I’m In Here Somewhere: Memoir of a Food Addict
Chad Dean’s Story – As told to and written by Celeste Prater
Genre: Memoir – Biography
Buy Links for Memoir:
You can find Celeste at:
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
(Please choose only 1 for your blog post. Thank you!)
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 oneof 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 tacosalad 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 Iget off telling youto 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 onemore. 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.
Night and day. That’s the only way to describe it. From one month to the next, everything had changed. I’m not talking about just another day of logging my body’s post-surgery metamorphosis, I’m referring to my overall outlook on life. I felt fantastic, rejuvenated, gleeful, optimistic, purposeful, and whatever other adjective you want to slap on to account for my stupid grinning face.
“But Chad, you only lost nine pounds this month,” you might be thinking. “Who cares?” is my response. Yes, I was ecstatic to see a minus in the column, but more jubilant that the film had been peeled away from my eyes. Maybe that’s how much being blind to the truth weighs—another damn bowling ball.
I’d committed some major “stupid” and pulled off several miracles. I finally decided to understand their significance. To appreciate them.
- Stupid 1:I’d been close to death by smothering my body in layers of fat all from a driving need for instant self-gratification in the form of food.
- Stupid 2:I’d been unable to work and provide for my family because of that choice.
- Stupid 3:I’d come dangerously close to leaving the love of my life a widow and fending for herself with two young children.
- Stupid 4:I clutched my jewel-encrusted “King of the Excuses” crown in a white-knuckled grip and refused to give up the reign of power.
Miracle 1:I scared the hell out of myself, swallowed my pride, and sought out professional help.
Miracle 2:Going on nothing but crossed fingers,My 600 LB Lifesnatched me from an open volcano trying to suck me into the bowels of hell
Miracle 3:I survived major surgery to stop me from steadily killing myself.
Miracle 4:I became a father and husband again, not a burden to shoulder.
Miracle 5:I survived anothermajor surgery to stop me from accidentallykilling myself.
Miracle 6:I woke the hell up, threw that heavy crown as far as I could, and turned my vision outward. Selfish, selfish Chad disappeared that day. Good riddance.
Remember way back at the start of the book where I’d been trying to assign some reason as to why I overate? I’d said, “If some motives are sub-conscious, then how would I know what’s brewing in that gray, murky area and pulling on my puppet strings?” The answer was so obvious, I almost wanted to pop myself upside the head. I’d actually revealed it with my next line of, “This need, or drive, may be beneath the layer of consciousness yet obviously very dominate in the patterns we establish,” but quickly covered it with, “I can’t just simply point one out and yell, “Hey, sneaky bastard. Yeah, you. I know what you’re up to. Get the hell out of my head!” Yup. The master of denial at your service. Blame it on something else.
These demons that I liked to point out and accuse for leading me astray are me. I’m battling myself constantly. We all are. I don’t care what episode in your life may have planted the damn things in the first place, if you continue to allow them to park inside your brain, you own them.
“But they’re hidden and stealthy,” some might continue convincing. “How can you possibly fight something in the dark?” That line sounds very plausible and can be such a good excusefor continued ignorance. I refused to play the game. We’re not puppets on a string, and if you feel like you are, then you’ve tied the threads yourself. WE make the patterns, no one else. The key is reading the damn things. Start looking at YOUR ACTIONS and subsequent fallout. If you’re not getting a good return on your thought patterns, then, duh, something’s wrong. You wouldn’t keep betting on the broken-down nag that continues coming in last, would you? Hell, no. Same thing applies. Keep this next statement at the forefront of your brain, it’s that important.
If you refuse to understand yourself, how can you ever be understood by another? Pleading cries of, “You don’t understand” or “Help me” fall on deaf ears for an eternity, and rightly so. Read the book of your life and take a good, hard look at the story. Your answers are right there. Just because the plot isn’t completed yet doesn’t mean you can’t come to some mind-opening conclusions before finally reaching THE END.
How many chances do you think we get in one life? What if we’re reincarnated over and over until we finally learn a hard lesson and adjust? Good grief! I must have been a righteously stubborn shit through a few others. This round was viciously driving it home to show me the error of my ways.
Maybe we’re like a cat and get nine chances in the one life given. If so, I’m glad that my rose-colored glasses got cracked because I don’t have much more left on the tab. That’s for sure.
Perhaps everything is a matter of chance. We get one shot at it. To build or destroy it as we go and then turn to worm dirt afterward. If so, what a damn waste to spend it so frivolously.
What 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.
Chad Dean as seen on TLC’s “My 600 LB Life,” was once quoted as saying, “The board game most closely resembling my life is Candy Land. I would eat anything and everything I wanted, whenever I wanted.” But those days are long gone. He’s now in that coveted 5% experiencing gastric bypass and successfully maintaining the weight loss after two years. He credits his brilliant physician, a production company willing to take a chance, the unwavering support of his loving family, sound fitness advice, and a blatant truth-telling friend that never bent under the pressure of the addicted.
During that arduous journey, Chad fought hard, stumbled, got back to his feet, and battled like a warrior to right the wrong he’d done to his body. You can’t endure such hills and valleys without glancing over your shoulder to see what demons were still chasing you. What he found was a burning question as to why he’d ended up in that predicament in the first place. By spilling out intimate details of his life on the pages of “I’m In Here Somewhere,” his greatest hope is that others may learn from his mistakes, recognize their own decline into addiction, and pass on the knowledge to others that are still in gripping denial. The one thing that Chad never lost in this epic battle was his irreverent humor, positivity, and strong confidence. They may have faltered a few times, but you will definitely see them full force in his honest, no holds-barred Memoir of a Food Addict. He welcomes your curiosity, encourages your bravery at taking a peek, and applauds you for sticking around. Happy reading!
Celeste’s Author Bio
Celeste sends a resounding thanks to Chad and his family for allowing her to write his memoir, “I’m In Here Somewhere: Memoir of a Food Addict”—her first ever. However, it isn’t her first foray into writing. She’s also a published author of the award winning, bestselling romance series FUELED BY LUST and THREE DIVISIONS trilogy. Celeste has received countless praises for her unique writing style, ability to create memorable characters and mesmerizing worlds for the reader to romp, dream, and drool. Action, suspense, mystery, and sizzling hot, lovable hunks continue to bring on “Top Picks,” “Best Book,” “Book of the Month,” “Best Banter,” and International “Reader’s Choice Favorite” accolades.
Her decidedly favorite professional review comment from Long and Short Reviews, “Book one caught my attention, book two had me hooked and asking for more, book three caused my addiction, and book four fed my habit. Now I’m left sitting here hoping for more, like a junkie strung out on alien men,” has gleefully kept her nose to the keyboard and sharing with the world the Fueled By Lust Insedi warriors and the lucky females who snag them.
Currently, she is trying her talented hand within the non-romance Paranormal / Crime Thriller genre and hopes to have another novel ready very soon.