Then, something clicked. He saw the light—and woke up. Dean got his act together, lost 400 pounds, and is now a proud member of the five percent club. Only five out of 100 people succeeds in keeping the weight off after gastric bypass surgery.
Maybe you've followed his story on TLC's "My 600lb Life". Maybe not. Either way, his memoir is a must read, especially if you or someone you know is struggling with food addiction.
I want to share a little peek inside today, as well as a Q&A with Chad.
(If you use links in this post, I may earn a commission. Full Disclosure)
The book I’m In Here Somewhere: Memoir of a Food Addict, is the memoir of Chad Dean, the weight loss warrior behind My 600-lb Life’s biggest success story, as told to and written by Celeste Prater.
Buy Links for Memoir:
You can find Celeste at:
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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | Google+ | Tumblr
You can find Chad at:
Flipping through channels, growling at commercials, and then BAM! Something HUGE fills your screen. “Good grief!” you shout, eyes bugging.
Sorry. That might’ve been ME, Chad Dean, awkwardly invading your living room. If you fled, I fully understand. Whether you stuck around to watch in morbid curiosity or just plain horror, I thank you for taking that time out of your day to observe the quick one-year glimpse into a personal battle that was hard, embarrassing, scary, and downright frightening at times.
Though I transformed quickly on the TV, it was not enough to show how in the heck I got to that point in the first place. I’m not alone in these struggles. I’m not the only fat person that ever existed. And I’m certainly not the only human disgusted at the unsightly substance trapped beneath their skin.
Join me as I delve a little deeper below those layers. Perhaps a light might come on sooner than mine.
A Peek Inside
Excuses. That should’ve been my middle name.
HOLD UP! You felt it, didn’t you? That microsecond recoil, or derisive eye-roll, toward a silly little word urging you to put this book down and walk away. Why is that, do you think? Seriously?
Here’s my stab at a theory: Because this one of many, many words in our vocabulary is excruciatingly POWERFUL. In fact, I believe the word “Excuses” is so potent that it can trigger an unconscious guilt and blossom into a lie so fast it’ll make your head spin.
Ugh! The blinding truth hurts sometimes. We cry foul when others lie to us—even ending friendships for the smallest infraction. Yet, we elaborately mask the ones we tell ourselves so very easily.
Maybe some of these lies below might sound familiar to you. Either one or more spilled out of your own mouth at one time, or you know of someone that has become prolific in the game of self-delusion.
LIE: I’m big-boned, so I carry the weight differently.
- TRUTH: You have no bones in your butt or gut. Got it?
LIE: When I eat something sweet, I cancel it out by drinking diet-cola instead of regular.
- TRUTH: You have obviously developed a new “happy math.” How’s that working out for you? Artificial sweetener actually increases sugar cravings. Look it up.
LIE: I want to exercise, but I’m always tired.
- TRUTH: You’re carrying forty pounds more weight than your frame intended—put there by none other than yours truly. No one else. Yep. Four, ten-pound bowling balls of extra baggage. Duh. You’re going to be tired. Think how hard it’s going to be after ten more.
LIE: My job doesn’t allow me time to work out or eat right.
- TRUTH: So, if I understand that line of reasoning, you work a solid 24-7 in a sedentary position and are not allowed to pack your lunch. You’re stuck having to order fast-food takeout delivered right to your desk or vehicle. Really? Not even a thirty-minute break? Unless it pays a million an hour, I’d quit that job. Seriously.
LIE: I bought a stationary bicycle. I can exercise and watch TV at the same time. Win-win.
- TRUTH: Go ahead. Glance over to the corner and try to remember when that dusty hunk of metal became a new way to hang clothes or prop your feet.
LIE: I found a new workout CD, and it only takes twenty minutes. So excited to start it in the morning.
- TRUTH: You hit the snooze button three times, snuggled into your warm pillow, and promised that tomorrow will be the “New Start” to being healthy. Mondays suck and weekends are off limits. Everyone knows that. Hmm…
LIE: Something urgent came up so I can’t walk with you tonight. I’ll go with you tomorrow.
- TRUTH: Your favorite show was on. Bad friend. Bad.
LIE: I ate a salad at lunch, so it’s okay to have ice cream after dinner.
- TRUTH: Really? A little forgetful on the adjectives, aren’t we? It was a taco salad loaded with cheese and sour cream…and you ate the outside crispy bowl.
LIE: I’ll start working out after the holidays (my favorite).
- TRUTH: Christmas comes SO fast after Thanksgiving. Amazing, isn’t it? Chocolate-filled Valentine’s Day zips up immediately after that fierce New Year’s resolution has barely left your mouth. Hell, when you think about it. Every day’s a holiday feast when you have beckoning brownies, soda, candy, burgers, pizza, and cupcakes floating across TV screens or sitting on paper plates at the office party—tempting, smelling so good, beautifully wrapped, and begging me to…wait. I digress. Let’s not forget why I’m here…
So where do I get off telling you to quit lying to yourself and others? Easy. Been there, done that, got a master’s degree in it. If I’d kept it up, they might’ve carved “Dr. Denial” on my headstone.
We could go on and on with pithy one-liners on how to innocently deceive oneself about balancing weight with food and exercise, but here’s a brutal truth that I desperately needed to confess…and fast!
I was in a severely destructive relationship with DENIAL, the beautiful cousin of EXCUSES. It was profoundly obvious and squatting right in front of my big fat nose. So close, in fact, everything else lost focus in the light of that vicious bitch—my failing health, my loving family, my work…everything.
Bottom line… I was dying.
Yeah. No joke, cookie. I sat there looking into every knowing eye that uncomfortably flitted away from mine and continued filling my veins with the pretty poison and hanging on to every comforting word doled out by the reigning Empress DENIAL.
“There you go. Just one more. Atta boy. I’ll never judge you,” she’d whispered softly into my ear.
Oh, yes. This big man was gleefully traipsing down the road paved with chocolate and lined with donuts while steadily committing food suicide. Yes, I’ll say it again. “S U I C I D E.”
It’s an ugly word chock full of sadness and heartache, yet the scrumptiously delicious things I was continuously shoving into my mouth on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis might as well have been a loaded gun.
Click. POW! Lights out.
Q&A SESSIONWhat made you decide to write a memoir?
By time my follow-up episode aired, I’d gathered a pretty large following on Facebook. Soon, I began receiving messages that they would love to know more about my life and that I should write a book. I didn’t know the first thing about writing or how to get published, so I just told them that I would think about it. It’s very humbling to hear the viewers say that the family and I inspired them to continue their path to better health. Just as many also told me they found the courage to begin their own journey. That motivated me to spill out my life in the hopes that I can inspire at least one more person to save their own life like I did. My greatest hope is that someone will recognize their issues and stop from ever tipping over into morbid obesity.
How did Celeste get the honor of writing your book?
Crazy story. It was what you might call a “happy accident.” Before I ate myself into a body that could barely breathe, I loved riding motorcycles. Early 2018, I stopped in a bike shop not far from my house to look at used bikes. The manager recognized me and asked if I ever thought about writing a book. Destiny! I soon learned that his business partner had a sister that was an author and was here in Texas. After one phone call, I was making plans for Celeste to visit. We hit it off immediately. Same sense of humor and tell-it-like-it-is attitude. Two weeks later, she was in my living room with the first chapter and a rough outline. Out came the recorder and she started grilling me from birth all the way to that exact moment. She didn’t go easy on me. The questions were hard, probing, and unapologetic. She came back two months later with a completed manuscript and read it to me and Ayesha. Nailed it! She’d crawled into my head and put all of my ramblings and our shared “ah ha!” revelation moments into a polished story. We didn’t have to change a thing. –and yes, she’s helping me write my blog answers. She’s my official writer. Two peas in a pod. Lol!
Is this a “tell-all” book about your experience on My 600 LB Life?
Not in the least. I give insights to other things occurring with me and Ayesha during that time-period, but it doesn’t offer up any behind-the-scenes inner workings of the show. So, if you’re looking for any dirt on the production company or TLC, then you’ve come to the wrong place. This book reflects my respect for those two organizations, and especially Dr. Now. Without them I would be dead. Slinging mud is not the intention of this book. I wanted to show the world how easy it is to become “blindly obese.” As my story unfolds, I’m analyzing myself and pointing out all the missed moments where I should’ve come to my senses and stopped myself from ever reaching the size you see when I began the show. I wanted to find the WHY of the nonsense I heaped on myself.
What advice can you offer to those that are fighting a weight issue?
I’m not referring to those that have a true medical issue, but to those with a food addiction like mine. Quit allowing yourself to fall into the trap of excuses and denials of your problem. You’ll see this throughout my book. I blame no one but myself for reaching that massive amount of weight. Mine was an extreme case, however even forty to fifty pounds over is leading to, or already causing, internal issues. I wrecked my spleen and liver, which are now thankfully recovered. Every day I thank the stars that I didn’t annihilate my heart. Think about the stress to your ligaments and bones. Yes, it’s hard to change your lifestyle, but it’s even harder to try to recover what you’re steadily destroying day by day. Ignore your desire to turn a blind eye to reality. Trust me—it’s not fun to pay the piper later. Yes, I survived, but I have scars on the inside and out. Stop the cycle now…and live!
What type of response have you had with the book so far?
Right before the memoir released, Ayesha and I were invited to New York to appear on the Today Show. Meeting Al Roker was mind-blowing. Great guy! Right afterward, I did interviews with the New York Post, Life and Style, and In Touch Weekly. There were a lot more interviews when I returned to Texas and still more to come. We’re getting a lot of 5 Star review ratings and praise on the story. The response is overwhelming. I’m extremely grateful to have these opportunities for reaching those that are just looking for a bit of inspiration to turn their lives around, or to simply enjoy reading a story of someone narrowly escaping a self-imposed tragedy.