Could You Tell Us About Yourself And The Journey You Went On In Fit2Fat2Fit?
I’m a 31 year old Father of two beautiful daughters (3 and 1 years old). I’ve been married to my beautiful wife for 7 years now. I grew up playing football and wrestling my whole life and got into personal training about 5 years ago. So, I’ve always been active and fit and I viewed “Being Fit” as something easy. All you had to do was eat healthy and exercise. So, when some clients would admit to me they had to have their soda or cereal and just couldn’t give those things up, I would get frustrated with them. With my “black and white” mentality, I felt like there was a disconnect there with some of my clients and so I thought I had to maybe learn something new. That’s where the idea of Fit2Fat2Fit came to my mind. It instantly clicked and I felt like it would help give me a better understanding. So, my idea of Fit2Fat2Fit was to go without exercise for 6 months while eating a totally unrestricted diet. Then after those 6 sedentary months, I would then try and lose the weight and get my old physique back. That was the plan in a nutshell, but I was totally unprepared for the psychological battles I would encounter on this journey.
The Question Most People Would Want To Know Is, Why?
I did this for 3 main reasons:
1) To gain a better understanding of what it was like to be overweight so I could better relate to my clients
2) To hopefully inspire people, in a different and unique way, to live a healthier lifestyle
The Next Question Is, How? How Did You Lose All That Weight?
1) My first month from Fat2Fit I actually skipped exercise to prove a point of how nutrition is key when it comes to actually seeing results. In that first 30 days of eating clean I lost 19 lbs and my blood work all returned back to normal levels.
2) I created a workout plan week to week that I felt would give me the optimum results. I focused on working out 45 minutes to 1 hour a day, 5 days a week. I didn’t want to do anything extreme and workout 3+ hours a day like you see on tv. It’s unrealistic to be able to keep that up. You can get the same results if you work out “smarter” instead of “longer”.
3) I focused on the mental and emotional struggles as well. I realized how important a support system was. I found that declaring your goals and intentions motivated and kept me accountable. I had to tackle the fear of the gym and judgement, etc. I couldn’t just ignore all these struggles and emotional battles so I found what I needed to do to tackle them and overcome them.
How Did You Plan The Whole Thing?
Obviously, it had to pass the “wife test”. I ran it by her and once I got her approval (after some serious convincing) we started to plan out the details of how the Fat2Fit stage would happen and then how I would “walk the walk” in the Fat2Fit stage. The good thing is that I was flexible and I adjusted and tweaked as I went along, listening to feedback of fans to find out what they wanted. It really wasn’t “planned” out. I needed to remain open to doing things different once I really was in the situation (since I’ve never been there).
What Were The Biggest Differences You Noticed In Yourself As The Weight Piled On?
There were a lot of differences physically, emotionally, and mentally. I became short of breath, tired, a bit moody at times. I lacked self-confidence around my wife. It caused tension in our relationship when I became less helpful with the kids and around the house. I started to feel uncomfortable in public wondering if people were looking at me or judging me. I also started to really enjoy the foods that I thought were gross at first. They became addictive. I had to have them. They made me feel better. I finally started to see what people meant by “comfort food”.
Was There Any Problems You Faced Which You Didn’t Expect To Encounter?
Many. I think because I did it “on purpose” I just didn’t expect the emotional and mental battle I’d have. I didn’t expect for it to affect me so much as a Father and a Husband. I didn’t know I’d be so self-conscious not only in public, but even in front of my wife. I didn’t think I’d make my 2-year-old daughter cry because I was too tired to run with her when I was at my largest. Those kind of psychological challenges were not expected, but definitely humbling and eye opening at the same time.
How Did Your Friends & Family React To Your Change?
All of them knew about the “journey”. Many were worried for my health of course. My wife was the one most impacted as she started taking on most of the household responsibilities because I didn’t have the energy like I had before (to help clean and play with the kids more). A lot of friends couldn’t believe their eyes as I gained the weight because they didn’t believe that I would be able to get fat in the first place. Many believed I was as fit as I was because of “genetics” and that my “genetics” wouldn’t allow me to get fat, which was pretty laughable as I gained over 70 pounds.
Did You Feel Any Difference From Strangers? Maybe Less Respected?
I felt judged when I was grocery shopping. I would see women look at my stomach and then look at what was in the cart. It bothered me. I wanted to just tell everyone “Hey, I’m normally fit and healthy”… but I knew this was part of the journey and just tried to move past it. Sometimes when I went out with my wife (who is thin and cute) I would see people looking at us and I would immediately think “I know they are probably wondering what she’s doing with someone like me.” My wife thought I was just making it all up and didn’t notice but it felt true to me. Like I’ve said from the beginning though, I don’t pretend to know what it’s like for someone who’s been overweight their whole life. I only did this for 6 months, so there’s no way I could ever know what it would be like to be overweight for years, but at least I can say with confidence that I definitely have a better understanding than before.
How Did You Feel About Yourself At Your Heaviest Weight?
Part of me was pretty sad. I won’t say I was depressed, but I definitely had my low moments. I knew my wife was unhappy with my low self-esteem and lack of energy. I felt like a deadbeat dad because I couldn’t chase after my 2 year old or play with her longer than a few minutes before feeling exhausted. At the same time I did at times think “well I’m not THAT big”. I think we start to become used to it and then we sit in denial.
What Where The Adverse Health Effects? Did Your Doctors Try And Stop You?
Luckily I had a great doctor monitoring me throughout (Dr. Warren Willey, DO in Pocatello, ID). We monitored everything throughout this journey (Cholesterol, Testosterone, Triglyceride, Glucose, BP, etc.). My blood pressure got up to 167/113 at one point, and I developed a fatty liver, and a few other factors did become in that “dangerous” category, but luckily I only did this for 6 months.
Being on the Dr. Oz show also opened up my eyes to the damage I was doing to my organs. I think a lot of us can see what’s happening on the outside, but the most dangerous thing is what you’re doing to your insides. Fortunately, the body is resilient and if treated correctly, can correct some of the damage done from living a sedentary lifestyle.
During The Fit2Fat Stage Did You Ever Consider Stopping Before The Conclusion?
There were a couple of times I really sat back and thought “what am I doing?!” When my health took a scary turn for the worse and my blood pressure was through the roof. When my wife was miserable or two year old cried because I couldn’t play with her. I did think maybe I bit off more then I could chew. But I had a commitment to my followers and I kept moving forward.
Drew’s Fit2Fat2Fit Youtube Channel
What Did You Miss Most About Being Ripped & Healthy?
Mostly how I “felt”. I felt happier; I was less stressed from eating better and working out. I had a TON more energy. I liked how I was a helpful husband and father. I missed just feeling good about myself both inside and out.
Did You Enjoy Eating Whatever You Wanted? At first, yes. It was so different eating anything and everything whenever I wanted. It was so “convenient” to run through a drive thru instead of making a meal or packing a cooler to work, etc. After a while because I felt so sick it started to get old. I still had my favourite foods like cinnamon toast crunch, zingers, and my go-to soda Mt. Dew.
Was It Hard At All To Get Motivated To Get Back In Shape?
Big time. It was such a twist because it was hard NOT to work out at first and then by the time I have to go back I just didn’t want to. It seems like a lot of work and I literally was exhausted walking up the stairs. I didn’t want to be seen at the gym (felt embarrassed knowing I couldn’t lift what I used to and all my workout clothes were crazy tight on me with my gut hanging out). Plus, the withdrawal from the sugars foods were difficult.
How Was Training When You First Started Back?
What Changes In Diet Did You Make From Your Bulk Stage To Cut Stage?
Pretty much a complete 180. When I was gaining I was eating the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet). I ate easy, processed foods like pasta, burgers, chicken nuggets, sandwiches on white bread, cereal, granola bars, etc. When I went back to eating healthy I ate whole foods. I ate lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, protein bars and shakes, etc.
Could You Give Us A Typical Daily Diet When You Where Putting On Weight?
Breakfast: Bowl of cereal.
Snack Granola bar and some juice
Lunch: Couple peanut butter sandwiches on white bread with a glass of soda.
Snack: Chips or crackers
Dinner: White Pasta, garlic bread, another soda.
Sometimes I would add some dessert like a cookie or two.
Late Dinner Snack: Bowl of cereal before bed.
Could You Give Us A Typical Daily Diet When You Where Losing Weight?
Breakfast: Spinach Protein Shake (Even Whoopi and Dr. Oz loved this shake)
Snack: Handful of blueberries and a handful of almonds
Lunch: Turkey Salad: Mixed greens or spinach with all the veggies you want, some turkey meat, and a vinaigrette dressing.
Snack: Quest Protein Bar and small handful of berries of your choice
Dinner: A portion of a tasty Chicken Recipe (or other lean meat or fish) with two large cups of steam vegetables. I also add a pre and post workout protein shake if it’s on a workout day.
Try Drew’s Famous Spinach Protein Shake
Makes 1 1/2 servings
3 cups spinach
2 cups ice
2 tbsp of peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high speed, until completely mixed.
Pour shake into glass and enjoy!
What Do You Say To People Who Question A Person Purposefully Gaining So Much Weight?
I tell them I understand it sounds crazy… frankly it is. I risked my health and I wouldn’t advise others to do this as an experiment. However, with the rate of obesity I felt if I even helped a few people become healthy it would be worth it.
What Do You Say To People Who Want To Know How You Lost All That Weight?
I tell them everything is listed for free on my website (www.fit2fat2fit.com). I have the detailed meal plans and workouts I used online for all to view and use for free. For those not Internet savvy my book (Fit2Fat2Fit) goes through the emotional and mental obstacles with suggestions on how to overcome them along with three month’s worth of meal and workout plans and recipes at the back.
What’s Your Best Tips For Losing Weight & Being Healthier?
No matter WHAT program you’re on, no matter how you’re working out or what “diet” you believe in you need to overcome the emotional and mental aspects of being overweight or else nothing will stick! You have to find something that will be a LIFESTYLE, NOT a diet! Plus there’s a difference between just weight loss and being healthier. Make sure that you focus on becoming medically healthy first, and then weight loss and six pack abs will be a by-product of living that healthy lifestyle over time.
What Have You Learned From The Experience?
That losing weight isn’t black and white, nor is it just about the physical (meal plans and exercises). Frankly, it’s not as easy as flipping a switch and doing the things you know you’re supposed to. It’s hard, really hard at times and it’s way more mental and emotional than it is just physical. However, I learned that if you can overcome the mental and emotional challenges, that’s the key to making it a lifestyle rather than just another diet.
There’s Been Questions Online, Wondering If You Would Do Fit2Skinny2Fit, Is This Something You Would Consider Doing?
I have considered doing another journey showing how to gain muscle mass. I know a lot of men actually struggle with this. I’ve worked with several clients and helped them build mass actually. I think I will do this and some other mind-blowing journeys in the near future, so stay tuned!
Has Your Life Changed Since Completing This Whole Journey?
Yes. My wife and I work on the site full time now. We had to quit our full time jobs to take this on, but it’s what we’re passionate about. To know what I have done has inspired thousands all over the world to live healthier lifestyles makes ALL of it worth it. So I continue to hopefully inspire others to change their lifestyle and then have them inspire others as they embrace this lifestyle change!