Weight Loss Struggles – Stress!

I have heard from so many of you lately and I am finding it to be an issue for myself too.  Stress!

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What makes us stress eat?  What makes us find comfort in food? I know it has to do with the chemical balance in our brain and how certain foods trigger pleasure sensors that produce different sensations.  That is the extent of what I know on the subject except that this is just a short term fix.

I have found for myself, that I crave my comfort foods and sugary foods.  I love Mexican food and could eat it daily.  It is my comfort food, and yes you can eat vegan at a Mexican restaurant.  Again, this is just a quick fix.  I enjoy it while I am eating but then I leave feeling overly full and bloated for the next day or so.

Sugar is something I try to keep out of my house because I know I won’t be able to hide it from myself and it makes me feel even worse.

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What are your comfort foods? Comment below I want to hear from you.

For others stress often puts us in a place of not being in control.  There is an outside factor causing the stress.  So they do something they can control and that is eating.  In my opinion, just the way someone who has an eating disorder such as anorexia believes to be in control of their body I think others do the same on the opposite spectrum.

So what can we do?  I wish I could say that this was going to be easy.  If it were I would not be writing this post. Cravings are usually disguised addictions.

First, get all trigger foods out of your house.  Do not have anything that will cause you to overeat, sneak just one or encourage a midnight feast.

Second, keep a journal.  When you feel the urge to eat something you know you should not write out what you are feeling.  Are you anxious, overwhelmed or sad.  Write it out and see what emotion seems to be the biggest trigger and what food you are wanting.  Then find other ways to deal with that emotion.  Sometimes if you continue to write that will help or go for a walk or talk to a friend.  Try to find something that will bring you relaxation other than the temporary food fix.

Lastly, try to eliminate the stress.  I recently read a book that said to look at your daily to do list and see what are you doing that is benefitting you the most and what are you doing that is really just wasting time.  He said 80% of what you do is really not useful.  So find the 20%, get rid of the 80% and be more successful at what you do.  I do realize that some stress cannot be removed.  What our family is going through is nothing we can control, but I have eliminated other things that would intensify the stress.  I workout and try to laugh, both are great stress relievers.

I really hope this helps and I would love to hear your comments of things that have helped you overcome stress eating.  I would also like to hear other areas of struggle so I can address those.

Keep moving forward.

Jen

 

Weight Loss Struggles – I Need More Time!

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I recently asked this question in some of my online weight loss groups, “What do you struggle with the most when trying losing weight?”  I got a variety of answers so I want to try and address these different struggles in a series of different post.

One struggle that came up a lot was TIME.  “I don’t have enough time to workout” or “I run out of time at the end of the day and just order pizza.”  I am sure at some time or another we have all experienced this feeling.  I love to workout, but I really dislike cooking so I am prone to the latter.

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One thing I discovered is that people do what they want to do.  You do what you find to be your priorities.  So if working out or meal planning are not a priority then you will find it hard to make the time.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are times you cannot make changes but 90% of the time you can.  Be honest with yourself.

Here are some time excuse I hear often; “My kids have after school activities that I have to drive them to.” “I work 12 hours a day and when I am home I am exhausted.” “I already get up at 5am I don’t want to get up any earlier.”  Do you fall into any of these?

Here are some of my tips for getting past these excuses.

What can you do while your child is at their practice?  My son had football 4 nights a week for 2 hours at a time, and my daughter had soccer the only other open night.  Saturday was then full with the games.  We only allow our children one after school activity at a time but as you can see it still took up a lot of time.  Football practiced at at field with a track so if I did not get a chance to workout earlier I used an hour of the time to run the track.  Another one of my participants walked the outside of the soccer fields while her son was practicing.  So take a look at how you can utilize your time better.

I too have worked 12 hour shift work.  I won’t lie I was one tired girl.  I did find though that when I worked nights I needed to do something to keep myself awake for one extra hour so I could get the kids up and off to school.  Guess what, that became my workout.  Not only did it keep me awake that extra hour, but it helped me release the stress from the previous 12 hours.

I don’t blame anyone who does not want to wake up earlier.  If I don’t get eight hours of sleep I am a grumpy person to be around.  If you already get up at 5 am what do you do?  Do you sit with a cup of coffee and watch the news?  Through BeachBody we offer a whole new set of workouts that are all 30 minutes or less.  If you are already up a quick workout will get you going too then you can enjoy the coffee knowing you have already done something good for yourself.  If you would like to know what some of these quick workouts are click here to register for a free account and contact me. I will then help you pick one that meets your goals.

I am talking to the mommas here…  

I have seen too often Mom’s putting all there energy and focus into their children.  They volunteer at the school, they drive them everywhere after school, they  work, clean etc.  Then 18 years later those kids are gone. The mom is overweight with nothing to do and she has drifted from her husband with all of her attention on the kids.  She is left feeling depressed and bad about herself.  Guys, I have seen it happen.  Please take care of yourself.  The better you take care of yourself the better you can take care of others.

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I would like to encourage you to take one week and journal your daily activities and see what you are really doing with your time.  You might find that you have wasted an hour each day searching FaceBook or Pinterest.  I know I am guilty.  Take the week and journal it all.  See if your priorities are what you think they are.  See what you might be willing to give up or what you can do for a shorter amount of time.

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I hope some of these tips help and that you can find the time to take care of YOU.  If YOU do not take care of YOU no else will.  In my next blog post I will give tips for the nutrition aspect of having little time.  I would love to hear from you on some of the areas you struggle so I can help. Or if you have a suggestion to add to this post for others I want to hear it.

Have a great week.

Make me your free health and fitness coach.

Are You Spartan Tough?

As you know I am marathon crazy.  I have not done many other races because I am trying to get to my goal of a marathon in all 50 states.  However, the trend of themed and obstacle running events does get me excited.  I participated in an obstacle race a few years ago and had a blast.  It was like getting to be a kid for the day.  Plus, the kids thought mom playing in the mud was pretty cool.

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Have you done one of these races?  I would love to hear your experiences. If not, check this out and see what you are missing.

 

If you would like to try one, the wonderful people of Spartan are very generous and offering a discount to all of my Miles For A Cure readers.  All you have to do is click this link and you can register with a 15% discount.

 http://bit.ly/spartanwarrior

Or would you like to WIN a FREE entry?

Click the link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Now check out these great new shoes from Reebok made just for you Spartans.

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Back to Back Marathon Weekend – Mississippi & Alabama

This weekend my friend Tina and I met up to acquire two more states to reach our 50 states marathon goal.  We began the weekend in Jackson, Mississippi.  This was a good but hard race.

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I have come to love smaller races since you do not have to arrive so early.  The race began after, “The Star Spangled Banner” was played on an electric guitar. Some of the things we loved about the Mississippi Blues Marathon were , the hospitality, the music and the medal.  The hospitality was very close to that of Little Rock.  Everyone was so welcoming.  Every person you passed said, “Welcome to Jackson” and “Thank you for coming to our city.”

The music was great except being a, “back of the packer” most of the music areas closed before we got there.  I think if you host a 7 hour marathon their needs to be something for everyone within the time limit to enjoy.

The hardest part about the run were the HILLS.  They were brutal, at least for those of us from Houston and Orlando. The roads were also very bad.  You had to watch your step all of the time.

Here are a few of the other highlights.

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I met Jim and Larry.  Jim, in red, was the first North American to run 1,000 marathons and Larry was the second.  I felt like I was among marathon royalty.

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The state capitol.

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The finish line.

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And did I mention the awesome medal?

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The second marathon for the weekend was the First Light Marathon in Mobile, Alabama.

When we arrived at packet pick up we were given a shirt for back-to-back marathons as well as a plaque for doing both.  The plaque was made by special needs residents at  the community of L’Arche Mobile.  We were late for the spaghetti dinner but I think that was good since there were quite a few with tummy troubles the next day.  Not fun for a marathon.

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The race had plenty of water stops and even had cold water.  They also had oranges which is a huge bonus and they did not run out.  The roads were much better than those in Jackson but that was it.  There were minimal volunteers and most were teens on their phones.  There were only a handful of spectators and the course was not exactly scenic. But here is a picture from one of the pretty streets.

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We were not quite sure what this said in this yard.  It made for an “interesting” yard decoration.

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We then ran through a University and I assume this was their mascot.  See I am not just slow I like to take pictures too.

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The most frustrating part of the race was in the last third of a mile.  They opened up a fun run that merged with the marathoners.  I am all for fun runs and encouraging kids to run, but when you are finishing up 50+ miles you feel “fragile” shall we say.  It was difficult to get through the crowd and I was afraid of being tripped.  I wish there would have been a divider to separate the two groups.

The medal was also made by the community members at L’Arche Mobile.

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So for recommendations.  I would definitely recommend Jackson as long as you train for hills, but Mobile was one of my least favorites of the now 18 I have done.

Overall is was a fantastic weekend.

Happy Running!

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A Must Read – 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart

I love this book.

Everyone should read it.

This book, by Dr. Neal Barnard, will teach you how to lower your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, reduce or eliminate your chance of heart disease and possibly even cure yourself from diabetes.  I love this book it truly could save your life.

Click the picture for more info.

In this book Dr. Neal Barnard helps you to understand the value of a plant based diet.  He then teaches you how to make an easy transition and then into a nutrition plan.  I have made several of the recipes in this book and they have been great.

January Fitness Challenge

This January I am putting together several different challenges to help you make 2014 your healthiest year yet.  The challenge groups, aka accountability groups, are  “secret” FaceBook  groups made up of 5-10 people that help each other stay accountable.  In the groups, each day I post challenges, fitness and nutrition tips, keep you motivated and many other things.  Most importantly in the group we encourage each other through the ups and downs that come with getting in better shape.  If there is a group that interest you contact me and I can get you the info you need to get started.  Please do not wait these groups will fill fast and you do not want to miss out.  If there is a group that I am not offering but you think would be helpful to you please make the suggestion and we can see what we can do.

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P90X3

Join me for a 90 day P90X3 Challenge. P90X3 is the newest program released by BeachBody. All workouts are 30 minutes.  For more info click here and watch here.

To be part of this Challenge you will need to P90X3 Challenge Pack.  If you have purchased a challenge pack in the past contact me and I can send you a different link.

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T25

All workouts are only 25 minutes! This group will run for 30 days with the option to go 60 or 90 days.  T25 is a fun energetic workout that is one of my favorites.  For a preview watch here.

To be part of this Challenge you will need the Focus T25 Challenge Pack.  If you have purchased a challenge pack in the past contact me and I can send you a different link.

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The Ultimate Reset

The Ultimate Reset is 21 days of resetting your body.  In 21 days you can lose weight, lower cholesterol, lower your blood pressure and have overall better health.  In 21 days you will feel like a new person.  This is a great way to start your health and fitness journey or to recover from intense training such as marathon training.  For more info watch here.

For this Challenge you will need the Ultimate Reset Challenge Pack.  If you have purchased a challenge pack in the past contact me and I can send you a different link.

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Combo Challenge

This will be a 30 day Challenge made up of various different BeachBody programs.  There are over 20 different programs and I would love to help you find which one would work best for you.  Contact me and I can get you information.  To look at the variety of programs visit my site and click on “shop” and then “programs”.

I look forward to making 2014 a great year with you.

Make me your free coach.

P90X3 – Coming December 10, 2013

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I am so pumped about the release of P90X3.  I love P90X and with P90X3 all workouts are 30 minutes.

The biggest excuse I hear from people is, “I don’t have the time.” Well BeachBody is taking that excuse away with the release of their two newest programs, Focus T25 and P90X3.  I got great results with the P90X so I can’t wait to see what I can do with P90X3.

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Starting in January I will have Challenge Groups (accountability groups) for those of you who want to have an amazing transformation.  If you want to be kept up to date on information make me your free coach. 

Want to know more? Here is what BeachBody has to say.

All good things come in threes, but be warned: P90X3 is far from a trilogy. No, P90X3 is NOT the kid sister workout. It’s the workout that took notes from it’s siblings, then condensed, and accelerated to become the most dynamic and fastest workout yet.

The ultimate excuse buster
Time is the biggest excuse. P90X3 solves that. Every workout is 30 minutes and the clock starts the minute you push play. Before you can say “drop and give me 10,” it’s over and you are one workout closer to the six-pack of your dreams. 

Muscle acceleration explained
Many P90X fans were hooked on the science of muscle confusion – which introduced variety to the workouts and prevented plateauing. P90X3 takes a hint from that success and from studies showing the most dramatic body transformations happen within the first 30 minutes of exercise. Enter muscle acceleration, a Tony Horton-approved highly-structured schedule with an incredibly high level of intensity and an unprecedented variety of moves. The gurus behind P90X3 combined exercises and added some twists to maximize your time and keep every muscle challenged for a full 30 minutes.

Say goodbye to boredom
Which brings us to the fun-factor. Host, world-renown fitness ledgend, Tony Horton does not disappoint. With his witty one-liners and can-do mantras, he’ll simultaneously have you laughing and fired-up to bust out that final rep. Along with the constant entertainment, P90X3 has the most workouts of any Beachbody program. With 16 workouts in the base kit, they switch it up before you have a chance to consider boredom. From cardio to strength to pilates to MMX, there is something for everyone. 

The ideal P90X3-er
It may seem lofty to proclaim, but P90X3 is indeed a workout for everyone.  Everyone searching for tighter abs and leaner muscles, that is. But fitness novices and experts need not be afraid by P90X3’s come-one-come-all invitation. You don’t have to have any previous P90X experience in order to get killer results. For the beginner, the variety of workouts in P90X3 is the perfect place to discover their fitness style. If the move can be modified there is a cast member showing you how. But don’t expect to be an expert on day one. (Yes, fitness veterans will still be challenged.) As Tony says, ”You don’t get off easy, you just get to finish faster!” 

It doesn’t stop there
And of course there are some bells and whistles too good to ignore. First off, the Coach exclusive: If P90X3 is purchased through a Coach any time from December 10th – 31st (including Challenge Packs), the customer receives an exclusive P90X3 baseball cap. What better way to spread the word about this revolutionary program?

And last but not least, we have the app: Yes, now for the first time the P90X app is available on Android and iOS (will be available 12/10 on Android) The app includes P90X guided workouts, tools to track your reps, weights and progress. Launching soon, is the P90X3 addition – which brings you workout specific tracking modules, scheduling options and the motivation you need to power through the 90 days. P90X3 scheduling and tracking will be available on the app for Android on 12/10 and is coming soon for iPhone. Check out the app and get ready to bring it!

Are you ready to commit?

To be in the Challenge Group you will need to order a challenge pack.

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPX3205?referringRepId=144924

If you have already purchased a challenge pack before (you can only buy 1) here are links for you.

P90X3 Base Kit

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/X3Base?referringRepId=144924

P90X3 Deluxe Kit

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/X3Deluxe?referringRepId=144924

P90X3 Ultimate Kit

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/X3Ultimate?referringRepId=144924

Other items you may want but do not have to have:

P90X Peak Performance Bars

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/ProteinBars?referringRepId=144924

P90X Recovery Formula

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/P90XRRFTub?referringRepId=144924

P90X Peak Health Formula

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/P90XPeakHealth?referringRepId=144924

Energy and Endurance – I drink this and love it.

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/EandETub?referringRepId=144924

 

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Out of the Shadows

This is a post I never intended to make, but with several people connecting with me lately, with the same issues, I thought this might be the nudge I needed to get it out there. Living life as a Pastor’s wife is like living in a fish bowl so I have always been known to be pretty open this is just one part I tend to keep quieter.

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After my first child I had mild issues with postpartum depression. I had heard that some women struggled with it so I really did not think much of it other than, this too will pass. After my third child was born I felt fine until she was 9 months old and I quit breastfeeding. The feelings of postpartum overwhelmed me and I felt very alone.   At the time I was also starting a new job as a 911 dispatcher which involved shift work and added stress.  For stress release I began running for the first time every morning when I got off work.

The other aspect of this was that with each pregnancy I gained more and more weight. With the third pregnancy I hit over 200 pounds. I delivered a 9 ½ pound baby and only lost 5 pounds. How do that work?

There would be a picture here but I did not take any.

So here I was overweight and depressed. I did not even recognize myself. I have a degree in Exercise Science and had worked in the fitness industry for several years.  I was very ashamed that I had not taken my own advice.

The realization of depression really hit when our church took a group to the Women of Faith conference in Houston, Tx. I remember sitting in the Toyota Center with easily 10,000 women and I felt so alone. I wanted to sneak away and hide and cry. So I did.

I left the conference got in my car to leave. At the first light out of the parking lot I was hit by another car and spun through the intersection. Thankfully my husband had on star and they did everything because I was so shaken I could not even think straight. I remember looking up into the rear view mirror and seeing two of my friends (one who had a bulging disc in her back) running down the street to be with me. I clearly heard God speak to me, “See you do have friends that love you.”

From there they took me home and talked with me the whole way about how I had been feeling and encouraged me to see a doctor. I was not so convinced, but my back was sore enough to get me to go. When I got there the Dr knew there was more wrong than my back. We talked and she prescribed. That was the last thing I wanted but knew I really had no choice.

That was me 9 years ago. Since then God has placed so many of the right people and opportunities in my life. When moving to Florida I had the privilege of coaching marathon teams for charity. This kept me active and helped me to lose some of the weight. I lost my Dad three years ago and that again brought it’s own struggles, but I was surrounded by an amazing support system.

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When we were planning to move to Houston, TX. I was presented the opportunity to become a coach for BeachBody and to help others in the same situation, I was in. I jumped on it for that reason, I also wanted to be able to coach and not have to start over every time we moved.

Since starting with BeachBody I have taken the attention off myself and my feelings and have been able to talk to others about theirs and have found God being able to use my struggles to help others. You all probably don’t know this but you help me with my weight because I know you are watching.  Since January 1 of this year I am down 15 pounds.  I am now the lowest I have been since baby number three and she is 9.  So I am pretty happy about that.  I did P90X and did not lose weight but I lost half my body fat and doubled my muscle mass.  I then lost the rest of the weight with T25 and Shakeology.  However, I am still a work in progress.

2011

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2013

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In June BeachBody challenged us to Dream Big.  I set the goal to help people lose a combined 5,000 pounds.  So far we have reached 700 pounds gone.  Through the challenge I have had the privilege of working with people across the U.S. and Canada.  Recently, I had one participant say she feels better than she has in 21 years. Although she has reached a small milestone she feels like she has lost 100 pounds.  I have the joy of getting stories like this often.

I say all this to hopefully let you know that you are not alone. We all have struggles of some kind or another. Some just do a better job of hiding it than others.  Life is not easy.  We will always have our bumps in the road but anything is possible.  Whether it be overcoming depression or weight loss or just getting healthy you can do whatever you put your mind to.

I am always available via email of FB to chat.

What an Honor

In my last post I wrote about the End of the World marathon.  Well I am by no means fast, or as John Bingham says, “I am getting my moneys worth out of the experience.”  Well the second day of the race I was so close to quitting.  My body hurt everywhere and I had an extremely swollen achilles tendon.  If you have never experienced that, It hurts!

Well needless to say I was neck and neck for last place, or as my kids call said, I was next years winner.  I will go with that.  But in the back I had the honor of meeting an amazing man. We talked about his favorite races and he gave me tips on ones to take the kids to.  I noticed he had on a 50 states club shirt so I asked him how many marathons he had completed.  I had guessed around 100, but his response was 677!  Can you imagine 677 marathons. Thats 17,737 miles just at races, not training.

So as disappointed as I was to be so close to the back I could not have chosen a more amazing person to finish with.

My new friend Gene.

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The End of The World

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I have not yet finished blogging my different marathons.  I need to get on it since I have another one coming up next week.  I love when I get comments and emails from you saying that the posts have helped you decide which runs to do.  I just love hearing from you all.

I have now done 13 marathons and I know I say that each were my favorite, but this one was really unique.  On December 21, 2012 I did, “The End of The World Marathon” and then the following day I did, “The Day After The End of The World Marathon.”  The races took place in Humble, Tx.  There was not much that was special about the location.  It was basically a plowed field with course markers. But what made it awesome was the husband and wife team that put it together.  They were amazing.  I would do any race this couple put on.  Here are a few of the course markers that were put out.

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A view of the trail.

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Not too many places do you get to run by where they are drilling for oil.

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Most runners will admit that we are in it for the bling.  This race not only had the bling but it had great swag.  For each day we got a duffle bag, a shirt, a hat, a medal and a squeeze toy.  The toy is just something this group likes to do.  One was a Easter Island head and the other was a smiley face.

The shirts

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The BLING!!

From day 1

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From Day 2

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And a coin for doing both days.

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Just a few more random pics…

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A Bald Eagles Nest

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Happy Running