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LDS Reality Show Host Gains 75 Pounds (On Purpose!), Then Loses It

Anyone who's been there will tell you--weight loss is hard. Sometimes it even seems impossible. But as anyone who's been there will also tell you, it's worth it. "If you have good health, you're well on your way to finding happiness in this life," says JJ Peterson, a 31-year-old personal trainer from Utah who's featured on A&E's new reality show, "Fit to Fat to Fit."

The show is based on a challenge originally undertaken by Drew Manning, a personal trainer and Latter-day Saint who struggled to help his heaviest clients lose weight. "I failed again and again," he said. "Eventually, I realized the problem was me, so I went on a journey to discover what it's like to be fat."

Manning then did the unthinkable: he gained 75 pounds in six months, only to lose all the weight again in another six. "Getting fit again was the hardest thing I've ever done," he said. "But it made me a better man." 

Now, personal trainers everywhere are learning about Manning's challenge in his best-selling book Fit2Fat2Fit--and some of them are even taking part in the challenge that Manning calls "the most extreme weight-loss experiment ever." Some of them are even taking it a step further, gaining as much weight as they can and then losing it together with their clients.

"It's a journey that can change both their lives forever," says Manning.

"Fit to Fat to Fit" premiered earlier this week, and the first episode can be watched online here. It features the Lehi-based Peterson as the trainer who gains weight to help his client, Ray Stewart of Spanish Fork, get fit. The show, hosted by Manning, is on A&E Tuesdays at 9/8c.

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