Hello Tim and thank you for asking. I considered it, for a minute.
Mary: What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
------------------------------On A Personal Note-------------------------------
Am I really this happy? Do I really view the world as good and wonderful? Do I tell the tree outside,"Your beautiful," as I leave for the day? YES YES and YES. Did losing weight create all this positive energy? NO NO NO. Then how did I get so happy, you may ask.
I lived at the lowest of low, both inside and out. I hated myself. I hated my life, God, and anybody or anything. There were days when I didn't care if I woke up, days when I felt like the biggest waste of human flesh. I felt alone and I never saw the good around me, like the family and friends who cared about me. I didn't see beauty in the ocean, though I lived next to it. I didn't think I would know love, true love, or experience a full happy life. I thought my chances for all these things had passed, nothing more than a young man's fantasy . And as I sank lower and lower, my body and soul were in a constant state of decline. I used everything as a excuse to be upset; politics, sports, job, failing marriage, bills. It's too hot. It's too cold. I hate the rain. I wish it would rain. I hate these tourists--I hate, I hate, I hate. Yep, friends, that was me. The guy you know as Mr Happy. Mr Inspirational. Mr PEACE.
I've shared many times how I got there, how ugly and painful life had become. How it took all of that negativity, all the pounds, and all the pain, to wake me up. And though it sounds very cliché, the turning point did just happened. I was tired of feeling like a second class citizen, it wasn't who I was deep inside. I wasn't this angry man who didn't care about life. I wasn't an addict who needed a cheeseburger to be happy. This was not Dan Hawthorne. Dan is a happy guy, a man who loves people, loves music, the sunshine and the rain. He loves swimming in the ocean, going out with friends on the bay, and having shrimp and cold beers at Happy Hour. I was the guy that wanted to go out and see the world, experience all that life had to offer. I was the guy who believed in love, but I wasn't living like the man I wanted to be, the man I truly was. I was living in a 625 pound prison. Fed up,I stared down at the giant in the mirror looking back at me. I heard a call for help. I heard that man, so full of life and dreams, cry out to me, "help me Dan, don't let me die."
I wanted to laugh again, live and love again, and in that moment, I made a commitment to him. I told him I would do my best to not only help him, but to give him a full life, help him to accomplish those dreams and goals.
That night, I began to refocus and look at things in a different way. I'd wake up and look outside my window, focusing on the sounds of happy people riding around the bay on jet skies and water boats. I could smell the wonderful salt in the morning breeze and I'd actually linger to enjoy it. I looked at that big guy in the mirror now and told him that we could handle this, we were going to get our life back.
The more I did this, the better i felt, about life and about me. The more I concentrated on the good, the more motivated I became. The more I became thankful to the man upstairs, the more he gave to me. That's how it started; I simply refused to become angry and bitter. I would not let food control me or my life. Nor was I returning to that 625 pound prison. I'd lived it, I knew what it was like to give up and I wasn't going back.
Today, I like to think I'm proof that nothing is impossible. Did losing weight bring me happiness? No. Happiness allowed me to care enough to lose the weight. Its just that simple. We have to fix the inside before we can fix the outside. You can watch videos and read every weight loss book on the market. A trainer can tell you how to exercise, how to eat and how to live healthier, but until you come face to face with that man/woman in the mirror, have a heart to heart, none of it will matter. I can't make you be happy. I can make people laugh, help them to seed the funny side to life, but its you who has to want it. You have to do the work.
Im a new man today. Im alive. I can breath, I can walk, I can see and smell. I wake up everyday and see the beautiful world around me. I feel love like never have before and I appreciate the life that I've been given. But most importantly, I take great joy in being able to say to you with utmost certainty: Yes. You. Can.
Am I really this happy? You bet I am!