Justin Tadlock

The year of the six-pack

One of my goals for this year is to be healthier. With the knowledge that I was turning 27 this year, was weighing in at just over 300 lbs., and have a family history of numerous health issues, I knew it was time to make a change in my life. While I was relatively happy with most things, my fitness level was hindering my ability to live life to its fullest.

So, I set out on a journey to improve my quality of life. There have been moments when I wanted to write about this journey, but I never felt it was the right time. Being a teacher is part of my nature. I don’t want to simply share my journey with you. I want to teach you how to improve your fitness. Without all the facts, data, and real-world experience to back anything up, teaching was out of the question.

Now that I’ve completed a 22-week journey, it’s time to share my experience with others, maybe even helping a few people change their lives.

This article is the first of many I hope to write. Rather than doing too much teaching this time around, allow me to celebrate what I’ve accomplished thus far.

My story

In January, I weighed in at exactly 303 lbs. I knew I was fat at that point. Fortunately, I’m 6’2 and have a large frame, so I was able to hide fat better than most people. Unfortunately, that also meant that I had a bit of a false outlook on my health. At 303 though, there isn’t much you can do to hide fat, even from yourself.

Therefore, I made a plan that started at the beginning of February and ended at the end of June. My goal weight was to get myself down to 215 lbs. I knew that was a lofty goal and something that I wouldn’t reach in 22 weeks, at least not without cutting some health corners (not advisable). I didn’t come anywhere near my goal weight in those weeks, but that was perfectly fine with me. It provided me with a new goal to achieve in the future.

After 22 grueling weeks of performing resistance training, doing cardio, and eating nutritious foods, I hit 255 lbs. For the math illiterate, that’s a 48-lb. drop.

Could I have lost more? Certainly. I once lost 17 lbs. on a tomato soup diet for overweight heart surgery patients in just a week. That’s not exactly healthy though and definitely isn’t something I plan on sharing.

My goals were not simply about losing weight. I wanted to feel healthier. Wanted to walk up a hill without giving out of breath. To throw a football with my little brother for more than five minutes. Bounce out of bed in the morning and rejoice that a new day has arrived. And, I wanted to do them all without sacrificing some other facet of my health.

I’m proud to say that I’ve reached those goals. They are worth more than 48 lbs. could ever be worth.

This will be the year

It’s not all about health. Who doesn’t want to show off six-pack abs at the beach?

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I simply want to be healthier. There is a little vanity involved. I’d love to walk around with washboard abs and rock-hard muscles. I am only human, after all.

Now that I’ve reached 255 lbs., I’ve got about another 40 lbs. or so before there’s the possibility of abs. I’ve got to get my body-fat percentage down under about 10%, which is something I’ve never achieved before.

I hope you will join me on this journey and continue reading the posts, sharing your experiences, and learning from my ups-and-downs along the way.

What do you think? Six-pack abs before the end of the year?