water on hand.  I also like to brew green tea and flavor it with just a small amount of light Agave syrup or my local honey.  Consuming your local honey can also help you fight the allergy season of pollens in your local environment.

And even though the Smart Ones and Lean Cuisine meals are not that good for you, I still keep a section of my freezer full of them so that when I am in a hurry (which normally means resorting to fast food), I have them on hand.  Much healthier than fast food.

I have also recently discovered that coconut oil is high in cholesterol.  Therefore if your cholesterol is high…it is better to use light virgin olive oil or canola oil.  I actually found a mixture of both at the grocery store.  I know there has been a hype about coconut oil being the new super oil to go to but not if you are trying to keep your cholesterol under control.

I have started allowing myself cheat days about every 7-10 days.  I consume some yummy, usually full of carbs  food and cocktails and it doesn’t kill me.  I actually think it helps me stay on track as I am not depriving myself of some of the goodies and setting myself up for failure.  I did however for the first 28 days have absolutely no goodies of any kind.

I have been having a lot of fun with my FitBit challenges with friends.  I must say that the fab lady of Bumbi’s Mom has joined my #activitytrackerchallenge

FitBit activity tracker steps calories exercise
My best day of steps to date.  My goal is 20,000 in a day and 100,000 in a week.
and I am loving her competitive side and the fact that she now chooses walking over golf carting at work!  You go girl!  Having a little competition amongst friends is a great way to stay motivated.

The biggest difference I have noticed since starting my journey is the fact that I have more energy and when I don’t work out for a couple days I get really grouchy.  I realize that I have to rest sometimes but it’s become a physical and mental challenge for me now.

Below is a current picture that I took about a week ago in a public bathroom.  Don’t ask me why I decided to take a selfie at that particular moment but I did.  And it’s not the best pic since I am wearing a sweatshirt but I can tell the difference from pics of the past.

selfie domesticated momster

Vacation is fast approaching and I am hoping to shed at least 10 more pounds before we go.  It may be a little unrealistic but I am going to try my best.  That way I have some leeway while on our trip.

Happy Hump Day,

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I am linking this post with the following fab linkys…

 

Cuddle Fairy
Reflections From Me

How Zumba Has Changed Me

Zumba dance fitness health exercise change

I must admit that there were several times in the past that I was told how Zumba was going to change me but I just brushed the thought of it off thinking that there was no way I was going to try to find my rhythm again in my 40’s.

In high school, I was a cheerleader and I was good at learning the routines.  Picked them up rather quickly.  I was also very limber and could do the splits jumping into mid air and landing on a hard surface with ease.  If I tried that now, I am quite certain I would break my hoo-ha pelvic bone.

When I got older I went to the country bars and did the line dancing and kept up pretty well, even being 3 4 ok 5 sheets to the wind.  I also shook my booty in the night clubs and have always considered myself capable of maintaining a beat.

But as we get older, and for me, lazier, our bodies don’t move in our 40’s like they did in our teens and 20’s.  Especially when I had put on 50 pounds after having 3 babies.  I had my last baby almost 4 years ago and I am still carrying around 24 of those 50 pounds.

My friend and workout partner, Heather, kept telling me about these Zumba classes and how we should start going to them.  So finally, after much convincing, I went and wrote about my first experience here.

Now, I am happy to say that it has become somewhat of an addiction for me.  So much so that I am quite certain my husband thinks I have a boyfriend named Zumba.

The energy of the ladies who teach the particular classes I go to, is nothing short of AMAZING.  And by the end you’re sweating, huffing, puffing, cussing and feeling like your entire body has suddenly turned into a substance resembling that of jello.  But it’s well worth it.

Zumba exercise fitness health weight loss

I will admit that the first few weeks were hard for me to keep up.  I was really sore and worked muscles that I didn’t even know existed.  I would watch the clock hoping for the hour to hurry up and be over.  And when the “cool down” song came on, I sighed a breath of relief and passed out on the floor.  And then immediately came home and soaked my aching muscles in a hot epsom salt bath.  Yes it really works.

But now, 26 pounds lighter, I find myself not watching the clock and actually having an element of surprise when the “cool down” song starts playing.  I leave feeling accomplished and full of endorphins.  I have actually now found it to be fun.  I never thought I would refer to exercise as fun.

Here are some little facts about Zumba:

  • One class can burn anywhere between 500-1000 calories.
  • I usually check my FitBit before I go into class and then once I am finished and I usually get anywhere between 5,000-7,000 steps per class.

(The above two facts of course are based on how much effort one and myself puts into the hour of class.)

  • The word Zumba comes from a Colombian word meaning “to move fast and have fun”
  • Approximately 10 million people participate in Zumba classes every week.  That’s a lot of people.  Don’t you want to be one of them?  You know you do!
  • Zumba is also highly recommended for the elderly as most moves are done at one’s own pace.  Believe me, you don’t have to be a professional dancer to attend a class.
  • Zumba is considered an interval training type of workout.  It uses music to set paces to fast and slow while also toning certain muscle groups.
  • Most people who attend say that their reason for keeping it up is because it is so FUN!

I can honestly say that Zumba has changed me.  It’s changed my body, my mind, my energy level, my confidence, and the all around balance in my life.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  And let’s face it…it’s so much more fun than walking on a treadmill.

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I am linking this post with the following linkys…

Cuddle Fairy
Run Jump Scrap!
Mummuddlingthrough
Reflections From Me

Workout Wednesdays ~ Feb 10, 2016

To say I celebrated to the fullest  extent for Super Bowl would probably be an understatement.

Hubby and I made a trip to the store for some goodies … This being lots of junk food, beer, wine, and some moonshine soaked cherries.

 

moonshine cherries little smokey booze alcohol
**yummy going down…not so much coming back up**
 
Now if you’ve never indulged in these puppies, well may I highly recommend that you need not consume more than 10 or you will be passed out on the bathroom floor during the half time show of the Super Bowl which was ok because apparently I didn’t miss much.  I have never been a huge fan of Beyoncé anyway.

How Coldplay got mixed in there I don’t know.

The rest of the container of said cherries sits in the refrigerator and I had to move them behind a bunch of various other items so as not to see them upon opening the fridge.  They shall probably stay there until summertime ….4th of July perhaps.

Anywho…needless to say I celebrated before, during, and after the fabulous event, and after having a short nap on my bathroom floor I was good to go until 2am.

 drunk fitness health Super Bowl 50 
And now let’s bring on Monday…I didn’t move much.  Netflix nanny (Bumbis Mom term that I must steal) was in charge.  There was no working out except lifting the remote and the large cup of water next to my bed.

But I worked out hard last week and stuck to my guns and the hard work paid off because I not only lost 2 more pounds but I reached my 90,000 steps, in one week, goal!  I even passed it by 6,000 steps!  So now my next goal is to accomplish 100,000 in a week.  

 workout fitbit activity tracker weekly updates fitness

I am back on track and made it to the gym twice yesterday.  My #activitytrackerchallenge is well on its way and there’s some great healthy competition going on.  Can’t wait to see who the winner will be!

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