Weighing in at 701 pounds, Chad Dean was dying. Or rather, killing himself. This big man was gleefully traipsing down the road paved with chocolate and lined with donuts while steadily committing food suicide. It’s an ugly word chock full of sadness and heartache, yet the scrumptiously delicious things he continuously shoved into his mouth on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis might as well have been a loaded gun.
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.
Through Prater, Dean relays his own personal journey with obesity beginning from childhood until two years after his gastric bypass.I’m In Here Somewhere spills out intimate details of Dean’s life. Readers will witness as Dean fights hard, stumbles, gets back to his feet, and battles like a warrior to right the wrong he’s done to his body. Dean also comes to terms with personal demons that led him to this predicament in the first place. Audiences will see the one thing that Dean never lost in this epic battle was his irreverent humor, positivity, and strong confidence.
Though most of the book is told from Dean’s point of view, his wife and “better half,” Ayesha, is also given a voice. The banter between the couple gives an intimate look into the depths of their love as the pair recount meeting at a truck stop where Ayesha worked and Dean frequented on his drives as a trucker, what it was like for Ayesha as an African-American to date a white man for the first time, and the moment they both realized Ayesha’s daughter and autistic son were truly Dean’s children, too.
As one of the few weight-loss journeys documented from a male perspective, I’m In Here Somewhere is a refreshing look on a demographic that doesn’t often show weakness and failure. Dean’s blatant admittance of his failures remains positive and uses humor to keep the light on something normally left in the shadows. This book focuses on the continuous denying, lying, and excuses of the obese. Dean also notes the hard and intangible cost of his indifference.
“I got to look at my life as if a movie was playing out on the screen,” says Dean. “It’s so easy to watch the deadly patterns building all the way from childhood through the moment I began screaming for help. The future is the opposite of my beginning. In the beginning, I was killing myself. So as for the future…I’m just going to live.”