As a deejay and late-night, talk-show host, Dan Hawthorne has always had a voice for radio.
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Now, he has a body for television.
Bill Cunningham wants him to be a guest on his new syndicated program. Tough-love fitness guru Jillian Michaels has expressed interest in an interview. And James Robison has been in touch about a possible appearance on his international ministry show.
He’s even been contacted by several book publishers.
Hawthorne never imagined be would be receiving so much media attention.
But it’s all about wishful shrinking.
Once weighing 590 pounds, Hawthorne has embarked on a journey to lose weight and regain his life.
Eight months into the program, the Hagerstown man already has met his first milestone — losing 200 pounds.
“I never thought I would see the 300s again,” Hawthorne admitted. “It keeps me motivated and helps me realize that all the hard work and discipline is so worth it.”
His efforts also have been inspirational.
“I’ve received so many emails and greetings from people after the story came out in The Herald-Mail,” he said. “It’s opened the door for me to talk to people who need a little help. That is what I want to continue to do. It’s very fulfilling to know you can affect somebody in a positive way. I think we all have a calling or job in our life. It just took me 46 years to find mine.”
Hawthorne said that, when he decided to lose weight, it was never about becoming a celebrity.
“It truly never has been about fame or fortune,” he said. “It’s about freeing myself from that dark prison that I was once in.”
Weighing close to 600 pounds and living with low self-esteem, he knew he had to make changes or die, he said.
After several failed attempts at exercise and dieting, he met Thomas Burge, coordinator of the Fitness Center at Hagerstown Community College.
“He stepped in and saved my life,” Hawthorne said.
The two men devised an exercise program and also discussed a change in eating habits.
They took it slow as Hawthorne built up his strength and endurance. And, gradually, Hawthorne watched as the pounds melted away.