Not so long ago, I was 625 pounds. I took cholesterol and blood pressure medication, walked with a cane, and hated life and myself. As many of you know, I've been on an amazing journey, a journey to take back my life. I'm not a teacher, a doctor, nor do I have a degree or any plaques on my wall. What I do have is the experience, a plan, that helped me to regain control of my life, and I want to help you to do the same. Let's do it together. Dan Hawthorne

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Support "Man in the Mirror's" Kickstarter Project

"Nothing tastes as good as losing weight feels" ~ Dan Hawthorne

Hello and thank you for being part of the journey. Not so long ago, I was well over six hundred pounds. I took cholesterol and blood pressure medication, walked with a cane, and hated life as well as myself. Now Eighteen months and several pounds later, I'm cane free. I no longer need medication. I have rediscovered my life and appreciate every day.
I'm not a teacher, doctor or a professional. I have no degree or plaques on my wall. All I have is the experience and knowledge needed to regain control of ones life. I have found the key to a healthier and better me. Now, I want to share what I've learned with the world. We're on this earth to help one another and I hope to inspire many with my new book "Man in the Mirror (Getting my life back)". 

"Eating felt good. The taste, the imagined love, swishing around in my mouth took me away from the shame and embarrassment. My comfort was found in food." ~ Man in the Mirror (Getting My Life Back): By Dan Hawthorne with Patricia Garber.

Dan currently lectures in and around Hagerstown, Maryland, where he lives. He has been showcased on the local news networks as well as Fox News DC, Tampa, and Kansas City. Believing that ones relationship with food begins at childhood, Dan cannot stress enough the importance of setting a healthy eating habit early. And when he's not talking to kids, he's encouraging overweight adults to have their own mirror moment. "Confront that sleeping giant," he says. "Love the person not the image."

Want to hear more? See links below.

1. WHAG NEWS- "Hagerstown Man Loses 315 pounds,"
2. Hagerstown Magazine- "The Man in the Mirror,"
3. Fox NEWS DC- "Maryland Man Inspires Others,"
Dan Hawthorne's Blog, 4000 views and counting. Come visit and hear Dan's thank you message at

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Gift of Gab

The official Urban Dictionary says the gift of gab is the ability to talk anyone into anything. This ability is supposedly given to one who has kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland. Well, I've never been to Ireland, and I sure don't have the ability to sell a car to a person without sight, but I do love talking to people.

It's nothing for me to chat up complete strangers. While engaged, I don't realize that I'm holding up those with me.  I'm just talking. I'm not thinking about how bored out of their minds my friends or family are as they listen to Dan ramble on about nothing--again. My focus is on that stranger in front of me. 

Where are they from? What is their story? Can I inspire them, make them smile? Can they inspire me? The questions seem endless and the draw to chat is too hard to resist--so, I don't.  I guess you can say, I have the gift of gab.  It runs in my family, starting with my mother. Yup, she's that lady you sit next to on a bench, and before you know it, she's talking to you like she's known you for years.  And you know that moment when you ask yourself, "Is she talking to me?", and then before you realize it, you're telling her your life story--that's mom!   

In keeping with the family tradition, I go to the mall, grab my large black coffee, and wait for that unexpected person to take a seat. When they do, nine times out of ten, I will start the conversation.  Once they get over the "who are you talking to?" shock, they will start to share their life with me.  I'm a good listener.  Sure, sometimes the topic is deep; maybe too deep for a Sunday afternoon, but most times it's light and interesting. Communication is good.  It feels good to connect and feed off one another. 

We don't talk enough in this world today. Of course, there are some rules that should also be followed.  Like, number one: Don't talk politics. Number two: Don't talk religion.  Especially not religion! That topic is taboo, which is OK with me. I hate politics and religion, but I love God and life. (Oh my, I'm getting off topic, so, back to this gift of gab thing.) 

As you can see, this blog page is perfect for me. I can chat away and talk about anything I want, like I'm doing right now!!!!  It's not pertinent that I speak about anything heavy or deep.  I can just be friendly, which is the point as this world can be very cold at times. 

Now, it seems, this gift of gab stuff has given me quite a reputation. More than once, I have been late to events and or appointments because I'm far too busy solving the world's problems to be watching the clock. Suddenly, I look down to my watch and realize--OMG--I'm late!  And as I'm rushing, but not speeding over the speed limit, to where I'm supposed to be, I'm worrying that so and so is going to be upset with me.  Then I get there and find out that the person waiting isn't upset at all.  In fact, they expected me to be late. Yep, it seems this gift of mine precedes me.  Apparently--and this was news to me--it's well known in my friend circle that if you're in a hurry, you don't make eye contact with Dan.  Go figure! 

And, believe it or not, this gift of gab can even back fire on me too.  For instance, I too have those day's when I'm that guy in a hurry, when I'm racing around and before I know it, some "other" gifted-gab-er (no we aren't marked for easy avoidance but maybe we should be) grabs me and settles in for a chat. You know how it works; it's usually that little old lady, the one who wants to tell you about her kitty cat or the new medicine that's giving her gas. (Did I just go there?) How can I say no to someones grandma? I can't, so, there I sit listening and--yup, you guessed it--I'm late again!  

So what's the moral of this little rambling blog today? Slow down, talk to people. Life goes by so fast and we miss a lot by not communicating with one another.  Take your time. (Guys--I didn't tell you that!) And even if you're in a hurry, stop and give a little hello or how are you to another person. It goes a long way to someone who's hurting or down.  

Can ya feel me my brothers and sisters? (Looking at my watch) Oh crud, now I've been chatting for so long, I'm late for my doctor's appointment! (Wink) 

Gotta run......PEACE

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Day of Reflection

When I look back over my life, I see how far I've come in these past two years and I am so thankful for the new life God has given me. I have rediscovered "ME". Every day I wake up and I thank the big guy for my gift--a second chance to live. 

This new outlook on life has affected not only me but others around me. It's been like a chain reaction of good-good vibrations (Beach Boys pun intended). I truly believe that when we spread love and positive energy, it causes others to do just the same.  As each day progresses into yet another, every human being cannot help but touch another. The world is a small place.  And it's easy to sit and think about what we don't have and dream of all those material things we desire. But it's a much healthier way of thinking to instead see all of the wonderful things we have been blessed with. 

If we woke up than that's a great day. If we can breathe a little easier, see and taste; if we feel love rather than hate than that's a reason to celebrate. There are so many in this world, who don't have the simple things in life; be it they struggle with the shackles of poverty or abuse.  So, it's important to see, really see the tiny things in life. Most of which are freely given to us. They don't cost a cent.  They're there for the poor and rich man alike.

Sure, I want a better car. I want a motorcycle and a new home.  I will admit I do think about material things, from time to time, but living is much more important. Will I have those material things one day? Maybe--maybe not. But if I don't, it's OK.  I'm alive. I have a purpose and I have value--we all do. We just need to see it and believe it--know it. 

So many walk through life blinded. Though they have the gift of physical sight they see nothing.  I beg of you to not allow yourself to be blind to the beauty around you. Even when I was 600 plus pounds, living in Ocean City, Maryland, I would drive to the boardwalk and sit in my car (I could not walk far) and admire the beauty around me. Was I angry, pissed even? YES! But I forced myself to "see".  Though I was living in Hell, I knew life was basically good. If only I could open my eyes and allow my anger to subside enough, I knew I would see again. Now when I see people not seeing, I want to grab them and shake them awake but I know I can't--not without getting arrested. So, I keep smiling. Whenever possible I show love to others and I spread positive energy as much as I can.  In doing this, I feel better. 

When I have a bad day--yes, I do have them--I work hard to snap free from that fog of negativity. I refocus on all the good in my life, like the new and special people who make me smile; understand me and see all the wonderful things in life that I see. If we try hard enough, we can find the good.  

How about you? Do you focus on the negative and see only the things you don't have? I lived in my own Hell for many years. I understand what it feels like to feel trapped inside your own body. That sadness you're feeling took me down more and more, and in the end, it almost took my life. I understand you--you are me, I am you. I get it. But life doesn't have to be like this for you.

Over these past two years, I have refocused.  When I look at life, I see only the good.  This is the attitude I "choose" to have everyday, the uplifted spirit I will continue to have until my last day on earth.  I've had enough of HELL, the Devil can keep it. And I'm here to say, you too can choose how you look at your life. Do you see only your weight? Are you focused on merely your food addictions and bad habits? Do you only see the bad in life and in people? Well stop it! Make a decision today to focus on something good. We all have something to be thankful for, be it your child, a friend, a job. Focus on that and get out of that negative state of mind. When you do that, you will finally see the road to recovery so much clearer. Its there, can you see it? All you have to do is choose to see, and most importantly, take that first step (Wink). 

Love and big hugs to all of you....PEACE