Florida Keys News
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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A weighty issue: Newman's 'Too Fat To Fail' campaign gets underway

Local funny-man Chad Newman has had a variety of jobs, due to his weight, including stand-up comedy, television commercials, and stripping with the Chippenwhales dancers in Orlando.

"My weight's been very good to me, but if I don't lose weight now, I will die," Newman said. "I am four inches away from being a complete human sphere."

Newman is 72 inches tall and 68 inches around.

Weighing 420 pounds Newman, 45, began his "Too Fat To Fail" journey two years ago, trying to lose weight and have a healthier lifestyle. With the help of personal trainers at We Be Fit on First Street, he started to exercise regularly but his overeating was still an issue.

The Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare," has given him health insurance, which for a decade the pre-existing condition of his diabetes, due to his weight, kept him from acquiring. His weight has been an issue his whole life.

Shortly after signing up for his insurance, Newman began to research his options for obesity surgeries.

"Florida will not cover bariatric surgery," Newman said. "Other states like California or New York will cover it, but because I live in Florida I have to come up with the $20,000-plus price tag on my own."

To come up with the cash -- as well as support, Newman is officially launching his "Too Fat To Fail" campaign this Friday at the Bottle Cap.

"I wanted a way for my friends and family to be able to sponsor me by the pound," Newman said.

This thought led to the creation of the "Chad Pound," which Newman claims is the world's first "Fit Coin."

The comedian has created three different coins, in three different denominations -- each with his face on them: A pound for $100, a half-pound for $50 and a quarter-pound for $25.

Naturally, he'll accept donations of any amount, but Newman is hoping the coins will serve an important role in his endeavor. He plans to sell them at the launch party to raise money for his bariatric surgery he plans to undergo this September in Miami.

Even if Newman doesn't raise the money by then, he said he will take out a loan because, "If I fail I die," he said.

To help remind himself of why he's doing this, Newman has created a "skinny bucket list" comprised of activities he aspires to accomplish but has thus far been unable to, such as horseback riding, parasailing and parachuting.

The first goal on his skinny list is to walk the old Seven Mile Bridge, which is approximately four miles long.

"I can't do anything for myself, but I can move mountains for others," Newman said. "Knowing others have invested into my weight loss will guilt me into achieving."

The surgery will allow him to get his eating under control, which is what is the main issue holding him back.

His ultimate goal is to lose 220 pounds, which he thinks he can do with the support of others.

Newman also plans to document his progress with photos, video and updates on his "Too Fat To Fail" website, in the hope of inspiring others in a similar situation.

In the meantime, Newman isn't resting on his laurels. He'll play the title character in the upcoming production of "The Whale," about a 650-pound man trapped in his apartment, July 29 through Aug. 3, at the Red Barn Theatre on Duval Street.

"I actually have to wear a fat suit for the role," Newman said. "But it barely expands my width."

Newman is acutely aware that there aren't many old, fat comedians, or old fat people in general. He is doing his best to evolve into a sustainable person.

"If you go to the old folks' home, everybody's skinny," he said.

ecareaga@keysnews.com

(BOX)

IF YOU GO:

What: "Too Fat To Fail" campaign kickoff

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Bottle Cap Lounge, 1128 Simonton St.

More info: TooFatToFail.com facebook.com/toofattofail

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