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, April 23, 2013


Hello everybody! Happy Tuesday to you all.

I'm in an extra good mood these days! My body is in a state of constant change, and each day I seem to feel and see things differently than the day before. It's like I'm living life in full color now, so, bare with me a minute while I brag just a little bit.  I think once I tell you the story, you'll be happy with me. (Wink) 

OK, so, as we all can see, summer is approaching, and due to some planned trips to warmer climates, I was recently forced to make a trip to a local retailer.  I say forced, because in the past shopping for clothes wasn't something fun. I dreaded it with a passion. I'm sure many of you can relate, however, this was a fashion dire emergency. 

Having lost well over 330 pounds, 95% of my clothes didn't fit! Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It's a good thing but just the idea of going clothes shopping had me breaking out into hives (figuratively speaking).  So, I force myself to go and I'm checking out the latest fashions in the King-size section. You know what I'm talking about; that section where every designer seems to believe that all large people are working as part time clowns on the side. Who makes this stuff? Anyway, for those that have never lived an obese life, the way it works is, the regular sizes, say in the men's dept, only go up to size 42.  If you're bigger than that, one heads to the hefty section, a.k.a Big Man's corner (emphasis on BIG). 

I needed jeans badly, so I picked out a pair of 44's, which just recently fit me, and placed them into the try-on pile. Next, I went over to the swim wear.  Now, let me tell you peeps, in the old days, I wouldn't have been caught dead in this section. And, in fact, I would have avoided it like a colony cursed with the plague  I haven't owned a pair of swim trunks in years, but I desire a few dips this summer, so, I carefully walked into the lion's den.

 Huh, this isn't so bad, I thought. Then looking at the 3 X's (my old size as of a few months ago), I pause for just a moment and then kept moving, right into the 2 X section. Where I grab a cool blue pair of flower patterned (Manly flowers, mind you) swim trunks, and a long with my 44 sized jeans, head to the dressing room.

On the way, I look over at the regular men's sections--where designers actually understand that some men aren't part time clowns. Man, those clothes are just way cool (Pardon my 80's moment)! I thought, but wasn't ready to enter the circus-free zone just yet--not for a few more pounds, anyway. However, the temptation was too much so I stopped and picked up a pair of 42 jeans. I thought, well, I might as well give it a try, see just how far I have yet to go. 

I get to the dressing room, and of course the internal battle starts. Which one do I try on first? Do I start with the smaller one and get the disappointment over with or do I go with what I know will fit and be happy?  It's a tough choice, but I go for the smaller jeans first.  

When I put those babies on, I was in shock. They fit!!!!!!!!  OMG. OGL. Oh H*LL yeah!  I was ready to do back flips.  I, Daniel Wayne Hawthorne, had picked out a pair of jeans in the regular sized men's department! And they fit me!  I haven't shopped in that section since I was in my 20's. 

Praise JESUS!  I wanted to scream for joy but the employee lady--the one that gives you those little plastic number-thingy's when you entered--was old and I didn't want to give her a heart attack.  I mean, I was about to have a real old fashion Sunday-go-to-meeting spiritual revival right then and there. Then I went to the 2X trunks, slid them on, and felt like I was wearing a large two-man tent! Can this be? Can Dan really be wearing a regular XL pair of swim trunks? 

HECK YEA PEEPS!!!! That's what I'm telling you! 

There have been many great moments a long my journey, but this one, I will never forget. I hadn't planned on reaching any special goals that day.  All I know for certain is that every day that I'm alive is a wonderful surprise. Friends, keep working hard, do your best every day. Be consistent and you will experience events and moments like these for yourself!

As it was, I was so excited that my evening work out had a little extra humph to it.  And now, as I get closer to my final goal (225 LBS-235 LBS), my new life is a clear reality. Its within reach.  Just two years ago, when I was six hundred and twenty five pounds, I could only dream of shopping in the regular men's section.  I'm there and let me tell you, it's an unbelievable feeling.  And it proves, to me and I hope to you too, that what we talk about every week is true. We can all have a new life by just making better eating choices, exercising regularly, and above all, retain a positive attitude as much as possible.  Bottom line: Believe in yourself. It's just that simple. 

OK, that's it, no more bragging. At least until I reach that size 40, which is coming up next. Besides, I gotta go shopping. I just heard that's there's a blue light special on Levis at the Big Mart, so, I'm out of here!  LEVIS! Can you imagine? Hey, don't count me out. They may just fit me next week, as one never knows what milestones can be conquered when we believe! 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Uplifted by Facebook?

I've talked a lot about the old Dan. You know, that extra large fellow who was spending all his time in a self-made prison. Six months ago, when I talked about him, it was mostly presented in a negative light. Now, I choose a more positive message. Not that being six hundred and twenty five pounds is positive by any means, but the fact that I escaped from that prison and got myself back to life is.  

Witch brings me to this blog.

You've seen some of the posts, miserable people clambering to their platforms in order to spread their dark cloud over the town of Facebookville.  In fact today, as I was scrolling, I learned far too much about people I know as well as people I don't really know.  So and so is fighting with somebody, and somebody is pissed at another for something they said to yet another.  Or, I hate Obama. I hate republicans. I love guns. I hate guns. It's all so negative! 

When one's trying to regain one's life, it's good to try and focus on the positive side of life, like the tree's bustling with the new buds of spring or the new puppy fascinated with a dead leaf down the road. Whatever thrills you, find it. Because, when we concentrate on the ugly, we take ourselves deeper into that dark place that we're trying so hard to escape.  If you really want to improve your life--get it back to where it once was--then look around and see the beauty. It's everywhere. Look at the tree outside your window, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy your children or your happy dog or cat. God's beauty surrounds us and its there if you want to see it. 

Me: I choose to stay positive and post uplifting messages on Facebook. When I do, people seem to get something from it, and it makes me very happy to see that I may be helping them. Sure, I understand we all have those bad days and we all need to vent a little--even me--but talking about what makes you happy, what moves you and makes you feel good, will go much father then posting what  angers you. 

With that said I challenge all of you reading this blog today, to go to your Face Book page and write something good, something positive and uplifting.  There are millions of folks out there, reading over their morning coffee, looking for a word of encouragement. I do. You do. We all scroll. 

So, see ya on Face Book. Lol-LMAO-BRB. Oh, you know all that FB Lingo!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bad mood? Time for the gym!

What do you do when you're stressed? Don't tell me, you eat? I know, I know, I used to do the same.

If I had a bad day, my first instinct was to hit the nearest drive-through. There's just nothing like a greasy burger, or a bowl of chocolate ice cream, to make one feel better. When your world is spinning out of control, it's comforting. It makes you feel good--for the five minutes it takes to consume it anyway. Then afterwards, you're left with nothing but anger and guilt.

What? You've never done that before? Oh, Come on! I know you; yes you, right there--the one reading this now. You know what I'm talking about.

So, what can we do when the stress of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness gets to be far too much to handle? 

Well, as a matter of fact, I recently had a mixed up day of emotions recently.  It was one of those days where everything "seemed" to be happening in my favor. I was even getting my end-of-the-day strut on. You know the one where your footsteps get lighter, as 5 pm gets closer, and that beer-thirty beverage you've denied yourself all week sounds like a well earned treat. Then--WHAM!--something drops and flips you on your rear, thus spilling that imaginary cold brew inches before your lips. (*&#@!!!)  

That's what happened to me a few nights ago; a few things went wrong and my emotions got the best of me of me (a.k.a, I was freaking out). And, now, I knew there were bad foods in the house as I'd put them there a few nights before, hoping for a weekend treat later. Sure, I could have easily eaten all of it in one sitting. Heck, at that point, I wanted to guzzle more than just one imaginary Bud! I wanted the whole twelve pack. But, that good angel on my shoulder spoke to me just in time; "Go to the gym Dan, finish the night off with a BANG."  

I sat there for a few minutes, willing myself to calm down. I decided that angel was right; I could not undue the bad but I could do something productive and say "No" to the cold brew, and instead go to the gym. I could use that bad energy to burn good calories. And I did just that! I worked out like I had never before, conquering a mile on the treadmill in record time. And those squats came and went like a flash of lightning--three sets of 12, not a problem! The weights felt light that night, so, I added more. I was a machine, I tell ya. And after that hour of hard work had passed, I was a new man.  I had forgotten all about that negative energy.  My spirit felt lighter.

The old Dan would have sat down and finished off a large pizza, all by himself, washing it all down with a jumbo Dr. Pepper. The new Dan took all that pent up emotion to the gym and did something positive and healthy with it. 

I'm telling you, friends, that chocolate cake or greasy taco may work in a pinch but its killing us! My favorite quote still stands: "Nothing tastes as good as losing weight feels!"  When you're upset or stressed, go for a walk or a bike ride--hit the gym--and when you're done, you will feel ten times better than if you had hit a Mc-drive-thru instead.  And that's coming from the ex-King of stress eating!

Bad day? Take a step back and think about it for a minute or two. If you must eat, then eat something that's going to make you feel good rather than riddle you with regret, adding to your already stressful day. Do some jumping jacks! You'll be thanking me and yourself for it later.