From Fit to Fat to Fit Again: Man Gains Weight On Purpose

I received an email this morning from Drew Manning. Drew is the owner of a web site called Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit. As you can see from the picture below, Drew was a very fit individual. He is attempting to pack on 50 – 60 pounds of fat in 6 months time in order to lose it again in another 6 months.

What is the Point?

In Drew’s own words:

My goal is to inspire people to get fit, teach them how to do it and give them hope that it IS possible to get fit and stay fit. I want to share my comprehensive fitness knowledge with my followers so that they can know how to lose weight successfully, even though for many it’s going to be a struggle. People that are overweight have to overcome both physical and emotional barriers when it comes to losing weight. I hope to have a better understanding of this through my experience over the next year.

Also, I hope to better gain an understanding of how hard it really is to be overweight. I know it’s only going to be for 6 months, but at least it’ll give me a small window of the physical and emotional issues that come with being overweight.

Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit's Drew Manning
Beginning photo and 5 weeks later having gained 24.5 lbs.

I can understand why he’s doing what he’s doing. He has a desire to help people realize what a bunch of processed food can do to the body. He also wants to show how eating healthy and regular exercise can get you into shape.


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However, there are some points to consider, which I’m sure he will address if he hasn’t already:

1. Some people truly struggle with being overweight – Whether it is physically, emotionally, medically, or all three – being overweight for most of your life is a true struggle. I get that he’s becoming overweight to understand a bit of the struggle, but 6-months of being overweight really doesn’t compare to someone who has dealt with it for years.

2. He’s not really becoming “out of shape” – I believe when it comes time for Drew to shed the weight, it will be easy for him. Although he is not exercising during this transformation, he should be able to shed the surface fat relatively easy. For one, he has a passion for fitness. He knows what it takes to burn fat and it will not be hard for him to get back into his healthy eating and exercise habits. If anything, he will probably feel sluggish and it will be harder to move the extra weight around, however, I’m not convinced it will be a huge struggle.

3. Does the average overweight person eat a dozen donuts in one sitting? – I understand that he is giving himself 6 months to pack on weight but the way he is eating (in my opinion) is not representative of how most overweight people eat. Sure, some people eat more than their fair share of junk, but speaking for myself – I gained weight over years of lack of exercise and eating more calories than I burned. Many people simply lead busy lives and their poor eating habits and not making time for exercise eventually catches up to them leading to weight gain. However, I understand he has to cram that much junk into his body because of time constraints.

Overall, I still give him credit for taking on the challenge. I still believe he will help a lot of people to better understand the impact of food on the body. It will be interesting to follow his journey. You can learn more about Drew at his web site: Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit.

What do you think about Drew’s transformation?


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Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

27 thoughts on “From Fit to Fat to Fit Again: Man Gains Weight On Purpose”

  1. So here’s my rebuttal, if I may…haha. So, first off I don’t think I’ll ever truly know what the majority of overweight people struggle with nor do I claim that I will, but I think it will give me more sympathy of what they go through and a small window of just how hard it really is. Coming from someone who’s been in shape their whole life, I haven’t known any differently. So for me it’ll be a good learning experience.

    Secondly, I agree with what Eartha said about being able to bounce back quickly…..to a certain degree. Obviously, muscle memory will play a factor as I start exercising again, since I won’t lose all my muscle mass in 6 months. The thing I want to focus on is that exercise is only a small portion of my success and that my nutrition is KEY in getting back in shape. Don’t get me wrong though….HOW you exercise is very important, but nutrition will be more important that than just lifting weights and my muscle memory coming back. I will show everyone how important your diet really is vs. exercise alone. That will come later on in the journey.

    Lastly, for those who read through more of my blog will understand that I only do 1 extreme food challenge a week (i.e. eating a dozen donuts at once….or at least trying to). That is something to keep people entertained as I get fat, but if you see here:
    http://www.fit2fat2fit.com/blog/1-month-down-5-more-to-go-review-of-month-1.html
    …you will notice what a typical day looks like for me, minus that one day that I do an extreme food challenge where people vote for what challenge they want me to do. The other days, I’m eating the way a lot of Americans typically eat….(sugary cereals, juices, white bread, white pasta, pizza, hot dogs, chips, soda, cookies, etc.) I’m trying to make people more aware of just how bad these processed carbs, that a lot of us are addicted to, really are!

    All in all though I just want to inspire people to make healthier lifestyle changes and I want to give them that knowledge….the same knowledge I have as a personal trainer and invite anyone to follow me on this journey as lose the weight with me (But don’t do my fit to fat stage please!!!!)

    Thanks Eartha!

    P.S. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PICS ABOVE REPRESENT MY BEGINNING PIC, AND MY 5 WEEK PIC RESPECTIVELY (Total weight gained so far = 24.5 lbs).

    1. Thanks for your reply, Drew! Thanks for clearing up the points I made. I believe people who follow your journey will learn a lot about nutrition and exercise. I can’t wait to see your transformation from fit to fat and fat to fit. πŸ™‚

    2. Hey Drew, This is a real testament for all PT’s. Most of them are arrogant and expect you to perform as they do. When not all bodies are the same. Some have weak abs ( like myself) and it takes someone with a knowledge to look beyond themselves to understand something like “mat Pilates” is not for everyone or anyone who hasn’t first had an instructor to bring them to a safe level first (this could takes months or years). Yes I speak from experience I have always gone to the gym to just stay somewhat fit (not be a body builder) but never knew it was my abs that was causing my lower back pain. After 4 months of privates with a PT, ERYT, piltates then 1 year of yoga with again one who has a phd in Kinesiology and was 55 yrs of age, had battled her own issues as menopause set in. She was able to safely teach a class of every level including “I can’t do a plank” group. Now I can do a plank with leg lifts for a count of 15. Note my practice has been 3-4x a week light work out not the no pain no gain. I tried that and did not like laying in bed for 3 days because of my lower back.
      Now I am pain free but still have a lil belly to work off.
      About me: 5’4 151lb Never weighed more than 165 except when pregnant.

      Thank you for all who have suffered from a PT!
      Keep up you can do it one baby step at a time.

    3. cool physiological and social experiment. can’t wait to see the transformations! but have to say, the donut thing is kinda stupid. Even the fattest and hungriest person would get sick after the 4th-5th donut. I get sick after 2 donuts!

  2. @plan of fitness – yes I think it will be tough both ways. I know it’s a crazy idea, but I can better understand the struggles of overweight purple, or at least try to, and then can get a few people to make healthier lifestyle changes through this experiment, then I will be happy and it will have been with it.

    1. @ Plan of Fitness- Sorry for the spelling mistakes! What I meant to write “I can better understand the struggles of overweight people”… “then I will be happy and it will have been worth it”.

  3. This looks extremely difficult and is it completely safe to rapidly pack on so much weight from being so fit and athletic? I would think it would create unnecessary strain on your heart etc.

  4. @ Toc Training – Yes it is extremely difficult so far and it’s only been 6 weeks. I doubt that it’s safe and I definitely don’t recommend it to anyone. Just like it’s not safe to be “overweight”, this has it’s risks as well even though it’s only for 6 months. I’m not too worried about any long term effects since I’ll only be carrying the weight for 6 months instead of years like a lot of other people, but nonetheless I’m 100% committed to this in order to better understand first, and then help and teach those who struggle. Thanks for the comment.

  5. @ Eric – Good point, but it depends on the body type. If you tell that to an ectomorph, they might disagree, but for the majority you’re probably right. πŸ™‚

  6. Drew – please check your website. Just read the articles today and went to your site to get some updates and it appears there is a Bandwidth issue. I would like to follow you through the next phase.

  7. good job Drew, it shows how much dedication you have for your work and trying to help others to lose weight. i hope everything goes well and i will keep following your journey. We need more people/trainers like yourself.

  8. Drew,

    Is there anyway that you could put all this information for us onto Facebook so that we can all see it. I clicked on the links for your pages and get the following error: 509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded in bold and the following information.

    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.
    Apache/2.2.16 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.16 OpenSSL/0.9.8e-fips-rhel5 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 mod_jk/1.2.30 PHP/5.3.2 Server at fit2fat2fit.com Port 80

    Please make it easier for us to follow you.

  9. Drew,
    Perhaps keep in mind that often income levels also can play into a person’s ability to eat healthy. For example, if a family only has say $50 a week to spend on groceries then healthy alternatives like ground turkey or salmon give way to the far more affordable and longer lasting foods like mac & cheese, pasta, hot dogs, and frozen pizza.

    I’d like to make a suggestion that you try for a week or two purchasing food on a limited budget. Then when you are back to being healthy try and purchase the same quantity of food for the same price.

    Eating healthy can be very expensive for most of us who live on a tight budget. If you are able to not only offer advice and inspiration about working out, you could also offer advice on what healthy food to buy so people can get more food for less money and maintain a healthy diet.

    Just a quick example – say you only have $10 to spend at the grocery store – you could buy 10 packs of ramen noodles, a few boxes of mac n cheese, and some hot dogs and buns. That’ll last at least a week.

    Or for $10 you could buy 1 or 2 salmon fillet and some frozen veggies. That’ll last you 2 days.

    Just a thought …. good luck on your journey. Oh and your website is down btw.

  10. First of all, I really don’t want to encourage you to become unhealthy! You are doing a great job to inspire people!! However, you could add another stage between the fat and fit stage, where you only eat healhty food without exercising. That is to show the underestimated effect of purely good nutrition. This idea came to mind because when I used to exercise I talked about this to an incredibly fat man who said “it’s in my genes so healthy food has no effect anyway”. Besides, adding a third stage will cause your muscle memory to fade more so critics have less reason to argue that muscle memory is in your advantage to getting fit.
    I will follow you now to get more inspiration πŸ˜‰
    By the way, your website fit2fat2fit.com has bandwidth issues and it’s currently not accessible (19 oct 2011 @ 2:19 GMT)

  11. So drew, do you plan to post up our diet plan to get back to where you once were? And are you going to have a day by day workout plan along with supplementation that you used?

  12. Kudos to Drew! Fat is Fat, weather he packs it on in 6 months or over 6 years. Either way, he is going to sense how uncomfortable and lethargic being fat is. How difficult it makes doing simple things/living life. Not to mention the health issues it causes.

    30 years ago I went from fat to fit. I got into bodybuilding and actually hated working out the majority of the time. However, over and above working out I disliked being fat even that much more… So, not easy. But, so worth it!

    As for eating health, I love the taste of good wholesome well prepared food. I can only imagine the gut wrenching sickening feeling Drew went through when he downed those donuts and junk food. My intestines ached for him…l

    Anyway, I applaud Drew for trying his crazy fat gain… He’s braver than I, having been fat I never never want to feel that horrible, lethargic, disgusting in my own skin and clothes experience. If nothing else take that to your clients, Drew.

  13. Drew, I’m sure you have seen my name on all of these message boards because I am absolutely going to go on this transformation with you from fat2fit. I am overweight and have been for many years. I am the representation of the majority of the obese people out there. I am 5’9″ and approximately 295 pounds. My BMI is somewhere around 43. This is going to be a true test for you and an amazing accomplishment for myself if I can complete this. I need your motovation and the motovation af anyone that wants to help. my email is jorge.grijalva@att.net and everyone is welcome to email me with anything you feel is motovating. Lets do this Drew. And lets to this for all the overweight people out there.

  14. Drew I think what your doing is awesome. And I will follow you. I have been planning on joining the gym. I’m 5 foot 2in tall and I’m well over 2 hundred pounds. It’s been a struggle all my life since my early teenage years. I recently loss 40 pounds on my own. But its not easy so many people have suggestions but have no idea what it’s like to be over weight and not having the energy to get the weight off. It’s truly a mind thing and having a trainer that understand not to work you like they would some one that’s 140 pounds. Drew thank you.

  15. Is he crazy? Or is he really proving a point?

    I think he is a bit crazy but he is really proving a point too!

    I mean, who would gain as much weight as he did just to prove other people they can get fit too? I don’t think a lot of people would do it. If you look at it like this, he is becoming a hero for some people, isn’t he?

    But if you look further, you’ll see he isn’t crazy (or at least not totally crazy :-)), he is just convinced that he will make it back to where he was, and I am sure he will get there.

    I really hope that at least a few people will get the point he is making, so that the effort was worth it.

  16. its quite simple why people are overweight for years our parents and everyone instill in to us you must eat potatoe and pasta with our vegies and steak of a night before WRONG vegetable ,steak,fish YES pasta, potatoe NO it is full of carbohydrates in which you should eat at brekkie before goin to work carbs are for energy in which you will burn off and turn to muscle whist at work ,when coming home and winding down before bed youre proteins are best foods before bed eating carbs then goin to bed BIG NO NO because it wil just in in your stomach and turn to fat we should eat eggs for dinner not brekkie eggs are full of protein and also help with muscle recovery after a hard days work from whatever,shearing,building,lifting heavy stuff if your a truck driver,machine operator or a pen pusher then maybe more protein for those sort of people as for me im a coalminer who works night shift i reverse the situation after a big sleep all day i start work at 9.45pm until 8.30 am so when i get up i eat pasta and sausages before because through the night i will burn this off as my metabolism is running all night and not sleeping heapsof water no fizzy drink ever,when i get home i go to the gym and do 45 minutes f weights i come have protein shake 4 eggs and a piece of rump steak im in excellent physical condition and my muscles are gaining more than ever i think each individual is different depending on there work schedule and life anyway thanks.

  17. I have invented a floating underwater weighing system (see: hydrodensity.com) which allows anyone with a hot tub or swimming pool to measure his/her body density to get an accurate body fat percent. I am crusading against the use of body mass index (BMI) as a measure of body fatness. I would like to get photos of persons of varying body fatness/leanness along with height and weight data. Then I propose to calculate the BMI for these individuals and post selected photos on my website. It is my intention to pair the fattest and the leanest persons who have the same BMI in order to illustrate why it is not an appropriate measure of body fatness. If you are willing to help me with this project, please email a photo (in a swimsuit would be best) along with your height and weight and permission to use it. Thanks.

  18. I am currently 28 weeks pregnant and have gone from fit to fat and I too am astounded by the difference it makes in every day life. I am not allowed to work out due to a high risk pregnancy and have already gained 57 lbs. I’ll admit I eat things I didn’t really eat before which hasn’t helped! This gives me a huge appreciation for my healthy lifestyle and at times I wonder if the roles were reversed, and an overweight not so healthy person were offered the ability to lose it all and be fit for a month or 2 (quickly) – would it make them work harder to lose it to maintain that lifestyle and feeling.
    I am a strong fit 135 pounder currently sitting at 192 πŸ™ And I still have almost 3 months to go – getting dressed is a challenge for crying out loud……Drew – I commend you for what you’ve done on purpose while a lot of fit woman go through this struggle and don’t get the same recognition. After the baby I will come back and let you know how long its taken me to get back to my regular world! To those out there that think its only easy for him because he was fit before – not the case….I was over 200 in high school and lost it all – I’ve had it off for 20 years, until now. You just have to want it badly enough!

  19. How can you help some one who is fighting their weight gain via medication that they have to take on a daily basis.

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