Why “All About That Bass” should be Song Of The Year

Unless you’re living Ron Swanson level off the grid, I’m sure you’ve heard the summer 2014 hit “All About The Bass” by 20-year-old- Meghan Trainor.  BillboardWith a mash up of  50’s Do-Wop melodies and, of course, heavy bass, “All About That Bass ” has more than 200 million views on YouTube and reached #1 on Billboards Hot 100 chart in September.

It wasn’t until hearing the song a few times did I really start to break down its messsage. Women today, myself included, are constantly barraged with the unattainable and often altered images of beauty.  With standards set so high, how are we ever supposed to feel “good enough” about the size we are?  

Before I really listened to the lyrics of the song, I was only getting it’s surface message, she’s all about that bass.  Ok, who doesn’t love a good, heavy bass now and then? But really, a song without any treble doesn’t sound that appealing, as you can see in this video, originally posted on Vox in September.

In all reality, “All About That Bass” is the confidence boosting anthem of 2014, and here’s why:

She has no qualms about her size!

How many times have you or a friend said, “take the picture this way, I don’t want you to get my belly!”

Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two
But I can shake it, shake it
Like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places

She IS the pineapple!

When I was about 14 I realized that I also am a pineapple.  What’s that mean you may ask?  My favorite fruit is pineapple. Juicy, sweet, pineapple.  I could eat that shit everyday and not get tired of it.  But did you know some people don’t even like pineapple? Can’t stand the stuff, but does that make pineapple any less delicious for me? Hell no!  I know how awesome it is, and just because someone likes bananas or apples better, doesn’t make the pineapple any less great! Trainor may not call herself a pineapple but here are some exurbs from the song that give the same idea.

You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

I’m bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that

and my favorite line…

Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”

Make no comparisons, she’s the real thing

If there is one thing Trainor’s song pushes is there is no reason to compare yourself to the runway models or the actors on the movie screen:

I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop

Comparison is the thief of joy! As soon as you start the “if I was his/her size” “if I looked like them” you stop loving YOU!

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Fresh Ingredients

As some of you know, I recently moved into a beautiful brick town home.  While there are many things I love, the open spaces, the lighting, the basement, I am most excited to have my own space again!

This month marks the one year anniversary of my dads death.  It’s been incredibly hard.  I have almost nothing in my possession through which to remember him, a few photos, a name tag from when he was in nursing school. . . I do however hold onto things that I know he loved; going with my boyfriend to blues shows, and spending hours experimenting in my new kitchen.

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One thing I learned from my dad is that cooking can bring someone a lot of joy and pride.  During my first few weeks here I’ve been experimenting with recipes that are both healthy AND delicious.  Don’t get me wrong, I love oatmeal for breakfast and chicken and broccoli for dinner, but that shit gets old.  I’m not buying steak and salmon over here, but I’m stepping up my game.

In our numerous trips to local farmers markets, here is one I have made that I’m really pleased with.  It next to NO effort and is pretty damn tasty:

Veggie Salad (i don’t have a clever name for this, but it’s delicious so who cares)
This is one of my boyfriends favorites. I love it because it costs next to nothing to make. It’s a perfect side, light and fresh.


This is it. Six things.  But honestly, do salt and pepper even count as ingredients? Regardless. . . Tomato and cucumber purchased at the farmers market, and a red onion from Kroger.  Dice the whole tomato and cucumber and half of the onion (I only use half or 3/4 because it is so potent by comparison).  Combine all of these in a bowl, add some salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste!


My bit of advice would be to strain the veggies before you add the oil, salt, and pepper.  The natural juices of the veggies cause everything to get soggy and go bad much more quickly.  This way, it will last in the fridge about a week or so, not that it ever lasts that long in my fridge.

What’s your FITsporation?

Lately, I’ve noticed I have been struggling a lot with my motivation.  Whether it be to eat on schedule/healthy or to go to the gym. . . I’ve been riding in the front seat of the Stuggle Bus.

I’ve decided the easiest way to get back on track is to remember why I am doing this to begin with.  These are my top five motivations for becoming a healthier person:

1) Physical health
Isn’t this the obvious one? “Bikini season is just around the corner!” While my goal has never been to be a fitness/bikini model, I envy those women for their dedication and rockin’ bods.  When I first started my “fit life” journey, I was looking for direction, someone I could relate too, that was fit but NORMAL.  Not the in your face, boot camp style, but a normal person with a similar mindset. Browsing BodyBuilding.com I found fitness model Tabitha Klausen.

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At 5’11” and 140lbs she’s NORMAL.  She admits to having been teased for always being a giant as a kid (hmm…feels familiar), struggling with eating issues and wanting to turn her life around for the better.  All the things I was trying to combat and become. She’s a great fitness role model and her social media is full of motivation for me!

2) Mental Health

Ok, while murder is an extreme example, exercise DOES make you happy.  The idea of getting up and actually GOING to the gym can be daunting.  Do it.  Just go, just change your clothes and go. This is my mantra almost every time I consider working out.

I thought I would be happy when I started to see my primary physical goals reached, but even my daily workouts were making me feel great.  I was actually DOING something, not talking about it and making plans to go eventually, I WAS going.

There is nothing more gratifying than those first few drops of sweat rolling down your temples.

3) The music

If I don’t have a good playlist when going to the gym, I have ZERO motivation to do anything.  My mood dictates what genre I listen to.  I alternate between rap and rock music almost exclusively.  While I absolutely love Florida Georgia Line, hearing “baby you’re a song, you make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise” doesn’t do the job for me like “if you’re having girl problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one.” Yes, the message of the latter may be a bit. . . derogatory, but when I’m droppin’ ten pounds preparin’ for summer, I need Drake. ‘Cause I’m fancy.

Here is a rock song I came across while lifting one day that I really enjoy.
Undead – Hollywood Undead(p.s. It’s pretty explicit so cover your ears kids.)

4) The food
This is my biggest struggle.  I consistently find myself “too busy” to eat.

Breakfast √
Lunch?
Dinner?
Healthy snacks?
4th Meal √

As a server, I’ll eat lunch around 3 and not eat again until I get off work around midnight.  While I enjoy the food at my job, at some point you just get tired of bar food.  It gets expensive and is not good for you.

When I take the time to really cook, I am MUCH happier. There is something incredibly gratifying about taking few choice ingredients and creating something tasty and delicious. . . and of course nutritious. This is one thing I carry that IS my dad, his passion for cooking.

5) The workouts
I’ve not been doing this blog very long but I’ve had numerous people reach out to me and ask what I do when I work out. Part of me thinks that is hilarious because I am by no means an authority on anything health and fitness.  Then I realized, that was the whole point of writing this blog.  I’m not writing this because I had some Subway Jarrod transformation, I’m not a personal trainer or nutritionist.  Just a normal 20something looking to create a better future for myself.

My first time was awkward.  I didn’t know where to start, what to do with myself, how fast to go, how hard to go.  By the end I was sweaty but wasn’t sure I had really accomplished anything.

My two biggest tools for finding workout plans are Pinterest and BodyBuilding.com.  No, BodyBuilding.com is not just for body builders. Here you can find everything from entire fitness plans to individual workouts for each muscle group: backs, shoulders, arms, abs. If you want to try supplements for weight loss or muscle growth, the website will help guide you through what’s on the market that best fits your needs.

 This is a screen shot of the exercise guide on their website.  It is as easy as it looks.  Want to get rid of your underarm fat, click on the tricepts.  Saggy bottom? Click on glutes.  Each muscle group gives you a list of exercises, each with an accompanying video for both male and female versions.  These videos are a great resource for for form and posture.

My Fitspo Pinterest board is filled with a compilation of fitness related quotes and workout plans.  If you don’t find a workout plan here, you’ll find plenty of motivational tidbits.

I have my gym bag ready for my boyfriend and I to go to the gym this evening.  Nights like this when I don’t feel 100% committed I remember this and realize I just need to shut up and go.

 

What’s your excuse?

The number one thing I hear from people who say they want to get into shape or eat healthy is “I don’t have time!”  I’m now starting to realize that’s also been my excuse.  Every time I lapse, in either my exercise regimen or my diet, I find myself on that same script.

As some of you know, I serve and bartend at a local bar/restaurant which means I work nights and weekends. . . always.  My biggest challenge has always been a regular schedule.  I have no desire to workout before a weekend double, and no desire to cook when I have just worked 8hrs on my feet.  What to do?  What to do?

I never packed my lunch when I was a kid (sorry mom, if you made me sammiches and i  just don’t remember) so I am making up for that now.  Here is my first attempt at this “meal prep” business I hear so much about:

1) Get some good groceries!

meal prep, groceries, kroger

Since I moved a few weeks ago, I am within walking distance of one of my favorite local farmers markets.  Tis the season to take advantage of what your local farmers have to offer.  The best tomatoes, potatoes, apples, and beans you’ll ever cook, are locally grown and sold.
Above is just a trip to Kroger.  I always go in with a game plan. 1) have a list.  2) have meals in mind, this keeps me from buying random foods then still having no idea what to eat! 3) shop around the OUTSIDE edges of the store; produce, meat counter, organic and health foods.  The only time I really walk down aisles is for peanut/almond butter or canned/frozen veggies and beans.

2) Plan out what you want to eat, decide you’re willing to eat that same things for a few days, and figure out how much you need.  Now I knew I could handle eating the same thing as long as it was tasty if I could feel good about eating it.

The meal I decided on was 1/2 of a seasoned chicken breast with some brown rice and broccoli, accompanied by a side of orange and green bell peppers and cherry tomatoes.

My tip: shop at TJ Maxx or Homegoods for spices! (thanks for that one Dad ❤ )  This bottle of Rosemary & Basil seasoning salt was only $3.99.  You can’t buy cinnamon at Wal-Mart for that price!  You may not find some of your more basic spices and rubs there but you will find great deals on all the fancy oils and seasons you can get your hands on for awesome prices.  As a recent college graduate without a REAL job yet, that’s saying a lot.

As for my veggies, I’ve become fond of steamer bags.  Not the nasty mixed vegetable medley (yuck!) but rice, broccoli, or corn.

 

 

Finally, after 45 minutes of slicing, seasoning, baking and making a huge mess, I finally had elements ready to package up!
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By the end, I had 5-6 dinners with accompanying snacks.  When I had to work 5pm-1am there was nothing more satisfying than popping one into the microwave and having a homemade meal ready in less than 5 minutes.  Step one of conquering my excuses, done!

Runners Low

There are many things in life I realize I will never understand:

  • Why men smack each others behinds for encouragement or congratulations
  • How it is biologically possible for all old people smell the same
  • Peoples propensity to run for pleasure

It’s this last one that trips me up. At my last mud run (The Indiana Spartan Sprint), I ran with (more like walked/jogged hours behind) a guy on my team who ran marathons. . . for fun.  FUN! I just did not understand it, so I asked why he did them.  During our conversation I mentioned I was not good at running and did not like to run.  His response was simple enough “that’s probably why you don’t enjoy it.”

Hearing the way he spoke about his love for running was actually pretty inspiring.  An average guy, not too far from my age, telling me that I COULD love running, experience the illusive “runners high”, if I just RAN. Seems pretty logical: Not good at something, participate in/practice said activity, become better.

So here we go kids!  I’ve gone for runs before (probably four in as many years) and I realize that is not going to cut it.  I’m not trying to become a marathon runner, but want to increase my all over performance for my next mud run and this is where I am starting.

I’m trying something new this week!  I did a few videos to accompany this post and my workout summary.

1) Pre Run

Right about now I feel great, I’m feeling very motivated.  I have a time/distance/pace goal in mind and WILL meet it.

2) Mid Run

WHY HAVE I DONE THIS TO MYSELF!? Did I forget that as far as I went OUT from home, I’d have to make it BACK!? Who can come pick me up and take me to Chipotle???

3) Post Run

Right about now I am feeling a strange combination of pride and self-defeat.  Proud for doing what I set out to, defeated because I did not meet the goals I set for myself.  I now realize that setting “goals” at this point is just a way to disappoint myself, RUNNING should be my first goal.  Not quitting should be my goal.

No more self-fulfilling prophecies, I am just going to run and see where it takes me!

 

*Side note: I did NOT go to the 8am BJJ class, because I worked until midnight, then went out to see my friend perform at a bar.  Getting home at 2+am does not an early morning make.  A goal I CAN set, is getting to bed at a decent time.

How many donuts does it take?

How many donuts is the appropriate number to eat in one day? I’m sure the answer SHOULD be less than or equal to zero…not an entire bag. You can’t see, but I’m hanging my head in a sugar fueled shame. To say that my diet/workout routine has slacked would be an understatement. Maybe I should back up and explain why I haven’t posted in four weeks:

May 3: I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE! This has been five hard years in the making but I am incredibly proud of myself. No, I did not graduate with honors.  No, I don’t heave a “real” job lined up but that’s alright. For now at least. I’m starting to bartend at work and I was recently asked if I would be a freelance writer for Cox Media! The opportunity for experience and growth here are thrilling.

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May 24:  Graduation gift from my mom: tickets to see The Book of Mormon. Possibly the highlight of my summer.  Absolute and unadulterated humor.  I’m still laughing.  Hasa Diga Eebowai.

Book of Mormon

May 28-June 6:  My best friend of 12+ years and I (after both graduating) spent a week together in Fort Meyers, Florida. The weather was perfect 4/7 days. We took the opportunity to visit Fort Meyers Beach and Sanibel Island. It was a great respite from everything going on.

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Since graduation I’ve been consistently working 5-6 days per week. Which is why I have had zero time for (or I should say, made zero time for)  Jiu Jitsu, and haven’t made time to keep with my workout and diet plan.

Graduating has given me a new perspective on things. Over the last five years I’ve met some amazing people and been given the opportunity to do great things. But I’ve also lost a lot. Some things were out of my control while other, well, the fault lies completely on my shoulders.

Starting today it’s less eating out or not at all and more meal prep. Less beer and more fruits and vegetables. Less all night partying and more morning Jiu Jitsu classes. I’ve lost the things that made me truly the happiest, now I’m taking back what I can control and becoming the healthy, happy person I’m dying to stay.


Yesterday, I used my day off to meal prep a little for the busy week ahead.  I made this DELICIOUS chick pea salad!  I’ve had people ask me for the “recipe,” which is funny because if you’ve ever cooked with me, you’ll notice I rarely measure things out.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 can chick peas/garbanzo beans
  • Cilantro
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 bag of frozen corn, blackened on the stove top
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1/2 avacado
  • squeeze of lemon
  • Eat with tortillas like salsa or with a fork!

I topped this with feta cheese, well, because I could damnit.  I also like to eat this with shredded chicken added to make less of a salsa salad and more of a fancy chicken salad.

Indiana Spartan Sprint 2014 – AROO!

Aroo! Alright kids, I’ve officially finished my second mud run and I can safely say I AM HOOKED.Indiana Spartan Sprint 2014

Let’s do a recap of the Indiana Spartan Sprint 2014:

Team: Mud Assassins
Where: Haspen Acres, Laurel, Indiana – an off-road and motocross park
Distance: “around 4 miles” (in the end I was told it was around 4.8)
Number of obstacles: Was too busy trying not to die to keep track
Time: 3 hours 3 mins

Spartan Sprint was much more challenging than Warrior Dash, in distance, terrain, and obstacle difficulty.  Without detailing every riverbed, hill, and wall we climbed, I’ll give you all the high (and low) lights of the race:

My favorite obstacle: a 100-yard  low crawl

Along a 100-yard stretch of a motocross track, we were forced to arm crawl under barbed wire (think Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment, only much dirtier. . . and not in a good way) in mud as thick as chocolate mousse.  There were rocks, sticks and god knows what else mixed in with the mud so everyone’s knees and arms took a beating. This was easier for short people because they have less to bend and crawl with, but for all 5’10” of me, it was a little more difficult.  Big booty Judy kept catching on barbs so my hiney is a little scratched up.

Rob Hanna Indiana Spartan Sprint 2014

Photo from the Spartan FB taken on the low crawl of my friend/fellow Mud Assassin, Rob Hanna

Most challenging obstacle: a rope climb over a muddy water pit

This was challenging for a few reasons. 1) I understand the mechanics of climbing a rope (hooking it around your foot and all) but not having the time to put towards to OCR training, I’d never actually done it. 2) to get to the rope you had to slide down a muddy hill where you inevitably fell into the water. You are wet, the rope is wet. . . all around bad combination.  I am however, still very proud of the effort I made.  I made it about 3/4 the way up the rope three different times before I would lose my footing or my hands would slip.  The last time, when I landed face first in the water, I decided I was done.  A mouth/eyes full of muddy water was good enough for me.

Other obstacles of note:

  • I hoisted a 75lb bag of dirt/sand up a rope pulley about 20-25ft (controlled up & back down)
  • I FLIPPED A TRACTOR TIRE. FOUR TIMES!
  • Pulled a concrete block on a chain through the woods, up/down hills
  • Carried the men’s weight sand bag on my shoulder through the woods
Indiana Spartan Sprint 2014

Jumping the fire at the finish line!

Though our group tried to stay together, the nature of the race split us up, but everyone waited at the finish line to jump the fire together! There were walls to scale, spears to throw, and burpees to be done but I am SO proud of myself!  I fell, I bled, got splinters, and I loved every second of it.  I guess you don’t know what you’re capable of until you try, and I tried, hard! I ran every chance I got, I never took the easy rout and I can smile because of that. 😀

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Our group, The Mud Assassins, is ALWAYS looking for additions!  Our obstacle race course training is at EFS MMA on Burkhardt road in Dayton, Oh. Come “embrace the suck.”

It’s almost Race Day!

I’m officially 30.ish hours away from me next mud run and I am shitting. my. pants.
Capture
Ok, all involuntary defecation aside, I’m actually really excited/nervous and here is why:

Nervous:

  • My diet has not been STELLAR the last week or so, I’ve had a lot of stress and displacement that has taken it’s toll but I am taking the steps to correct my mistakes and get back on track.
  • My exercise routine has also slipped…
  • The group I am running with (The Mud Assassins) train together weekly with mud race specific workouts…and I haven’t been able to attend a single session.  I have had class and/or work every night that kept me from their sessions.
  • Those damn monkey bars
  • Burpees

Excited:

  • The Challenge:  I was so proud of myself after finishing the Warrior Dash in August, I am expecting equal or greater levels of pride after this race.  I’ve been dealing with a lot personally the last year, so I am using this as a starting point for “reasons I am proud of myself.”

I’ve mentioned before that I HATE running, but as much as I was proud of myself for completing the obstacles at Warrior Dash,  I’m still embarrassed that my running was so terrible.  I still haven’t taken the steps to become a better runner but I’m starting now.

Run Keeper resultsI got out and ran yesterday and I hated every God forsaken minute of it.  Running down hill, easier, but still kind of sucky.  Running uphill…all out torture.  Can a person spontaneously contract Asthma? Because I very well may have.  Dafuq?

A year or so ago I downloaded the RunKeeer app and I really enjoy it… when I use it…which has been three times.  I love that I can listen to the playlists on my iPhone and it keeps track of things like my heart rate, the different elevations I climb, and estimated calories burned.  It gives me the chance to compare my runs so I will be able to keep track of my progress.

Short Term Goal: Run a solid mile without writhing in pain/having a spontaneous asthma attack
Long Term Goals:  Do a Tough Mudder, put one of those stupid 13.1 stickers on my car.

This week I’ve been focused on staying hydrated (made that mistake last time) and RELAXING! Can’t stress over something that hasn’t happened yet, right?  I am running with such a great group of people, I know they will be there to support me even when I think I am doing a terrible job.  I’m looking forward to more races with the Mud Assassins already! :]

 

We’re leaving at 7:30am Saturday morning for Indiana, so wish me luck everyone!

 

Blood, sweat, tears. . . and mud?

Around the end of last June, a friend and I decided we needed something to motivate us to get our behinds off the couch and get into shape.  She came up with the idea of signing up for a mud run.

I should preface this by saying I am not a runner.  Not just “not a runner” but I avidly hate running.  The idea of it makes me lethargic.

Since then, I have drastically altered both my eating and my exercise habits. This was more or less the kickstart to my journey to becoming Tabitha Klausen (maybe not to that extreme, but a girl has to have goals, right?)

In August I ran a 5K mud run in Indiana, a Warrior Dash. It was SO MUCH FUN. We ran (or walk/jogged/dry heaved) our way through woods and fields, climbing ropes, vertical walls, balance beams, mud filled trenches, and jumped over fire. . . It was fantastic.

My tshirt, completion medal, and race number from Warrior Dash

My tshirt, completion medal, and race number from Warrior Dash

The only obstacle I couldn’t do was the monkey bars, I didn’t even try because I knew I didn’t have the strength to carry myself across.  I was so proud of myself for completing everything else but in the back of my head I have that lingering shame of skipping the damn monkey bars. Goal for my next race: beat the monkey bars.

In about three weeks, I, along with a group of others who have aptly named ourselves the Mud Assassins, will be going back to Indiana for a Spartan Sprint!  This race promises to much more challenging:

 

Having completed one and running another this month makes me feel like a badass.  Whether I really am or not is completely beside the point.  Having the courage to step so far outside of my comfort zone and text myself both physically and mentally gives me more confidence than I could have imagined.

Spartan ShirtWhenever I wear this shirt to the gym, I almost always get people asking me what it’s for and I live for the look I get when I tell them.

What kind of long term goal do I have with this? Eventually I want to complete a Tough Mudder but I know I am eons from doing that (at least with any kind of success).  For now I am content with my little 5K.  Five years ago I wouldn’t have considered the Warrior Dash a possibility. . . who knows what the next five years hold for me.

 


Today’s motivational photos:

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Who’s that ponytail on the mat?

Over the last few months I have come to a realization: I don’t think the men in my gym have a lot of experience training with women.  This is by no means a fault of theirs, it’s just the nature of the area we live.  Other than me, there are two other girls (both under 17) who do BJJ, however sporadically.  All of the guys are glad to have women in class, and overall, wish more women would be interested in the sport.  What’s interesting is the things we all generally think keep women from coming in are the same things that are making these GUYS uncomfortable.  So I have come up with a list of observations/things NOT to worry about when rolling with women:

1)  I’m not worried about you pulling my hair.

This is the NUMBER ONE thing I hear from guys, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I’m pulling your hair!”  I have long hair, so i realize that at  some point more than a few strands are going to get lose and get tugged on or out, I spent my childhood with a mother who combed tangles from my hair…this is nothing.  Think Clay Guida or Bendo.  It’s just something we deal with, it’s inevitable.

2) You sweating or farting on us (and vice versa)

It’s gross on all accounts, but it happens.  Laugh it off, and move on.  (Mind you, I realize, no man wants to admit women fart but let’s be honest…if I have all 185+ lbs of you pressing on my colon…Sorry.)

3) Don’t get a boner

Just…don’t.

4) Don’t let the positions scare you. . .

. . . because they don’t scare me.  My first week I lost a contact of my friends ball sack trying to escape a triangle, and it was totally kosher.  Knee on belly, north south; you don’t make it weird, I won’t make it weird.

5) Don’t be afraid to drill with me

Don’t be afraid to drill something nasty (i.e. chokes)  If you go easy on me, it’s only shorting me on quality training.  I didn’t sign up for Tae Bo,  I am here to both get into shape and learn.  Going easy on me doesn’t prepare me for anything.

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