'It was really hard on our marriage': Wife of super-fit trainer who gained and lost 72lbs in bid to empathise with clients reveals emotional toll of radical experiment
19:27 GMT, 4 June 2012
The personal trainer who gained 72lbs, in a bid to empathise with his clients, has revealed how he and his wife were stunned by the emotional toll it took on their marriage.
Drew Manning, 30, from Eagle Mountain, Utah, went from rippling muscles and a 34in waist to an obese 263lbs six moths ago, to better understand how it would feel to lose it.
In an interview today with Good Morning America to show how quickly he had returned to his former glory, wife Lynn described how radically her husband's personality had changed with his body.
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Still together: Drew Manning's wife told ABC how hard it was to watch her the personal trainer pile on 72lbs in six months and how he became a different person because of the weight gain
Though the experiment was inspired by physical appearance, Mrs Manning admitted that her husband, a usually hands-on father, became lazy.
'I was shocked because I really thought this was only going to be a physical transformation, that Drew was going to pack on the weight and lose it because it was “on purpose”,' the mother-of-two said.
'The changes that happened in him and him becoming lazy, not helping around the house, being a great father like he used to be… It was hard, it was really hard on our marriage to see that happen.'
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After what has been an emotional journey for both him and his wife, Mr Manning has detailed the year-long experience in a book set to launch tomorrow entitled Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75lbs on Purpose.
Over the course of six months last year, the outdoors enthusiast survived on a diet of burgers, deserts, white bread, processed foods and soda and admitted he quickly became accustomed to his new diet and the epic portions on his plate.
He was soon so unhealthy and hampered by his new hulking physique that chasing his two-year-old daughter around the kitchen left him panting for breath and chafing.
Tight squeeze: Mrs Manning said that her husband would get jealous and depressed that she was able to workout and he wasn't while he was putting on weight
Oaf: She recalled how lazy and lethargic Mr Manning became on account of his weight gain and how he stopped helping with the children and with chores around the house like he had done before
Mrs Manning, also a fitness fan, found her husband hard to deal with throughout the process, complaining at the time: 'He's grumpy, he has no endorphins, he's constantly miserable – the hardest part for me is that he's so depressed, he's constantly complaining – he's jealous of me because I get to work out.
'I tell him I'm sick of him putting himself down the whole time. It's a state of mind – people who have confidence are more attractive and his confidence levels have gone way down.'
Push! The personal trainer whose lean, muscular body weighed 193lbs at the beginning of the weight gain challenge, found it hard to get back to the gym again with his new physique and lethargy
Pull! Hardest of all was the fact that he had to modify his exercises to push ups on his knees and assisted pull-ups all of which made him very nervous as he had been so strong prior to the weight gain
Acknowledging that Mr Manning was not the only member of the household to suffer from the momentous weight gain and subsequent implications, Lynn also has a chapter in her husbands book.
It's called 'The “ick” Factor'.
Fit again: The personal trainer chronicled his experience and how he shed the 72lbs in a new book out tomorrow
'People joke around but it wasn't about his man boobs or that he stopped “manscaping”, that really wasn't what it was about.
'It was about the emotional changes, him becoming a different person,' she explained to ABC.
And it wasn't until she pointed out how useless around the house he had become with the children and domestic chores that the former muscle man realised just how acutely he had been affected.
He recalled: 'I started snoring, I was chafing… I had less energy so it did become exhausting and I could see how it affected our relationship because of that. That's where the biggest surprise was.'
But the sacrifices made by the pair paid off in spades for the personal trainer who understood for the first time how difficult it could be for an overweight person to face the challenge of working out and eating healthily.
With his new, rotund body and added weight, the one-time workout expert was forced to do push-ups on his knees and assisted pull-ups – a degrading situation for the fitness pro.
With an unfamiliar nervousness to return to the gym he confessed: 'For the first time in my life I was humbled.'
Using this invaluable insight into weight loss, Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit includes not only details of his story but exercises, meal plans and tips to inspire those who believe that healthy living is an unachievable goal.
WHAT HE LEARNED: DREW MANNING'S TOP FIVE WEIGHT-LOSS TIPS
Beware: Granola looks healthy, but can be loaded with calories, Mr Manning warns
Schedule breaks so that inability to stick to the routine occasionally doesn't feel like a failure.
Prepare, prepare, prepare your meals in advance to avoid giving into the temptations of fast food that are everywhere.
Don't assume that because it's low-fat or fat-free it's good for you. Sugary cereals and granola bars, juices and Ramen noodles can all end up on the hips.
Understanding the psychological battles that come with weight loss (plateaus, food addictions, fear of being judged at the gym, etc.) is a step close to overcoming them.
Don't focus too much on weight – you can lose weight in an unhealthy way – but focus more on becoming medically healthy first.