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How He Dropped 75lbs on a Plant-Based Diet and Became an Ironman

By September 13, 2013May 24th, 2019One Comment
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Today on the show I chat with Thad Beatty, guitarist for the multi-platinum country duo Sugarland.

In so many ways, Thad’s story closely mirrors mine.  The details are distinct, but no matter — the journey is all too familiar.  I first came across Thad’s story on and — struck by the similarities in our journeys — knew I had to have him on the show.

Just a few years ago, Thad tipped the scales at 230 lbs.  Overweight with raging blood pressure and alarmingly elevated cholesterol, the touring musician lifestyle had him headed in the direction of irrevocable health problems in his mid-30’s.

His decision to turn his life around snapped into focus the day he found out his mother had been diagnosed with colon cancer.  In support and solidarity with mom, both Thad and his brother decided to clean up their act.  It started simple — ditch the lousy processed foods and start eating more fruits & vegetables.  One thing led to another, and before he knew it, Thad found himself a convert to the PlantPower lifestyle.

Not long thereafter, Thad shed the weight – 75lbs in all — down to a trim 165 lbs.  Life was good.  But then came another moment of clarity.  Sugarland’s guitar tech was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma.   MusiCares came to his aid, but it was too late.  Kevin Quigley unfortunately passed away in March 2012.

It was at this moment that Thad decided to focus on service — giving back to his beloved profession.  So was borne his dream of completing an Ironman.  Not for himself, but to raise money for the foundation that had come to his friend’s aid.  Thad achieved his dream, finishing the Arizona Ironman last November, raising funds along the way.

But that was just the beginning.  Thad decided to take his service game to the next level, ultimately establishing his own foundation — Music That Moves— dedicated to improving the holistic health and fitness of his fellow musicians beyond the stage through various means, including sharing the lifestyle principles that changed his own life.

And this October he’s taking his game to the main stage — this time not as a musician but as an athlete — lining up in Kona to compete at the Ironman World Championships as part of Ironman’s Kona Inspired program.  I’m hoping we’ll all catch a glimpse of Thad and his story when NBC airs the race broadcast.

I hope you enjoy the conversation!

NOTE: There are audio quality issues with this Skype-recorded conversation.  Apologies.  Just when I think I have it all figured out, technology rears it’s ugly head once again.  The good news is the quality improves after the initial 30 minutes of the conversation.  I did my best to clean it up, but it is what it is.  As always, I promise to continually improve, but these things happen.  Go easy on me.

Here’s a little video from Thad from the Kona Inspired site to get you pumped.


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One Comment

  • Monique says:

    His before and after pics on that video are great. Well done to him and his family for transforming their health! (ps – I think his family name is Beaty with one “t” and not two)

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