Home BGG2WL Personal Trainer Chooses To Gain 70+ Pounds And Go From Fit To Fat To Fit

Personal Trainer Chooses To Gain 70+ Pounds And Go From Fit To Fat To Fit

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Toya dropped this link off on the FB page, and I thought it might make for interesting discussion here.

Meet Drew, a personal trainer with a rather insane idea: hes going to make himself obese so he can learn what its like to come down from it all. As someone who has been there, Id be lying if I didnt admit that what hes doing is terrifying to me. I know what it takes for an individual to get 70lbs overweight – as Drew currently is now, see photo above – and considering what hes risking physically as well as mentally and emotionally, I worry for him. The link is an interview of Drew, sharing a bit of his thoughts on his journey beyond obesity. Its worth the click.

There are some incredible points here that I think make for interesting note:

Hes going from having a relatively fit lifestyle to the standard American diet (ironically, referred to as SAD), and in turn his blood pressure went up. A big part of this is those unhealthy foods he mentioned as being a part of his diet: sugary cereals, granola bars, juices, white breads, white pastas, sodas, crackers, chips, frozen dinners, processed mac-n-cheese. All high-refined-carb foods loaded with salt.

His quote: [After I eat those foods,] I feel like crap later on and I get hungry again and crave those same foods. Sounds familiar.

His quote: I definitely feel addicted to these foods. In the beginning, I didnt like soda but now I cant go a day without, otherwise Ill get [withdrawals.] Ill be extremely interested in how he gets beyond this issue, because for a lot of BGG2WL readers, the withdrawals from what their bodies are used to is often the most difficult part of converting to clean eating.

Drew’s story will be blogged at Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit.

Your thoughts? I know Ill be paying close attention to this.

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Savannah October 20, 2011 - 10:41 AM

I saw this on Yahoo too and am very interested on how his transition back to fit will be. I wonder how hard it will be to re-inplement all his healthy habits back into his life? Especially the clean eating since he admits that he is now addicted to certain foods.

Jacqueline Stallworth October 20, 2011 - 12:52 PM

I admire his courage; not sure if I would endanger my health to prove a point. I really hope that most people kinda know that soda, sugary cereals, granola bars, and any foods that are loaded with sugar are not good for their bodies without this guy having to go to this extreme.

I will be following this story……….

Nasha October 20, 2011 - 2:21 PM

Wow..You know, I don’t like that he had to go to such extreme measures to gain this understanding..HOWEVER; I believe it shows an individual who is truly willing to put himself in another’s shoes to gain more insight…Like, how can you know what’s it’s like to struggle with food addiction if you’ve neever experienced it? What do you know about cravings if you’re not constantly fighting them? How can you help someone who is morbidly obese be confident in their ability to lost weight and get ripped when you’re not quite sure what it feels like to be morbidly obese…….I mean, it’s extreme, but it makes sense… I’m wishing him success in his second “fat 2 fit” journey…

Michelle of Chellbellz October 22, 2011 - 10:27 PM

I’ll say this I admire him for wanting to know how it feels to be addicted, or how it feels to have those cravings, for some it’s really hard to get over, and people retreat back to that. But also that he has to know lose the weight, just like others. A lot of trainers have no idea what it’s like to have to fight with yourself, and this proves that some of these foods messes with your brain, and how you think. I’ve always sad and it’s been proven that these foods where made to have you addicted to them. I’m sure he will motivate a ton of people this way but if he does anything sketchy to do it people won’t follow him.

Stefanie October 20, 2011 - 3:00 PM

I saw this on yahoo as well the other day. That man is nuts!!!!! I understand why he did it; but I guess he really IS about to understand the challenge it is to get back to his former super fit self. I hope he accomplishes his goal. That is a big task to take on. But he felt he can do it, so hey, I’m not mad at him; but he’s still nuts!!! (laughs)

Lily Fluffbottom October 20, 2011 - 3:24 PM

I feel like he has an inherent advantage over those who “woke up one day and realized they had a problem”, because he has lived the majority of his life a certain way, and 6 months might have broken his former habits, but they’re not gone. That’s not to say he won’t struggle to get the weight off, but I’m afraid when he does he’ll use it as an excuse to say “if I can do it, you can too.”
The difference is, we didn’t mindfully choose to get fat and he did.

And what if he can’t lose the weight? How irresponsible is that?

Lakisha October 20, 2011 - 5:20 PM

Its his body. Let him do what what he wants to do with it. I don’t agree with it either but I can think of a bunch of other pople that are doing worse things with thier body than being a glutton. Hopefully him making himself a guinea pig does not backfire on him.

Gloria October 20, 2011 - 10:47 PM

I just looked at this guy’s website…I really do believe that his heart is in the right place. I don’t know if I agree with the decision to actually make himself unhealthy, as this affects both him AND his family, but I do believe that he is a compassionate person that just wanted to find a way to relate to his clients. His last blog post was really kind of sad, because through this journey, he has lost so much: his self control, his self esteem, his ability to play with his kids, and an easier relationship with his wife. He understands that this is all temporary, but even still, the pain he is feeling is real. I think I will start following his blog to see how this all plays out.

Eva October 21, 2011 - 8:25 AM

Isn’t this what the man who made “Supersize Me” did?

I think my problem is that there’s more to eating unhealthy than just eating unhealthy foods. Sometimes unhealthy is all that’s there. For example, in the working class neighborhood where I live in NYC, there are pastry and muffin carts by the school and hospital. But in the more upper class area where I work, there are fruit and vegetable stands in front of the school and hospital.

Erika Nicole Kendall October 21, 2011 - 8:33 AM

Spurlock? Not quite. He ate McDonalds for 30 days, but that’s disputed… for various reasons, smh.

Michelle of Chellbellz October 22, 2011 - 10:37 PM

While he did eat that for 30 days, bad calories are still that, no matter if he ate McDonalds for 30 days, or alternated and ate some KFC in there, my sister basically eats junk all day long! doesn’t matter what form, or order it’s in, its still crap food, she is gaining everyday, no matter what i do. If he went and ate some other junk and equaled out to the average amount of calories an unhealthy american takes in then whats the difference?

I don’t agree that unhealthy is always whats there, even here in the roughest parts of Southeast, the corner stores sell cheap fruit, and veggies…it’s when people have no interest in them that it goes up a little. I think that people have the power to say, I’m not eating it, and put these places out of business. I dont know ever since i’ve been following this blog I literally will go hungry before i’m “forced” to buy a sugary snack, if i can’t find fruit, I’ll ask, why don’t you have it? Then someone next week there is fruit floating around. Not saying it’s all easy, but it certainly helps to speak up and work around it.

Cherished October 21, 2011 - 11:37 AM

Sounds extreme…but how many of us have looked at personal trainers and felt like they really don’t understand the struggle. It’s like he will understand the struggle at every level. It’s kind of like the extreme experiements where a person of another color changes to a person of color and feels first hand what that experience is like. Something that you can’t just study or read about…..or When a person wears a fat suit and make up and walks down the street and really feels what it’s like to one carry extra weight but more importantly how people view you when you are that size and how you view yourself. These personal testimonies need to be shared so that we can all learn from them.

Michelle of Chellbellz October 22, 2011 - 10:39 PM

Agreed, can’t really get a feel for it unless you put yourself in that persons shoes literally. I think he will prove a great point if he manages to lose the weight.

Deandra October 22, 2011 - 10:52 PM

I am going to get fit with him Erika! I am waiting on Nov 7th and I have bells on right now!!!! I know that men lose weight faster than women, but in this case he will journal and I like that part of the process. I just heard about him and he is trying to understand the excuses. All of us have not been overweight our entire lives and I wouldn’t know how to help someone who grew up fat as a child. Now as a military wife in her 20’s, I’m your girl! Sometimes getting to the right place is just about motivation.

Kelekona October 23, 2011 - 1:01 PM

I think he’ll have a bit of an easier time because he’ll remember what it is to be fit, and know what a runner’s high feels like. Still, it’s an interesting experiment.

Angela Mays November 11, 2011 - 12:43 AM

He’s a personal trainer and knows what it takes to lose weight and get back in shape. I cant believe he wld go frm a 6 pack like that to that just to see what’s its like. I dont think I wld ever want to go backwards once I get to my goal even if it’s to see what its like. I wish him the best!!

Molly February 18, 2012 - 3:39 PM

I just saw the first video on the front page of his blog. He kicks off the experiment by eating a dozen donuts. Ok, maybe he understands how unrealistic that is and he’s going above and beyond to really pack on the pounds, but it actually offended me. I am 335 pounds and I have NEVER eaten a dozen donuts! I might eat three, and feel terrible about it. But usually, on the rare occasion that I’m surrounded by donuts, it’ll be more like 1 or two. It just bothers me because I feel like this is how fit people see me. They assume I’m stuffing donuts down my throat. I really don’t know how I feel about this guy. If he’s really trying to understand what it’s like, then I’m impressed. If he’s doing it just to prove that he can lose the weight in six months, so it must not be that hard for someone whose been overweight their whole life, then I’m pissed.

Michelle May 3, 2012 - 9:55 AM

This is like the “natural” women who relax their hair and transition back to natural to teach other women how to go through the process. Except your hair wont kill you.

This also ins’t unlike the guy from Supersize me and what he did.

My concern is that even though he plans for this to be temporary, can there be any permanent damage done? My mom was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, for example, and even losing 150lbs didn’t help. Weight loss doesnt immediately cure all cases of high blood pressure either. I didn’t develop HBP until after my surgery, which was odd as hell for me.

My other concern is the “Hey if I can do it so can you” mentality that he seems to be promoting. I’m glad he identifies the struggles that the average person deals with emotionally and physiologically, but I have some serious issues with that whole idea that if one can do it everyone can. Even with my own journey, I tell people they have to find their own path. When it comes to exercise, I’m like hell yeah if I was 406 lbs once and finally go moving, you probably can too, but my discussions also examine the nuances of exercise culture and our aversion to it.

I’m not sure I’d take those risks, especially not being a spring chicken anymore… but maybe he will develop an empathy that most people don’t have for overweight folks along the way

Rachelle November 15, 2012 - 9:33 PM

I’ve seen this before. He did this experiment last year and published a book about it in June 2012. I sort of feel like it is gimmicky and could lead to lots of “he did it, so can you!” comments. But, I think he discovered a lot of things that correlate with the experiences of people who have been overweight for a long time. Namely, his food addictions. So, I think it could be positive. I still don’t think it is the same as a person who has been overweight for years. I gained weight after puberty and most of it during/after college. I know my experience is still very different from someone who has been overweight their entire lives.

LA Red July 11, 2013 - 12:35 AM

I thought I was tripping thinking he did this already. Whew, thought I was crazy. I don’t get why he’s doing it again. That can not be healthy. I don’t know what else can happen. He already knows how crappy he started treating his wife and kids, how lethargic he became and how his body had changed after he lost the weight. Sounds like a gimmick to me too.

Aundra January 11, 2013 - 5:29 AM

I get SO tired of the “If I can do it, you can do it”. We are all different in chemical structure, body, and genetics to say the least.

If he wants to do this to prove a point to himself, let the man do it. He has the tools to recondition his body and mind. From what I see, age has nothing to do with a person choosing to live a fit lifestyle. People who are considered “healthy” by appearance fall dead too. So then what??

Ceej July 10, 2013 - 9:50 PM

I think there is some merit to this experiment. I’ve worked with many different trainers for various sports and for weight loss over the past 25 years. You can tell the difference between a trainer who’s always been thin/fit or is naturally skinny and someone who’s had to lose a significant amount of weight. The latter is a bit more sympathetic to your weight-loss journey, the former…not so much. You know the difference between a teacher who just “gets” math and doesn’t understand why you don’t get it too, and the teacher who struggled with math as a kid and works to help you understand the subject. That’s what I want: trainer who’s been “through the fire”, one understands what you mean when you say “i just want a cookie!”. Ya know?

Andrea July 11, 2013 - 12:58 AM

@Molly, I’m not sure why you’re offended. So you haven’t eaten a dozen doughnuts and you’re 335 lbs…OK. Substitute your addiction. A whole pizza? Bucket of wings? An entire Entenmann’s Louisiana Crunch cake? I’m 245 lbs. I’ve eaten a quart of ice cream in one night, effortlessly. Mounds of mac and cheese…no problem. Congratulations if you don’t have a addiction/trigger food. But most of us do.

Christi July 11, 2013 - 1:26 AM

He lost the weight and got back to his pre weight gain stats. That was a year ago. I can’t find anything more recent. He said at the conclusion of his experiment that he had more of an understanding of the emotional and mental aspects of weight loss. Obviously, he had a very fit and healthy starting point to get back to. For people who have been overweight their whole lives, they don’t have that. It’s difficult to even imagine that you can ever get there. That being said, I appreciate what he was trying to do…to understand what it’s like for his clients. But now I’d like to hear how the last year has gone for him. Is it more difficult to maintain his level of fitness. After a year, does he still crave the sweets and carbs? The “success” story doesn’t interest me as much as the story of how that success is maintained.

Erika Nicole Kendall July 11, 2013 - 9:44 AM

Didn’t he write a book about his experiences?

Whitney September 24, 2013 - 3:13 PM

Wow, this is so interesting! Kuddos to him to have the desire to really understand where his clients are coming from.

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