A US-based personal trainer has gained 30kgs (60 pounds) only to lose it over six months to better understand his client's weight loss journeys and learn whether maturity would impact his ability to drop the weight.
But this isn't the first time Drew Manning has gone on an extreme diet.
Back in 2014, he gained and lost 35kgs over a year to overcome his mindset that his clients who were unable to lose weight were 'lazy'.
My 2nd Fit2Fat2Fit journey is officially over!
THANK YOU all for the love & support during these crazy experiments.
Please help me spread this movement of empathy by developing empathy for ourselves first & foremost!
The journey continues at https://t.co/PiPCgjXlei pic.twitter.com/Jw6HBgB31i
- Drew Manning (@fit2fat2fit) May 8, 2021
This time, Manning, 40, was trying to discern whether his age would impact the ability to lose weight after he spent six months gaining 30kgs.
Manning said that while he knows his weight loss journey isn't as easy as others who have been overweight for longer than he has, his loss proves age isn't a huge factor in weight loss.
Speaking to Muscle and Fitness, Manning said: "I was also really impressed with how my body responded at 40.
"Age is just a number, and although it might be harder for some as they age because of hormones and metabolism changes, it is still possible."
Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit#truestory :flushed::flushed::flushed: pic.twitter.com/tJlLbIjuMZ
- Drew Manning (@fit2fat2fit) May 11, 2021
Following his first weight loss, Manning wrote a book, Fit2Fat2Fit, about the journey in which he said he was convinced people who were struggling with their weight were 'lazy'.
"I was convinced people used genetics or similar excuses as a crutch," Manning wrote. "You either wanted to be healthy or you didn't."
After several failures with clients who he found he couldn't help conquer their fitness goals, Manning felt like he had to take another step.
Manning gave up the gym and started consuming junk food and takeaways.
I remember when...:joy: https://t.co/ihvAmtUHcD pic.twitter.com/Owtcmrc8hE
- Drew Manning (@fit2fat2fit) May 28, 2021
He gained 35kgs in just six months and was shocked by the impact it had on his life.
Manning's wife Lynn said he stopped helping out around the house and started to lose his confidence very quickly.
Manning said getting back to the gym after his weight gain was 'humiliating' and he felt overwhelmed by his new fitness level.
"The biggest thing [I learned] is that it's not just about the physical. It's not just about the meal plan and the workouts and those things. The key is the mental and the emotional issues. I realised those issues are real," he said.
Health experts said his decision to gain and lose the weight so quickly was an incredibly dangerous choice, massively increasing his cholesterol and blood pressure.
But Manning says he doesn't regret the decision.
"We see the success stories of people losing all this weight, but it's more common now," he says. "To see someone do it in reverse on purpose - it's mind-blowing. A balance of craziness and inspiration."
The last 3 times I was in Hawai'i!
Consistency is the key.
Don't give up on yourself. pic.twitter.com/1NKozYCq9U
- Drew Manning (@fit2fat2fit) June 26, 2021
He said he does understand that his journey back to fitness was easier than it would be for most, but it's given him a better understanding of what his clients are going through on their journey.
He also said his experiences have taught him how much of weight loss is a mental journey.
"Instead of seeing their bodies as something they hate and despise, it's time to change that up and appreciate what you have even though it's not perfect you should relish any progress," he said.
"That's a much healthier approach versus hating yourself your entire life. This is why transformation is way more mental and emotional than people might think."
Featured Image Credit: Drew Manning