7 Things I Like About E2M Training

E2M training

Michelle and I recently signed up for the E2M fitness challenge. E2M (Eager to Motivate) is an 8-week online diet and fitness program that pushes you to make sustainable changes to your eating and exercising habits. Michelle and I weren’t unhealthy. We were both working out regularly and eating a mostly pescatarian diet. But the pandemic left us feeling in a bit of a rut and this looked like a great opportunity to get out of our comfort zones. With Addison’s, long term, even low dose, steroid use can lead to weak bones. I wanted to do E2M to get stronger. I can stick with cardio training but have never stuck with strength training for any serious amount of time.

A lot of the program is somewhat secretive and information is a little scarce prior to signing up. I’m not sure why. There is nothing ground-breaking or earth-shattering about E2M and that is part of the reason it is likely so successfully with so many. I won’t be giving away the meal plans or workouts here. You need to sign up for that, but after finishing my first 8-week chunk, here are my thoughts on E2M.

I like the cost

The total cost is $320 for the E2M 8-week program. But you don’t need to lay it all out upfront. This is paid $40 weekly via PayPal. Spouses or partners in the same household, and starting at the same time, are included. You only pay for one 8-week program, but once you’re in, you’re an OG and subsequent sessions are free. Not a bad deal. If you fall off the wagon, no problem, it’s a lifetime membership. You have access to the Facebook group with the workouts, meals, coaches, and community. Pick yourself up and try again at no cost.

 

I like the very supportive community

After you sign-up, just about the entire program (for better and worse) is run through a closed Facebook group and that group is very, very supportive. From what I can tell, E2M started small and locally in South Carolina but has since grown widely. You won’t be alone if you chose to join up and interact with the group. I don’t post, but I do enjoy reading many of the transformational stories for inspiration.

 

I like the nightly live sessions

The founder/head trainer, Jeff Spoon, does a nightly video that is part Q/A, part motivational pep talk, and part old-time tent revival. I initially found them a little too rah-rah for my taste but have now come to look forward to his talks. He truly believes what he says and why not, based on the community posts, he and his program are impacting a lot of lives for the better. They are a nice piece of positivity to end the day on.

 

I like the authenticity

The E2M training program includes many live video sessions each day both for workouts, motivation, and mental pick me ups. It’s hard to hide your true self on live video day-after-day and all the trainers come across as really wanting you to succeed even when they are yelling at you to hold that plank for another 10 seconds. The production values have gotten better over time but this is not a slick Instagram or YouTube fitness influencer hawking a product, relationships, or questionable science.

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I like the simplicity

I’ve always been an active person and never tried any other diets or big lifestyle changes (other than cutting out chicken and red meat) in the past, mostly because while I saw other people get results, very few struck me as sustainable for the long-term. I’m not sure a strict E2M lifestyle will be either but it would appear to be far more sustainable and healthy than anything else I’ve come across even if you only adopt 75% of it.

The core principles are intermittent fasting, carb cycling, no dairy, and 6 workouts a week (half cardio/half strength circuits).

The focus is on simple meals that can be prepared without a complex recipe and without tempting you to stay in the kitchen too long.

There is no food tracking or calorie counting. You can weigh things if you want but it’s not necessary. Two handfuls of this, a palmful of that works just fine.

In short, join this program if you want to be told what to do and when to do it. It’s sort of like joining the army. It’s not for the skeptical, curious, or questioning. Join up for the expertise and trust the process.

It’s flexible enough to accommodate pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans. There is a separate Facebook group for vegan/vegetarian participants.

 

I like the initial results

The first week of E2M training, going no carbs, no processed sugar cold turkey, was hard. I was a little naive. I thought I was in decent shape, especially for cardio. Pulling carbs took me down a notch. Or three. But I also have lost 10 pounds and can see some increased muscle definition in my upper body where I’ve always struggled to sustain any results.

And it’s not about the weight. I will say the coaches stress NOT to get on the scale throughout the challenge (I just like data) and focus on non-scale victories and lifestyle changes and small incremental improvements.

 

I like the cheat meal

This goes hand-in-hand with the sustainable part. Similar to Tim Ferris’s popular 4 Hour Body, E2M training includes one meal a week you can eat and drink whatever you want. Pizza? Sure. Box of donuts? Sure. Ok, maybe not a box. Ice cream sundae? Yup. Couple beers. No problem. Enjoy it. You earned it through a week of hard work. No guilt, just a mental break.

 

If you’re looking for a simple (but not easy), sustainable way to get out of a fitness rut or jumpstart a change to your body, I’d strongly recommend checking out the E2M training program. If you do decide to sign-up, trust the process, follow the plan, and enjoy that celebration meal. I know I will.

 

MIKE'S WINDOW

55 comments

    1. Donna – the program goes on 8 week cycles (sometimes with a week or two break between) and sign ups are done through Facebook a few days prior to the next block. We are currently coming to the end of week 6. It appears the sign up window will open for the next round on July 8th. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/E2Mfitness/ Good luck! It’s not easy but my wife and I both agree it’s worth it. You follow the program and you’ll get results.

  1. Thanks for the info. I have a friend who just finished her first 8 weeks with awesome results so I just joined the next challenge today.

    1. Congrats to her and good luck to you. We were really happy with R1 and look forward to maintaining and building on our progress in R2. We also recruited some friends to join. It’s better and easier with teammates!

  2. I love the explanation
    Of this. I’m trying to lose this 42 year old weight battle . I started online classes and put on some
    Weight ,so I’m hoping with not being able to be as active because of being in front of a computer a lot that this will still help me if I stick to the plan

    1. I think it is. Or a slightly modified version of it. I’m only in my second round now but I’m also thinking about this same question.

      I was very strict and stuck to the plan for the first round. I think going forward, I may move toward maintenance mode (I hit my weight goal) and follow something closer to an 80/20 rule.

      In other words, stick to the plan during the week and relax a little more on the weekends. Or, add a little more carbs as needed to match my fitness goals (longer triathlon or half marathon etc).

      1. Thank you! I’m afraid to try it because I heard people have to give up sugar and carbs. I love strawberries. I enjoy oatmeal. I like pizza and cola on Saturdays. I exercise daily. Not sure if I could handle restrictions-I always go back to my ok’d way , but I know I should think about joining.

        1. Yes, a big part of the weight loss aspect is giving up the sugar, dairy, and carbs. However, you could eat your favorites once a week for your treat meal. Also, there is some carb cycling weeks, so you’d get some strawberries if you want.

          It’s a very effective program but it’s not easy. You need a strong reason or desire to change some habits. There will definitely be days where it is a struggle.

          It sounds like you are in a similar situation to me. Pretty fit, eating pretty healthy. I did it to jolt myself out of a rut. I was skeptical but the early returns spurred me on to finish.

          There are rumors that there is a “maintenance” mode you can switch to that is a little more lenient after you hit your goals. I’m going to be strict for at least one more cycle before I ask the coaches about that.

        2. The diet changes each week. And the cheat meal makes it okay for me. And the results are amazing! Try it!

      2. Might be a good idea to inbox them and ask about the maintenance diet. I assume it is different than the 8 week cycle diet. I too am doing E2M and it is amazing. I am a vegetarian, have been doing intermittent fasting for 2 years and work out lots. Covid times got me too and (for the first time in my life) I put on weight and sat around and did not exercise. I love data and I did not lose weight but am losing the dreaded body fat (waist and belly) and figured I would just stick with the plan. Weight is not my goal – fitting back into pre-covid clothes is. And getting back to eating healthy and exercising. Reading the stories and seeing the pictures is beyond amazing. Highly suggest you give it a whirl!

        1. I have seen results on others but they are my childrens ages. I am in my 60s and havent truly excercised consistently in years. I am a nurse at the hospital and work 12 hour shifts. My weakness is ice cream but nit but once a few weeks do i eat it. Would this diet be what I can do while working these hours plus my age as well as my weight? I am around 212 lbs at 5’6″

          1. It will work but it will take some planning and discipline. I actually think the 12 hours shifts might help! It keeps you occupied and away from snacks. Working from home is a double edge sword for me. Such easy access to more food. This diet works on consistent strength training, some cardio, low carbs and calorie restrictions. Doing some meal prep and bringing it to work can keep you track.

            The exercise starts small and builds and there are always modifications given as you build up strength. The treat meals help with discipline. This is a good program for people that like to be told what to do and just do it. I’ve seen success stories from people in their 20s through their 60s.

          2. Hi Pat, my name is Patricia as well and I work 12 hour shifts as a case manager in the ER. I am also 63 yrs old and want to lose 20 lbs. I am on week 6 and have lost 8 lbs and probably 11 inches all over and feel great. I asked the same question about age and they have modified work outs for people our age. They don’t expect you to be a pro, the point is if you stop making excuses you will definitely lose the weight by following the meal plan and trying every day to do what you can. I promise you it works! The community is fantastic and the trainers are so committed and they really care. I go at my own pace and don’t work out after the 12’s and too hot to walk during break but I make sure I work out on my days off. I am looking forward to the next round and will keep going till reach my goals. This program has it all, trust the process! Sign up – we are all here to support you. Feel free to contact me anytime

      3. This is by far the simplest, sustainable program out there. I have saved so much money on gym membership, grocery store shopping…now I shop at Trader Joe’s and just target my proteins and veggies. It fits well in my life. Lost 18lbs the first 8 weeks, maintained second (modified due to life), now excited to go all in on my third round. Very excited my sister and two close friends are joining and we can support each other as a team.

  3. I am 61 years old with 35-40 lbs to lose. I do not do any physical excersize. I want to learn to eat healthy and implement healthy excersize. Would this program work for me?

    1. My wife and I were already relatively active so maybe not the same situation as you, but making the decision is the first big mental step. The program will work for you but those first few weeks are going to be tough. Do you have local support? The online community is very supportive but I’ve found the people with the best success also have nearby support, too. My other piece of advice would be focus on progress each day. There will be tough days where you might slip. We all do. Shake it off. Start again the next day. Congrats on the first step: making the choice to get healthier.

    2. My wife’s best friend from college days. 58. Hit 200lb. Lost 35 in round one. another 10 in round 2. Now runs 4miles a day! Got me motivated. Community helps. As Jeff says you only get one body. The cost is so minimal against the 10lbs I’ve lost, the strengthening of muscles and the new energy when I get out of bed–only finished week 3 so far!! (I am 58 and was sedentary and a cancer survivor
      )

  4. I have been through the program. and I am older too! And totally agree with Mike. It is great for getting your diet in line and exercise you can do at home. And there is support. I am very healthy and in shape. The whole Covid stay at home got me out of shape and eating too much. So it was not hard for me to adhere to the program. For many it is a challange. I do recommend the program. Sort of. If you follow the program (specifically the diet) you will lose weight and the dreaded middle body fat. And you will learn better eating patterns and to exercise. There is live and video of the exercise and it varies and is not boring. And as we age, exercise is even more important! The biggest challange in the program is the maintenance. I do not believe the program is sustainable. And when I reached my idea weight/body fat, I felt “dumped” by the staff with a bush off on how to maintain the weight loss. And in a normal world, I am sorry it is just not a sustainable diet. I am now looking for a process to help me maintain the wonderful body fat loss. You will lose weight and get a better eating and moving life style! (PS please note in the program any pictures you post they have legal right to them. Hence, I never posted my pictures. I have no desire to have my body affiliated with their program. People post some very personal photos.) GOOD LUCK!!!

    1. I agree, Gabby. The program produces terrific initial results but I do think they could do a little more on educating and helping people maintain that new weight/lifestyle/body. Almost a year in and my weight has stabilized and I still exercise regularly, including the E2M workouts, but it’s up a bit from the peak program weight loss and I sometimes struggle with discipline and motivation. I think that’s normal. Whether you are looking for a kickstart, a kick in the a$$, or something longer term, E2M is a great place to start. Good luck!

    2. I researched diets a lot. A meta review of 27 diets found only 2 many doctors find sustainable and endorse:

      1. Mediterranean Diet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean_diet an old idea popularized by docs from the Harvard School of Public Health in the ’90s. It has detractors, but plant-based / pescatarian diets get similar results without requiring people to become vegetarian.
      80% Medi- adherence: “The combined effect for all studies showed protection against major vascular events (37%), coronary events (35%), stroke (35%) and heart failure (70%),” Large meta studies. Good rates on cancer reduction, mental acuity, etc.

      2. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/dash-diet/art-20048456 is the best diet for anyone with high blood pressure. It is also considered sustainable, balanced eating. Recommendations for servings etc. no meal plans per se.

      Good luck!

      Neither of these diets will show the same results you get with E2M. Other diets with “meal plans” are way more restrictive.
      Change to a maintenance diet and if you gain weight or lose strength, jump on to E2M for another round. When I hit my goals, I’m going to add categories of healthy carbs, healthy dairy, more veg and protein choices and go “80/20”

  5. Yes, but the huge factor was the amazing fat loss! As we age, we get the mid section weight. And it flew off! HOWEVER once you start eating anything near normal, the weight may not come on much but the fat just seems to seep back on. You know the diet, so when when you get into the world it is impossible to sustain it; and to me it is not a good solution. They desperatly need to have a long term maintenance program. They did not with me. Just blew me off. (Why do I keep coming bacl to this post? Because I really want the program to work. lol). PS…you are a great writer. Clear, concise and well understood! Not sure how I found you post, but good reading!

    1. Hi Debbie – I’m just a client. This is my personal site and personal thoughts about the E2M program. I am not affiliated with them in any way (other than being a satisfied client). It looks like the next round of signups starts next week. You can find more info here: https://www.e2mfitness.com/ and add your email address to get notified when the program opens. Good luck!

  6. They have a new round tomorrow and thinking about joining. I am desperate. I have run several half marathons the last 10 yrs but now at 40, 3 kids, demanding job, and after weaning my dtr from breastfeeding last year, I put back in 40 lbs within months. I had just lost a lot of weight and paid a nutritionist 1100.00…the results were good but I just lost my way. I know what to do but feel so defeated for having let my self go down so quickly. I want to try.

    1. I will say the online community is very supportive and very active. I do think it helps your chances at reaching your goals to have a local or household partner. That type of accountability and support make the exercise and diet I lot more bearable. You are going to have good days and bad days no matter how fit and disciplined you are. I believe in the program. I think even at 80%, you will see results. It does a great job at keeping things simple but it’s not easy. Just signing up doesn’t get you the results. Work gets the results.

  7. I am older. And did the program. In summary: it helps people who need to get structure back to their diet (dear lord Covid and life just got to me). I am a healthy eater, but was eating too much during Covid. Diet is critical to the program and exercise is important. If you are looking to retrain your brain from bad foods….it will help you if you follow it. I lost weight but more importantly belly and back fat. It was amazing. The problem to me is that once you start eating more normal in the world (it is easy to follow the diet when eating at home but going to friends houses or just living life is not realistic. As I have stated before I felt “dumped” once I asked for a maintenance program) It is just unrealistic to follow. That is where the diet fails You do the program and there is not a real life scenario once you don’t follow the diet religiously. NET NET: Good program to lose the weight and body fat. I went to a nutritionist after I lost the weight and paid (more money) to get a real life maintenance program.

    1. To me, the meal plan is completely sustainable and not far from what I strive for in my life. Maintenance is just give yourself a second cheat meal and M-F follow plan. Not hard to adjust. It’s a lifestyle that is completely sustainable. Minor modifications are part of the process. Each day we have choices of what we put in our mouth. Some folks follow healthy guidelines normally, sone need some guidelines. This is the best sustainable guidelines I’ve ever encountered.

  8. I appreciate your assessment. I’m a former journalist and naturally skeptical. I have a few friends who have raved about it… to the point that it sounds scripted. So this is me doing my own research. I think I’ll do the pay-by-the-week option to see how it progresses. I’m vegan/vegetarian and carbs are essential to me. I’m in generally good shape but could use a structured program to go to the next level.

    1. Good to be skeptical, I agree. There is nothing ‘new’ or ‘special’ about this program. Move your body, eat/drink less carbs, low sugar, fasting. You are going to drop weight. I do find when I follow the vegetarian plan, it goes a bit slower and there is a high reliance on ‘fake’ meat to hit protein goals. I can’t do that. I’ll do tofu but not the processed ‘meats’ so the higer carb ratios in beans will slow down the weight loss but you’ll still get there just maybe not as dramatically as some of the members photos show. Good luck.

    2. He does a lot of protein substitution. I encourage you to give 100% each week. Results are not in 2 – 3 weeks. Without serious discipline and hard work you won’t get results as fast as possible. From university soccer player, to couch potato, gym rat to couch potato, road cycling tours, to desk jockey . . . (with a 1/2 dozen diets sprinkled in) for 45 of my 58 years…. good luck!!

  9. Can you watch the exercise classes on your TV, say, with a fire stick? Or do you have to watch them on your phone?

    1. You can cast the FB videos to a smart TV using a chromecast or a Fire stick. It can be a little buggy but I’ve done it. Typically I just watch on my phone.

  10. I have done the program. As noted above, I was always a healthy eater and have had a personal trainer since 1998. Covid and being lazy (and a bit of aging I am sure) finally got me. The E2M program is , in my opinion, good for learning better eating habits, exercising on a regular basis and losing weight quickly. I lost inches. I did not find it to be a sustainable program. The maintenance program is not realistic. When I reached my goal, I felt totally dumped by the program. To that end, I met with many people in the health space. And alas (and after spending lots of money) have found a logical and realistic life style to follow that is sustainable. (They are very secretive about the program. They recently made changes to the vegan program that alas! in my research make it more realistic and perhaps more sustainable.). As Mike says, there is no magic to their program. If you need a regiment, then do it to lose weight. But tread lightly on their maintenance program. (PS please note in the program any pictures you post they have legal right to them. Hence, I never posted my pictures. I have no desire to have my body affiliated with their program. People post some very personal photos.) GOOD LUCK!!!

  11. Mike, Have they improved their vegetarian, vegan meal plan.? I was going to use this program a few months ago and initially signed up, but found the vegetarian plan lifeless and they also stated that following the vegetarian meal plan may not give the results desired compared to their regular met plan.

    1. It appears they have a nutritionist more involved in the meal plan aspects now but I have not seen material changes to the vegetarian/vegan plan. The community boards remain active and you can make it work but the results likely will not be as dramatic as you seen for some b/c unless you just eat a lot of the ‘fake’ meat for protein (yuck) you will likely have more sneaky carbs with some of the protein sources, like legumes. I am fine with that tradeoff. I did not need dramatic results just more steady improvements and habit-building. I still think this program (even at 80% or in maintenance mode) is the most sustainable I’ve found for my lifestyle and worth a try for most people looking to kickstart a lifestyle change. Best of luck. Let me know if you have other questions.

  12. Mike, wow thank you for taking the time to reply back and I appreciate your honest feedback. I definitely agree with the fake meat, it’s as processed as junk food. You’ve given me a lot to think about now I just had to figure out if the investment in this program is worth it. But it would be a cool challenge to actually lose the same amount of weight and put on lean muscle as a vegetarian, -vs- those who eat meat. I always like a good challenge . #gamechangers2

  13. Mike, sorry one more question. The suggested Waist trimmer and Sauna suit ( lol lol lol), I am assuming these are NOT a requirement. I had to laugh when I saw these on the E2M website, it almost made me run the other way that they were peddling these-. I’m not looking for a get quick scheme or water weight loss. Would like your thoughts on if these items and why would they would suggest these after taking such a stance on no supplements, etc. Before I invest $320.00 I just want to make sure these company is legit please.

    1. I did not use the suit or the waist band. I haven’t kept up in the FB community as I’ve moved to maintenance but I believe they are de-emphasizing the suit or stopping it altogether probably for many of the reasons that gave you pause. They are legit. They started small and are growing rapidly and you see some of those growing pains as it transitions but it’s not a fly-by-night operation. You won’t be throwing your money away, but you don’t need the suit or spot trainer either. My results came by following the program without those.

  14. Mike, Again thank you for such a quick response. I appreciate the feedback and I do hope they have taken note on how some of their equipment suggestions take away from their message of offering real fitness and health solutions. I also agree with several of the posts above they they need to add some serious consideration to a maintenance plan for those who have taken the program and achieved their goals.

  15. I am not a fan of the program long term. Great to lose weight . I do not believe statistically that it is maintainable. I used it to quickly lose weight. I am working on other programs that are doable living in the world (the program works sitting at home. However having a traveling job and business dinners just doesn’t work. And frankly going out to eat as I do sometimes with friends, it is just not , in my opinion, realistic to maintain the weight with their program. ) And they totally need to work on the maintenance program. I would love to see data on how many people sign up and how many maintain after 6 months, a year. However if it gets people off sugar – the long term health benefits have to be worth the price of admission.

    1. My understanding is that yes, it still involves the intermittent fasting. There is no ‘official’ maintenance plan. After you reach your initial goals, you can talk to the coaches about what maintenance would look like for you and any longer term sustainable goals. For most, it involves slowly incorporating back a small amount of carbs but largely retaining the rest of the E2M program as-is.

  16. Hi Mike,

    In your post, you mentioned the half marathon. Did you find the program compatible with endurance training? Also, is it possible to do the workout part of the program and tend to nutrition on your own?

    Thank you,

    Dalisha

    1. Good question. I think the program is compatible to a degree with endurance training. I’m not sure I’d try a half marathon within the initial 8 week cycle. I found going low carb challenging initially. I just could not run or bike at my usual paces. I did eventually adjust and regain the speed and power. The added strength training (always a weakness of mine) and weight loss definitely helped long term with endurance events.

      Yes, you certainly could just do the workouts, but you just can’t expect the same body transformation results you might see with others doing the nutrition and exercise.

  17. Hi-

    I completed E2M beginning of 2022 and was happy with my results but found it very difficult to sustain once I got to “maintance phase”. I have been “off track” for a few months now and am pondering starting the program again at week 1. Curious if anyone has done whole 30 and how would you compare it to E2M as far as results and sustainability. Thinking of doing whole 30 diet with E2Mish workout plan and see if the diet is more sustainable for the long run.

    1. I don’t have any experience with whole30 though the diet looks just as or more strict than E2M in terms of restriction. I think E2M is a great jumpstart and provides a great framework for developing healthy habits. The discipline to sustain for the long term (I’m talking 100% on plan), I find very difficult. If you have achieved your goals or are okay with slower progress, I think E2Mish (great word) still offers a lot of value and practicality. I’d say my wife and I follow the diet about 85% during the week (we do the workouts just about 100%), but are more relaxed on the weekends. That is what maintenance looks like for us. If you give whole30 a try let us know, or since you already paid for lifetime E2M, give it a try again and adapt it for your own needs. The key is consistent healthy habits not a 100% scorecard.

    1. Never too late to start living a healthier lifestyle. Obviously we, nor E2M folks, are medical professionals. I assume you are more asking about the fitness circuits and not the diet. The instructors do a good job of providing alternatives to modify most of the exercises though it still might be hard at 70 and starting from a sedentary start but if you do the diet and move each day, I think you can work up to it.

  18. This has been great info. I was curious how you were sustaining and if the maintenance plan works. It sounds like you and your wife found the balance. I consider myself average on the active scale (no pun intended). But like you, no strength or weight training consistency. I have a home gym with a treadmill & recently purchased a stationary cycle. Whyyyy can’t I stay motivated with weights? Not like I don’t have them staring at me. I need a coach and it sounds like E2M will provide it. I don’t eat terribly bad, but I just turned 58 and definitely noticed some unwanted weight. I need to be educated on what to eat and when. Looking to lose about 20lbs, but ultimately tone up so I can get to the maintenance phase and cruise into 60! Signing up tomorrow!

    1. We’ve found our own balance. We never officially did the E2M maintenance (they wanted body photos to evaluate and provide a maintenance approach), but have continued to utilize the E2M workouts and general guidelines.

      For us, maintenance is staying pretty strict during the week for diet with low-to-no carbs and a fasting window. We also workout 5 days either using the E2M circuits plus cardio or mixing our own, typically using the Peloton app to string together a number of 5 to 10 min weight and core workouts.

      I still don’t love the weights, cardio is my first love, but just making it a habit and doing it consistently, even just 15 mins has helped make it a regular part of my lifestyle. That’s the biggest benefit for most people, I think with E2M. The results are great, especially that first or two rounds, but just making better, more informed choices for a healthier overall lifestyle is the best “maintenance” program. And if you fall off the wagon (ahem, me over the holidays!) a bit, don’t beat yourself up, just don’t perpetuate it. You have lifetime access. Climb back on the horse and get back to grinding. The first few days probably won’t be pretty, but you’ll feel a lot better.

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