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Drew Manning
Drew Manning on May 7, 2011, when he began the "Fit2Fat2Fit" process. The fitness trainer stopped exercising and watching his diet for six months.

"FIT 2 FAT 2 FIT: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75 lbs on Purpose," by Drew Manning with Brad Pierce, HarperOne, $25.99, 233 pages (nf)

Gaining 75 pounds on purpose isn't something ordinarily done.

That is exactly what Drew Manning, a personal trainer from Eagle Mountain, did. As he worked with clients, time after time, they'd make great progress toward a more healthy lifestyle and body. Then discouragement and frustration would set in, and Manning didn't know how to help them.

He realized that because he'd always been interested in health and exercise and was naturally a fit person, he wasn't able to relate to his clients' feelings. He'd never known what it was like to be overweight.

He made the stunning decision to gain as much weight as possible for six months and then lose it again in an effort to understand the challenges people encounter when trying to lose weight and become more healthy. He documents his journey in a new book titled "Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit."

Back in the beginning, Manning set up a website, www.fit2fat2fit.com, to chronicle the entire journey.

He knew he'd look different. He expected he'd have less energy with an unhealthy diet and no exercise. He didn't expect how much he'd change in other ways — even his personality and outlook on life.

At his heaviest, Manning could scarcely manage his normal daily routines. Even dressing was a challenge. Playing with his children — something he'd always loved — was too tiring. His habits of helping with cooking and household duties changed to lying on the couch in pain and embarrassment.

His normal desire for healthy food changed, and he found himself craving doughnuts, greasy french fries and gallons of Mountain Dew. The more he ate, the hungrier he felt. He began to fear he'd done permanent damage to his body's systems.

But the blog attracted national attention, and the hope of helping thousands of people — instead of just a handful of clients — kept him going. Blog readers even provided food challenges where he'd eat huge amounts in one sitting.

Finally the six months was over, and it was time to begin the second leg of the journey — to lose it all.

Manning was shocked at how hard it was, but he succeeded, and now he has a greater understanding of what it takes to change an unhealthy lifestyle.

Written in a conversational style, "Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit" is easy for the typical non-workout type person to understand. It also includes his favorite recipes, complete meal plans and simple exercises with photo illustrations to make it as easy as possible.

If you go ...

What: Drew Manning book signing

When: Thursday, June 14, 5 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, McIntyre Center, 1104 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City

Web: barnesandnoble.com

Also ...

When: Saturday, June 16, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book, downtown at City Creek, 45 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Web: deseretbook.com

Also …

When: Saturday, June 16, 2-3:30 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book, Ft. Union, 1110 Fort Union Blvd., Midvale

Web: deseretbook.com

Also ...

When: Tuesday, June 19, 5 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, South Towne Marketplace, 10180 S. State St., Sandy

Web: barnesandnoble.com

Margot Hovley's first novel will be published by Covenant Communications in fall 2012. Her self-reliance blog is at www.mynewoldschool.com or read about her writing adventures at www.margothovley.com.