Fat Loss

Simple Nutrition For Fat Loss

Simple Nutrition Made Easy

I do 95% of my shopping at Whole Foods and get almost everything I need there, but, you can head to a farmers market like Dekalb Farmers Market and get everything you need for even cheaper. Keep in mind, everything I’m about to share with you can be purchased at your local Whole Foods. It is just super convenient for me because it’s so close to my house.

There will always be a local farmer there selling every kind of meat you could ever want. The best part is it’s all grass fed, free roaming, drug, hormone and disease free, top quality meat. Any type of meat you buy on the cheap at the local supermarket is laden with drugs, grains, diseases and poor fatty acid profiles. Ingesting that type of garbage is not a good idea if you’re interested in staying healthy and performing at your highest level.

So stock up on enough local, organic meats and eggs to get you through to the following week. Next, load up on fresh, organic fruits and veggies. Since these don’t keep as well it’s best to only buy a few days worth and then restock midweek. I average 2 trips per week but they are very quick and easy.

Most farmers markets have a stand that sells nuts and seeds as well. Whole Foods has really good variety too. These are a great part of a healthy diet and an easy way to get high quality calories so I recommend getting a few bags for the week.

Everything You Need For a Simple and Healthy Diet

With one quick and simple trip to the farmers market or Whole Foods, you have just about everything you need to eat for the week- meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.

If everyone ate nothing but what they could buy at a farmers market a lot of doctors and hospitals would go out of business and people with REALLY good looking abs would be as common as the oxygen we breath.

What if You Want to Have a Cheat Meal or Day?

First of all, it’s gotta be scheduled. When it’s scheduled you have to earn it. Plus, you have something to look forward to. A few weeks ago my cheat day consisted of some pure awesomeness from Whole Foods. I had some of their delicious pizza with 3 of my favorite toppings, chicken, bacon, and pineapple. While I waited for the pizza to be made I had some incredible ‘cookies n cream’ gelato and a double shot of espresso 🙂

If you bring cheat food in your house, do NOT keep it there. Get rid of it. Give it to someone else. If you keep it around it will be staring you down every time you open the fridge or cabinet and sooner or later you’ll give in or get knocked down. Never have cheat food sitting around the house. Buy just enough of it on the day you plan to consume it. Re-Up next week and repeat every seven days.

Mmmm... Pizza!

Exactly What To Stock Up On:

In The Fridge

Variety of Vegetables

Variety of Fruits

Organic, free roaming eggs

Grass-fed Beef

Free range, organic chicken

Wild Caught Fish

Aged Cheese

Greek Yogurt

Real Butter

Real Cream (for those of you that like something in your coffee)

Animal Fat (for cooking)

*I recommend organic for all of these, especially the meats and dairy products.

In The Pantry

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Unprocessed Palm Oil


Apple Cider Vinegar



Nut Butters

Legumes (High Carb – Include ONLY if you’re at your ideal body fat percentage)

Wild Rice (High Carb – Include ONLY if you’re at your ideal body fat percentage)

Steel Cut Oats (High Carb – Include ONLY if you’re at your ideal body fat percentage)

Green Tea

Organic Coffee

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Multi Vitamin (for those of you that don’t eat many fruits and vegetables)

*I recommend organic whenever possible.

I promise you this approach to nutrition, similar to what our grandparents or great grandparents probably followed, will be far better for your wallet, mind and body.

I’ll Take The Heavy Weight, Please!

I’ve been in this industry for over 6 years now, and I continue to hear the same ole’ concerns and myths about heavy lifting, especially from the ladies.  Being a female myself, I totally understand the initial concern about heavy lifting.  I’ve been there!  For years, I was stuck in the mindset of doing cardio, cardio, cardio with a little bit of moderate-high rep weight training.  I thought that doing all of that was going to help me get lean and toned, giving me the look that every woman wants.  Before I started lifting heavy weights I was a CARDIO QUEEN.  My schedule went something like this:

Mon – taught New Kids class for 1 hour, played Ultimate Frisbee for 1 hour (lots of running)

Tues – taught Spin class for 1 hour, taught Circuit class for 1 hour (endurance weight training with high reps, low weight)

Wed – same as Mon

Thur – taught Circuit class for 1 hour (endurance training with high reps/low weight)

Fri – taught New Kids class for 1 hour

Sat – worked out with weights for 45-60 mins (moderate weight/moderate reps)

Sun – rested

Most people that are stuck in the “old school way” of thinking will probably read over this schedule of 9-10 hours of exercise a week and assume that I was super lean, super toned and super healthy.  But guess what?  That’s not the case!  My HEART was very healthy and I could’ve outrun someone if I had to with all of that Frisbee playing, but that was about it.  I worked out all the time, I was hungry all the time, and I ate all the time! I weighed 155-158 pounds, and I was lean, but not in the lean way that I wanted to be.  I definitely had fat on my body, and my legs and arms didn’t look “toned.”  They just looked like normal, skinny arms and legs.  Yuck!

In the summer of 2007, I decided to give the “heavy weight lifting” thing a try.  I started doing low reps and heavy weight.  I initially trained heavy 1-2x/week, and I threw in a 3rd/4th day with moderate/lighter lifting.  I stopped doing cardio altogether, aside from the heart work that I was getting with my weight lifting workouts. I definitely started seeing some awesome changes in my strength and in my body.  That went on for about a year or more, and then I really focused on my nutrition in the fall of 2008.  I monitored my caloric consumption and focused on the quality of my food, and I began to see even more results with my body.  In Jan 2009, I decided to do a program called Maximum Strength.  It was 4 months of heavy lifting with big body movements and very little isolation work.  I did the basic exercises that all of you boot campers are familiar with like squats, single leg squats, dead-lifts, lunges, push-presses, pull ups, push-ups, chest presses, and more.  BOY, DID MY BODY CHANGE!!  I was so shocked to see my results over the 4 months.  I finally got to be the super lean, ripped chick that I had wanted to be for a long time!  I was so strong, so healthy and I was 10+ pounds lighter!  I had a 6 pack, amazing arms, legs and the whole 9!  What a great feeling!  I regularly received compliments like “look at those guns” and “your back looks amazing!”

So there you have it!  I’ve been there and done that!  I know the miserable feeling of working my butt off doing hours and hours of cardio and some weight lifting without seeing results.  No one deserves that kind of torture and dissatisfaction!  Every single one of you that’s reading this deserves to look amazing, feel amazing and be lean, super toned and functional in your daily living.  If that’s what you want for yourself, then you HAVE TO LIFT HEAVY WEIGHT!  Here are the benefits of heavy weight training:

•      You burn calories while you are working out with heavy weights, especially in circuit fashion like we do at HPF.

•      A full body workout with weights will give you 1-2 days of caloric after burn, unlike cardio.

•      The more muscle that you have in your body, the more calories you burn at rest  à  your metabolism gets higher and higher as you put on more muscle (whoo hoo!)

•      People think they aren’t working out hard during heavy days, but that’s not true.  The heart has to work hard to supply blood to your body during heavy workouts.  So you’re not dripping and completely out of breath?  Big deal!

•      Aesthetically speaking, it’s the way to go!  Muscle takes up a lot less space than fat.  If you’re building muscle and losing fat, you’re going to see the results that you want.  Your clothes WILL fit differently, and you WILL get compliments.

•      We know that lifting heavy strengthens your muscles, but it also strengthens your bones and connective tissues which protect your body from injuries.

•      Heavy lifting enhances functionality in your daily life.  You can do more things with ease like picking up stuff, moving furniture, climbing stairs, balancing, pushing the kids around in a stroller, etc.  Heavy lifting even carries over to other types of exercise and makes those easier as well.

Don’t Just Stand There, Bust A Move!

Nothing makes me happier than dancing!  I’ve been dancing since I’ve been on this planet.  I’ve taken Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Clogging, Salsa, Hip Hop, Swing and anything else I’ve been able to get in to.  Aside from classes, I have dance parties all the time – in the car, in the bathroom while I’m getting ready, in the kitchen while I’m cooking, and when I’m just hanging out.  I have a hard time staying still as it is, but especially when there’s a good beat playing in my head or through the speakers.  During our boot camps, I’m constantly snapping or clapping to the beat of the music.  My body just won’t resist the movement!  I thoroughly enjoy watching dance videos online, dancing shows like So You Think You Can Dance and those SUPER CHEEZY movies that revolve around dance.  (Yes, I still love me some Dirty Dancing!)  They all inspire me to get off my butt and dance, dance, dance!!!

My point with all of this is that I have an activity that I really enjoy AND it keeps me moving.  Every time I dance, I work my brain, my muscles, I burn calories, I improve my agility and coordination, I have fun, there’s no obligation, time goes by quickly, it helps me deal with stress and it makes me EXTREMELY happy.  I want YOU to find something that you’re passionate about that will keep you moving and healthy.  Maybe that means joining a Tennis club or a Football league.  One of my former clients was on a Kickball league, and I have had others that were part of a Running club.  I used to play Ultimate Frisbee two times per week, and I absolutely loved it.  Maybe you enjoy yard work or running around with your kids outside.  It doesn’t have to be a sport or a class, just an activity that you really enjoy.  I challenge all of you to participate in your favorite activity AT LEAST two times per week.  I promise that you won’t regret it!  Your mind, body and spirit will thank you!  =)

What about YOUR kids?

I just read an article that included the following statistics about childhood obesity:

  • The rate of childhood obesity in the U.S. has more than tripled in the past 30 years, and that’s across the board with regard to age, gender, race, ethnic background and socioeconomic status.
  • The childhood obesity rate does vary widely, however, by geographical region, although with a few anomalies. The Southeast is home to the highest proportion of obese kids, with Mississippi leading the nation in rates of childhood overweight (44.5 percent) and obesity (21.9 percent). Kids in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia were twice as likely to be obese as those in Oregon. Then again, so were kids in Kansas and Illinois.
  • Western region kids were, overall, the slenderest, Oregon having the fewest obese children at 9.6 percent, and Utah the fewest overweight kids at 23.1 percent. But even as the childhood obesity rate fell by 32 percent in Oregon between 2003 and 2007, it rose by more than 40 percent in Arizona and Colorado.
  • Nationwide over that four-year period, obesity among all Americans aged 10 to 17 increased by 10 percent and among girls by 18 percent.
  • A separate study of American children ages 2 to 19, published in the Journal of Pediatrics in March, found that 7.3 percent of boys and 5.5 percent of girls are now “extremely obese.” That’s right: extremely.

These statistics are very disturbing and sad!  Every time I read about childhood obesity, I get fired up and angry at parents.  Parents, you guys are the ones that buy the groceries and make the rules.  Have you scanned the pantry lately to see what kind of snacks and beverages are available to your kids?  Have you really thought about the foods that you buy and prepare for your kids?  Do you buy those foods because they’re healthy or because they’re easy and convenient?  Do you monitor the amount of time that your kids spend watching TV, playing video games or being inactive? 

I don’t have kids, but I’ve spent a lot of time with them.  I have five nephews and a niece that I’ve hung out with for the last 19 years, and I’ve done a lot of babysitting in my 29 years.  Kids are not moving anymore!  They are sitting in front of the TV or computer or Wii for hours and hours and hours, accomplishing very little.  And let me tell you what I’ve seen kids consume regularly, in the past and recently:  pop tarts, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, candy bars, green beans, white rice, cake, popsicles, fruit rollups, gushers, spaghetti o’s, dry cheerios, granola bars, s’mores, pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sodas, kool-aid, sugar free crystal light, gatorade, juice boxes and my list could go on forever.  Does any of that sound familiar?  Do you think any of these items are healthy??  Here is the breakdown of my list:

If I see another kid eat a Pop Tart I’m going to scream out loud!!!  Pop Tarts are one of the WORST foods you can feed your kids.  Do you know that Pop Tarts have 50+ ingredients in them?  SERIOUSLY??  It takes fifty ingredients to make a pastry with some jam inside of it??  There is zero nutrition in Pop Tarts!  They are full of chemicals, preservatives, sugar and sodium, plus a sprinkle of fat and protein.  I wouldn’t feed my dog a Pop Tart!!

MOST hot dogs that I’ve ever seen are made from the byproducts of the meat instead of the lean high quality meat from the animal.  Hot dogs are full of sodium and preservatives like sodium nitrates/nitrites.  These preservatives have been linked to a variety of cancers and brain tumors.

Macaroni and cheese is easy and cheap, but it doesn’t provide a lot of nutrients for your kids.  If you’re using real natural cheddar and real butter, then it wouldn’t be the worst food ever.  But what about all of those carbs your kids are getting from the noodles?  Check out my Carb Cycle blog for more information and to see what’s happening with your kid’s bodies.

Chicken nuggets are packaged, which means they are loaded with sodium and preservatives.  If you are cutting up your own chicken, slightly breading it and cooking it in the skillet, then it won’t be a bad choice.  But how many of you parents are doing that?  Please give your kids the best meats available and prepare them yourself!

I don’t even have to tell you about candy bars, fruit rollups, gushers, popsicles, cake, s’mores, sodas, gatorade, kool-aid, and any other processed sugary snacks and drinks.  I’ve heard of parents using these items as rewards for good behavior.  REWARDS??  Please reward your kids in healthy ways like taking them to the park or playing with them in the backyard.

It’s time to go from this:

To this:

Green beans and white rice aren’t the worst possible food choices, but they certainly aren’t the best.  White rice is nothing but carbs and green beans aren’t nutritionally dense.  If you want your kids to have carbs, I’d prefer that you give them a small portion of a baked sweet potato.  Skip the green beans and go for a nutritionally dense green veggie like broccoli or spinach.

Be careful with dry cereal and granola bars.  Most of them are extremely processed and are full of chemicals and ingredients that I’ve never heard of.  Please buy cereals and bars that have very few ingredients and are in their rawest form.  You’ll be doing your kids a favor!

Spaghetti O’s are terrible!  They are packaged, which again means they are loaded with sodium, preservatives and chemicals.  Get those cans out of your pantry!

Pizza and PB & J sandwiches can be bad, but they can be good.  It depends how you make them.  A really thin crust pizza that’s covered with colorful veggies, tomato sauce, some natural mozzarella cheese and some healthy, lean meat, will taste great to your kids, plus they will be getting lots of good nutrients.  A PB & J sandwich should be made on minimally processed bread with natural peanut butter and minimally processed jelly.  It will be a better option than most things on my list!

I don’t recommend sugar free drinks and foods for kids, especially.  When they get to be 18, then they can pick their poison – sugar or sugar free.  I’m convinced that artificial sweeteners wreak havoc in your body, even if it doesn’t show up until years later.

Juice is fine as long as it’s 100% natural juice, and it’s not full of other ingredients.  Do remember that juice contains natural sugar, so limit the amount that your kids consume.  Capri suns and most juice boxes are full of everything but juice.

Parents, I challenge you to take a stand and do what’s right for your kids! Please educate them and encourage them to move and eat healthy foods.  It’s not a perfect world and kids will be kids.  They’re going to play video games and they’re going to have sugar here and there, but at least limit it to the best of your ability.  I know several parents that have strict rules about “technology time” and healthy eating.  If they can make it work, I know that you can make it work!  The ball is in your court!  What are you going to do with it?  Will YOUR kids become a part of the national childhood obesity statistics?

Why YOU Should Be Doing Kettlebell Swings

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the kettlebell swing. After that there will be a video waiting below for your viewing pleasure. 🙂

Kettlebells blend strength, cardio, and mobility into one super-efficient workout. The kettlebell swing is the foundation of kettlebell training. It is an explosive movement that works the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) like no other. Ladies (and yes, guys too) this is one of the BEST exercises to perform if you want to have an amazing butt… or to make your already amazing booty even better. Please keep in mind this is not a magical exercise – if you do lots of swings but still don’t have your eating on point, you’ll still have a flabby rear end. :/ Remember, the nutrition should be simple: Get rid of processed foods and eat fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. Okay, before I get carried away on the nutrition front – back to the swings!!!

Here are a few cool facts about the kettlebell swing:

1. Kettlebell swings are an awesome conditioning and fat burning tool.

2. They develop back endurance which Dr. Stuart McGill, a leading spine/back expert, says helps with the reduction of back injuries.

They are the foundation of the kettlebell snatch which was shown to burn at least 20.2 calories per minute during a recent study in which the participants performed a 20 minute snatch workout!

Swings work the abs and strengthen the core muscles.

They work the all the muscles of the posterior chain including the glutes, hamstrings, and entire back. It is extremely important to develop all these muscles, especially if you do a lot of sitting. This will also help out with your posture.

6. Did I mention they’ll make your butt look WAY better?

If you want to learn how to burn twice as much fat in half the time by using kettlebells, come check out our indoor boot camps. We offer a RISK-FREE 21 day trial!

Watch this video to learn how to do a kettlebell swing:

Simple Fat Loss 2K10

What decade are YOU living in?

Are you stuck in the 70’s and attending Jazzercise regularly?  How about the 80’s?  Are you still Sweatin’ To The Oldies with Richard Simmons or popping in Jane Fonda’s The Complete Workout?  Are you in the 90’s, kicking and punching with Billy Blank’s Tae-Bo Basic?  NO???  Thank goodness!  At least you are living in the 21st century!

Answer these for me!  Do you monitor your heart rate during each exercise session?  (We won’t count this one if you have a heart condition/disease.)  Do you attend any “low-impact aerobics” classes or “sculpting” classes during the week?  Do you use the weight machines at L.A. Fitness or another big gym?  Do you worry about working TOO hard and getting out of your “fat burning zone” when you go for your 45 minute run or to your hour long spin class?  Are you doing crunches and sit-ups to get a six-pack and to get rid of your gut?  Do you avoid eating fat because it makes you fat?  If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you are NOT living in 2010!  You are stuck in the past!

So let me get you up to speed.  If you want to look and feel amazing and be strong, lean, functional and healthy, there are three things that you need to know.

Number 1 – Nutrition is EXTREMELY important!  If your goal is to get rid of fat, then cut calories and get off of your rear end!  (Be sure to read our blog “Diet, Shmiet”).  Also, make sure you eat as clean as possible.  You should be reaching for foods that are FROM the earth – lean protein, veggies, fruits, nuts, legumes, certain dairy products and natural, whole grain products.  If you are eating food that has been processed, contains lots of ingredients AND you don’t recognize half the ingredients, then it’s not good for you!  And one last thing…FAT is not the devil, SUGAR is the devil!  Stay as far away from sugar as possible!

Number 2 – From an exercise stand point, weight training is the BEST thing that you can do to get all of the things that I listed above.  Weight training burns fat and increases lean muscle tissue which increases your metabolism.  Get in 3 full body weighted workouts per week in circuit fashion to get the most bang for your buck.  Use weights that are heavy for the rep range that you’re doing and pick exercises that work a lot of muscle groups and crank up that heart rate.

Avoid weight machines like the plague!  They take you through movements that are not applicable to your activities of daily living, and they isolate muscle groups.  (“Sculpting” classes do the same!)  Bodybuilding was soo two decades ago! If you want to be hip, order some kettlebells and learn how to master them!  (I triple dog dare you!)  You will use your entire body and your heart will be racing for ONE simple KB exercise.

Last but not least, remove crunches and sit-ups from your routine.  They are NOT good for your spine, they will NOT remove the fat from your abdominal area, and they will NOT give you a six-pack.  To get a six-pack and to get rid of your gut, you have to remove fat from your entire body.  (To remove fat from your body, refer to numbers 1, 2 & 3!)

Number 3 – High Intensity Interval Cardio is the ONLY fat burning cardio.  Stop wasting your time on the treadmill and in the classroom doing aerobics that don’t give you results!  HIIC is short and effective!  The beauty is that you don’t have to wear a heart rate monitor, you don’t have to go for miles and miles, and you don’t have to worry about working TOO hard – we want you to work hard!  HIIC should last for 20-30 minutes MAX!  Pick the type of interval training that you want to do (speed or resistance) and pick two times to rotate between.  (Ex: 30 seconds and 90 seconds)  Work as hard as possible for 30 seconds and recover/back off for 90 seconds.  Alternate between these two times for the entire 20-30 minute session.  Give it everything you’ve got for maximum results!

If you want to integrate all 3 of these things into your life, then you should sign-up for our 21 Day Rapid Fat Loss Indoor Boot Camp in Suwanee, Georgia.  We guarantee results!

Are YOU Riding The Blood Sugar Roller Coaster?!?!

Ross and I have been encouraging our boot campers to eat the healthiest foods possible.  Throughout the course of this last week, we noticed that a large percentage of our campers were consuming a lot of carbohydrates on a regular basis, and I’m NOT talking about vegetables and fruits.

Yes, they're round like apples and oranges. No, they're not a good substitute for fruit.

We saw everything from white pastas and breads to Girl Scout cookies and milk shakes.  I am a visual learner, so I decided that I would print out a carbohydrate cycle sheet that I created a long time ago.  I wanted our campers to actually SEE what they are doing to their body with the consumption of these foods.  I also want YOU to see what you are doing to your body when you consume unhealthy carbs throughout your day.  I hope this Carb Cycle will make you think twice about what you’re eating. I know it has made me think twice!  Looking over it again this week has been extremely powerful!


Anyone that knows me well will tell you that I have a nasty sweet tooth!  As a child, I started my day with Raisin Bran or my favorite, Rice Crispies loaded with sugar.  Some mornings I would eat 5-6 little white powdered doughnuts, and occasionally I was lucky enough to have Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts.  I always had a cup of apple or orange juice to chase down my breakfast.  I don’t remember lunch that well but after school snack time consisted of Lance crackers, Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls or Nutty Bars, Girl Scout cookies or maybe some more powdered doughnuts.  I also spent a lot of my afternoons visiting with my Aunt Betty who lived within walking distance of my parent’s house.  She always greeted me with “I’ve got a fresh pound cake and pecan pie.  Would you like a slice?”

OH, and did I mention that my dad worked for M&M Mars?  Hello!  Every holiday was full of M&Ms, Dove chocolates, Snickers, Milky Ways, Twix bars, Skittles, Combos, you name it!

And people wonder why I am such a sugar addict!!  Some days I combat my addiction beautifully and some days I do not.  I will tell you that I have experienced the highs and lows of this carb cycle more than once over the last week!!  The good news is that I have already set a carbohydrate consumption goal for this coming week, and I will definitely achieve it!!  You should do the same!

What Does Harold And The Purple Crayon Have To Do With Weight Loss?

Are you someone that has struggled with weight loss in the past? More importantly, are you struggling with it now?

I’m going to share a story with you that’s going to change that. I’ll keep this as brief as possible so that you get the meat ASAP.

A few months ago, I was struggling to get some of my daily goals accomplished and it left me feeling beyond frustrated. I asked a mentor of mine for some help and she asked me about my goals and WHY I wanted to achieve them. We concluded that I didn’t have a compelling reason why I wanted to accomplish my goals. My homework was to go read one of my childhood books, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and come up with a compelling vision.

This brought back some memories of when I had 45 pounds of fat to lose. I didn’t think of it like this at the time, but there was a HUGE reason why I lost all 45 pounds in only 12 weeks. My girlfriend broke up with me right after I took her out for Valentine’s Day dinner. Then she gave me one week to find a new place to live. This was a life changer for me. I was extremely depressed, had a terrible self-image, and zero confidence. There was no way I would EVER find a new girlfriend looking and feeling the way that I did. THAT was WHY I wanted to get rid of a lot of fat.

I guarantee if you have a compelling reason why you want to get rid of your fat, you will lose it….and you will lose it quickly.

I’ve had multiple clients work with me because their doctor said it was time to go on one or more pills for the rest of their life. I’ve worked with divorced women and women that have never been married who didn’t have the confidence to date. Their compelling reason why was because they were absolutely sick of being lonely.

Maybe your reason why is because you want to be healthy as you grow with your spouse and children. Maybe it’s because you want to be around to meet your grandchildren. Maybe it’s because you want to find a girlfriend/boyfriend.

God has blessed each of us with an incredible body. If you have the ability to exercise and eat healthy foods then you have no excuse for not taking care of such an amazing gift. Talk about a COMPELLING reason.

Are you STILL wasting your time doing cardio?

If you love steady-state cardio and fat loss is of NO importance to you, then DO NOT watch this video. 🙂

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