July 28, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – A Herrin man says he simply got tired of seeing his out-of-shape reflection in the mirror before finally deciding to take matters into his own hands in August of 2012.

“I weighed up to 298 pounds at one point and had very little energy,” said 25-year-old Tyler Tarter. “What helped motivate me, believe it or not, was watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ on TV. I figured if those people could lose such large amounts of weight, I could, too.”

It didn’t hurt that his parents (Clayton and Gloria) provided some motivation of their own. They told their son that he wouldn’t be included in a family cruise unless he got under 250 pounds.

No problem there. Tyler got under 250 in time to make the cruise and kept dropping.

With a special plan in place as devised by aquatics director Chris Georgantas, Tarter began working out daily at the Community Health Education Complex on the John A. Logan College campus.

“I would put in about two hours a day,” he said. “I’d run at least a mile on the treadmill and then walk another mile. I’d also work on all different kinds of weights. Not only did I want to lose weight, but I wanted to get stronger. I wanted to get in shape so that I could enjoy playing sports again. Now, I am able to play basketball and soccer.”

Tarter dropped 130 pounds altogether through December of last year.
“I got down as low as 168 before my doctor told me not to lose anymore,” he said. “I’ve since added on 12 pounds of muscle and feel good at 180. I’m in the best shape of my life.”

A student at Logan, Tarter said he also stuck to a rigid diet in losing his weight.

“I pretty much cut down my calorie intake from about 2,000 to 800 a day. I ate two meals a day, which included a lot of grilled chicken breasts and fish, cottage cheese, vegetables and salads. My main snack was unsalted peanuts. If I got hungry, I would chew on some gum.”

Tarter said about once a month he would splurge and eat a burger or some ice cream, but for the most part, he adhered to the plan.

“I won’t say it was easy to work out every day and diet, because it wasn’t, but I’m pleased with the results. My best advice to someone else wanting to lose weight is to find a way to cut down on your calorie intake and exercise. Try to walk at least two miles a day. When it gets tough, just look in the mirror and ask yourself if you want to look like that the rest of your life. Do you want to die young? I know I didn’t want to.”

Georgantas said he was impressed with Tarter’s work ethic and the weight-loss results which followed.

“Tyler has really transformed himself. Losing over 100 pounds has changed his life dramatically. He saw what he needed to do and followed through. I am proud of him.”