What I learned By Gaining 75 Pounds

Mar 15, 2021 | Fit2Fat2Forty

I remember very clearly the morning I woke up and decided to gain weight on purpose. The year was 2011, and I had no idea how that decision would change my life.

Before explaining what led to this moment, let me share a little of my background. I was number seven in a family of 11 kids. I loved sports and spent most of my time playing football and wrestling, which meant I was always in pretty good shape. My weight was never a problem growing up. I ate when I was hungry, and that was the extent of my relationship with food. So, being in shape was pretty easy for me, and it’s all I ever knew.

Why I decided to gain weight on purpose

Fast forward to 2011, when I became a fitness trainer, teaching people how to get in shape. Since being in shape came easy for me, I thought it should come easy for everyone else. I just had no concept of how difficult it could be for others to be consistent with meal plans and workouts. But I was about to realize that a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness does not work. No way. No how. 

Drew Manning

One day during a training session with a client, he said to me, “you have no idea what my struggles are. You just can’t relate. It is easy for you to sit there sporting six-pack abs and tell me how to get in shape, but I will never look like you no matter how hard I try. You should try walking in my shoes for a few days.” His comments resonated with me. The more I thought about what he said, the more I realized he was right. I took that to heart and immediately started thinking of ways to better understand where my clients were in their journey and the difficulties they faced. 

And the very next morning, I had an epiphany. I would walk in his shoes by gaining weight – a lot of weight. I would document the entire process from being fit to being fat, so I could better understand the challenges of getting back into shape. This was my calling.

Weight gain is as much mental as it is physical

After a week of preparation and planning, I decided to gain as much weight as possible over six months. I would eat whatever I wanted, indulge in the typical American diet foods such as white bread, cereals, sodas, chips, cookies, and fast food, and stop working out. At the end of six months, I would then begin a journey back to fit. 

The weight came on easily. In six months, I gained 75 lbs. But what I also gained was a new perspective. I realized just how unbalanced I had been in my approach towards helping my clients get in shape. My focus had always been on physical appearance, which involved meal plans, workouts, macros, calories, and supplements. All that time, I ignored the mental and emotional side of their transformation. I also gained a sense of empathy that I had previously lacked. For the first time in my life, I truly understood what my clients felt about themselves and the real struggles they faced. 

The new me  

weight training

I grew in many other ways through the Fit2Fat2Fit journey. I had never understood the powerful, emotional connection people have with food. Not being able to resist certain temptations, in my mind, was just a lack of discipline. I now knew that wasn’t true. During my weight gain, I experienced food cravings that I almost always succumbed to. The struggle had become real for me.  

After six months or so, when I finally lost the weight and returned to my fit self, I was a different person, a more understanding person, and a better trainer. I learned that being fit is both physical and mental, and I wrote a book about what I had learned. Fit2Fat2Fit became a NY Times Best Seller and spawned an A&E TV show. 

Why would I do it again?

I turned 40 this past December, just as I hit the half-way mark of my second Fit2Fat2Fit journey. Why would I do this again, you ask? What could I possibly learn a second time? The first journey was about me learning things I needed to know for my own growth. This time it is different. This time it’s about me trying to spread the message of empathy, especially in the fitness industry, which lacks an empathetic approach in my opinion. My hope is to bring awareness to the importance of the mental and emotional side of transformation.

I also wanted to do it at 40 because I kept hearing people say that getting back in shape at 40 is incredibly hard. I wanted to show people over 40 that it is never too late to live healthy lives, even as our metabolisms slow down.

What’s different about Fit2Fat2Forty?

My second journey is much more data-driven too. I am tracking heart rates and sleep patterns, I am doing cognitive brain testing to see what impact an unhealthy lifestyle has on our brains, I am doing blood work to analyze blood glucose levels, and I am monitoring sexual and emotional health and stress levels.

The data doesn’t lie and paints a clear picture of how living an unhealthy lifestyle and eating processed food can affect our mental and emotional capacity to handle other stresses in our lives like kids, finances, relationships, and work. 

I started my journey back to fit on January 4th after gaining 63 pounds. These two journeys have taught me so much about myself and my approach to training my clients. My goal now is to share what I have learned and hopefully build a community of people who accept and love who they are, strive to make changes to their lives, and support each other in their journeys to living healthy lives, and I invite you to join me on this great adventure. 

You can follow me on my second journey and do the exact program I’m doing to lose the weight, or follow me on all social media outlets at @fit2fat2fit.


Recent Posts

The Most Effective Keto Supplements
Recommended by Drew Manning

Keto Meal

BHBs

MCT Oil Powder

Complete Greens

Read more related posts!

Fat to Fit: How Drew Manning lost over 60 pounds in 4 months

Fat to Fit: How Drew Manning lost over 60 pounds in 4 months

Drew Manning is a celebrity fitness trainer who intentionally gained over 60 pounds to understand his clients better. His goal was to lead by example and inspire his clients that if he can go from fat to fit at 40 years old, you can too. Throughout his entire journey...

How does Sleep Affect Your Weight?

How does Sleep Affect Your Weight?

Sleep is something that many of us fail to get enough of today, but it’s crucial for anyone looking to maintain or lose weight this year.

How Long Can You Do The Keto Diet For?

How Long Can You Do The Keto Diet For?

The keto diet offers many benefits to anyone who follows this plan, but when opting to do keto long term, it can be very unhealthy when not implemented properly. To enjoy the benefits of the keto diet, there are certain considerations to keep in mind before embarking...

What I learned by doing diets the wrong way

What I learned by doing diets the wrong way

This is my second Fit2Fat2Fit journey. My first was ten years ago, when I turned 30, and now, as I was approaching 40, I wanted to do it again to see how my body, ten years older, would react to gaining and losing a bunch of weight over 9 months or so. I had learned a...

Fit2Fat2Forty Week 12 Updates

Fit2Fat2Forty Week 12 Updates

This past week, while not too eventful, still had a lot to teach me. From a numbers POV, I gained four pounds, which is a pretty big jump this far into the journey. Body fat up only .2 percent, ¼ of an inch in my hips and waist. So things are still growing. Feeling...

Fit2Fat2Forty Week 11 Updates

Fit2Fat2Forty Week 11 Updates

I'm currently 10 weeks in, which is awesome because I have hit the double digits in numbers. A little less than 7 weeks to go. This past week I gained about three pounds, which is a decent number. If I gain three pounds from here on out I will be way over my 60 lb...

Grab My 7-Day Keto Challenge!

Enter Your Name and Email To Get Your 7-Day Keto Meal Plan + Over 100 Delicious, Fat Shredding Keto-Friendly Recipes for FREE!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Your Free 60 Day Program

What you are getting for free!

-A Meal Plan

-Shopping Lists

-Recipes

-8 weeks of workouts 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Your Free 7 Day Program

What you are getting for free!

✅ A keto friendly meal plan

✅ My biggest Keto do's and dont's 

✅ A comprehensive FAQ

✅ Everything you need to get started

Thank you for downloading my Keto Jumpstart preview program. Be on the lookout for more emails from me with helpful information for your keto joruney.

Join the 30 day challenge

What you are getting for free!
- Private Facebook Group
- Accountability Calendar
- Work out tracker
- Tips to help you create new habits
- Shopping List
- Meal Plan
- Recipes

You have Successfully Subscribed!