orthorexia

Food Psych #118: How to Stop Fighting Food & Your Body with Isabel Foxen Duke

Isabel Foxen Duke

Isabel Foxen Duke is back! The anti-diet coach and emotional eating expert returns for the THIRD time to share more about why we fight food and how to stop, why Isabel wants to destigmatize emotional eating, the problems with healthism, how the human desire for control runs deep within many of our decisions, how to handle triggers as a recovered person, her exploration of diet literature dating back to the 60s, her continued efforts to unpack her own privilege and social biases as a professional in the field of food and body image, and so much more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and eating disorder recovery.

Isabel Foxen Duke helps women stop fighting food. After struggling with binge-eating for most of her life, and trying to overcome emotional eating and binge-eating through various approaches to food—Isabel finally discovered that these attempts to control her food and her body, were at the root of the problem itself. She now teaches women struggling with binge-eating how to do the very thing they're most afraid of, and the very thing they need to do to recover: let go. Grab her free video training series, Stop Fighting Food, to learn more about her work.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

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We Discuss:

  • How emotional eating is connected to diet culture, restriction, and fatphobia

  • Binge eating as a protective action against food deprivation

  • Set-point theory, Health at Every Size, and why the emotional eating narrative doesn’t make sense

  • The desire for control over body size

  • The general human need for existential safety, and the ways in which people try to achieve that through attempts at controlling different aspects of life

  • Relationship anxiety

  • Breaking down cultural expectations and social biases

  • The issue with aspirational images on social media

  • Using social media to promote internal acceptance of body diversity

  • Finding beauty in different bodies

  • Capitalism, hierarchies, and surviving a competitive society

  • Separating yourself from diet-mentality thoughts

  • The importance of claiming space and setting boundaries

  • Spiritual materialism and Buddhist practices

  • Unpacking privilege and tolerating when you’ve done harm

  • Dealing with real-world triggers using harm reduction techniques and stigma resistance

  • Healthism, body policing, and orthorexic tendencies

  • The inevitability of chronic illness

  • Measuring the stress and costs associated with our choices versus the potential gains

  • Redefining health

  • The “hunger and fullness” diet vs intuitive eating

  • Navigating digestive discomfort, chronic illness, and medical restrictions within diet culture and intuitive eating

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do we navigate intuitive eating when we have health issues, such as IBS, without falling into orthorexic or negative eating behaviors? Is there a way to reduce the anxiety that surrounds consuming certain foods? Can we promote restriction in the name of health while also pursuing eating disorder recovery?

*This episode originally identified Lauren Dear within the Listener Question of the Week Resources and identified her as a gastroenterologist. She is actually a registered dietitian, and mention of her has been removed to avoid misidentification.

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Food Psych #113: How to Cultivate Radical Body Love with Sonya Renee Taylor

Sonya Renee Taylor

Writer and activist Sonya Renee Taylor joins us to discuss why we need more radical body love in the world, how to deal with weight gain and weight stigma while learning intuitive eating, what mainstream body positivity gets wrong, why understanding oppression and intersecting identities is the key to creating a world that's *truly* body-positive, how to navigate diet culture as a body-acceptance activist, how to begin to untangle internalized oppression, and lots more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to tell the difference between self-care and orthorexic thinking.

Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company committed to radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. TBINAA.com reaches over 1 million people each month in 140 countries with their articles and content focused on the intersection of bodies, personal transformation and social justice. Sonya is also an International award winning Performance Poet, Activist, speaker, and transformational leader whose work continues to have global reach. She has appeared across the US, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands. Sonya and her work has been seen, heard and read on HBO, BET, MTV, TV One, NPR, PBS, CNN, Oxygen Network, The New York Times, New York Magazine, MSNBC.com, Today.com, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia, Shape.com, Ms. Magazine and many more. She has shared stages with such luminaries as Carrie Mae Weems, Theaster Gates, Harry Belafonte, Dr. Cornell West, Hilary Rodham Clinton, the late Amiri Baraka and numerous others. Sonya continues to perform, speak and facilitate workshops globally. Visit her at www.sonya-renee.com or www.thebodyisnotanapology.com.

Join the Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

We Discuss:

  • Sonya’s relationship with food growing up, including growing up in the Midwest in an African American family

  • Diet culture and body expectations

  • The communal nature of dieting and disordered eating

  • Body as currency and feminine value

  • Body image in relation to life circumstances

  • All-or-nothing behavior

  • Performance poetry

  • Body politics

  • Health at Every Size

  • The process of paradigm shifts

  • Shame, body judgment, and finding body peace

  • The role of community in body autonomy and body acceptance

  • Intersectional feminism

  • Being black in America, internalized racism, white supremacy, and the white beauty ideal

  • Social justice

  • Mainstream body positivity and the capitalist co-optation of the movement

  • Radical body love

  • Unpacking personal bias

  • Dealing with weight gain and grappling with weight stigma during the intuitive eating process

  • Awakening to oppression

  • Living in diet culture and navigating this body-negative world as anti-diet, body acceptance activists

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

  • FAT!SO? by Marilyn Wann

  • Submit your questions for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!

  • My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes listener Q&As and access to my private Facebook support group. (Get in there now because the price goes up on August 1st!)

  • Leave a rating and review and subscribe on iTunes!

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do we eat intuitively while also keeping our nutritional wellness in mind, but without falling back into orthorexic-type eating? How does privilege impact our perceptions of, and ability to, obtain “health?” How do we approach health in a true holistic way, including our emotional, social, and mental health? How do we differentiate between self-care and self-control?

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Food Psych #110: How to Heal from Food Shame with Casey Berglund

Casey Berglund

Yoga teacher and fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Casey Berglund shares how she overcame restriction and food shame, how she went from having an intuitive relationship with food as a child to trying to manipulate her body size, why yoga was exactly what she needed to break through perfectionism, why she started thinking outside the box in her career, why it's dangerous to approach intuitive eating with a diet mentality, how to navigate diet culture as a professional in the body-acceptance field, and lots more. PLUS, Christy shares some insider insight into nutrition journalism, and answers a listener question about how to handle when a doctor tells you to lose weight "for your health."

Casey Berglund is a registered dietitian, yoga teacher, and media spokesperson who believes all people deserve to feel free in their relationship with food and confident in their bodies, so they have more energy for the important things in life. She owns Worthy and Well Inc., where she inspires smart and soulful women to ditch the all-or-none and eat for fuel, flavour, and fun. Get involved by claiming your free 15-minute Yoga Intro video and checking out Yoga for Mindful Eating and Living at worthyandwell.com.

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Ask a question about intuitive eating, Health at Every Size, body acceptance, or eating disorder recovery for a chance to have it answered on the podcast!

 

We Discuss:

  • Casey’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience farming and gardening

  • The transition from curiosity about nutrition to control and restriction

  • Body comparisons

  • The media’s role in diet culture

  • Perfectionism

  • The need for culture-wide education on disordered eating, the diet mentality, and Health at Every Size

  • The impact of food deprivation on strength and athleticism

  • Discomfort with weight gain, body changes in eating disorder recovery, and finding body acceptance

  • Casey’s and Christy’s experiences in nutrition classes

  • Healthism and orthorexia

  • The feeling of “not enough”

  • Yoga’s role in Casey’s and Christy’s healing journeys, including its potentially triggering aspects such as lack of body diversity and the “clean eating” or vegan trends

  • Restrictive nutrition trends (Paleo, raw food diets, Whole30, juicing)

  • Navigating intuitive eating and self-care-driven health choices

  • Casey’s experience doing her yoga teacher training

  • Combining mindfulness practices and nutrition counseling

  • Health at Every Size and responsible research

  • BMI, the so-called “obesity epidemic,” and fearmongering within nutrition and health journalism

  • The ethical problems with encouraging intentional weight loss

  • Evolving from a weight-management paradigm to an anti-diet paradigm as a dietitian or health professional

  • The need for community and connection

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

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Food Psych #98: How to Rediscover the Joy in Food and Movement with Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell

Food blogger and fellow anti-diet dietitian Kylie Mitchell shares how she overcame dieting, disordered eating, and compulsive exercise; why she wanted to start a food blog that celebrates food and eschews the orthorexic messages of other "wellness" blogs; the insidious ways in which diet culture is woven into the fabric of how we talk about food and health; why non-diet approaches like Health at Every Size and intuitive eating are important for *everyone* of *every* body size; how she improved her relationship with movement and let go of compulsive exercise; what the transition from an eating disorder into intuitive eating looks like; and lots more!

Kylie Mitchell is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters of Public Health. She is the founder of the food/lifestyle blog immaEATthat.com, which she started six years ago in an effort to stop disordered eating and help people fall back in love with a healthful relationship with food and their body. Kylie works to promote positive body image, intuitive eating and Health at Every Size. Kylie also specializes in creative recipe development and high-res food photography. When not behind the computer or camera, Kylie works as an eating disorder dietitian. Kylie lives in Houston, TX with her husband and puppy, where she likes to over-share on Instagram. Find her online at immaEATthat.com.

Join the new Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

We Discuss:

  • Kylie’s relationship with food growing up, including living in a household obsessed with dieting and the thin ideal

  • Body trust and the pregnancy experience

  • Eating disorders and disordered eating as coping mechanisms

  • Kylie’s experience with restriction, binge eating, and overexercising to compensate for bingeing behavior

  • The lack of Health at Every Size and intuitive eating instruction in dietetics and nutrition education

  • Disordered eating within the nutrition and dietetics field

  • The spectrum of eating behavior

  • Diet culture, the diet mentality, and how our world perpetuates disordered eating

  • The importance of non-diet, intuitive eating, and HAES resources in recovery from eating disorders and diet culture

  • Kylie’s work on her blog, how it started from a disordered and obsessional place, and how it eventually became a place of healing and recovery

  • “Healthy” food blogging and orthorexia

  • The responsibility that all dietitians have to show that all foods fit and the ways in which they often fall short

  • Breaking down the morality around food choices

  • Making peace with movement and finding a body-positive, weight-neutral movement practice

  • The role of yoga in Kylie’s eating disorder recovery and finding embodiment

  • Body dissatisfaction, fatphobia, and finding body acceptance

  • Navigating relationships in recovery and seeking outside support when we need it

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

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Food Psych #95: How to Share Your Anti-Diet Journey with Katie Dalebout

Katie Dalebout

Fellow body-positive podcaster and coach Katie Dalebout joins me to celebrate Food Psych's 4-year anniversary! We discuss how Katie's first appearance in episode 34 changed the direction of the podcast, how her recovery from orthorexia led her toward Health at Every Size and away from her original wellness-focused business, how she discovered her interests and passions beyond food and health, why it's so important to consider potential triggers when telling your recovery story, how to share responsibly on social media, and lots more!

Through her blog, podcasts, videos, and courses, Katie Dalebout curates inspired wisdom that guides people to go deep and sift through the thoughts clouding their minds. She’s a contributor to Hello Giggles, Refinery29, and MindBodyGreen, and in 2013 launched the weekly podcast Let It Out (formerly The Wellness Wonderland), which attracted wellness and lifestyle celebrities such as Gabrielle Bernstein, Tara Stiles, and Joe Cross in its first few episodes. She’s the author of the Amazon best-selling book Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling (Hay House, 2016). She helps people develop a positive body image by embracing their creativity and personality outside of their physicality, and she’s on a mission to share journaling tools that invoke deeper authenticity and self-awareness. Find her online at KatieDalebout.com.

Join the new Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

We Discuss:

  • The four-year anniversary of Food Psych, including its evolution into a 100% body-positive philosophy, and Katie’s role in defining some of Food Psych’s themes

  • How Katie and Christy became friends through podcasting, as well as the early days of Food Psych

  • Katie’s “coming out” process with her eating disorder

  • Christy’s first exploration of Health at Every Size, including how the eating disorder recovery world and collaborating with Isabel Foxen Duke really brought her into the fold both in her practice and her podcast

  • Katie’s experience listening to Isabel Foxen Duke’s episode of Food Psych, including the vulnerability that the episode brought out in Isabel’s story

  • The importance of exploring our relationships with food growing up, and how this question helps us establish that we are not alone in these food and body struggles

  • The problem with eating disorder memoirs, including balancing storytelling with potentially triggering information

  • The normalization of diet culture

  • How our stages of recovery, understanding of disordered eating, and awareness of triggers evolves over time

  • Katie’s podcast, Let it Out, and the transformation it has undergone with Katie’s own journey through eating disorder recovery

  • Seeking out hobbies apart from food, the body, and wellness

  • How disordered eating can shape our lives and career trajectories

  • Responsibly sharing on social media, including representing a balanced life rather than just the highlights or the “healthy” parts

  • The issue with social media “branding,” including getting stuck in certain food and lifestyle labels

  • How eating styles can become a part of our identity

  • The potentially damaging influence of people we admire in the social media realm

  • The peace that comes from living your life in an intuitive way rather than a diet-mentality way

  • How the diet industry is beginning to co-opt not just wellness and nutrition, but intuitive eating and body positivity

  • Creating boundaries and taking a stand against diet culture

  • The importance of tapping into anger and humor in this social justice movement

  • How the body-positive movement and anti-diet movement fit in the larger socio-cultural context of our current political situation

  • Striking the balance between curating a compassionate social media feed and ensuring that we don’t forget that the HAES, body-positive bubble in which we reside isn't how the rest of the world functions

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

 

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Food Psych #94: How to Leave the Religion of Dieting with Alan Levinovitz

Alan Levinovitz

Religious scholar and journalist Alan Levinovitz discusses how diet culture is like a religion, why so much modern nutrition advice is dangerous, why we need to think critically about restrictive eating practices, how suspicion of Western medicine can lead people to believe in harmful "miracle cures," why the "nocebo effect" is causing people to unnecessarily demonize particular foods, and lots more.     

Alan Levinovitz received his PhD in religion from the University of Chicago where he specialized in classical Chinese thought. He is now assistant professor of religious studies at James Madison University, where he teaches classes on religion, Chinese philosophy, and the connection between religion and medicine. His journalism focuses on the intersection of religion, science, and culture, and has appeared in The Atlantic, Wired, The Washington Post, Slate, Vox, and elsewhere. He is the author of The Gluten Lie: And Other Myths About What You Eat (mild trigger warning for frank discussion of diets and eating practices). Find him at James Madison University and on Twitter at @AlanLevinovitz.

 

We Discuss:

  • Alan’s enriching and satisfying relationship with food growing up, including his experience with food as an art form

  • Alan’s experience with body image throughout his life, as well as his differing experience in the world due to his male gender identification

  • How ignoring the personal experiences and struggles of people around food and focusing on the logic can make healing one’s relationship with food seem simplistic and easy, even though it is anything but

  • Debunking dieting, and the ways in which the attachment people have to their belief systems around dieting closely resembles the attachment people have to their belief systems around religion

  • The dogma of nutrition and dieting

  • The power of media representation of the body

  • Alan’s journey into religious studies, including his eventual transition into dietary and food studies as a kind of religion

  • The “nocebo effect”… sometimes, if we are told something is going to make us feel bad, it will

  • Some of the restrictive practices of religion, and the intersections of diet culture and religion

  • The decline of religiosity in relation to the ascension of diet culture

  • Eating as ritual

  • How restrictive religious practices can sometimes spark disordered eating and eating disorders

  • The specific practice of Lent, including how some people view Lent as an opportunity to diet

  • The ways in which some of us deceive ourselves in order justify restrictive practices around our food

  • False promises, charismatic hope, and prosperity gospel

  • How the power of the mind can convince us that food is both healing us or hurting us

  • The issue with the ‘holistic’ health movement, including the intense scrutiny against Western and mainstream medicine

  • Self-identity within our food values and dietary practices

  • The seduction and subsequent failure of black and white rules in relation to food, and how to embrace fluidity instead

  • Buddhism as a path to mindfulness, intuitive eating, and eating disorder recovery

  • How important it is to remember that all bodies are individual, and therefore dietary practices that promise to heal and work for everyone should inspire caution

  • The danger in obsessing over productivity, output, and quantifying every aspect of our lives

  • Putting warning labels on diets and exercise tracking devices like FitBits

  • The importance of not pathologizing sadness, bad body image days, and other negative emotions that are just a part of life

 

Resources Mentioned

 

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Food Psych #83: The Truth About Elimination Diets and Orthorexia with Emily Fonnesbeck

Emily Fonnesbeck - Anti-Diet Dietitian

Body-positive dietitian Emily Fonnesbeck shares how her family helped her develop a healthy relationship with food in childhood, why that went awry and led her down the path to orthorexia, how she overcame her disordered eating and discovered Health at Every Size, why she thinks elimination diets and food-sensitivity testing are dangerous for most people, and lots more.

Emily Fonnesbeck is a Registered Dietitian and owns her own private practice in southern Utah. Her nutrition passion consists of helping individuals free themselves from diets, food anxiety, poor body image and obsessive exercise. She has a non-diet, weight-neutral, client-centered approach to help people make peace with food and their bodies. Find her online at EmilyFonnesbeck.com.

 

We Discuss:

  • The increase in oppressive diet culture, healthism, and orthorexic tendencies that are bound to crop up over the next few holiday months

  • Emily’s relationship to food growing up, including a positive and non-restrictive home environment

  • The ways in which Emily’s post-pregnancy experience and introduction to the world of motherhood impacted her body image and led her to excessive exercise and food restriction

  • The ways in which huge life changes stress the body, and how taking control of our eating is a way in which we try to cope

  • How Emily entered the nutrition field, and the ways in which a nutrition education can often feed into orthorexic behaviors

  • Emily’s physical repercussions of undereating and overexercising, which at the time seemed to indicate a failure to adhere to the perfection of “clean” eating, but was really her body giving her warning signs that something was wrong

  • Emily’s experience with the LEAP Program (a program that promotes elimination diets based off of food sensitivity testing), becoming a LEAP Certified Nutritionist, and the ways in which her involvement in that program encouraged her orthorexic behavior

  • Emily’s experience with orthorexia, and how it became an obsessive condition that felt out of her control

  • How often becoming a dietitian is sparked by diet culture and a desire to fix oneself, and as a result when many nutritionists begin practicing they perpetuate disordered eating

  • The ways in which Emily’s orthorexia impacted her relationship with her family, especially her husband’s role in her eating disorder recovery

  • Emily’s experience with therapy and recovery, which helped her tackle her perfectionism and anxiety, taught her how to set boundaries, and asserted that she was enough just as she was

  • The book Intuitive Eating, how instrumental it was in Emily’s recovery, and how it led her to HAES

  • Emily’s time working at a weight loss resort, and how it impacted her own journey as a dietitian and eventual transition to a weight-neutral approach

  • The important process of owning your story and all parts of your journey, including the ugly parts

  • The power of community and surrounding yourself with people who get HAES, body positivity, and anti-diet, weight neutral eating disorder recovery

  • How intuitive eating impacts every part of our lives and supports self-care and self-growth

  • Emily’s integration of HAES into her practice, and the challenge of reassuring clients who are stuck in the diet mentality that HAES and intuitive eating works

  • The importance of removing cultural diet triggers and creating an environment that is conducive to achieving peace with food

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #82: Intuitive Exercise & Overcoming Deprivation with Jonah Soolman

Jonah Soolman - Health at Every Size Dietitian

Fellow anti-diet dietitian Jonah Soolman discusses how being an athletic kid and being restricted from sugar led to a troubled relationship with food, how he learned to trust his body to guide his eating and exercise choices, why food insecurity can lead to a "clean-plate club" mentality, why it's essential for health professionals to adopt the principles of Health at Every Size and intuitive eating, and lots more! 

“What kinds of movements actually feel good for your body? What do you enjoy doing?” [Click to Tweet]

Jonah Soolman is a registered dietitian specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, disordered eating, and cardiometabolic conditions using a HAES perspective. He and his wife, Joanne, co-own Soolman Nutrition and Wellness LLC, a private practice where they offer individualized nutrition counseling, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA.

Most commonly, Jonah works with people who have tried numerous diets and are sick of seeing their weight temporarily drop only to inevitably rebound. Fed up with failing diets and being at war with food and their bodies, they come to Jonah because he offers the antithesis. By taking the focus off of weight and rules, he helps them to form a new and more peaceful relationship with food based on satisfaction, flexibility, and health.

When Jonah is not working, he enjoys getting outside and moving his body. In addition to time spent playing NCAA tennis, his proudest athletic achievements include riding his bicycle from Seattle to Boston for charity, running up Mount Washington on four separate occasions, and rebounding from multiple back surgeries to finish the Newport Marathon. Find him online at SoolmanNutrition.com.

 

We Discuss:

  • Jonah’s relationship with food growing up, including a feeling of restriction within the family and the disordered eating that developed for him and his brother as a result

  • The impact of food deprivation on eating disorder behaviors

  • How family food issues get passed down to later generations and impact our behavior around food in social situations, including the concept of “cleaning your plate”

  • Generational differences between how people relate to food, including the deprivation mindset of those who grew up during the Great Depression, as well as the ways in which people of all ages can be impacted in the long-term by deprivation

  • The many ways in which food scarcity can present itself, and how stocking up on foods can help fight the deprivation fear

  • The "honeymoon phase" of intuitive eating, the understandable fear that comes along with allowing foods that were previously off limits, and the eventual food peace and neutrality that comes with legalizing all foods

  • How the stigma against fat bodies is linked to disordered eating

  • The emotional attachments and associations we make with food

  • The experiences that led Jonah to develop some orthorexic tendencies, as well as his eventual career as a dietitian

  • Jonah’s introduction to Health At Every Size, beginning with the realization that athletes of all shapes and sizes were faster than he was while training for a marathon at a young age, as well as professors in his dietetic training who discussed size bias and the concept of “fat but fit”

  • Jonah’s journey into the personal training profession, including the eventual push to include intuitive movement into his philosophy

  • The shift from exercising for weight loss to moving your body for enjoyment, including the concept of intuitive exercise and the use of movement as self-care rather than self-punishment

  • Why comparison can feed our own unhappiness, and how important it is to remember that the person you are comparing yourself to may not be happy themselves

  • The importance of using a weight-neutral approach with intuitive eating, eating disorder recovery, and general nutrition

  • Jonah’s transition to an intuitive eating, body positive, HAES practice, including his realization that diets exacerbate eating disorders and that attempts at weight loss simply don’t work

  • The difficulty of being a HAES dietitian in a diet-driven world, including the difficult transition required by dietitians during early stages of their careers from a diet focus to an intuitive eating focus

 

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