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graindart - Friday Jan 19, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 179.3

Day 19 drawing to a close and staying below my daily calorie allotment.

Saw a new number that I haven't probably seen in almost 30 years......179.3.   Of course with the way my weight fluctuates, I might be back in the 180's again tomorrow.  Even if it works out that way, it's encouraging to see progress.  Probably the first time I've been in the 170's since my early years of high school.  I don't know exactly what I weighed each year, but remember being 180-190 my junior / senior years.  

Keeping a running journal on my nightly "band assisted" pullups has also been encouraging.  My end goal is to finally be able to do 10 un-assisted pullups and I'm hoping to reach that goal by June 7th (family cruise to Alaska).  I started doing 5 sets of pullups with 2 minutes rest between each set.  The idea is that once I'm able to do 10 reps for each of those 5 sets, I'll start using less helper band which will mean that I'll be working harder and won't be able to do 10 reps per set again.  Then work until I can again do 10 reps per set, then drop to a lesser sized helper band again.  I don't know if being able to go from 0 un-assisted pullups to 10 in under 6 months is attainable, but as long as I keep at it I'll get to my goal someday.

Started a pushup challenge with a friend where we do the same number of pushups as the numerical calendar day.  So today was 19 pushups.  I was okay until about 15 and then started getting bad form and just kind of eeking them out.  

I've tried hitting the gym or other similar type plans, but have always ended up skipping out after being committed for awhile.  One of the problems with the gym or anywhere you have to drive is the total time committment required.  With work, family, church, daughter's sports / extracurricular activities, there just aren't enough hours in the day.  Doing these pushups / pullups only takes about 1 or 2 minutes first thing in the morning and 15 minutes at the end of the day.  I can commit to 17 minutes each day at home, 10 of which are actually resting between sets.  I don't know how much that effectively 7 minutes daily will end up helping, but it can't hurt.  And maybe if I just get used to it being a daily habit it might lead to me doing something more in the future.

On to day 20 and hoping my scale is nice to me in the morning.

Progress as of today: 103.7 lbs lost so far, only 14.3 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 01/20/2018:
It's true that as long as you keep practicing towards a goal, it can happen. This spring and summer I learned to run again from not being able to for years. Thank you for reminding me that it can be done. - I've been following forgetful lately bc being sick has really brought me to a less positive place lately.

I do agree it's "easier to exercise at home vs going out to a gym" but for me I enjoy being around others exercising bc it motivates me although I've struggled to maintain by habit this month.

And like I said, if you keep practicing you're bound to improve.

My upper body strength def didn't happen overnight but from years - and I guess now as I make my legs a larger priority they will get stronger even if in tiny incriments. I guess it's either give up or keep trying and you'll improve even if not as much as you may want I guess an improvement is of itself a good Thing - my goal should also be just this - simply not giving up and to continue focusing and realizing that the smallest improvement is a positive thing and that it may take awhile of plateauing (now talking of myself) and I will just need to make the continued effort and change will eventually come once I get enough sessions going in a time period to cause actual increases in strength.

As for you and I - anything is possible and you make me happy when I read your goals bc it's good to see someone else working to get stronger midlife and see someone actively doing things to get themselves there.

If part of your exercise includes those 10 minutes of rest between exercise - so be it :) exercise is after all a balance - I struggle with balance overall in my life and will be pushing now to do more walking / moving around in attempt to get stronger like just for daily life...even after cleaning a hamster cage standing for like half hour I'm back ready to sit down - so just trying to be more productive on my feet more

graindart on 01/20/2018:
I totally understand going to a gym being motivation for many & also the social aspect of it. In other times of my life when things were less hectic, I enjoyed the gym for those reasons also.

Donkey on 01/20/2018:
Congratulations on a new set of numbers! Even if you fluctuate back up, at least you know you CAN get back down, and if you stick to your plan/habits, your body will stay in those lower numbers on a more permanent basis.

happy-1 on 01/22/2018:
Good job!

bearcountrygg on 01/22/2018:

graindart - Thursday Jan 18, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 181.3

Day 18 winding down and still under calorie allotment.  

My loss of 100 lbs over the past year has obviously caused me to drop sizes in clothing.  I had rubbermaid containers of clothes from my last time losing weight about a decade ago.  Since I'm a guy, not much has changed with the clothing (jeans / shirts / etc).  So I haven't needed to go shopping for new clothes much.  My smallest jeans are now getting a bit baggy.  I like plenty of room in my clothes, so it's not a big deal.  However I have been curious what correctly fitting clothes would look like / feel like.  So I did buy a couple pair of smaller jeans back a month ago, along with a few smaller shirts.  I think they "look" better on me, but I still prefer the "feel" of the loose / baggy clothes.  Walking through Sam's Club tonight I saw some nice looking light jackets and they were on end-of-year clearance for around $9.  Since I've been wanting a new one, I figured I'd get a smaller fitting one to go with my other new smaller clothes.  Last year I would've gone for a XL or maybe needed to find a 2XL if I wanted to be able to zip it closed.  Tonight I decided to try on a "small" and it looked good.  It initially felt tighter, but I still had full range of motion, so I decided that it was just that I was used to the feel of my normal XL jacket that I've been wearing.  The XL has been very large on me for awhile, but that's usually how I like my clothes to "feel".  Bought the small jacket and wore it for the rest of the night.  I really like it.  It felt good, looked good,and actually fit correctly.  I don't plan on going out and buying a whole new wardrobe, but it is nice to wear some smaller clothing that doesn't hide the fact that I've dropped a good amount of weight.

On to day 19.

Progress as of today: 101.7 lbs lost so far, only 16.3 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 01/19/2018:
Congrats on feeling good and starting to delve into buying smaller clothes...i would, if i were you, try to wear some clothes that are your true size. I am sure they do look better on you :)

graindart - Tuesday Jan 16, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 181.3

Posting earlier today, might update later tonight.

Back a couple years ago, we switched-up our restaurant habits and amount of food kept at home.  

Prior to that time, we'd go out to eat at restaurants probably 5 or 6 times per week.  We also had the pantry completely full of stuff, along with a full refrigerator/freezer, and full standing deep freezer.

With the large amounts of stored food and eating out all of the time, we'd end up throwing away food every 6 months or so in the pantry due to being past expiration dates (more regularly for refrigerated food). 

Finally I got tired of it and we made a couple changes.  We stopped going out to eat at restaurants (mostly).  My wife cooks one week, I cook the next.  We go out to a restaurant late Wednesday night for "date night" and have a small meal, appetizer, or dessert.  Other than that, we might go out to a restaurant for a dinner or lunch a couple times per month.  It's gone from being the normal everyday thing, to being a special thing or last resort if something unexpected comes up.  We ate our way through the deep freezer and sold it a couple months later.  We ate our way through the fridge/freezer and pantry, trying to not replenish things for the most part.  Now I go shopping for our weekly food needs on Sunday evenings.  By that time each week, our fridge / freezer / pantry are looking pretty bare.  In reality there's probably enough stuff in there to tide us over for a week if we just ate weird stuff each meal (breakfast cereal, tomato paste, dry soup mix packet, flour, sugar, pancake mix, etc).  Occasionally I see us ending the week with more stuff than I'd like to see, so the next week ends up with some interesting meals made from whatever is still in the pantry / fridge / freezer.  That's what is happening this week.  I went to the store and bought some deli meat / cheese and a lot of vegetables.  Other than that, we're going to work on depleting the stuff we've still got in the house.  A couple turkey burger patties, a veggie burger patty, a hotdog or two, some chicken stock, packets of soup mix, leftover salsa, etc.  The girls can use the last remaining bread for sandwiches and when they run out, make wraps with the leftover tortillas.

Our 180 degree change in restaurants / food storage has helped in many ways.  We save money.  We eat healthier.  We don't waste much.  And the surprising thing I found is that we save time.  I always thought going out to eat was saving us time with our busy schedules.  In reality it seems to have been the exact opposite, other than when eating fast food in the car on our way to things.  Going out nightly cost us 15 minutes drive time going to the restaurant, 30-45 minutes average at the restaurant, 15 minutes drive time home or to wherever afterwards.  Nightly eating out with drive times was taking 60-75 minutes average (fast food obviously less, fancy obviously more).  What I didn't realize is that it was costing all 4 of us that same 60-75 minutes nightly.  With cooking at home now, it ends up costing the person cooking an average of 45 minutes nightly, but the other 3 people only have the rough cost of 15 minutes of actual eating time.  On weekdays, that extra saved time allows the 2 daughters to get their homework done sooner and the other parent to have some alone time to relax.  

The change at first was a bit difficult.  Going to restaurants nightly, every person got to choose whatever type food they desired.  Now everyone eats the same stuff, whatever the prepared meal is for the night.  The meals aren't typically as diverse as those found in restaurants.  The restaurant would typically have an entree, salad, bread, and couple of sides.  Prepped at home usually means the main entree and one or two sides, which might be a bagged salad / vegetable / etc.  There are nights that I put more time and effort into cooking a fancier meal, but the majority of meals are now more basic.  It was more difficult at first, but has now just become the new normal.

Progress as of today: 101.7 lbs lost so far, only 16.3 lbs to go!

innerpeace on 01/16/2018:
That sounds similar to my story as well, we ate out way to often. Now we take turns cooking and maybe eat out once a month plus a date night. My husband and I take turns cooking. I usually make a weekly menu and then we go shop for the ingredients we need. We have done pretty good.

Now I am planning meals around what is left in the freezer. I am hoping to clean that out and turn it off. I just hope we don't have some kind of apocalypse and actually need the food. We have however been eating meat once or twice a week, which I also really enjoy. Experimenting with different things is fun.

BearCountryGG on 01/16/2018:
Sounds like a good cost savings too.

Donkey on 01/16/2018:
We used to eat out a lot too. Then we cut down to 1x a week -- usually pizza night. Now we've cut that out too, which is so much healthier.

That's really interesting about how eating at home actually saves more time. I hadn't thought that through, but it makes total sense.

PS I find that when I want to keep eating, even though I'm full, it's usually because my meal lacked protein.

happy-1 on 01/17/2018:
Not eating at restaurants and doing this diet blog is the big change I made and I've really shrunk a lot.

horn_of_plenty on 01/17/2018:
That's an amazing 180 change - def hard at first but it sure is wonderful to make your own food often. A friend of mine is 57 and just started home cooking his food - and he watched cooking shows all his life so he's off to a good start

graindart - Monday Jan 15, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 182.1

Day 15 nearing the end and it will be another successful day under budget.

I seem to have developed pretty decent self control for the start of the day concerning food intake.  My problem is that once I start eating, I don't want to stop.  I rarely eat anything in the morning, choosing a light snack around lunch time or early afternoon.  

I just finished a huge dinner where my plate was completely full of mostly roasted vegetables.  It tasted good and fit into my calorie budget, but was too much bulk.  I'm now sitting here with a big tummy ache, feeling uncomfortably stuffed.  Even though I'm completely stuffed, I really want to keep eating / snacking.  It doesn't make sense, but once I start eating dinner I don't want to stop.  

It doesn't matter what meal it is either.  It's worse on the rare occasion that I eat breakfast.  After eating breakfast, it's a struggle for the rest of the day because I want to continue eating and end up dwelling on food thoughts until bedtime.  A light snack around lunch time seems to have become a habit, so it doesn't seem to put me into the same type of irrational talespin that a larger meal would.

On to day 16.....

Progress as of today: 100.9 lbs lost so far, only 17.1 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 01/16/2018:
I get that.....my system operates the same way...starve it...it's good...feed it....it doesn't want to stop eating....and I don't know the answer other than possibly over time...a new habit will replace the old.....moderation can escape me too. Since food is a necessity we need to keep working at finding a happy medium. You are probably half way there or more...supposedly 28 to 30 days of doing something creates a new habit. It's not easy for sure.

graindart on 01/16/2018:
I tend to be "all or nothing". If moderation were easily mastered by me, I wouldn't have been overweight for so much of my life.

innerpeace on 01/16/2018:
Our top for the Move meeting last week was portion control. I'm like, if I know its in there, I just want to eat it, not one piece but the entire thing. The psychologist went on to say that when we are babies we have the natural instinct to quit eating (nursing or sucking from a bottle) when we were full. However the instinct would get skewed whenever parents or someone would encourage us to eat one more bite or three more bits, also if you had to 'clean your plate' all the food pushing skewed our natural instinct to quit eating when we are food. And then of course, I swear my brain doesn't get the message (that supposedly takes 20 minutes) mind don't necessarily get that note for about an hour).

I must make a conscious effort and decision to actually push myself away from the table and quit eating.

And if I know something sweet (ice cream, cookies, cake, pie) is in the kitchen I will go back for seconds and sometimes thirds. Because of this lack of willpower I cannot keep it in the house. I must go out and buy exactly one serving of ice cream if I choose to eat it.

Good luck! If you figure out something that works, please share!

graindart on 01/16/2018:
Yeah, I've had to give up some foods because of my lack of control. Pizza is one of them. I don't want a slice, I want to eat the whole thing. Same thing with candy / chips / cookies. I don't want one, I want to eat the entire bag. Because of that, I've essentially banished those foods from the kitchen. The kids occasionally bring candy home (small amounts from school activities), but they know to keep it in their rooms if they don't want it getting thrown away.

happy-1 on 01/17/2018:
If you have to eat the whole pizza, look for the Jack's frozen ones. https://www.jackspizza.com/products/original/supreme/

graindart - Sunday Jan 14, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 182.1

Day 14 done and successfully below allotted calories.

Got my hopes up this morning when I stepped onto the digital scale.  It was registering 179 for a couple seconds, then climbed to 182.1.  The momentary 179 got me thinking that maybe skiing yesterday jumpstarted some magical fat loss. 

Skiing yesterday was mostly uneventful.  The wife, daughters, and I all spent a few hours on the mountain and they had a good time.  I love my family, but snow skiing has gotten boring for me over the past decade.  Even when we go to a different resort, it's still the same white snow we're skiing down.  It was much more enjoyable when I was a teenager, which is why my daughters probably enjoy it so much.  The wife wasn'r raised near skiing, so it's a treat for her still too.  I didn't get too much of a workout skiing, but did notice that it was easier to bend over / get up now that I'm 100 lbs lighter than the last time I went skiing (March 2017).

I didn't make any food plans for ski day.  The wife asked if she should make sandwiches to take for lunch, but I decided her and the girls would appreciate a hot meal from the resort instead.  I didn't know what I was going to do until I was in line at the cafeteria style eating area.  I quickly realized that there weren't any healthy offerings.  Burgers, dogs, pizza, fries, candy, energy drinks, tacos, etc.  My options became:  1. cheat day  2. eat a patty of hamburger meat with nothing else  3. have to skip dinner later in the day  4. eat nothing.  I did a quick analyis of myself and realized I wasn't physically hungry, so decided to just not eat lunch.  Since I rarely eat more than 350 calories during the day before lunch, it really ended up being a non-issue.  The wife and girls enjoyed their hamburgers and chips, then we hit the slopes again.

I'm ready for Winter to end and Spring to start.  My main hobby of choice is riding dirt bikes (motorized) in the forrested mountains around here.  I'm expecting the bike to feel more powerful with the drop in weight.  

On to day 15.....

Progress as of today: 100.9 lbs lost so far, only 17.1 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 01/15/2018:
It is empowering when we can admit we aren't hungry and just not eat out of habit....GOOD FOR YOU not eating when you weren't hungry!

horn_of_plenty on 01/15/2018:
I'm glad you continue to do well ! My appetite is huge compared To yours !

graindart - Saturday Jan 13, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 182.2

Day 12 went by and I remained under calories.  I was well below calorie allotment until right before bed.  Then I decided to have a before bed snack.  Then another, then another.  It started snowballing a bit, but I quit while I was still under my budget. 

Weighed this morning at a new low of 182.2.  Feeling good about that, can't weight to see the 170's.

Taking the family skiing today.  They're excited, but I'm not overly joyful about it.  One of the only things that I don't enjoy about being slimmer is that I feel cold a lot more now.  I used to be the guy walking around outside with shorts and a light jacket when it was 15 degrees F out.  Now I'm the guy with 3 layers of clothing, hats, gloves, etc and still shivering at 30 degrees F.  I wonder how Summer is going to feel now.  Will I feel generally hotter or cooler?  I'm guessing without the extra fat insulation I just feel more like whatever temperature it is outside.  So if it's in the 80's and low 90's, I'm guessing I'll feel a little cooler.  But if it's 100+, I'm guessing it's going to feel hotter than before.  

Progress as of today: 100.8 lbs lost so far, only 17.2 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 01/13/2018:
Congrats on the new low!!!!

Donkey on 01/13/2018:
WTG on the weigh-in!!!

I really noticed the cold this year. Started wearing my long puffy coat (looks like a sleeping bag) in November to help keep me warm. Couldn't figure out why I was so cold this year -- I actually thought that my coat was no longer working. Then I realized that it's because I weight about 30 pounds less from last winter, and 60 pounds less from 2 winters ago.

I noticed when I was visiting family in Vegas that the warm felt so good, and still sweated when I took a nap in the 80 degree sun.

Have fun skiing! Being in the cold weather burns more calories, BTW...

horn_of_plenty on 01/14/2018:
Dress warm so you don't get sick and layers are good :)

If you get too cold maybe take a break and go indoors ?

At least the energy you use while skiing should keep you warm ? This is what I remember from the one and only time I went i didn't feel the cold too much but also weighed like 20 lbs more!

I think being slimmer, you are more affected by the cold than heat.

When it's hot I get hot yes but the cold Is simply uncomfortable the most by far!

Summer will come and keep up the good work! When I get really hungry before bed I'm usually better having a small, dry snack like a small granola bar or chocolate - emphasis on small and can always drink seltzer with it or tea. This helps my blood sugar and I tend to sleep well after doing this - little carbs before bed if needed

graindart - Thursday Jan 11, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 183.0

Day 11 winding down and I'm below calorie allotment.  Feeling totally fine with being back on plan again.  The first few days after my big Christmas screwup week were a little "iffy" in how committed I was feeling, but now I'm 100% committed again.

Today I saw 183.0 again.  I've officially lost 100 lbs since I started this diet last April (2017).  It's kind of bittersweet stating that because I was actually down to 183 on December 13th.  So basically this past 30 days has been a waste (weight-wise) due to my choice of going off diet for a week.  I'm not feeling depressed about it, I just need to remember it for the next time I get tempted.  Next time I need to ask myself if I'm willing to work hard for 1 month in exchange for 1 week of excess?  My answer may be the same the next time, but at least I'll know what it will cost me.  When I decided to go off diet for the week, I was secretly hoping that I'd only gain 2 or 3 lbs total and have it off again within 3 or 4 days.  As if all of my weight issues had magically disappeared because I had lost 100 lbs this past year....... 

Anyways, on to new lows in 2018.  The lowest the scale registered prior to Christmas vacation was 182.4.  I'll hopefully see a new low on the scale sometime over the next week or two, which will be an encouragement.

To recap a temptation from a few days ago about the muffins:  I got curious and asked my wife what they were, secretly hoping apple nut so I wouldn't be as tempted.  They did turn out to be rhubarb, which I was somewhat craving.  Knowing that, I kind of expected that I was going to eat at least one and I did have the calorie budget to handle one.  I got busy and forgot about it that night.  Woke up the next morning as the wife & kids were heading out the door.  Went to the kitchen with muffins on the brain.........and they were all gone.  Instead of being disappointed, I was actually relieved.  Worst case scenario would have been to see 2 muffins sitting there.  I would've eaten one and the other would've been calling my name for the rest of the day.

On to Day 12, hoping to see 182.9 or lower on the scale in the morning.

Progress as of today: 100 lbs lost so far, only 18 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 01/12/2018:
The struggle is real....it's sad how the wt comes back on so easily and goes off so slowly...but you have the right frame of mind right now and that's the most difficult part. Congrats of getting things under control again.

happy-1 on 01/12/2018:
I feel you.

graindart - Wednesday Jan 10, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 183.9

Day 10 completed successfully. Not much new to report today. Remembered to do my push-ups and Pull-Ups.

On to day 11.

Progress as of today: 99.1 lbs lost so far, only 18.9 lbs to go!

Donkey on 01/11/2018:
Well done! How many sets of push and pull ups do you do? I was doing 3 sets of 15 push-ups until I hurt my back a few months ago... I haven't gone back to putting them into my daily routine yet. :-/

graindart on 01/11/2018:
Pushups are starting off slow. I'm doing them the same number of times as the numerical day of the month. Today was Jan 11th, so I did 11. Tomorrow is the 12th, so I'll do 12. I'm doing it like that as more of a getting into the habit type thing. Assisted pullups I'm doing 5 sets nightly. When I'm able to do 10 reps for each set, I'll drop the amount of assistance by a band which will require more work and consequently drop the number of reps I can do. Then when I get up to 10 reps per set again, I'll drop the resistance bands again.

graindart - Tuesday Jan 09, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 184.7

Day 9 successfully under calorie budget.

Got the pullup helper bands in the mail today.  They're just what I was needing to be able to start using my pullup tower in my office.  They worked very similar to the assisted pullup machine in gyms, but since they're elastic, they actually help more at the bottom and less at the top which is good for me.  My main problem area with pullups is the initial dead-hang / getting started off the bottom.

Here's what I ordered:


And here's a Youtube video showing how they're used:


It allowed me to do a few sets of assisted pullups tonight.  I'm writing down the color bands and number of sets / reps that I do each time and will hopefully be able to progress over the next while until I can actually do an UNassisted pullup someday.

On to day 10.....

Progress as of today: 98.3 lbs lost so far, only 19.7 lbs to go!

Donkey on 01/10/2018:
I watched the YouTube video - cool! I can see how they would help you with the pull-ups. Keeping a log of your progress is an excellent idea! Have fun!

graindart - Monday Jan 08, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 185.8

Day 8 done and successfully stayed below calorie allotment.  Feeling like I'm back in the groove again. 

Not eating the best stuff all of the time, but more veggies & less carbs than in the past.  Veggies are usually broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, and lettuce mixes (salad).  Getting a little tired of some of them, so might see about some eggplant and spaghetti squash.

Amazon lied.....I didn't get my pullup helper bands today.  Now they're scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

One week off my diet and out of control resulted in a 16 lb gain on the scale.  One week back on my diet and not going over calorie allotment removed 13 of those lbs on the scale.  I'm sure there's all kinds of things that play into it like water, sodium, etc.  But just using the 3 lb differential, I guess I could surmise that being out of control for one week basically caused an effective gain of 3 lbs of fat.  That makes a lot more sense than just seeing the difference of 16 lbs from start of the week to end of the week of chaos.  Hoping I'll be back on track and seeing new lows again in another week or two. 


Progress as of today: 97.2 lbs lost so far, only 20.8 lbs to go!

happy-1 on 01/09/2018:
You're on the way!

horn_of_plenty on 01/09/2018:
Great job and good plan to switch up your veggies. I get sick of the same ones all the time also - also you can try different cooking methods like less steaming and adding more flavor by sautéing or roasting with a little olive oil salt and pepper - I cannot really eat plain steamed veggies anymore and when I do there's a little sauce added just a little and usually it a cream or Hesse based sauce bc those are high cal....

Sorry your equip is coming anday late this sometimes happens with MGM stuff too tho usually not

graindart on 01/09/2018:
I hate steamed vegetables. My are usually fried, roasted, seared, or lightly charred. Usually I like them in some type of oil/fat (olive, sesame, bacon fat), but have been cooking them without lately. Lowry's seasoning salt or a cajun blackened spice mixture have been my go-to sprinkles lately. All add some cheese to change things up at times also.

horn_of_plenty on 01/09/2018:
Yes agree that a week of eating whatever you want is a lot of extra cals ....I try to stay on track or only slightly off track now also even on vacation bc for me it's rough to know I have to once again remove More Than a few lbs

Donkey on 01/09/2018:
Hope the bands arrived today!

Your experience with weight fluctuation is exactly what I was experiencing during/after Thanksgiving, causing myself to ask, "What IS weight, exactly?" Especially when it seems that some pounds drop off so quickly and then other pounds stick like glue. What the heck?

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