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I dove in head first. I found an awesome gym; an awesome coach. This meet is starting to feel real. I'm not showing up expecting to win with 9 months of lifting under my belt. But I am expecting—between now and my last deadlift of the day on 11/5—to continuously surprise myself. I'm listening to the new Kesha album as I write this, and her first track has these lyrics: Been underestimated My entire life I know people gonna talk shit And darling, that's fine But they won't break my spirit I won't let 'em win I'll just keep on living The way I wanna live Powerlifting is not just a sport for me, but a physical ritual and (almost?) spiritual practice. I am not a super spiritual person, so I hesitate to say that. But training consistently and treating my body with respect is possibly the closest thing to religion I've got. I am done underestimating myself. Making myself smaller. Hesitating. Doubting. Powerlifting allows for me to access these parts of myself, and I can take it with me to other parts of my life. Anyway. My goal for this challenge is simple: Eat to support the gainz. Stop cannibalizing muscle. Since I joined NF, I've leaned out quite a bit (30% body fat to 22%). My weight has been hanging steady for awhile, but I lost a lot over the past few weeks with my new training program. I need to fuel to support the work. And I want to fill out the top end of my weight class. For this, I've enlisted the help of Renaissance Periodization. It is essentially macros plus easy meal planning plus timing. It takes as much decision fatigue out of eating as possible. I'm doing a "soft launch" today and tomorrow and going full RP on Sunday. I expect to gain 0.5-1 pound a week.