It's awesome to be sitting across fromyou, and your story blows everybody's mind.
Can you share with us a little bitabout your background? Yeah.
So most people know me from myfit too fat to fit journey, which is kind of crazy.
But basically, I had this idea about sevenyears ago where I decided to get fat on purpose.
And now the back story to thatis I grew up my entire life in shape.
I grew up playing football and wrestling.
I grew up in a family of 11 brothers and sisters, we all played sports, and we'reall active.
So for me, I never knew any differently and it was easy to be inshape, for me.
And so I became a personal trainer in 2009 and I started trainingclients and I instantly knew there was a disconnect between them and me, because Icouldn't understand why it was so hard for them just to follow the meal plansthat I gave them and the workouts.
I'm like, "It's easy you just put down thejunk food, you go to the gym.
" It's not that hard.
It's easy for me, why can't whycan't you do it? And and they would tell me, "You know you don't understand, becausefor you.
It's easy and you don't understand how hard it is.
" And so I kindof took that to heart and I thought okay, maybe there's something I need to learnas a trainer to better understand where my clients are coming from.
And I hadthis lightning bolt moment where this idea popped up in my head, and the ideawas to get fat on purpose.
And I remember even googling it to see if anyone haddone this before on purpose at least, and no one had.
And I'm like okay, I've feltcalled to do this, as crazy as it sounded.
So for six months I stopped exercising.
Iate a restricted diet, which mostly consisted of highly processed food.
Ididn't really do the fast food route like Morgan Spurlock, because I thinkmost people saw what that did and we all know fast food is unhealthy for us.
Ifocus on everyday American foods that some of us don't think are that are onthat unhealthy for us, like you know white bread, white pasta, chips, cookies,crackers, sugary cereal, soda juices, granola bars, all those cheap easy foodsthat are affordable at the grocery store.
And I'll be honest with you, they tastereally good.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch is rather the best thing ever out there.
But I ate that for six months and gained 75 pounds of pure fat.
In six months.
– How is that even possible? Like how did your body do that? Was it painful?- (Laughs) It was way harder than I thought it would be.
It was a very humbling experience.
I knew I was gonna gain some weight.
I was expecting maybe 50 or 60 pounds.
Anda lot of people told me I wasn't able to get fat, or they didn't think I was goingto be able to, because my genetics.
But very quickly I was surprised andeveryone else was surprised at how quickly the weight piled on.
Gaining 75pounds in six months was, was hard to do, but the hardest part was the mentalemotional side of this whole transformation.
Physically, I knew wasgonna get man boobs and a big gut and a big butt.
I wasn't prepared for how it wasgonna affect me mentally and emotionally.
– Tell us about it, I'm so curious.
– (Laughs) Yes, so the biggest lesson I took away from all of this was umm, you know, how much oftransformation is meant to an emotional.
So during my journey, as I gained weightpart of my identity, or most of my identity was based on my body.
What my body lookslike.
And I was used to being the the fit guy: six-pack muscles.
And I wasconfident in that.
But once that body was gone, I freakedout and I didn't know who I was anymore.
I wanted to go up to complete strangersand tell them, "Hey here's my before picture, I don't really look like this.
Goto this website, it's just an experiment.
This really isn't me.
" And I wanted totell people that so bad.
And I my self-esteem, my self-confidence, took a hit,because I've never been overweight before.
I didn't know how to handle it.
And this is why this journey was so humbling for me.
It was the mental emotional side of it.
I remember at one point my daughter, who was two years oldat the time, she wanted to play with me.
And I remember I was about 50 pounds or 60pounds overweight at this point.
And she wanted me to chase her around thehouse.
And I came home from work, and I was tired.
Chafing becamean issue and I was running around with her for about a minute, and then I was soexhausted I just sat down on the couch.
And I told her, "Hey Daddy needs to take a break I'm really tired.
And she didn't understand.
She had thesepuppy-dog eyes, and she started to cry.
And she's like come come play with me.
And in that moment, it hit me that you know, there's probably millions of peoplethat can't play with their kids or their grandkids, and not so much because oftheir weight, but because of their health.
and how bad that suckseven though this was an experiment I was doing on purpose it hit me at thatmoment that this journey was becoming more of an a mental emotional journey.
And it was super humbling, and one of the hardest things I've ever done.
– When you put that weight on over those six months, did you put it oneach month like ten pounds? How did it sort of increase? And then when youstarted to bring it down, did it come off in the same format?- It's a good question.
It was pretty consistent as I gained the weight.
You know, there's some weekswhere I gained ten pounds, on some weeks where I gained one pound, and there weresome weeks where I lost weight.
So it wasn't linear.
It was you know, you know,there was some ups and downs.
But for the most part, it was you know, prettyconsistent as each month as I went on.
And on the journey back to fit umm.
there wassome moments I lost a lot of weight.
The first week, most that was water weightprobably shifting over from 5,000 calories of cinnamon toast crunch andMountain Dew, to 2,000 calories of real whole food.
But umm there was there was amoments where I hit a plateau where I gained weight on my journey back down tofit, and there were moments where I didn't lose any weight at all.
And here I wasthis trainer, who's supposed to have all the answers and I was doing everythingright.
And yet, it wasn't reflecting on the scale.
And I had moments with myclients in the past where they would tell me they're following my plan, but theyweren't seeing the result.
I'm like, "Hey you're probably not doing somethingright here, or you're probably lying to me about something.
" And then here I wasgoing through the same thing, and it was a really powerful experience to, to, tokind of see that you know, even for me I struggled with the weight loss.
– With 60% of this country either overweight or obese, and most of the rest of usthinking about our weight, right? Like there's an obsession around.
Am I eatingthe right foods? Am I putting on weight? I mean, most men are interested inmuscularity and, and women are interested in being thin.
So we have this obsessionin this country.
Yet, it seems like we've taken such a wrong turn.
From yourexperience with being on both sides, what would you recommend for somebody that'slistening to you, watching you right now, and saying, "Yeah, I'm thatperson who who can't play with my kid.
I'm one of those millions.
" What would yousay?" The biggest thing in my opinion needs to change is our perception ofwhat health and fitness is.
Our perception of what health and fitness is,is based on Instagram, social media, movies, TV shows.
And we see people, and we think that's what my version of healthy is supposedto look like, when in reality, our version of healthy – our healthy looks differenton our body than that person is healthy.
The problem is that we compare ourselvesand think that, that's what we're supposed to look like in order to behealthy.
And so my goal, my whole idea with my fit divided the fit movement isto get people to change their perception of what health and fitness really is andfocus on their version of health and fitness and what works best for them.
Andit's hard because they see these Instagram models with six-pack abs andthey think I need to look like that.
But in reality, they don't.
Your version ofhealthy can look totally different than what you're seeing online, and so it'sit's an uphill battle to be honest with you.
And it's gonna be slowprogress, but I think if there's more people out there delivering this message,telling people that you don't need to be 5% body fat or less to to be healthy.
Because at the end of the day – You know I work.
I have a TV show and we see theBiggest Loser and we see people get skinny.
We think, "Oh they won.
" But on the inside you don't really know.
There's a lot of peoplewalk around with six-pack abs and are skinny, but they're dying on the inside,you know.
And so don't focus on the health aspect on what's happening to theinside of your body.
So my goal is to change that through education andmotivation, inspiration, through using social media, and other platforms.
– I love that you're saying that that's so empowering for each and every one of us,right? Like it's not one book fits all, right? And that doesn't mean that's whatmakes us our best version of ourselves.
So on your show, what is, what is thethesis? Like what is the theme? Why did you decide that you wanted to do this?- Yeah, so after Fit2Fat2Fit, it went viral, right? Because who would dothat on purpose, right? But the thing is I had no intention of any that happening.
But the I wrote a book about it and the book became a New York Times best seller, andthen I met with the production team.
We created TV show concepts, we pitched it,it got bought by A&E.
The concept in a nutshell was to take other trainers fromacross the country who were similar to me.
Who were more judgmental,self-obsessed.
Putting them through this process of gaining fat on purpose forfour months and then teaming up with her client and losing weight together as ateam, but now as a fat trainer.
So that they could come out of it more empatheticand have more respect and a betterunderstanding.
Because I feel like that's what's gonna change the industry.
Becausenobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
And so ifyou're a trainer, a coach, a leader, trying to get people to change, you couldhave all the knowledge in the world, right? You can know everything aboutketosis about whatever.
None of that matters if you can't relate that to yourclient or if your client does not trust you or your client does not feel thatyou care about them truly.
And so I think empathy is a very powerful tool inthe fitness industry and that's what my hope is with the TV show and the Fit2Fat2Fit movement, is to approach it with an empathetic approach and havingrespect and veteran standing.
Because I feel like that's what's gonna make thosepeople out there more willing to listen to what you have to say.
– Incredible! So you take this empathy that's a key ingredient.
And I think empathy forourselves, right? Like if we can be kind to ourselves, as we're going through theprocess of becoming healthier, it's not our fault.
In my opinion, as theAmerican public that we've taken so many wrong turns.
I mean you look at the foodsthat are out there like you said.
How tasty they are and what they actually doto our bodies.
So your show Fit2Fat2Fit has been airing for two years it'sso incredible and you've probably impacted so many people's lives.
What arethe three key takeaways that you would say you would bring through these twoyears that have really had a profound effect on you and your continualunderstanding of how to get people healthy? Yeah, that's a great question.
Sonow ever since the Fit2Fat2Fit the TV show of my own personal journey hastaken off, I've shifted my focus of how I try and help people.
You could givesomeone the best meal plans, the best workouts.
You know a big fan of the ketodiet, you could give someone the keto diet, and the best trainer, the best mealplans.
None of that matters if that person doesn't know how to overcometheir own mental and emotional challenges.
So my goal is to help peopleon overcoming that because I don't think it's a lack of knowledge so much.
We allknow we need to eat healthy and exercise.
I don't think the majority people aresuffering from a lack of knowledge of that.
But if we can help them overcometheir mental emotional challenges to make that a lifestyle change for them,that's where I feel like we're gonna make the biggest difference.
So what I donow with my brand is yes, we help people on the physical side.
We help them you know, by giving them tools to follow the ketogenic thatsuccessfully.
But on top of that, we give them additional support on the mentalemotional side.
And the two biggest things that I've seen for people to tohelp them stay consistent with the healthy lifestyle, whether it's keto orvegan or whatever, it doesn't matter, is accountability.
The need to stayaccountable to an audience, right? So if they're just trying to willpower theirway through it on their own, and say okay, "I'm gonna be healthy for the rest of theyear.
I'm never touching sugar again.
" We know that's not going to last very long.
But if they have accountability through a support network.
So what I recommendpeople doing is using social media to their benefit.
And there's privateFacebook groups nowadays and apps that people can use in technology where itkeeps them accountable to an audience.
You can even pay money into certain appsand and if you don't achieve your goal you lose that money.
Or sometimes appswill even take that money and invest it in the charity that you hate so youdon't want to lose out on the money you don't want to donate your money to acharity that you hate.
And so there's ways to stay accountable.
They're outthere and what that leads into is the second thing, which is having a supportsystem.
And so these private Facebook groups where you have a safe place toshare your struggles, your successes, ask your questions, where no one's gonna youknow make you feel dumb or stupid.
But it's a safe place to share about yourjourney.
And it's very empowering to see people go, and you know in these groupsand post up about their their progress, or they ask a question and people arethere to lift them up when they want to quit or give up.
It's very empowering.
These are total strangers from across the world coming together with onecommon goal.
I think those kinds of things are going to help people, you knowmaintain a healthy lifestyle over time, rather than like, "Okay here's yoursixth day plan.
Good luck and hopefully, you know are transformed forthe rest of your life.
" I love that it's about empathy.
It's reallysupporting one another in this journey and I think a lot of the strategies- Iknow for myself personally when I eat high fat and I'm incorporating ketogenics, it's so much easier.
Can you talk about that as well? Yeah, I'm a huge friend of the keto diet and I feel like you know the world of biohacking, slashketo, you know together, is kind of a new age thing.
But I think it's becomingmore mainstream.
where we tell people, that youknow living a healthy lifestyle isn't just about diet.
Right? It's justabout so much more than that.
There's a physical component, mental,emotional, and spiritual.
And if we can teach the masses that those things.
There's parallels between all of those.
And you can achieve you know, physicalhappiness as well as spiritual happiness at the same time.
I thinkthat's where we can make the biggest impact, rather than just helping someoneget skinny or get get muscular.
People realize that's not the end of the road,that's not the finish line.
There's more to it.
There's more to this life thanjust having low body fat percentage.
And so you know, I think keto is a great wayto help that person feel optimal.
But then, if you can lead them from thereinto you know, here some biohacking you can add on top of the keto diet to helpyou know, your mind, and your your spirit feel optimal as well.
From you know,meditation, to breathing techniques, positive affirmations, on top of ahealthy diet.
I feel like that's where it's more of a complete transformation,rather than just helping people get off their medications orlosing weight.
I think that's cool, but that's not the end of the road.
When youwent on The Tonight Show, and you shared your story, were you surprised by some ofthe reaction from the general American public? What were your thoughts? – (Laughs) Very surprised.
I like I said, I had no intention of going on any TV show,because I had no connections.
I had no marketing strategy.
It was, it was youknow, I'll say it.
It was just luck.
A lot of it was luck.
But I feel very fortunate,very blessed, but umm- – I think, it was I think it was that empathy.
It was that desireto be able to connect with your client base that created this entireenvironment and and that's in my opinion why it's magnified so incredibly.
– That's a good point.
It's the relatability factor, right? If I had done it without that.
I don't think it would have been what itis today.
I don't think it would be where it is today.
(-Yeah) And so you know that Iwas surprised.
It was you know, it was crazy.
But sometimes it takes somethingcrazy to catch people's attention and then from there, motivate inspire them tomake it a lifestyle change.
So you get this incredible amount of interest fromthe media, you're on The Tonight Show, everybody's interested inwhat you've done from Fit2Fat2Fit, and you have a show.
And and I'm justcurious to know what were some of the surprises that came along the way? Dideverybody love the story? What were the reactions? Yeah it was about 95 percentpositive, but there was those who didn't understand why I was doing it, right? Froman outside perspective they saw photos of this fit trainer get fat back to fitand they think oh yeah that's nice.
What does he know, right? Butonce they saw my videos on YouTube, read my blogs, and realized how humbling thisjourney was, then it was like, "Oh that's why he's doing it.
" His intention was to dothis.
To really, truly try and learn.
Not to say that, you know I came out of itwith a complete understanding.
There's no way I could ever know what it's like forsomeone that's 300 pounds overweight that grew up their entire life out ofshape and who's been bullied.
Even if I gained 100 pounds and kept it on for10 years, it's not the same, right? There's no way it could be the same.
But thatwasn't the purpose of the journey, was to say, "Hey, I lost the weight why can't you?"That was not the purpose of it.
It was for me, someone who had never beenoverweight, to kind of see just a little bit, how hard it is for people.
Especiallyon the mental emotional level, so that I could have more understanding.
Because Iwas a trainer and I was a coach, and I think if all trainers, coaches, leaders,could step into the shoes of their clients first, and have that empathy, likeI said, I feel like that's gonna make the biggest impact to have the people outthere that are suffering to listen to the experts first.
Because they trustthem, because they really feel it they care about them.
You spoke about one of the big discoveries: Plateauing.
And it not being your fault, right? Like as you were losing the weight, there were there were weeks where you didn't lose weight.
We'll talk more about that and then I also want to know what other sortof mysteries did you (-Yeah) did you discover? Yeah, first of all, I think it was reallyhumbling for me as a trainer to go through that, right? Because it helped merelate to my clients.
Because I came out of it like I said, more empathetic and abetter understanding of like, okay I get where you're coming from now, especiallywhen it comes to plateaus.
And I've experienced it myself.
And so the biggestthing to do is to not freak out and not think it's the end of the road or theend of the world because you've hit a plateau.
We all hit plateaus at some point in time, it's just our perception of what aplateau is and just realizing that if we stay consistent over time, the resultwill take care of themselves.
Just continue to focus on the process.
Don'tworry so much about the results in that moment.
The other surprises were this: Ireally feel a food addiction is real after having this experience.
Becausegoing from eating those foods for just six months and then all of a suddenshifting over to eating real whole food, I went through two weeks of hell where Iwas going through withdrawal symptoms of those foods.
And here I was, a proponentof living healthy, and the food tasted awful, I had headaches, I was grumpy, Iwas moody, I felt miserable, even though here I was you know, drinking spinach andkale shakes and eating all these healthy foods.
To have those experiences,really helps me realize exactly what my clients struggled with.
When they wouldtell me you know, Drew I tried your meal plans for a couple weeks and you know Igave in, had my soda or you know, I didn't stay consistent with it.
And before I'mlike what's wrong with you? It's not that hard.
You just put down the soda, you eatthe healthy food, and you don't eat it.
It's not that hard.
Until I went throughthis experience for six months – And become addicted I did become addicted.
And it opened up my eyes and was a very humbling experience to see how powerful that emotionalconnection to food really is.
– And physical as well, right? Like you talkabout this addiction.
(-Yeah) What are people doing like what are you doing onyour show to help someone detox from that addiction of processed foods andthe rest of it? Yeah I wish there was a simple you know, easy pill you could justswallow to boom! Here it is, you're over your food addiction.
And just likeany addiction.
It's not so much you know, we ask the question why do you have thisaddiction? It's why the pain? Right? Why do you have this pain that you're coveringup with it with this addiction? And I feel like that's where we struggle as asociety to look at people who have an addiction whether it's food, porn, drugs,alcohol, whatever it is.
We look at them as broken because they have thisaddiction, but it's like okay, what pain are you covering up? And that's why it'svery individual.
So it's not like okay here's how you detox from it and thenboom all your troubles are solved, right? And with food addiction, it's alittle bit harder because there's food is legal.
We have to have itto survive and it's in our face every single day.
You know, imagine if you werea heroin addict and every time at Walmart, checking out there's little heroinsticks you know just everywhere whatever.
You know, in your face all the time.
That's what it is for a food addict.
With any addiction, right there's a physicaldetox.
(-Yeah) Like with a heroin addict they have to go through that physicaldetox and then and then really go to the core to the root cause of what it is.
Sofor the physical detox, like getting off sugar, I know for me I was so addicted tosugar.
And when I started to help myself, I found things and this this might soundstrange, but like that the little fat bombs were so helpful to help me withthe addiction, because it wasn't necessarily that I needed the sugar.
(-Yeah)It was just that I was still craving it.
(-Yeah) So a fat bomb would help.
Whatare your thoughts on different foods that can help you with that? – Yeah and that's the interesting thing about the keto diet is and nowadays this soconvenient and it's become so mainstream that there are these little keto treats.
(-Yeah) That are stepping stones that I see.
(-Right) Should you have a fat bomball the time, any time you have a craving? No, but if it's your firststep into getting off of you know, cinnamon toast crunch or a soda and youshift over to fat bombs, yeah.
That's gonna be a lot healthier for you and soit's cool that we have the accessibility to those types of treats every now andthen to get you to where you know you can get off of sugar.
But like you said,there's a physical detox and I think that's where the mental emotionalcomponent comes in to transformation to making it a true lifestyle change, ishelping them overcome that by giving them a support system.
Just like peoplein AA, you know.
If you just try and get off of that addiction by yourself, it'sreally, really hard.
But if you go through it with like-minded people that aregoing through your struggles, and you see that, hey there's other people just likeyou going through the struggle.
You're not alone.
It's empowering that person.
And it helps normalize it for them so they don't feel like they're this.
Youknow, you feel like you're the only one going through this struggle.
(-Like you're part of a community.
And so the accountability and the support system isreally key and helping people with the mental emotional side.
– I love that you're doing this show I love that you're supporting people with empathy andreally the right tools.
You're an inspiration.
(-Thank you) And just keepdoing everything that you're doing and sharing it, making a huge impact on ourcountry and probably even beyond.
I appreciate that.