Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Epic Gains & Epic Losses: (Fit 2) "Fat 2 Fit"

A few weeks ago a fitness fanatic friend on Facebook shared a link to an article on Yahoo! The article was about this guy, Drew, who is a fitness trainer and someone who has always been fit. Super interesting right? Aren’t those guys a dime a dozen? But this is where things are a bit different than your normal Yahoo! fitness article telling you how to “Lose the Last 10” or to “Eat These Five Foods for Better Health.” Drew started a 12 month journey where for the first 6 months he would eat whatever he wanted, no restrictions, and refrain from exercise. Then for the last 6 months he would revert back to his “old ways,” eating well and exercising regularly, in an effort to get his old body back (an come full circle). All along the way he has been documenting the changes (he is currently only days away from the start of the “Fat-2-Fit” stage). Now, in no way do I feel like this guy needs any more exposure that he’s been getting (he’s been on The Tonight Show and Good Morning America, and getting all kinds of internet love; he's doing just fine), but I am really interested in his mission and the motivations behind it so I felt that I needed to share.

On his website Drew says this of the mission:

“This is my story of how I plan on going from being obsessed with being fit, to fat in 6 months and how I plan on showing everyone how to get back to fit again in 6 more months. My diet will be unrestricted and I will refrain from any exercise during my fat stage. I plan on putting on around 50-60 pounds. After those 6 months, I will be teaching people how to get back in shape by allowing everyone to follow my specific meal plans and workout plans on this site. I will be documenting my progress every step of the way and blogging about it, from weekly pics, measurements, and even allowing people to decide what fatty foods I should partake of during my fat stage.”

There are a lot of reasons to find this experiment interesting. But what drew me in was the ability to see someone roughly my size (very similar measurements, he’s just more muscular and has a lower body fat percentage) balloon to where I used to be (I admit there is a bit of a morbid curiosity involved) and then to make the journey all the way back again. You never really get to see that process, usually it’s just before and after pictures. And, I suppose his mission/blog is very similar to mine, in a way, so it’s obviously a subject I am interested in.

But, this is where I really get interested. What I really wonder and will be waiting to see is: will he ever get back to his original fitness level? Will he be able to get rid of all of the weight he packed on? Will it only take him 6 months to lose the 75+ pounds he has already gained? It took me 2 years total to go from around 250 to 185 pounds, so I am curious to see how he fares. I am curious to see what speed bumps he will hit. After being fat for only 6 months will the transition be as daunting as it is for those of us who grew up overweight or have been for large portions of our lives? Is the emotional weight of that life experience even present in his case? How can you compare 20 years of body shame with a few months worth? Maybe you can’t.

I definitely find what Drew is doing is quite noble and applaudable. For a trainer, someone who is devoting their life to fitness and helping others achieve their fitness goals, the ability not just to empathize with an obese patient, but to be able to say, “I’ve been there, you can do it too,” is reassuring and actually priceless.

What really excites me is the “Fat 2 Fit” stage. I am looking forward to seeing what his meal plans are like. I want to see just how much (or how little) he is eating. I am looking forward to seeing his workouts and what they are composed of. Will it be tons of cardio or lots of weight training (he has lost a lot of his muscle over the last 6 months I would imagine)? And I am looking forward to seeing his emotional/psychological changes and struggles along the way. Oh, and I really want to see if he is able to get his six-pack back (because if he does it gives me hope!).

This is going to be interesting.


P.S. The "Fat Queer: Fat" pictures are not actually me at my heaviest, I plan on showing some of those but in order to do so I need to get them from my parent's house and scan them. Though the ones that I did use are still a pretty good illustration of just how large I was.