I know this has surely been addressed before, so I apologize in advance if this seems redundant. I am a 12B, 2x girl, 5'6", bw these days about 135. Pretty tight Paleo/Zone, 4-5B carbs/day, skinning the zone on fat, love my diet for the most part. Loving CF goes without saying- suffice it to say I dig the Kool Aid from all aspects. Back in Sept 08, I was pretty dang lean, dropping down to 126 lbs, finally starting to see the lower abs I knew were there- but didn't feel strong, and after lots of tinkering and talking with my cf coach, realized that I prolly was as strong as I would be at that weight/body comp. My TOTAL is 470 (11/1/08)- not all that impressive to many, and currently, I'm not losing any sleep over it, but am interested in getting more (breaking 500 would do for starters). Decided a few months ago to drop all extra running outside of WODs, bump fat to 3x, and focus on lifting and strength work as we entered the New Year, all efforts to get stronger. I have noticed my 1RMs now are 3 & 5 RMs, more visible upper body mass, good stuff! But, also what's happening is thickening of thighs, midsection, and biscuits (butt)....not good for me. Just recently (last week) reeled my fat back to 2x because I was not digging those secondary side effects, and am here to ask the question: Is it possible to get stronger and keep lean? Am I even thinking correctly that scaling back fat is the way to go here? (given the diff between 2x and 3x is 324 cals/day). I am starting to get that 'fat does not make us fat', although I gotta say there's many years of old propaganda in my head that I am purging these days! I always try to make sure I have my full 12B protein/day, and keep carbs and fat a little more of a moving target, but always keeping carbs low. I have dabbled in IF, and plan to learn more about it and do more of it this year. I want to get stronger, but LOVE being lean. Can I have both simultaneously? THAT is the question!