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Burn Fat + Build Muscle with this Quick Workout

I sometimes think back to the days when I was younger...so much extra time + freedom to workout whenever I wanted, for as long as I wanted.

Now, let me be honest, I spent more time doing fun stuff and partying than exercising, but the point is, I had the time to workout if I wanted to.

Fast forward to today. How do we get the body we want with little time on our hands?

Are we just screwed? Time to "throw in the towel"?

Listen, I have found a way to keep my workouts few and fast...and still able to get incredible results.

Interested? If so, you're going to love what I have for you today.

There's a type of workout called Metabolic Conditioning and the beauty of this type of workout is that it BURNS FAT + BUILDS MUSCLE at the same, which is pretty hard to do.

The huge perk of these types of workouts is that they don't take long. 20-30 minutes max.

Bam! 

So that you can get a taste of what I'm talking about I had Rocco (yes, my 7 year old) film me doing a metabolic conditioning workout in our backyard.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

And if you're on Instagram be sure to follow me because I'll be posting one of these beauties every week.

Here's to getting strong + ridiculously healthy!

XO

Alicia

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FAT LOSS: The Type of Workout Matters

I spent a good ten years working SO hard to get in shape and nothing would happen!

I was completely frustrated by all the running I was doing and all the food deprivation I was putting myself through with no results.

It affected my mood and my happiness.  I would avoid going to events because I felt like I had nothing to wear that didn't make me look "fat".

But I was doing everything I was supposed to do!!

Doing cardio at least 5 days a week, keeping my calorie intake really low and avoiding anything remotely considered as junk food (I didn't have pizza or ice cream for two years!)

I would scream in my head, "Why in the hell am I not getting results?!'

I wish I knew then what I know now.  I could have saved myself YEARS of misery.

Now I know that the TYPE of workout you do matters. Especially if you want to lose fat.

I also now know that endurance cardio (aka steady state cardio) is the last type of workout on the list of priorities for fat loss.

Since today is my birthday, I wanted to celebrate by sending you something that just might be a gamechanger for you.

I created for you a CHEAT SHEET: How to Prioritize Your Workouts for Fat Loss

Click here to grab your copy

Getting results doesn't have to be so frustrating. The key is knowing what works :)

XO

Alicia

 

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The Key to Health, Energy + Fat Loss

I wish I would have known this 10 years ago.

What is the key to health? The key to more energy? The key to fat loss?

If you make this one thing your major priority, you'll see huge shifts in the way you look and feel.

This one thing is linked with a balanced metabolism and balanced hormones.

On the flip side, if you leave this one thing unregulated, it has been shown as a major component in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.

I just HAD to share this info with you because most people are not even aware of the importance of focusing on just this one thing.

I know, enough already...what is it?!

Watch this very short video to find out

XO,

Alicia

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Why Cardio Isn't Getting You the Results You Want

You're watching what you eat.

You're trying to drink more water.

You're taking spin class or working on the treadmill or sweating it out on the elliptical.

Yet, you're NOT. GETTING. RESULTS.

WTF?!

If you're over 35 and you're sick of not seeing any change in your body with all of the effort you're putting in- THIS VIDEO IS A MUST WATCH!

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This is how we start to transform (3 Steps)

If you've been following along with me you know that the last several months have been topsy-turvy for me.

I've been struggling...with my health, with my weight, with my self-worth.

I feel frustrated and over it.

A few weeks ago I realized something.

It's time to take responsibility for where I am and quit it with the pity party.

I swear this is the way to truly make change in your life.  You've got to take responsibility.

Now- obviously there are certain things that happen to us that are beyond our control, but the secret is in the way we respond to those things.

The more I feel sorry for myself and pout like a toddler, the more frustrated I become and the less positive results I get.

So, where do we start?  If you're like me and you feel like you need to overhaul your health, your body, your fitness level, what should we do first?

Here are the things I KNOW "move the needle".  The things I've seen make a major impact for people time and time again.

STEP ONE: Take responsibility for where you are. Don't blame it on your job, your kids, your significant other, your lack of time.

Others have figured it out and you can too.

STEP TWO: Drink a sh$t ton of water.

Shoot for no less than 80 ounces a day.  I swear by this.  It totally helps to "reset" your body.

STEP THREE: Move your bloomin' ass. 

Seriously. Make it your mission to move your body EVERY DAY.

This might sound drastic, but let me explain what I'm talking about here.

I'm talking about intentionally getting some movement every day.

I NOT talking about going to the gym and pummeling your body every single day.

Try walking on most days (slow to moderate pace) and then maybe 1-2 days a week doing an intense workout.

The point of this is to create the habit of movement. Don't get too caught up in what that movement is exactly. We'll start to adjust that once we create the habit.

There you are. If you are where I am right now- wanting to start a transformation- follow along with me.  Follow the 3 steps above with me.

I have something to help inspire you during the month of February:

The Stress Monkee Calendar.

Mini workouts. Simple recipes. Daily inspiration.

Grab your copy here (If you'd like to save on printer ink here's a version with no pic)

I would LOVE it if you could let me know how I can help you achieve your transformation.

Leave a comment below and tell me what you think is holding you back from having the body and life you deserve.

Talk soon my friend-

Alicia

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Something Waaaay Better Than Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions...not my jam.

Maybe they work for you, but they don't work for me.

And according to research Resolutions don't work for most people either.

Estimates say about 92% of people fail at keeping Resolutions.

But I have found something that works much, much better.

And I'm using this technique to work my way back to being in the shape I want to be in...I have a lot of work to do, but I know it'll be worth it.

Watch this short video to find out what my secret technique is and how it works.

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Looking at My Body in a Mirror, Crying

Standing in my underwear and a t-shirt in front of a full length mirror in our closet.

A pile of crumpled up pants on the ground next to me.

My eyes starting to well up with tears.

I can barely stand to look at my reflection.

This doesn’t even look like my body.

I pull out another pair of pants to try on. Praying these ones fit.
They just have to, I mean,  they are my “fat pants”.

Holy crap... just barely.  I start pulling on the waistband to try and stretch them out as much as I can.

I put on a baggy top so that hopefully no one will notice my waistband digging into my midsection.

I seriously wish I didn’t have to leave the house today....

Hold on, let me back this story up a bit.

I spent most of my twenties bouncing between being a chubby girl and a skinny girl.

I tried every diet, every gimmick, every bullshit fad. I felt deprived, frustrated and not good enough.

I put so many things on hold until I got in “perfect” shape.  Of course that never came.

It’s all I thought about. I was literally obsessed with the shape of my body.

In my thirties I dove into the science of nutrition, fitness and physiology.

I learned that the things I had believed and followed just a decade before were a load of hogwash (thank you mass media and “certified-in-a-weekend” trainers).

I finally got in shape in a way that was healthy and sustainable, or so I thought.

Now in my forties I am re-learning how to be fit and healthy without unleashing that crazy, obsessive twenty year old who still lives inside me.

All the damage I did to my metabolism in my younger years. All the stress I let consume me and destroy my health. All the intense exercise I did day after day after day.

What I’ve come to realize is that what used to work for me when I was younger... just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Because here’s the truth, once you get to be around forty (especially if you’re a woman, but this applies to men as well), all the dieting from your past, all the unchecked stress, all the pummeling to your body in the form of intense exercise... this has all now left you with unbalanced hormones and a damaged metabolism.

Now you know why I named my company Stress Monkee.

This has brought me to where I am now.

Looking at my body in a mirror, crying.

A Series of Unfortunate Events:

Over the last few years I have been hit with one health issue after another...

Type 1 Diabetes. Precancerous cells in my uterus. Told having a second baby was too risky.  A knee injury that kept me from exercise for months. Found out I have no cartilage left in my knees and will be needing knee replacements. A breast cancer scare.  Severe hormonal imbalance. Uterine fibroids that made my life a nightmare and led to a partial hysterectomy.

Basically the shit hitting the fan.

Please don’t take this as me having a pity party.

I’m sharing this with you so that when I say “health issues” you know exactly what I’m talking about.

A lot of people say to me, “How is this possible? You’re so healthy.”

Ah, but I know the truth. Yes, I am healthy now, but I am experiencing a backlash from all the things I did to my body in the past.

I basically punished my body to get it to look the way I wanted it to look.

The health issues I have had over the last few years (since turning 40) have left me with whacky hormones, a messed up metabolism, major loss of muscle mass and most recently, weight gain.

I am now recovering from major surgery that I had almost 3 weeks ago. I’m sore, tired and my belly is swollen.  I have moments where I’ll just start sobbing (once again, thanks hormones. You’re a real peach).

I KNOW what to do to get back in the shape I want to be in. I could sit down and write myself a killer program to get lean, strong and healthy.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Most everyone knows basically what they should be doing to get in better shape.

If information were the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” -Derek Sivers

Ain’t that the truth.

The BIGGEST truth I know from all of my years in the health and fitness industry: Most people fail because they try to change too much too soon.

So, I will be taking baby steps. Focusing on One thing at a time. The smallest thing I can do that will get me the biggest results.

All of this to tell you:

I will be documenting my journey and sharing it openly. Hits and misses. Wins and loses. Triumphs and failures.

I will be testing theories and using myself as a guinea pig so that I can help other women over 40 take their life back and feel incredible in their own skin.

Over the next few weeks I will be walking on the beach with my dog a lot and getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. I’m just focusing on letting my body heal from surgery and enjoying this very magical time of year with my husband Joe and our sweet son Rocco.

After Christmas (possibly after New Year’s) I will start sharing everything I’m doing with you. Workouts... Food... Stress Hacks... Mindset Tips... Meditations... What's working + What's not

I hope you’ll take this journey with me. Support and accountability are a good thing to have on your side. And I could use all the good juju I can get ♥️

I’ll end this here, but before I go, I have something for you.

It’s a tool I’ll be using throughout the month of December just to give myself whispers of reminders to keep my health a top priority.

It’s the Stress Monkee Calendar for December.

Mini workouts. Easy recipes. Mindset tips.

I know it might seem so simple, but if you haven’t ever tried it, you should give it a shot.

Just print it out and put it somewhere that you can see it daily. Grab your copy HERE

If you want to save on ink, click HERE for a version with no background.

If my story struck a cord with you, then be sure and check back at the end of the year.

Join me on my journey to reset my metabolism, rebalance my hormones and transform my body.

The good news...it is possible, even over 40.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.  You deserve it.

XO

Alicia

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So Ready to Be Done with This

Waking up to my doctor rolling my bed down the hospital hallway and thinking, "Thank God this hell is over", only to hear her say....

"We couldn't do the surgery.  You had a bad reaction to the anesthesia, your heart rate shot from 60 to 130 in a matter of seconds.  We think you might be allergic, but just in case you need to get cleared by a cardiologist before we can reschedule your surgery."

(I wrote about what led up to this moment here, if you'd like to hear about the drama that got me to this point.)

My first thought was, Argh! You've got to be kidding me.  Followed closely by my second thought, Wait, now I might have a heart problem?!

Fast forward four weeks.  I had several tests done by a cardiologist and even had to wear a heart rate monitor for 7 days.  From day one the cardiologist told me he was absolutely certain my heart is healthy, but he had to do the testing to prove it so I could move forward with surgery.

A couple of weeks ago I was officially cleared by the cardiologist to have surgery.  Looks like my ticker is happy and healthy.

My surgery is scheduled for this Thursday (Nov 9th) and will mark a full year of this health drama that I cannot wait to leave behind me.

And I am nervous.  No, actually I'm pretty frickin scared.

For several reasons.

The fact that I had such a crazy reaction to the anesthesia coupled with how severely low my blood sugar got after only 45 minutes of being under (if you didn't know, I have Type 1 Diabetes).

And there's the whole "being cut open" thing.  Ugh.

But the biggest fear I have in all of this is something I didn't talk about the last time I wrote about the whole thing.

I have decided to have a partial hysterectomy. And I have gotten TONS of opinions on this from anyone I've told.

This was probably the toughest decision I've ever made.  SO many emotions and uncertainty.

But here's why I made this decision:

1- there is a chance that the fibroid could come back.  If I have the partial hysterectomy that goes away.  Seriously- I can't imagine going through all of this BS ever again.

2- I have a history with pre-cancerous cells in my uterus.  Have to have a biopsy every year (that shit doesn't tickle) and since I have that predisposition a partial hysterectomy would eliminate chances of it coming back in the future.

I know this is the right decision for me.  But-- It just feels so FINAL.

I'm really looking forward to Friday, when this will be all over.

I can get off these nasty hormones I've been on (I've gained 12 pounds, my hair falls out in clumps and I'm ticking emotional time bomb).

I can exercise without the fear of having a bleeding "episode".

I can stop walking around with a gazillion lady-supplies in my purse.

I can stop worrying when I'm in front of a group of people that something super embarrasing might happen.

And I can get back to living the life I want to live.

As nervous as I am about this surgery I truly believe that these events only make us stronger.  More resilient.  And I really dig that part.

I've been embracing staying present.  Just focusing on being in the moment.  When I do that, there is no fear.

I'm looking forward to writing to tell you all about how great the surgery went and how incredible I am feeling.

Thank you for being a part of my story.

And thank you for listening.

XO, 

Alicia

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How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season is racing towards us.

And so are the parties, the treats, the crazy-busy days, the overwhelm and the stuffing of one's face.

Somewhere around Thanksgiving we throw our health + fitness routine right out the window and decide with serious determination that we'll get back on that horse come January 1st.

For reals.

This year, let's do things differently.

Let's try this:

  • LIVE IN THE MOMENT.  For a lot of us, eating is a way of coping with stress.  Usually stress comes from either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.  If we live in the present moment, we can experience a sense of calm.
  • INDULGE A LITTLE WITHOUT GOING OFF THE DEEP END.  Sometimes you just gotta have a holiday cookie or some of your Aunt Debbie's famous pumpkin pie.  It's okay!  But here's the trick-- chew your bites really well and quit eating when it stops tasting so ah-mazing.  You'll notice after a couple of bites the gloriousness of bites one and two start to wear off.  Stop.  You can always have more later.
  • MOVE YOUR BODY WHENEVER YOU CAN.  I know it can be difficult to get to your workouts during the holiday season.  Here's something that works like gang-busters:  just move your body in some way every day.  A quick walk, taking the stairs, some gentle stretches mid-day...get it in any way and as often as you can.  I swear it works.
  • IT'S ALL ABOUT YOUR CHOICES. From moment to moment each choice you make will add up to the results you are getting.  A bite here, a nibble there..who cares?  Keep in mind that all those tiny choices will add up to the body and health you create for yourself.  It all matters.

To help you keep your health + fitness in the forefront of your mind grab a copy of the Stress Monkee Calendar for November.

Simple Recipes. Mini Workouts. Daily Tips.

Grab it HERE

If you'd like to save on ink you can download a version with no pic HERE

Do you have a trick to stay on track throughout the holidays? I'd love to hear it...leave a comment below.

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A Super Awesome Exercise for a Super Awesome Booty

I have always carried "junk in the trunk"... 

Everyone has their trouble area- that's mine.  My derriere.  My hiny.  My arse.

So , I love me a good glute exercise.

I  mean, who doesn't want to look good from behind?

But (pun intended) there are other reasons why it's really important to train your booty.

Your glutes are part of your core.  That's right.  Your glutes support your lower back and help you to have correct posture.

Also, if you have weak knees then you definitely want to train your glutes.  Strong glutes can do wonders for helping with knee issues.

Okay- ready to go kick some ass? Literally.

I filmed a video with a super effective exercise for strengthening that booty.

It's a good one!

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Stop Wasting Time with the "Plank"

In the name of getting a flat stomach people everywhere are "planking".

Unfortunately, the basic plank will only get you results for a short while.

In other words, you'll outgrow it very quickly.

And the way most people are getting their "plank on" is not going to do much in the way of giving them rocking abs.

I want to share with you a way to get waaaaaaay better results from a plank. 

Click below and take your core training to a whole new level

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The Health Drama I'm Finally Talking About

I was driving a rental car in the pouring rain in the middle of the woods in Georgia with my then 5 year old son, Rocco in the back seat.

We were on our way to the Atlanta Airport to fly home to Los Angeles after visiting family for a few days.

I was already really nervous about driving in this crazy downpour-- being a So Cal native I'm not used to driving in those kind of conditions-- but then things got much, much worse.

WARNING: If you're a guy reading this, you might want to stop here because I'm going to be talking about "girlie" things and I know some of you fellas can get a bit squeamish about that stuff.

Back to my story...

We're literally driving in the middle of the woods and all of a sudden I can feel my pants getting wet. 

I was so confused.  uh- there it goes again.

I reach down and when I pull my hand back up it's covered in blood.

Let me make this clear, it wasn't like, "oh shoot I just started my period." It was like the downpour of rain outside.

Just at that moment there was a clearing in the thick trees and I see a huge, brand new gas station on the corner.

I quickly pulled in and parked off to the side so I could try and make sense of what was going on and to hopefully avoid anyone seeing my blood-soaked pants and shoes.

As I got out of the car my son saw the seat I had been sitting in and yelled out, "Mom! You're hurt, what's wrong?!"

Let me tell you, I wanted to panic and start crying so bad. But having my son there I somehow managed to hold it together during this entire fiasco.

"It's fine baby.  Don't worry. Mommy's fine.  I just need to go inside and change my pants."

I went into the trunk to get some clothes out of my suitcase.  The pouring rain was rinsing off the pants and shoes I was wearing.  

We went into the mini-market of the gas station and headed straight to the bathroom.  My poor son had to be in the bathroom with me and as I'm sure you can guess, he was a bit traumatized.

Without going into the details of the bathroom scene, I'll just say, I couldn't get the bleeding to stop.  

When it finally slowed down we made our way out into the mini-market and Rocco saw some Spiderman swim goggles. "Oh man! Look at those cool glasses mom!"

I grabbed them and some "lady supplies" and we headed back to the car.

I was a little worried because now we were running a bit behind for our flight and all I could think about was I've got to get this kid home safely.

During the drive to the airport I had to pull over on the side of the road 3 times to deal with the bleeding.

The airport was quite the adventure.

After returning the rental car and taking the tram to the airport I had to immediately run to the restroom.

Rocco was such a trooper.  He was carrying stuff for me and kept asking if I needed anything. Love that little guy.

Once we got to our gate I made one last trip to the restroom.  In the stall I was praying..."Please, please let this stop for the flight. Please let me just get home."

I mean, what if this didn't stop for the flight?

I couldn't just sit in the bathroom on the plane for 4 hours.  I couldn't leave Rocco alone in his seat for the duration of the flight.

Just before boarding the plane I called my husband to tell him about what was going on. 

I had waited to call him because I knew once I started talking to him I'd get emotional and I really had to hold it together for Rocco's sake. 

Thankfully Rocco was preoccupied gobbling down the ginormous muffin I had bought him moments before, so he didn't notice my tears (I had my back to him just in case) as I told my husband the story.

At first there was pure silence on the other end.  Then my husband starts talking and making me feel better.  I told him I'd see him in LA.

As soon as I possibly could I ordered a glass of wine.  I then asked, "could I actually order two?"

The flight attendant says, "It's actually a better deal if you order two."

Bring it on sister.

Here's the coolest thing.  The bleeding stopped.

For the whole flight, I was totally fine.

Rocco and I had a calm flight, the wine didn't hurt, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I was paranoid the entire flight.  I think I went to the restroom like 6 times.

We landed safely in LA and got home where it started up again, but not as bad and so what, I was home.

This all happened 11 months ago. November of 2016.

I went to the doctor and found out I had a fibroid in my uterine lining.  I wouldn't find out until about 5 months later after an MRI just how huge that puppy was.

The bleeding stopped for months.  My doctor was hopeful that it was just a fluke thing.

And then in March (about 5 months later) it came back with a vengeance.

I went through days and days of what I described at the beginning of this story.

So many humiliating and stressful events during this time...we'd be here all day if I was to tell you them all. 

Like when I was on the side of the road with my dog standing in a puddle of blood crying, waiting for my husband to come get me because it started up while I was out for a walk. Two elderly ladies stopped and were trying to call 911.

"I'm fine!" I said between sobs. "I have a uterine fibroid!"

Can't make this stuff up folks.

Or the time I had to cancel a catered speaking engagement 30 minutes before I was supposed to start my presentation.  Calling the event coordinators and telling them I literally couldn't leave my bathroom was super fun.

After several tests, doctors appointments and trying different methods to stop this damn thing I finally decided that I needed to have surgery.  I wanted my life back.  I was tired of being scared to even go to the grocery store.

Apparently the big issue is not the size of it (a large grapefruit), but more of where it's located.  Where it's situated is known for causing these types of "episodes".

Unfortunately, thanks to all of the massive blood loss, I was severely anemic.  My doctor told me she's actually never seen someone with such a low iron level.

My doctor put me on iron supplements and a heavy dose of hormones.  Great times.

The hormones have really been a roller coaster.  They made the bleeding subside, but they also made me gain weight, look like I have a beer belly, make my hair fall out in clumps and the worst part, they make my blood sugar out of control...if you didn't know, I have Type 1 Diabetes, so that's no bueno.

My surgery was scheduled for September, so I'd have time to get my iron up and I did.

When September rolled around my mom flew out to stay with us and help with Rocco for a couple of weeks while I was recovering.

The day of the surgery I was really scared.  I don't like the idea of being put under.

Plus, getting my blood sugar at just the right number was pretty difficult since you have to fast for 12 hours before surgery.

My husband was with me while they were prepping me and I kept welling up with tears.  He would then talk to me and make me feel better. This cycle happened like 4 times.

The anesthesiologist let me know that he'd check my blood sugar after 2 hours of surgery.  It was at 112 before going in and it seemed like a good number. 

I was taken to the Operating Room and goodnight Shirley, I was out.

All of a sudden I'm waking up being rolled down the hall in my hospital bed.  I look up at my doctor, "Is it over?"

"Nope, couldn't do the surgery.  Your heart rate went way up right before we were going to start. We think you're allergic to the anesthesia."

Wait...what?!

And then it gets even better...they then tell me that I have to go to see a cardiologist and get cleared, just in case there's something wrong with my heart.

I'm laying there, still feeling "druggy" and thinking, do I have a heart problem now too?? 

Spoiler alert- I'm still in the middle of testing (have to wear a heart rate monitor for a week) but the cardiologist is sure my ticker is in great shape:) Looks like I'm just allergic to that particular anesthesia. 

I have to tell you one more detail because it's kind of...I don't know, maybe this was divine intervention....

When they brought me to recovery, the first thing the nurse did was check my blood sugar.  It was 56.

That's scary. They wouldn't have checked my blood sugar for another 2 hours and if it had continued to drop...it freaks me out to think of what could've happened.  Low numbers could mean coma.

So, that brings you up to date.

I'm waiting for a new surgery date and to get cleared by the cardiologist. 

It's looking like the surgery is going to be next month, in November. Bringing it full circle I guess.

Okay, so what's the point of this very lengthy blog post?

I want other women that might be experiencing something similar to what I went through know that they're not alone.

I had never heard of this type of thing happening before and I felt like I was a freak or something, but since I started opening up about what is going on, SEVERAL women have told me stories of similar things that they went through.

If you're reading this and have had something like this happen, get checked for fibroids (little rascals).  Hopefully it'll save you months of trying to figure out what is going on.

I'll let you know once my surgery is done.  Thank you for listening.

Before I go, huge shout out to my husband Joe for all of his support, concern and understanding.  I love you man.

Here's to staying present, being strong and having faith.

XO

Alicia

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