She Came, She Fought, She Conquered.

When I was a little girl, my favorite movie was "A Cinderella Story" (And still is, I mean helllooooo, Chad Michael Murray?!). I envied the way that Sam attained the happy ending she had dreamt of for so long. I wanted to dance my homecoming night away in a elegant, timeless princess-style ballgown like Sam wore in the movie. I wanted things to work out in my favor for once. I wanted a handsome football player to sweep me off my feet and take me away to Princeton College. I wanted bliss. Instead, I spent my youth battling myself, battling the treacherous eating disorder that was disguised as my friend and my savior from my darkest days. I always believed him when he told me he would take care of things. I looked to my eating disorder in times of doubt. Ed was there for me when no one else was. Oh, how I wish I could have known that Ed was just like any other mean girl I'd encountered before, but worse. He came with a one time only price. Death.

It was almost 5 years ago that I really checked out with him permanently. It wasn't until I was being held down by a team of doctors and nurses who attempted to shove a feeding tube up and into my nose six times till I realized he had betrayed me. I was 89lbs of lifelessness. He did this to me. I let him do this to me. I realized I had failed in that moment. But that's just it. I recognized my failure. I accepted it. But then I thought to myself, "and now you fight". And fight I did. And fought I have.

I have searched for something that would truly save me on my darkest days; Something that wouldn't come with a deadly price tag. Yesterday, I was given the validation I have been desperately searching for.

Powerlifting.

I have refused to go on antidepressants my entire life. I will not cover up the issue with a band aid. I will not put something into my body that masks the real damage. Iron is better than any antidepressant any doctor could have ever prescribed. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. My body and mind have been awakened with true potential, and I am never turning back. Unlike Ed, the iron has never lied to me. The weights have proven to be more than just a number. Yesterday, I proved that I am more than just silly damn number. I decided about a couple months ago to get back into powerlifting competitively. I did my research, found an amazing coach, Leanna Carr (hey girl heyyyy!), and put in the work. I wasn't expecting the work to come with such an amazing reward. 

Since I have returned to my roots powerlifting, many things have changed. I have gone from 89lbs of darkness to 128lbs of pure burning fire. I have realized that food truly IS my friend (aka the love of my life). I have accepted that gaining weight is OKAY and NECESSARY and doesn't always mean just gaining fat weight. I have gained so much more than weight. I have gained incredible people in my life who have changed the way I open up and view people.

I owe a lot of my success yesterday to an individual who I have an immense amount of respect for. Jordan is someone who I stumbled upon at a GNC store a while back, and I had no idea that our friendship would blossom into what it has today. He motivated and supported me through every second of our meet yesterday. We came together, competed together, and conquered together. Jordan and I shared a beautiful moment yesterday; A moment that brought me to tears of happiness. The hype and bond we share is indescribable, and yesterday only made our friendship that much stronger. You can't put a wilks score on friendship. Zippy is grateful for you, Zilla. 

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I saved the best for last, my parents. My mumma and daddio have been my biggest fans since day one. I really cannot even express my gratitude in words. They have believed in me since the day I entered this world, and have not stopped since. I would not be standing, let alone alive without the love and support from these two incredible people. I wouldn't trade these two for the world. Thank you for being my rocks. I love you both more than you will ever be able to know. 

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I could say so much more. I could write a book about how amazing yesterday was for me. It truly was the greatest day of my life. I set personal records with every single lift. I finished with a 242.2lb squat, a 126.5lb bench (even though I got called for a slight downward motion, I STILL GOT THAT SHIT UP), and the grand finale of a 347lb deadlift. The moment I pulled that 347lbs off the ground and locked it out was the moment I knew that every struggle, every triumph, every calorie, every pound, every doubt, every emotion, everything....was worth it. I qualified for NATIONALS as well yesterday. I placed 1ST in overall best female raw lifter. I don't think I will be attending Nationals, as it is October 10th and that doesn't give me an adequate amount of time to complete a successful prep. But ladies and gentlemen, I am just getting started.  This is only the beginning. I have more work to do, food to eat, muscle to gain, goals to achieve, and records to set. I am so beyond blessed. I cannot even put my blessings into words. To anyone who has commented, shown me any amount of support, wished me luck, and/or believed in me , thank you, I am humbled by all of the love I have been shown. I will forever be in awe. 

Thank you to friends, family, God, coaches, and Ed. Yes, I am thanking my eating disorder, for without him, I would have never turned into the athlete that I am today.

In carbs we trust,

-Lauryn