Weight loss is not just a physical process of shedding excess weight or gaining muscle. It’s a mental and emotional rollercoaster as well—at least that’s what Drew Manning, an American personal trainer, realised when he decided to put on 60 pounds in a span of six months.
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This wasn’t the first time Manning had conducted such a crazy experiment. According to LadBible, who covered his story, he had both ‘gained and lost’ over 66 pounds in 2014. The reason why he put his body through these extreme fluctuations is because he wanted to understand his clients better. In his book, Fit2Fat2Fit, which details his entire experience, he wrote:
I was convinced people used genetics or similar excuses as a crutch.
You either wanted to be healthy or you didn't.
But upon going through the transformation himself, he realised the weight loss journey is a lot more complicated that just doing exercise and losing a few pounds. It involved dealing with your emotions, your mental health, and your own body image as well. He said:
The biggest thing [I learned] is that it's not just about the physical. It's not just about the meal plan and the workouts and those things. The key is the mental and the emotional issues. I realised those issues are real.
Understanding the ageing body
Now that he’s in his 40s, Manning wanted to retry the same experiment to see if his older age affected the way that he lost weight. So he gained 60 pounds and spent the six consequent months trying to lose the weight. In the end, he found that even at 40, his body responded to his weight loss regime very well. Manning told Muscle and Fitness:
I was also really impressed with how my body responded at 40.
Age is just a number, and although it might be harder for some as they age because of hormones and metabolism changes, it is still possible.