Dr. Nowzaradan, or “Dr. Now” as we all know him, is probably one of the most famous bariatric surgeons out there. This incredible man has helped change the lives of a number of people from all over the country who struggle with their weight. We love watching him in one of the most popular TLC shows, My 600-lb Life.
One of the participants of the show who was given a new lease on life is Chad Dean, a Maryland man who weighted 701 pounds at his heaviest.
According to Chad, he has always been big, even when he was very young. That, however, didn’t stop him from playing football and being active during his childhood. But as time passed by, he started eating more and more junk food and reached 400 pounds. Chad tried following in his father and brother’s footsteps and became a chef, but he’s back problems prevented him from pursuing a career in the culinary industry. Instead, he became a truck driver and spent most of his days sitting behind the wheel.
During the time he worked as a driver, Chad gained 300 more pounds and weighed 700. “On the road, you’re sitting all day long, so you’re grabbing a soda, chips, pizza, McDonald’s, things that are easy to eat,” he explained. “That’s what’s available at the truck stops.”
On top of that, he once fell from the edge of the truck and got a nasty injury that forced him to stay home. This only made things with his weight worse. “For the driving-test component, I climbed up the side to get in the truck, and I just fell over backwards,” he recalled. “My pride was shattered. The one thing I really enjoyed doing, I couldn’t do again.”
As both Chad and his family realized he couldn’t be living that kind of life any longer, his wife Ayesha recorded a video of him and sent it to TLC. That was the start of the first day of this man’s new life.
Once he got accepted on the show, the family moved to Texas and met with incredible Dr. Now.
“When he accepted me as a patient — that right there was the reality check,” Chad told Men’s Health. “To have someone take an interest in helping me when no one else wanted to, you can’t put a price tag on it.”
After Chad lost 51 pounds on his own, he was ready to go under the so much wanted bariatric surgery, a procedure that makes the part of the stomach which receives the food smaller and helps achieve weight loss.
Believe it or not, over the years, Chad lost over 400 pounds. In the beginning, he still had a hard time walking, but he never gave up. Thanks to Dr. Now and his personal trainer Brad Tillery, Chad gained back his body’s functionality.
“Never in a million years did I ever expect myself to be smaller at the age of 46 than I was at age 18,” Chad said. “Right now, from what my life used to be, I’m in heaven.”
Speaking to Men’s Health, the trained said: “With so much extra weight, he wasn’t able to move really well, so we did a combination of strength training, muscle training, conditioning, and kind of moved forward from there. He came in about three to four times a week.”
The best thing about Chad is that he manages to control his weight now and haven’t gained any additional pounds in years. His meals mainly consist of healthy food, and that includes meat, fish, and lots of vegetables.
Of course, like any other human being, Chad eats junk food every once in a while, but he learned how to control his craving. “I try to take my mind off of the cravings,” he explains. “Whether it’s lifting weights or turning the radio up, you just have to get your mind off of it. And I try to reward myself once a month, but the day I do reward myself, I exercise a little bit more.”
Today, when Chad has the control over his life again, he’s helping others achieve their goals and lose weight. His journey is an inspiration for millions who have seen the show. He has written a memoir, I’m In Here Somewhere: Memoir of a Food Addict, where he speaks of his struggles and what kept him going.
Its description reads, “Chad’s 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.”
“Mine was an extreme case; however being even 40-50 pounds overweight is leading to, or already causing, internal issues,” Chad said in an interview with The Ashely’s Reality Roundup. “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,” he added. “But it’s even harder to try to recover what you’re steadily destroying day by day.”
Today, Chad is again working as a truck driver. He’s healthy and happy!