Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Personal Trainer Drew Manning Intentionally Gains 70 Pounds in 6 Months

When I called Drew Manning, he answered the phone noticeably winded, with a couple of apologies about how he’d just run down the stairs and was currently under the weather.

“I haven’t been sick in years,” he told me in a raspy voice.

This might not seem out of character for most people, but for Drew, it’s far from anything he’s ever known. Almost six months ago, Drew had a body most men dream about and women fawn over. His 6’2″ frame weighed 193 pounds, weight that had very little to do with fat and very much to do with a chiseled frame. Today, Drew weighs 263 pounds and his body resembles that of a couch potato.

This past spring, the part-time personal trainer realized he’d been fit and healthy his entire life, and while he helps many clients find their way to fitness, he’s never really walked in their shoes.

“My passion is fitness and I wanted to find more people to influence,” Drew told us in a recent interview. “What if I got fat and showed people how to get in shape? It could be a good learning experience.”

So Drew embarked on a journey that some DIR fans have called idiotic, ridiculous, and crazy. Since May 7, 2011, Drew has intentionally gained 68 pounds, and is documenting the entire experience on his site Fit2Fat2Fit. This is certainly not a permanent lifestyle change for the husband and father, as two weeks from now he’ll turn things around and start working to lose the weight and regain his fit body.

The plan is to also document the entire journey back to fit, as Drew will share all of his meal plans and fitness regimens on his site. “If I can get even a few people to live healthier because of [this] it will be worth it,” he told us. “You’ll be able to see exactly what I’m doing with full access to meal plans and workouts.”

Some have criticized the initiative, including both of his doctors (who he has worked with closely). However, in talking with Drew, his motives are genuine and impressive to a point. Sure, he’s putting years of healthy living aside and endangering his health, but what he’ll have learned from this and be able to put back in to his clients will be invaluable.

Aside from the striking physical change in Drew’s body, medically his body has also taken quite a beating. He now has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a waist measurement of 47.5″ (up from 34.5″), three of the five risk factors for metabolic syndrome, which puts him 200% more likely to have cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

In the beginning, Drew says he was excited about the possibility of eating without restriction. “I was excited to just eat candy and donuts,” he told us. However, it didn’t take long for him to realize the effect these processed foods were having on his body. “The way I felt after eating them made me feel gross.” He’s also discovered that these foods can be addictive, as he told us he never thought of processed foods being addictive. “There’s a mental aspect. It’s eye-opening.”

You could tell Drew was pleased to see that his Fit2Fat2Fit journey wasn’t interfering with the health of his wife and daughter too much. He said “I’ve never seen my wife eat so healthy or workout so hard!” When it comes to meal time, he said he usually prepares two meals – something like boxed macaroni and cheese for himself and a healthier meal for his wife and daughter. Although he admits that “sometimes it’s easier” to let everyone eat the same thing.

He’s also not used to being without the energy needed to play with his daughter when she’s ready for play time. In a post called Moments of Truth, Drew wrote “This is probably something I’ve been creeping towards for awhile, and a true “A ha” moment finally occurred. Courtesy of my daughter, of course.” The emotional toll of his journey finally caught up with him. “In truth, I can’t really say I’ve been truly depressed so far during this crazy journey.  I’ve had moments of sadness, self-consciousness, or lack of confidence, but I can’t say I’ve been near to shedding tears.  Until now…”

“After 15 “laps” around the kitchen, I was winded and my chafing (TMI anyone?) had started to become a problem. Thinking twice about trying to get her to understand why chafing is a bad thing I stopped running around. My daughter was just getting started.  It started innocent enough – cute little chants of “Daddy, run with me” filled the room. After telling her that I was too tired, the cute chants turned into screams. Clearly trained by her mother, she then employed the “puppy dog look”.  When her cute expression did nothing to provide me extra energy, the look turned to tears.  And beyond thinking about trying to run, or soothing her, I felt a deep disgust – at what I’d become. At what I was losing as a result of what I’d been gaining in weight.”

One commenter on his site, Dave, left this note of encouragement in response to the Moments of Truth post: “Remember this when you first get back to the gym and the treadmill seems harder than you remember.

By the end of October Drew will embark on the much more difficult arm of his journey, trying to lose the almost 70 pounds he’s gained, rebuild his muscle and endurance, and his proclivity to choose a bag of baby carrots over a bag of Cheetos.

October 18th, 2011

> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 1 of 1, 32 total comments)


Andy, so you're saying the there are a population of obese people that were once lean that now will get discriminated by you because they were not born with fat issues. You know know people those are? People are ripped in college and and now are obese and you're saying they're not legitimately obese and that if they just work out they'll have an easier time than you?

What the eff kinda messed up thinking is that?

Seriously listen to your logic?

posted Jun 5th, 2012 2:59 pm



posted May 29th, 2012 3:14 am


Initially I was inspired by what Drew is doing. Then I went to his website and quickly realized that he promoting the use of two breakfast supplements that will cost you $200/month. Those big containers are only 15 days worth of product. Anyway, there's NO REASON he should be promoting any supplement. He can easily get back into shape using whole foods and I seriously doubt he'll really be using these products, but I'm sure he's getting reimbursed by the supplement company for every purchase. I'd have more respect for Drew if he came clean about his financial relationship with WholeBody Green (

posted Nov 1st, 2011 11:19 pm

Tim Gould

I've been following Drew and look forward in losing over 100 pounds with him and the help of Diets in Review!!!! I have been struggling the past 30 years of my life and want to see exactly who I was meant to be underneath all the body fat.

posted Oct 25th, 2011 1:36 am


Very inspiring. I hope when you start to lose the weight you show us how you do it and what the right foods to eat and exercises to keep us inspired. I have tried gym after gym and diet after diet. I was about to give up when I came across your story on GMA. Please keep us informed

posted Oct 23rd, 2011 10:01 pm

cassandra davis


posted Oct 20th, 2011 3:51 pm


I find Drew story very inspirational. I do have one request for Drew however. Once he starts his journey back, I would hope that when he starts doing his exericies that he start of slow and work his way up so people can work out and diet with him without feeling like its too much from the start. Also I am wondering if he will doing his workouts at a gym or at home. I will stay tuned at

posted Oct 20th, 2011 11:55 am


I love this and think it's a great way to show it can be done!

posted Oct 20th, 2011 9:19 am


Sounds like Andy is jealous he didn't think of this first! Anyone resorting to name calling and slamming people has serious issues

posted Oct 20th, 2011 9:10 am



Wow man, do I sense some bitter resentment over a personal fault? Why do you feel the need to assume that everyone is stupid and/or blind to what's in front of them? I hope you don't have children so you won't distort their minds into having a permenant negative attitde towards everything in life.

You make a whole lot of assumptions with absolutely no proof to back any of your claims. You know what they say about ASSume. Keep your negativity and continue living in your closet. Some people out there actually still give a damn about the rest of the world and are trying to help.

posted Oct 19th, 2011 10:34 pm

Ann Moss

I think what he is doing is great, he is a trainer and knows what he is doing. And for those that say he doesnt and is only out for publicity are just mad because they can't do it. This is very challenging and for him to lose the weight will still be difficult. He is going to great lengths to see how to help others and I approve. It is all on him and he obviously knows the risks. I am a trainer as well and when you are passionate about something you go for it. Whatever it takes, This country is uneducated and fat. We need someone to take a stand.

posted Oct 19th, 2011 7:39 pm


Drew I take my hat off for you on this journey, I'm sure you will be back to your normal body with no problems, and the fact that you had risked your health to show overweight individuals that you have been in their shoes somehow and tell them it is possible to lose weight. Other professionals in other fields should do the same.

posted Oct 19th, 2011 6:56 pm


ANDY, shut your face! What this guy is doing is truly inspirational to so many people. Gaining the weight is the easy part. Losing 70 pounds is going to be hard for ANYONE, even this guy! Even if he hasn't had the weight on for very long. His goal was to put himself into an obese person's body and he has succeeded. The more difficult part of his journey is ahead of him, putting himself back into a fit person's body. I will be following this story and rooting for him every step of the way. If anyone is a it's you, Andy!

posted Oct 19th, 2011 5:35 pm


I have been interested in Drew when I first heard about him a few months ago. He seems like a really great guy and does not seem to be doing all this for money. For someone to have a passion all their lives for being fit, it would be a struggle to just give that up for 6 months. Those who have been overweight knows that once you have the cravings for different things, it is hard to give it up and start eating healthy again. Drew seems like he is sincerely doing this challenge to help encourage others to lose weight and is allowing them to follow him along without charging money or donations at all. He is trying to show people that instead of wasting their money on these drugs/hormones/different diets that they waste money on and its only temporary, he is willing to to show you the true way to lose weight and get into better shape then before. Yes there are others that it will be harder for, but at least he is willing to give a full 6 months of his time (free) to show you how to do it without asking for anything in return. People shouldnt diss on people who are trying to help as that becomes the problem in the first place of not wanting help. Give him a chance and a sincere try and it will help! Its all about eating less/healthy, and moving more! I know, I have been in those shoes before...its hard to do, but it is possible and there are endless benefits when its done! Its like giving up an addiction like cigarettes or drugs or drinking, you need to start somewhere and with a support system to follow and encourage you, it can be done, its just a matter of sacrifice and a willingness to want to!!!

posted Oct 19th, 2011 4:49 pm

Jennifer G. Ford

? In my opinion he is just wasting his time! I 2yrs ago at 31yrs old and weighing in at 375lbs, took a 10lb weight loss challenge with a friend. Being mostly obese for my young adulthood and my once 8yr marriage I took the challenge. Well, let me tell you.................My life changed instantly when I went to a spinn class and couldn't keep up with anything they were doing. After the 45min. class I got off the bike and paid for a 6 month membership. First changing my eating habits, to a "Healthy Lifestyle" and working out twice a day without the help of a trainer or nutritionist.............I was down 150lbs. Now the emotional, physical, and mental changes that I went through during that year were like riding a roller coaster that just never ended. At times all I could think about was the times that I was the "Fat" girl with a pretty face, the cute little dresses that I could never fit in, or the jeans that just looked great on other people. I said all of that to say, until one has been obese for a long time span in their life and "REALLY" understand the journey of loosing the weight; they really don't have much of a leg to stand on! Gaining weight for a few months just to try something out, is not a "REAL" weight loss journey. Since then I have become a personal trainer and have helped people through their weight loss journey. I often ask them why they choose to train with me and must of them simply respond by saying, "We see/witnessed what you have done with your body, and believe that you "TRULY" understand." I have loosed more weight since my first year of working out and have helped people transform their lives, by me just simply changing my lifestyle and TRULY understanding the lows and highs that they experience through their new lifestyle change.

posted Oct 19th, 2011 3:49 pm


I am a bit on the fence about this. On one hand, as an obese person myself who understands food addiction, I appreciate his being open about how the "bad" foods have affected him. Unfortunately, many people don't believe food can be addictive and perhaps hearing it from this "normal" person will help others to listen. On the other hand, I hope that his entire stunt is not just for publicity and to bottle some magic potion to cure all ills of the overweight. 6 months and 70 pounds is quite different from a lifetime of struggle.

posted Oct 19th, 2011 3:36 pm


UNETHICAL! Not only is his body programmed to be lean (he obviously knows nothing about science) but he has programmed in his brain the lifestyle commitment and love for the hobbies that make being goal oriented easy. He will have no idea what its like to be the majority of the population that never had the early advantages of good leadership or the chemical imbalances that one aquires from being lazy and under nourished for the majority of his life. This is just his way of gaining publicity, getting a caffeine product endorsement (or fatburner to the uneducated community that is misled into thinking those supplements burn fat) and making something for himself that doesnt require actual hardwork and commitment to his community. It is disgusting to me as a guy that has actually struggled to make a name for himself the right way can be overshadowed by a undereducated, unethical FORCING himself to be fat. His future clients will only get injured and disappointed in their results when he claims that "You too can lose 100lbs a year, just like me". He should never have made it this far. His goal of making a lot of money real fast will be met, at the expense of everyone elses hopes and dreams that they can be just like this punk. If he truly doesnt know what hes doing, I sincerely apologize but he should know that he has never walked in an obese persons shoes!

posted Oct 19th, 2011 1:38 pm


love love love this! This is amazing. I wish every trainer would care about people the way Drew does!

posted Oct 19th, 2011 1:30 pm


My hat off to you Drew , because I am obese and i think what you have done is great. Now,I am sixty-one years of age, but i am going with you all the way for next six months. Congrats!!
BIG MIKE peace out;

posted Oct 19th, 2011 1:28 pm


What Drew is doing is not only inspirational, but also very much needed. You would be surprised how many people believe that getting healthy requires dvd's, designer meals, and credit cards. Drew will show us what he does, what he eats, and the results of his program, and it doesn't cost you a penny. No more excuses. Way to go Drew!

posted Oct 19th, 2011 4:03 am

Richard Collado

I found the story very inspiration

posted Oct 18th, 2011 10:35 pm


thank you Drew for your dedication to keeping people healthy. your dedication is inspiring. i look forward to you the getting fit part...thanks for caring so much about people.

posted Oct 18th, 2011 10:03 pm

Tina Ray

Now this is a trainer that would inspire me! He is a REAL window to get out of the fat world. I want to follow him because he is a person that can understand! Sign me up to his fan club!!!

Thank you Drew for your courageous gifts and talents in helping people!!!

posted Oct 18th, 2011 9:24 pm


Very inspiring, can't wait to watch Drew's fat2fit progress. While certainly unhealthy, and probably just a little bit crazy, he's going to gain invaluable insight into what it's like to struggle with an unhealthy lifestyle. Perhaps he could even write a book about the journey, would be a best seller.

posted Oct 18th, 2011 9:19 pm


I admire what Drew is trying to do and hope that it will inspire some, but in reality his life is fitness so of course being a personal trainer who is able to hit the gym everyday he's going to drop the weight right off.

posted Oct 18th, 2011 8:45 pm


I LOVE that Drew is being so brave to do this! I am overweight and have a hard time getting personal trainers to relate or understand remotely! And you know what Drew, I gave up on losing weight because of the food addition to these "bad foods" but now that I see you could gain it for a cause, I know I can lose it for a good cause(my health/my life cause) So I will be taking off the weight with you and thank you for doing this!! Best of luck my friend!!

posted Oct 18th, 2011 8:07 pm

Ann Moss

I love this. I thought about doing it myself but it is very difficult, I admire this man and I think everyone should read this. I inspire people everyday and I hope this inspires you.

posted Oct 18th, 2011 6:57 pm


Sounds like the script for Super Size Me 2

I'm not sure this is quite the same thing as some of the more obese people out there who haven't really exercised at all... He used to working out, he likes it, even though he's gained a lot of weight his muscles will recover quicker than someone who is trying to build them from scratch... Still, hopefully people will take some inspiration from this, I applaud the effort.

posted Oct 18th, 2011 6:47 pm


I really think this is great. If this guy gets back to look as he did before in six months, then he should bottle his system because it would be bought by many. Including me. I am about 150 pounda over weight. I'm 55 years old and for the next six months starting NOV 1st. I am going to walk, workout every day and eat healthy foods. Only I am not a trainer and I don't know what I am doing. I need someone like this to show me or just tell me what to do. I need to look great again as I did when I was 40. I want to lose weight. I wish I could do this along side of him everyday for six month.

posted Oct 18th, 2011 5:39 pm


I think what Drew is doing is a great motivator. There are so many personal trainers that have never been fat and don't understand how hard it is to loose weight when you have been over weight for such a long time. It will be very interestng to read about his journey to losing the weight and getting back in shape. I am very interested in following his excersice regimen and diet. Way to go Drew!!!

posted Oct 18th, 2011 5:29 pm


this is wild... what a great and unique concept. Would be hilarious if he prefers the unrestricted no exercise regime over healthy and fit doubtful but would be an interesting twist.

posted Oct 18th, 2011 1:31 pm


I love what Drew is doing and I have been following him for a while. I hope that when he starts working out, and getting fit again that he will journal what he is eating, and he will let us know what work he is doing at the gym. I will be able to turn his inspiration into motivation if I know exactly what he is doing, and I can emulate it. :)

posted Oct 18th, 2011 10:44 am


Leave Feedback

Skip the moderation queue by becoming a MyDIR member.

Already a member?

Need to sign up?
It’s free and only it takes a minute.
There are two ways to join:

Or, proceed without an account