Healthy Lifestyle, Inside Edith Sanford, Inspiration

Meet your TeamCaptain!

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By The Edith Sanford team

June 3, 2015

Thad Beaty, guitarist for Sugarland, is Edith Sanford’s new goodwill ambassador and TeamEdith captain.
When Sugarland guitarist Thad Beaty’s mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, it was a wake-up call to take control of his own health.

Even while on the road touring, he managed to transform his lifestyle and lose 70 pounds during an 18-month period. Along the way, he became a triathlete, a marathon runner and a certified running and triathlon coach.

ES: Can you talk about the day you learned of your mom’s cancer diagnosis?

TB: I remember it very, very vividly. We were playing a show in Birmingham, Ala., when my mom called to tell me. It was a moment that will forever change and define my life, and my family’s life. We now live with a purpose every day knowing how precious life is.

ES: How did that experience mark a turning point in your life?

TB: After my mom’s diagnosis, we realized as a family that it was time for a change.

Traveling on the road as a musician, I’d gotten into the habit of eating four wonderfully catered meals a day. I weighed 230 pounds and the stress of that lifestyle was leading to borderline panic attacks. Around the same time, we also had a guitar tech on the road who was diagnosed with lymphoma.

The combination of those events was really a wake-up call and made us realize that it was time to reclaim our health, physically and also emotionally and spiritually… You can’t have one without the other.

ES: What was the first step?

TB: We started by cleaning up our diet. We bought a high-powered blender and started making smoothies in the morning, eating salads for lunch and real food at night. We took the philosophy of “crowding out,” which is about adding more healthy foods so there’s less room for junk. It was not only easy but we felt better, and slowly started to add exercise.

Before I knew it, I was on a plant-based diet, had dropped 70 pounds, and was in the best shape of my life.

ES: What’s your secret to staying disciplined?

TB: You have to teach your brain that you’re in charge. Remind yourself that you were able to overcome a temptation before and you can do it again.

It becomes either an upward or downward spiral, depending on which side of the fence you fall. If you make some poor eating choices one day, it’s going to affect you for a while. Just reminding yourself of that has a powerful affect on the choices you make.

ES: What do you hope others will take from your story?

TB: If anything, I’d love to help people understand that change is possible and change is lasting and you can really make a huge difference for yourself, and in the world.

ES: You’re a goodwill ambassador for Edith Sanford and TeamEdith captain. Why is the cause important to you?

TB: My wife. My mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor, and her mother passed away from breast cancer at an early age, so it’s something that we’ve always been aware of and lived with in the back of our minds. My wife has been very proactive about screening because of her history.

Being proactive rather than reactive is a mantra for us, and we want to share that. Since this disease is so close to our family, and something we’ve been concerned with, I would love nothing more than to be part of advancing the research to find better treatments and help prevent it altogether.

ES: You’ve said you live in the “aorist tense.” What does that mean?

TB: So, in college I had this brilliant idea to take Greek. I quickly learned that it was one of the most terrible decisions I’ve ever made, because it was pretty freaking hard! But there was one thing that really resonated.

In the English language, you have three tenses: past, present and future. But Greek has a fourth tense called the aorist tense, which is used to articulate something that happens at one point in time, and its results last forever.

That’s how my family and I have decided to live our lives, in the aorist tense. We enter each moment knowing that we have to fully embrace it. It’s fully real, it’s fully alive, and it will set off a chain reaction that will affect us forever.

To me, that’s what being a part of Edith Sanford and TeamEdith offers. You get to be a part of something right now in the moment that is huge, that changes your right now AND your forever.

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