Meet Drew Manning – the personal trainer who decided he would intentionally gain weight in order to truly understand the weight loss struggles of the average American person.
With him being fit and athletic all his life, his clients often made comments how he could never understand the difficulties they experience when faced with crucial lifestyle changes.
He often failed to motivate them to become more fit – no wonder, because according to his wife, he used to be very judgmental of overweight people. He actually thought they were too lazy or too ignorant to change. Being in shape was such a natural thing for Drew, since his family was very much into fitness, sports and healthy food.
Knowing that something must be wrong with his attitude towards the people whose struggle he had never felt, he figured it was time for a life-changing challenge and defined an unusual goal for himself: unhealthy weight gain. He was rather successful at it – in less than seven months, Drew gained 70 pounds by completely giving up on his gym sessions and consuming junk food and sugary drinks on a daily basis.
Although he was expecting to suffer some health consequences like an increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, Drew wasn’t prepared for the serious emotional distress he was about to experience.
He faced self-image issues and his self-confidence took a lot of beating – he was constantly worrying about the way he looks, which led to a change in the way he presented himself and interacted with others. He had less energy and became lethargic, lazy and irritable. Actually, his wife is the one who made him realize he was going through a psychological transformation as well – he was rather surprised that the effects of being overweight could be so strong on other levels other than the physical one.
Six months and seventy pounds later, he ended his experiment and went back to the gym, only to find out that working out had become harder than ever. He used to love going to the gym, but now he felt terribly anxious to start a new exercise routine – the ex-personal trainer who used to have the ideal ripped physique now had to force his new body to do push-ups on the knees.
Though he returned to his old lifestyle in a few months, he was enriched with a few life lessons from that experience – most importantly about the mental issues that come with being overweight and the amount of effort and motivation one has to put into changing his old ways while having a brain addicted to sugar and other unhealthy stimuli. He finally understood what weight loss really looks like, which made him more competent in helping and supporting others with the same process.
While the line between crazy and inspirational is a rather thin one, we find this story truly amazing.
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