Chad Dean moved his life, and the happiness of his wife and two children, in positive steps when he appeared on TLC’s My 600-lb Life. Weighing in at 701 pounds, Dean was no longer able to work his job as a long haul trucker and relied on his family for assistance with even the smallest task. With the assistance of the popular reality TV series and gastric bypass surgery, Dean has lost 400 pounds and kept it off. He details it all in his memoir, I’m In Here Somewhere: Memoir of a Food Addict.
The book, written by Texas native Celeste Prater, chronicles the decisions Dean made to reach 701 pounds, and the steps he took to regain control of his life. From exercise routines to the almost entirely liquid diet Dean was restricted to for the year following his gastric surgery, I’m In Here Somewhere provides a full account of the struggle to safely lose weight.
“I’ve always been a quiet, to myself, type of person,” Dean says. “To open my life up to the world, at first, I didn’t really care much for it. I’m just me. I’m nothing special. But then as the process was going, I started getting these responses from people, how I’ve inspired this person and that person. I was like, OK maybe it’s meant to be.”
Dean wanted to release the book as a way to update his fans on his life and the next steps in his weight loss journey. The opportunity to write a memoir came from a chance encounter when Dean purchased a motorcycle. The owner of the motorcycle dealership introduced Dean to Prater, who thought a memoir would be the perfect way to reconnect with the audience still invested in Dean’s story.
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“I didn’t know what a memoir was, to be honest with you,” Dean says. “She [Prater] came over to the house a couple of times and recorded everything I was saying, and went and printed up a book, and brought a rough copy back. I laughed and she said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘You hit it perfect.’ I mean perfect. I laughed, I cried, I was happy. It was crazy.”
The book is filled with reminders of the desperation the Dean family had before being cast on the show that would change their lives. It was a long shot to make it on My 600-lb Life, with reps from the show telling Dean, who at the time lived in upstate New York, that if he didn’t live in Texas, there wouldn’t be much they could do for him (patients are put under the care of Houston surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan). Taking a leap of faith, Dean and his family sold their house, moved to Texas, and crossed their fingers he would be approved. The rest is history, now for sale in paperback and e-book.
Dean feels the book hits on many levels, as it speaks to the destruction that addiction of any type can cause, whether it be drugs, gambling or in Dean’s case, food. The former reality show personality hopes that by sharing his story, he can open someone else’s eyes to their own addictions the way the TLC series opened his.
“I see it now as a reminder,” Dean says of the memoir. “Whenever I start feeling down like I’m gaining weight, if I feel like I’m getting big, I just read the book and think, ‘OK, I’m not there. I’m not where I was. I’m doing good.' So it’s kind of a … it pumps me up a little bit."