Podcaster and former TMZ host Van Lathan Jr. writes a sharp, funny, and brutally honest, cultural critique of the unspoken obstacles and extreme anxiety that keep us from maintaining good health in America’s “wellness waistland,” explored through vignettes about his mental health and weight loss journey as a Black man.
A formerly chubby kid who self‑identified for much of his life as “the fat friend,” media personality and podcast host Van Lathan Jr. has struggled with physical and mental health his entire life. He was used to being his besties' wing man on the dating scene, the slack bench‑dweller at the gym, and his mother's biggest fan at every meal, especially whenever she served up her infamous mac and cheese with five different kinds of cheese. At 365 lbs, Van hated being fat, he found it harder than being Black! After dedicating years to improving his physical and mental health, with many ups and downs, in 2019 Van found himself in a shared slump with other Americans when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the George Floyd video was released—suddenly he was surrounded by carbs galore, binge-ing everything, feeling non‑stop exhaustion, and crippling waves of anxiety and depression.
Fat, Crazy, and Tired isn't just about Van's ultimately unsuccessful journey to an Instagram‑able body and zen; it's about the unspoken personal battlefield of attaining and maintaining what American’s deem as good health. “Detox” cleanses? Weight loss pills? Celery juice? No, thank you. Van argues against aiming for 100% good health, and advocates for success to be considered 50%. He explores the real reasons behind our unending physical and mental health battles, how being “the Black guy” at work on TMZ overshadowed his identity and demonstrates how we can better understand our bodies by better understanding ourselves. With patience, compassion, and double doses of humor Fat, Crazy, and Tired provides a close look at how to really take control of your life: one step at a time.