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320 | Author of ”The Giant in Me” back on Positive Talk Radio!

October 04, 2022

320 | Author of ”The Giant in Me” back on Positive Talk Radio!
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Born in the small-big town of Hagerstown, Maryland, Daniel dreamt of being a radio personality. His young dreams came true when he landed his first on-air job in the 80's. But fate had other plans, one filled with self-image troubles and depression. And by the time Daniel was in his late 30's, he was 650 pounds! For 10 years, Daniel fought the negativity that held him in darkness. Until a friend called a friend, and Daniel found himself standing in a gym for the first time in his life. The years that followed were soul changing! And now, 300 pounds lighter, Daniel is living his dream again, hosting a syndicated radio program called Blue Suede Connection, and discovering life anew with soul mate, author Patricia Garber. The pair have written their first book together, working to share hope and support to all suffering from obesity and body image issues. They share their life with four fur-kids on a lake in Virginia, defining the states slogan--Virginia really is for lovers!

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Unknown Speaker  0:03  
Welcome to positive talk radio. Our goal is simple to explore evolving ideas one conversation at a time. So stay with us. And right now we present

Unknown Speaker  0:17  
and we have an awesome show for you today we've got Dan Hawthorne and Patricia they are the authors of the book awesome show today

Unknown Speaker  0:33  
kick off the show

Unknown Speaker  0:36  
we've got the feedback because we did we killed the feedback. Yeah, yes. Now you know, Kevin, do you think we're radio people we would know better than to do that. But you know,

Unknown Speaker  0:46  
it happens from time to time but these two have written the book giant in me and it is a really cool book about by the way I you know, if you're listening now and you're sitting in your room and your 650 pounds you've got you've got nothing in your life that you feel is important to you and and you're just not happy and we got a show for you today because we've got a guy who was that guy and is no longer that guy he lost he lost that whole guy. Yeah lost a person man. You lost him you lost a big person. Yeah

Unknown Speaker  1:29  
congratulations you you are an amazing an amazing man and and and then you met Patricia and she's an amazing author and and you guys work together and you also do a show that is based that is actually

Unknown Speaker  1:47  
a syndicated show. Yeah, we are absolutely this guy right behind here

Unknown Speaker  1:55  
is a across the country and it's all about the king the Kings yes, you're actually you are in the blue suede connection studios with us right now. This is where it all happens. That's where the magic happens. Yeah, so we're all this comes alive every week.

Unknown Speaker  2:14  
I'm curious to know because I'm a little bit of a radio guy how you format it and what do you do you play mostly music you tell stories? What do you do? Little bit of everything right? But mostly it's music intensive. Yeah, but we tell stories what we like to do is we always say people wonder why Elvis was so big and why so adored and so loved so much it's because really in the end Elvis was one of us and we like to show that on the show we play the alternate takes for he's laughing in the studio messing up making fun of himself telling jokes being a little honoree here and there which editing always put in with that. But you know and we just show the real side of the human side of Elvis and he's a very much a major part of the show we play clips I'm talking throughout the show and every week just mean it could be rock'n'roll sock hop one week Elvis country music one week, you know just so much music so kind of go from that. And Elvis had quite a potty mouth. The only alternate tics when he didn't think you know it was going to suck a listener so to speak. So yeah, again, does a lot of editing Elvis's potty mouth.

Unknown Speaker  3:23  
Hi, my name is beep.

Unknown Speaker  3:25  

Unknown Speaker  3:28  
Yep, in the studio. He drops up things here and there as he's working out songs we have we have a lot of celebrity guests that stop into sort of

Unknown Speaker  3:39  
might come out today. Oh, nice. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Unknown Speaker  3:46  
Now that's that is really really good.

Unknown Speaker  3:49  
Can you can you sing like Jim Nabors? Oh, no. The impossible dream. The five immutable phones, something like that.

Unknown Speaker  4:04  
For those of you that are a little younger, because Elvis passed in like 1978.

Unknown Speaker  4:11  
Is that right? Seven

Unknown Speaker  4:13  
years, close. And I remember where I was. I was driving in my car when they announced that he had passed and but for those of you who aren't aware of how big Elvis was, at one time in like 1964, there was a group of guys that came from England. That was one of them on their bucket list. And I'm talking about of course, the Beatles. Sure, on their bucket list was to meet Elvis and they got to have the opportunity to do that at one point and, and they were thrilled it went into all of their writings and it's in the anthology and

Unknown Speaker  4:55  
all this was like in the late 50s and early 60s, he was

Unknown Speaker  5:00  
dumb man. Yeah, he was. And in fact he is again today that movie that just came out in June.

Unknown Speaker  5:07  
It raked in almost over $300 million,

Unknown Speaker  5:11  

Unknown Speaker  5:13  
is the highest grossing movie the Baz Luhrmann has ever put out. He put out the Great Gatsby and Romeo and Juliet, and lots of big hit films. But this Elvis movie Yeah, big Milan Rouge. It's incredible. It's been a while so far. Yeah, it's really good. And the soundtrack is like number one on the charts and the music charts on Billboard. And Elvis is being rediscovered now by a whole new generation, thanks to this film, and Blue Suede connection? Of course, of course. Well, and there's a reason why you've been syndicated all over the country is because people are going, they're hungry for that information. And would love to know more about Elvis and, and what, what he did and that kind of thing. And it's a remarkable, it's a remarkable pizza you guys are doing so you know, you should really congratulate yourselves on being Thank you. Thank you. It's, it's all because of him, though. You know, like I told you one of the first interview we did I come out of the womb singing hound dog. And when I got into radio, it was always my dream, to do an all Elvis radio show. And then it was always my dream to fall in love with a beautiful angel. So now I've got my two worlds coming together. My angel does my eldest radio show with me. So there you go. And she wrote your book with you? Absolutely. Yes. And yeah, that's right up my alley. So I had no problem with that. But when he said, You're gonna do radio with me, I was like, You didn't believe me? At first? I don't see myself doing radio.

Unknown Speaker  6:45  
Yeah. But it's a lot of fun. Isn't it great deal of fun. And you guys are taking it to a great level of putting that together. And but let's start at the beginning, shall we? Absolutely. I'd love to talk about that, that when you have that conversation in the mirror, with a man in the mirror that you were looking at, right, and tell us about that? Well, I was about as low as you could possibly get. That was the lowest point of my life I had, I moved to the eastern shore of Maryland, to try to fix a marriage that was broken, to try to get my career going. I wanted to get back into radio and everything just fell apart for me there. And I just hit rock bottom and the radio show didn't happen. The marriage just got worse. And

Unknown Speaker  7:38  
when you get down in life, you know, you rely on that high that you need. As we talked about in the book, food was always a comfort to me. It was always something that made me happy. So for several years, I sat on the couch, eating my life away, basically eating mine to my death. And it got to the point where I was up to 650 pounds. I was so angry, I hated life. I hated myself, I was made at a higher power. I blamed everything on everybody else but myself. And one night, late August night I was living in this little box trailer. I pulled my girth off the couch. And I grabbed my cane and I wobbled down the hallway, which was really lean, I mean always tend to fall into the water walk it was and I was so big was that I played with space. But I got into this bathroom and I put the cane on the wall,

Unknown Speaker  8:30  
put both hands on the same counter and just stared into the mirror. And for several minutes, I cursed the giant I called him every name you can think of you factor you know, I was mad. I was sweating profusely. At one point I pulled my fist back home was hit the mirror, I was so mad, I wanted to hurt him. And then after several moments of this battle,

Unknown Speaker  8:54  
I was shaking tremendously, but I just calm down, I calm myself down and I leaned into the mirror, I was nose to nose face to face with the giant.

Unknown Speaker  9:05  
And instead of looking at that image and staring at that I closed my eyes and kind of looked into the soul. And at that point, I heard Dan Hall form crying begging for help.

Unknown Speaker  9:16  
And at that moment, I started to you know, shed some tears and I apologized to Dan I said I'm sorry brother what I've done to you I'm so sorry. And I made a promise to that man in the mirror at that moment that I would do my best to get him his life back and try to get things right and get get a life going again because I didn't want to die. And I know Dan didn't want to die. I talked about him in the third person because he sort of was that giant was definitely your alter ego. Yeah, we call him Goliath in the book. But

Unknown Speaker  9:47  
that was that moment and that's when I just felt this comfort come over me like you can do this. You know you can do this you can get your life back. And that was that mirror moment that rocky things started to go off.

Unknown Speaker  10:00  
There we go again, there's this professional radio people with backgrounds.

Unknown Speaker  10:06  
When you're naughty, and I just ruined a good thing there No, but that's that's the moment where it all happened, Kevin, you know, just the motor turned and I started to get my life back. And it was one major hurdle after another, it was not easy. The things that happened throughout this journey is one road, one step forward, always to back, you know, the, the way that all went down. It's all in the book, how this happened. I don't know how much you want me to get into it. But it's just amazing. Well,

Unknown Speaker  10:35  
that was that you were a dog.

Unknown Speaker  10:40  
We had chili before we came on the air and

Unknown Speaker  10:44  
a four legged baby likes attention to breakfast dinner time here. And he's letting us know. Very, very good, very good. I was struck by one of the things that you mentioned was when you took your kids to school in the morning, and that you would

Unknown Speaker  11:03  
plan your day or plan your trip home by fast food place, you're gonna stop and get their supersize meal. You haven't bought one and then you bought another one on the way home as well work. Yeah, yeah, cuz the strip of ocean city where I was living is just a long strip, it's a tourist place. So it's one restaurant after another, it was actually the ex wife that I would take to work. And I dropped her off. And at this point, I couldn't walk so I wasn't working. So that you know, drop her off, and I just been in that funk. That terrible place at heart. This is my life now. So I would stop a drive thru number one and get the number two meal that morning time it would be probably the muffin and ham and egg and cheese muffin hash brown and a big old Coca Cola or coffee, whatever I felt at the moment that was like on First Street. Now by the time I got to 75th Street where we were living, I passed dozens of drive throughs so I've stopped for a fixed number to somewhere along the way. And then I get home. And I strategically plan my day and the where's the fix gonna be later we're going to have for lunch isn't gonna be pizza today, and I'm gonna have tacos, burritos are gonna be burgers, what am I going to have, though, I look forward to those moments, that 10 minutes to consume that food that gave me the happiness and comfort that I needed because everything else was miserable in my life. That had to be a really tough existence, especially when getting getting 650 pounds off the couch. No, it was quitting profusely. That takes a lot of effort. Yeah, it hurt to raise my hand, my arm, I would just just raise my arm hurt, I would feel this pain get through my arm. And I had a bad ankle at the time, too. And I still do I deal with that. But just standing on that. I mean, it was miserable. One of the big things to remember, in this dark time in my life, I don't think we I don't know if we covered this in the book or not, I forget. But I went out to a movie by myself, which is embarrassing enough as it is. And it was an old time movie theater. I wanted to I think it was one of the new Star Wars remake came out when they re edited Star Wars. I wanted to see it. And I wanted to and I want to go sit in the seat and I couldn't fit. I had to go out into the lobby and ask them Do they have a fold out chair or something that when they did they brought it down and put it in the middle of the aisle? So Fannie could sit there and watch the movie? No chair with no side? Yeah, one of those like aluminum chairs. Yeah, I was afraid that wasn't going to hold me.

Unknown Speaker  13:28  
That's how bad it was. That had to be a very humbling moment in your life. It was it was? Well, because we you know, like, if you were to fly on an airplane, you had to buy two tickets, and

Unknown Speaker  13:43  
you know, and all of that. So, so let's, let's leave that guy behind because the giant no longer exists. Right, right. It is now Dan and Dan, the the radio personality and the author. And did you ever think when you were looking in that mirror? Did you ever think that you would actually get to be this guy?

Unknown Speaker  14:08  
I dreamed it. I dreamed it a lot. But you know at that moment, that moment of Zen when I felt that comfort again. I started to believe I started to believe you could get this back. I didn't know what that exactly meant that Amina is going to be a radio guy again and all but I knew I could get my life back somehow. I just wanted to be able to walk again. I wanted to be able to do simple things. I couldn't cross my legs. When I sat down. I couldn't tie my own shoes. So those were the kinds of things I dreamed of at that moment. And then as I started to lose the way this thing started to happen, then I started to dream bigger and bigger. And then I started to get that itch to get back into radio again. And I started to think you know you're gonna meet that special someone someday sometimes someone's going to walk into you and it's going to happen, just keep concentrating on you and fixing you. And all those things will fall into place and they certainly did

Unknown Speaker  14:59  

Unknown Speaker  15:00  
It's pretty, it's pretty amazing that it's all worked out the way it has. But you know, at the same time, it's not. Right. You are not destined to be a 650 pound dead man that had to be buried in a piano crate, right?

Unknown Speaker  15:15  
That's not who you were. That's not who you know. And

Unknown Speaker  15:20  
go ahead. I was gonna say, you know, as I look back on it now, people ask me all the time, do you regret it? At one point, I used to say, Yeah, but now I don't. Because all that led me to where I am now. And I know that my story is helping others. And that's kind of become my goal.

Unknown Speaker  15:37  
This book that we have is not about making money. For us, it's about giving back, I was given a gift to live again. And I know there's millions of people out there living in that same dark place where I was living. And it doesn't have to be people that with weight issues, it can be drug addicts, or people who are contemplating taking their life who were just unhappy in life and feel like it's over. I can be that voice now for them and let them know, hey, you know, you are beautiful, inside and out, you can get your life back. And that's the message I speak every day to anybody that will listen. And that's why it's important that you come on this show, because this is about this is positive talk radio, it's about me. It's about doing great things. But you we are all the sum total of our experiences. Absolutely. When your experiences over a period of time are, are you know, you weren't in a good marriage, you didn't feel good about yourself and those things. But at the end of the day, you use those experiences, to change who you were to become the man that you are. And first of all, I congratulate you to a great degree you've done you've done a marvelous thing. Thank you, sir. Thank you. And and the other cool thing is there is you are absolutely right. There is somebody that's going to listen to this podcast, or this videocast and they're gonna say, Damn, that's me. Right, Ryan?

Unknown Speaker  17:06  
If he can do it, I mean, you put your pants on one leg at a time, where you have an S on your chest, but you're still a man, and

Unknown Speaker  17:16  
somebody else can do it as well. Right? And that's the message Kevin and I love what you do you what you do every day with this, the show is amazing. And people need this. They need what you're doing. Exactly. Every day. There's so much negativity in the world so much bad out there. We need this positive radio and I'm so glad that we found one another and we're able to do this together. Well, I thoroughly enjoy having you on because you got a tremendous amount of energy. It would have been guys it would have been such a waste. Such a waste of of human ability for you to have had passed away at and and had given up.

Unknown Speaker  18:00  
What was it about you? Do you think that allowed you and I get the fact that when you're when you're that heavy, and you know you

Unknown Speaker  18:10  
you can wake up in the morning and go to the restroom and lose 10 pounds? Sure, you know, that sort of thing. But when when you are that heavy, and then to turn your life around to that degree, you've got to be really proud of yourself. I gotta ask you, though, how do you do it? Well, I certainly didn't do it alone. I you know, and there's so many angels in my life.

Unknown Speaker  18:34  
The first being an carbaugh. I gotta give an carbaugh credit. She's in our book, because an was a friend of mine, a high school friend, and she knew my pain and what I was going through. She knew how unhealthy I was. And she worked at the local community college in my hometown. And in that College, where she worked, there was a new fitness instructor who took over the gym. And there's also a teacher. His name is Thomas Berge. And, and talk to Thomas when he first got there, and she says, I have a friend, I think that you would really like to talk to because at that time, Thomas was looking to give the gym a good reputation, let the public know it existed. And not just students could work out there that the public had come to this place to. And he had heard about me and he sent me a message and an email. And he said, Tell me a little bit about yourself. And I told him all the problems and how big I was and but I told him I wanted to live and Thomas said, I would like you to come in here and talk to me. I think I shared this with you the first time but when he said that I was scared to death. And I sat in my car for a long period of time with the angel here and the devil here debating do I really want to go in there is this guy serious? Because I've had so many failures up to that point. But I did go in and Thomas shut the door, walked in, sit down at his desk and stare me right in the eyes and said tell me about

Unknown Speaker  20:00  
out. We had about a half hour chat. And at the end of that chat, he said, Are you serious? You're ready to do this? I said, Yeah. And that once again, rocky themes started to play. And that was the beginning. But many angels helped me and the and would be the first and then Thomas, of course, I would not have been able to do this without him. And we'd give him a lot of credit in the book. And he deserves it right to me absolutely. Mr. Burch? Yeah, he's a hero all times.

Unknown Speaker  20:25  
And then, of course, other angels, the most important angel appeared in my life then when I least expected that so. But angels, and this lady saved my life, too. I gotta tell you,

Unknown Speaker  20:36  
in my own my journey, Kevin, you think when you lose all that weight and things, you think you're never going to have health issues again? Well, I had a kidney stone going on. And I think it was good. No, you had longer Yeah. And I didn't address it. And I had some other issues going on. At the same time, I'm losing all this weight, my body's not adjusted to eating healthy so much anymore at this point. So one day,

Unknown Speaker  21:02  
Patricia and I were out to dinner. And I'm sitting in this restaurant and my I felt, you know, like a wave. It started in my feet. And it just went through my entire body. And I started getting heavier and heavier, this constant weight just going through shooting through my body. The pain was so severe. I couldn't talk, I can barely talk. And I said, I can't move. I can't move. And I said, go out and get the car or something. I got to go home, I started getting freezing cold. And the people in the restaurant were staring at me. I knew they were wondering what's going on with this man. I literally could not even get out of the booth. I was so in pain and this sharp, sharp weight. So I did finally make it to the car. So just take me home, I want to get under the covers. I was freezing. So you had the heat turn sky high in the car. I said take me home. She said I think you need to go to the emergency room. I said no, I want to go home, I want to go home, he just wanted to go to bed, I wanted to get into a hot bath or something and getting 100 covers I was so it just hurt that bad. And she said I'm not going to take you in this house. You're going to the hospital. We went to the emergency room. And the doctor said, you know it's a good thing you came your body was in septic shock. He said you very well may not have made it. If you had just went home and gotten that day said if you'd have gone to sleep you wouldn't have woken up. Yeah. So again, she's an angel for many reasons. But there you go. Another one. Well, you know, I gotta tell you, if you set yourself on the right course of action, and you believe in it, and you work it, good things will happen. Absolutely. Yeah. Even even when you think oh, gee whiz, that's a coincidence. No, it's well, you know, and I'm funny thing is I talked about earlier about how, you know, I'm glad what happened to me in the early years, it happened because it's give me what I have today, that encountering a hospital when that happened. I'm talking to nurses, I'm talking to different people, the guy beside me. And I think my story, I always share my story. So I was probably in there with that septic shock for a reason that to speak to somebody else who may be needed to hear it. It happens all the time when we're with flights. Yeah, you know, sometimes we don't get to sit together because she especially also works for the airline industry. And sometimes we get to fly for free. And but we'd always go together. And it seems like I'm always sitting beside somebody that needs to hear the story. It's just, it just seems to happen that way. So once again, by the way, we're talking with Daniel Hawthorne, and Daniel, what's a website that we need to reference? Go ahead fishing, dance personal blog site would be probably the best place to go. And that's Dan dash And that's got his story and the blogs that he writes and Book Information. Everything is on there. She's my Colonel Parker.

Unknown Speaker  23:53  
She really has me a radical babe, what's that? Right? Yeah. What's that phone number? Like the walking inside? Yeah, he is.

Unknown Speaker  24:02  
I like that job. We're good team can we really are? Well, and you know, and I'm saving the story for how you met. You met each other for yet, because I really want people to understand that.

Unknown Speaker  24:16  
While none of that was easy, and you're telling me and by the way, if you want to reference

Unknown Speaker  24:23  
episode number 236. That's the first story that we talked about. What Dan, that's number 236 on positive talk And we talked about your story and where it came from, because I didn't know any of it. I now know a little bit more about you. And I also know that you are and you've got a tremendous energy about you.

Unknown Speaker  24:45  
There's a reason why you went through the wars like you did, so that now you can be a shining example for people who are in the same boat, and it doesn't have to be just weight. It can be anything that you want.

Unknown Speaker  25:00  
Are you or feel addicted to because it's the only thing in your life that makes you feel decently? Exactly. I spoke to a a couple of years ago, about two years ago, I think I spoke to a, a group of people, drug addicts, actually. And they were people who were trying to recover. And I spoke to that group. And so many came up and said, You know, I relate so much to your story. And I've never taken a drug in my life. But yet my story resonated with those folks. So while you're, you're still your drug of choice. Yes, food. Exactly. Biryani. The interesting thing about that is today I had the opportunity to interview a gal, she lost her son when her son was 31, of a drug overdose because he'd had physical issues, and had and went to, and have several major, major surgeries. And so they gave him all these drugs. He became addicted. And he ended up losing his wife. And so it can happen in myriads of ways. And that's, that's why your story is so powerful. And I'm glad you wrote the book. And

Unknown Speaker  26:07  
and how's it How long has the book been out? Now?

Unknown Speaker  26:11  
It's just under two months. Yeah, just under two months, it's doing really well. We're, we're so so blessed, and humbled by all of the things that people write us and the reviews. It's it's getting five star reviews, mostly. And so far, but mostly five, and just some great words people are sharing with us on Amazon and other places, because it's available everywhere. So but yeah, how's that? How's that make you guys feel?

Unknown Speaker  26:39  
You want to go ahead, you're good. I've been talking, I feel wonderful. I, you know, I didn't really want to write this book. In the very beginning, Dan and I were just barely knew each other. And it wasn't my genre to write in. I'm a fiction writer. And so I didn't think I could do it. And I didn't think I could do it justice. I thought the story needed to be shared, but I didn't think it was me that could do it. So initially, I had turned him down. So now to see, you know, that the feeling that I had that I needed to do, it was a good instinct for me to follow. And now I can clearly see why. You know.

Unknown Speaker  27:17  
And the thing is, it's in time that we've written this book. It's taken a few years, but we wanted this book out years ago, but obstacles once again, but I don't think it was supposed to come out then because she knows me now. 10 times better than she knew me five years ago. So it's easier for her to tell the story that she tells right, you know, and I didn't want to be in it. Remember? Yeah, that was the hard part. You know, we didn't we haven't gotten to the love story yet. But she was very uncomfortable with that. I'll tell you anything. I'll tell you what color underwear I'm wearing. I don't care. I'm an open book. But with her, you know, oh, I don't want to talk about me so big, you're too big of a part of the story. Now, there's no way you can't be in the book. So I think it's one of the best parts of the book too along with your story itself. It it shows people that love can come from anywhere you don't know where it's coming from. And then when it happens, it's truly beautiful. You know, and I think it gives it a really, really nice happy ending. Okay, you guys are forcing me into

Unknown Speaker  28:22  
part of the story. I was gonna hold it for later. But

Unknown Speaker  28:27  
tell us tell us how you met and how that all played out? Well, for me, you know, when I was that 650 pound giant, I was looking for any kind of friendship or anything I could find not a person but on the good old internet. And being an Elvis fan, I would go to different Elvis sites and this and that. And I found one called the Elvis International. And I met several wonderful people in this club. But there was this particular pretty blonde haired girl used to see in there once in a while and I found out she was a writer and this and that. And I friended her on Facebook, and I would watch her a little bit. So now you skip a few years Kevin, when I'm this still this very large Philip. I had another friend in this club name deck. His name was deck that's his name, but he was dying of cancer. Decks dream was to go to Graceland and see Elvis his house and all that, you know, he just that's what he wanted to do. So the 650 pound giant said okay, you know, I'll do this. So Dec myself and a few others jumped in the car and we went to Memphis. Now I kind of stayed in my own bubble when I was there. The hotel where we were staying had a big auditorium and that's where they held a lot of the festivities the oldest sock calm or the dance hop that all the different Elvis fan clubs where there can get their money they raised for their charities of choice and I'm in this room one night in my little bubble with my table and I'm watching

Unknown Speaker  30:00  
All the people and some folks from the UK come over, they knew me and Linda and Lorraine, you guys, I love you guys. They came over and said hi and they recognize me. And most of the pictures and stuff I posted on this page, I was a thinner me with wet hair and all that. They figured it out. So I'm sitting there and the door is open and in walks this beautiful, beautiful blonde haired girl. And she didn't walk across the floor, she floated. And I watched her intently, I really did. And I'm sitting straight across from her. I would never make eye contact or anything like that. And I didn't want her to know as watching, but I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. And I watched her other people gravitated to her. But I didn't feel worthy. I talked to everybody else. But I didn't feel worthy to talk to her. This woman that whole evening. So the next day, the same Auditorium is the day they're doing the presentation to the fan clubs. And she had her own fan club. Yes, you said one chair in front of me. There she is. Again, now I'm keeping an eye on their conversation listening. And I think that the lady beside her must have been her mom and somebody one of her friends or something. But I wouldn't speak. So now this journey is over, I come back home the Memphis trip was a disaster for a lot of reasons, which we want to talk about now. But now skip about two years, and my journey of getting my life back is going on. And all these people are coming up to me at the gym in different places. No, you need to tell people how you learn to like yourself again, and how you learn to exercise correctly and lose weight and how this happened to you. And I thought, man, you know, they're all telling me to write a book, but I can't write a book I can talk to I'm blue in the face. I can talk. I can talk about the soul packet tape for an hour if I need to. But I can't write I'm not a writer. But I remembered that beautiful girl Patricia Garber that I saw it that dance that night. And I wrote to her on Facebook privately said hi, Patricia, I don't know if you remember me or even know who I am. I said we're in the Elvis international together. And I know you were a writer. And I told her the story a little bit. And I said, Can you give me some advice about writing a book because I don't know what I'm doing. And people want me to tell this book and tell the story. Now deep down, I was hoping that she would do it. You know, stick? Yeah, maybe she'll do it. But I know she writes real stories or fantasy stories about Elvis and stuff. But maybe you know, but she wrote back and said all I know who you are. And yeah, I haven't seen your Facebook, you've got an amazing story. And whoever tells your story is going to need to know anything and everything you can give them, you're gonna have to have a ghostwriter. So any dreams, memories, thoughts, whatever you have, write them down. And make sure you give them to this person because they're going to need to know this stuff. And I thought, well, that's great advice. And I started to do it. Maybe two or three days later, I got an email beat. I said, Oh, what's Patricia Garber again.

Unknown Speaker  32:54  
And I remember your mind was call me crazy. But I think a higher power wants me to tell this story is I couldn't stop thinking about right. So that's where it began. I was dreaming about it. And I mean, the very first night after our conversation that night, I already had some of the first couple chapters, the storyline, the plot the you know, because I had already discovered by just Googling, have good Thank goodness for Google, sometimes that memoir, creative memoirs, very much like fiction. It has the same sort of format. So I thought, Oh, well, that's not so hard. So then that night, I was already thinking about what kind of a format it should follow. And so that I thought, I can't get this out of my head, I think I need to do this. I think I'm being guided to do this. And if I don't do this, I'm really going to regret not doing it. And the crazy thing is, Kevin, she's on the west coast and the Washington area and Oregon area, and I'm in Maryland, so we're 1000s of miles apart. So Skype was our way of connecting. Yeah, that's

Unknown Speaker  34:03  
that's a really great story. And by the way, Patricia, you had no choice. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  34:13  
And it was, it was by him, in my opinion, that that for what it's worth,

Unknown Speaker  34:19  
part of our experiences that we meet at a certain point in our life, when it all works for us. And it works to be together and this is what you guys were destined to do.

Unknown Speaker  34:30  
I think and you know, back when you were saying that you were sitting at that table at that event, I still don't remember you being there. Right? You're sitting right behind me. I never saw you now how could I miss a 650 man sitting right behind? I actually have a picture. She's no more of my view of her that night I posted in her face. I'm a very observant person. Just you know, I'm a creative person. I'm very observant of everything around me, but I have no memory.

Unknown Speaker  35:00  
I've seen you there. Yeah, even though we do all the same people that bizarre

Unknown Speaker  35:06  
shameful to say, but yeah, well, you know, and that was that you were busy and you were sitting in front of them. And so you'd have to turn around and all that kind of. So I wouldn't worry about it. But you know, Danny, and one of the things that has struck me during this conversation is, you keep on telling me that people keep walking up to you. And because you have become a relatively in your own world and in the people that you know, a famous person

Unknown Speaker  35:36  
is something that very few can do, and have done to how does that make you feel to be? Well, to be a bit of a minor celebrity. I'll take the title and wear it proudly. I like it. You know, in fact, every day when I get up, the first thing I do is, of course, hit the Mr. Coffee machine. But I'll come sit in my chair, and I'll turn on Facebook, and I'll try to put some inspirational things on there every day. Again, my life now other you know, my private life is my private life. But my professional life is all about giving back and helping and I like to carry that what you call me that title. And but I like to share happiness and give people hope and confidence to put a smile on the face. And people always you know, you wonder on Facebook, who's real? And is this person hiding behind something? That's really me. Yeah. And when I do make those posts are when I share my story, people with sincerity, it's not just pretending. And it helps me It encourages me, it makes me better by posting those things. And so yeah, I mean, I feel good. I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to do, if that makes sense. So yeah, I'm good with that. You're talking to the wrong guy. If you don't think that

Unknown Speaker  36:52  
I don't believe that you're doing the things that you're supposed to be doing. Because there's a passion in you is by going back. There's a passionate all of us, right? In our life, we can either act on that passion and do it or we cannot but Patricia said it perfectly. If you don't, you'll live to regret it. Right? I you know, and I think every single human being on this earth has purpose and they have a a something they're supposed to do. And I say all the time it could be the simplest things of opening that door for that little lady every morning the see when you're leaving the building saying good morning, make her day. You know, just a smile on your face that kind word a kind something that we all have purpose and we it's our job to find it and share it if we can you know that's that's what it's all about. And in your in your work and just picking which are you doing any public speaking as yet? Well, we have in the past. And now with the book out, we're already starting to set up some things now. I think in September, October and March or March, we're going to start doing lectures. Yeah, I used to speak at the high schools and college classes and stuff like that churches. Yeah, everywhere. Anyone that wants to hear it. So yeah, that's something else we're working on. Now. I'm glad you asked that. So if you're watching, hey, contact me. If you're in this area. Yeah, we can fly to you.

Unknown Speaker  38:14  
Absolutely. And the next thing is, I'd love to see you put up a killer website for all of the house all of your stuff. Because what you're what you're doing what you've done is important. Yeah, I think so. And, you know, the sky's the limit, Kevin, whatever, whatever. That higher force that guided us this far wants us to do. We're willing to do it. So you know what it's all about, like I said, giving back and, and trying to help others. And like I said, this whole thing's just give me purpose. And I'm so excited. I get excited talking about as you can tell. And you know, we love getting out and doing what we're doing. So who knows what tomorrow brings, you know, why I love talking to people. And if you

Unknown Speaker  38:58  
if you didn't start this podcast, and you came in halfway through, I just want to mention again that that Dan is also following his dream of being a radio guy and syndicated program that focuses on Elvis and stuff, but you are you've done a great job. How many stations are you on now? About 80 Somewhere around 80 And we're on in nine countries so semester here in the US, but we're on nine different countries. So have you been able to sell some advertising to get some of that to get to that paid for? Yeah, we have some one that we had for a really long time is right out of Memphis, Elvis Presley Boulevard. pawnshop out of Memphis that sells a lot of souvenir stuff. So they've been supporting us as well. Oh good. We have we have the one 800 numbers and things like that the folks call and all kinds of that helps us out too. So so the last time that we talked I talked about I saw the you are in like 25 or 30 Station.

Unknown Speaker  40:00  
Have you is it growing exponentially?

Unknown Speaker  40:03  
It's been growing for the last five years, little by little, but yeah, it's it's close at I don't think it's quite at but it's very close. We're now how many states in the US, this is a two hour show that you do on like Saturday night?

Unknown Speaker  40:20  
Well, the show is syndicated out. So we handed out to everyone on Sunday night, and they play it all through the week. So if you were to go to our website, with Blue Suede connection, you can either just type in blue suede connection, and Facebook, or blue dash suede dash and go to where to listen. It's it's all on there state by state, then country by country. So like in England, for instance, we must have five or six different stations, so play us, and then we're in Spain.

Unknown Speaker  40:52  
Ireland recently is a new station for us. Trying to think we have some others oh, we're everywhere, Canada, Canada, lots of Canada. But then in the States, I don't know. It must be at least 25 states maybe. We're I know, we don't have all 50. But yeah, it's a lot and several stations in the same state. So

Unknown Speaker  41:14  
one of the things that I really, really like about your story and the people that you are, is that you are living, breathing, actual proof that what's going on in your life today does not have to be permanent, that you can make the changes in your life to live. Just think about, we started this interview with you and I there was a purpose. Why did that? We started with you standing in front of the mirror as a 650 pound man hating life hating yourself. And at the same time being very sorry for what you had done to yourself.

Unknown Speaker  41:52  
At that moment in time, if I wouldn't say if I were an angel that came down and said, you know, Dan, this is what's gonna happen to you, you're gonna lose half your body weight, you're gonna have a show that syndicated in 80 cities, you're gonna be making money from radio, and you're gonna have a beautiful, lovely, significant other. And that's all going to happen within five years, you would have said I was crazy. I would have thought you were a little wacky, loony? Yes, sir.

Unknown Speaker  42:20  
I would think your elevator didn't go to the top floor.

Unknown Speaker  42:24  
And all that has happened. Right? It is. And you know, you just don't know what's going to happen from one minute to the next. We've even had people in the film industry that mentioned down the road. Hey, I could see a screenplay right here right now. I said, Hey, as long as Brad Pitt plays me, I'm all good for it. So you never never know.

Unknown Speaker  42:47  
Jack Black would do it. But But

Unknown Speaker  42:49  
Brad, Brad Pitt, can you imagine the size of the foam? Bodies?

Unknown Speaker  42:57  
Exactly right.

Unknown Speaker  43:01  
happen, but you didn't like you said you never know whatever, whatever happens happens. And if it's going to help somebody, we're will do it. So well. You know, Daniel, you're always the one telling me that you you have to believe it first. I mean, because I'm the one that's always trying to throw reality bombers and things. Yeah, he's like, no, no, you have to believe it's gonna happen and just keep seeing it everyday. Keep moving that direction. So you tell me that energy goes where energy flows. I'm a firm believer in that. And if you focus on the positive, you stay in the positive, the positive is gonna happen. That's right. That's, there's no question about it. That's that's the way energy works. And that's and that's the way but it but you have to believe it, right? To know it from the depths of your soul. When I was in that dark place, you know, I focused on all the negativity, I felt good focused on the pain. I focused on the anger and I focused on, I didn't see people, happy people, I saw nasty, ugly people, I was just mad. And I just brought that energy into myself. You know, I would fake it when I'll be around people like, Oh, I'm a happy guy, but they leave I'd be very angry and very, so I was grilling on that and taking myself down, down, down, down. It wasn't until that mirror moment that I started to think you know, you can do this, you can fix this. Then I started to see people in life differently. And the more I did that, it seems like hey, well, this is happening today. This is good. You lost another 10 pounds this month, you know, and the more I focused on the positive, the more positive happen again, the radio show, this beautiful lady here and so much more. Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow, I'll be focused a positive so hopefully something good.

Unknown Speaker  44:48  
Well, I will be something good. Even if there's a bump in the road, you take it for a learning experience, and you move on from it and you continue to believe that everything that

Unknown Speaker  45:00  
You can do this and you can, you can make it work and you can be positive with it because that is a cornerstone. And I see what you're doing now, and your whole story. And I know you've been through a lot, but you may not. And you may not believe it, why, of course you believe in now. But the whole reason that you got up to that weight is so that now you can tell your story about how you lost the weight, how everything has changed, because you can positively impact other people. And that's why I'm here, I think. Absolutely. You said a brother, you said it right? And you've done it any other way? No, no, you know, what else is there to say, you know, I'm just a thankful, happy, happy man. And it would be very selfish of me, to not share that story to have lived all that for no reason at that, I knew that I couldn't do that. So like I said, It is now my job and my pleasurable job, to share the story and hopefully help somebody if I help one soul, it's worth it for me, you know, and that's what it's all about, you know, spread that positive energy. I from what I understand the book is doing well. And see, the cool thing is,

Unknown Speaker  46:20  
and this is for both of you is that you may never know unless somebody picks up a pen and writes a review for you. Or to write you a letter, you may never know the impact that you're having on somebody, but you've already stayed people's lives. Well, thank you, Kevin, thank you for saying that. Thank you. It's touching, you know, and it lets me know that we're doing it right by what you just said. And the message is that we do get and the encounters I've had, I don't know how much I shared with you, I forget the last show, but the people I've met, you'd think that the store would not have anything to do with their lives, but they knew it. A young lady was going to take her life was contemplating suicide, I didn't know this. And she was in a classroom. And I was spoke. And this young lady went up to the teacher at the end of the class, I said, you know, I understood him. That was me. Like, she said, that was me up there. He was talking, she was a little girl a little overweight, and she was really struggling. And the teacher told me that the next day when I saw her, she goes, you know, you really impacted this young lady's like, you may have saved a life. And that shocked me, and it's just like, you know, I went out in the hallway, thank you up there, you know, I appreciate that. Letting me know that, you know, there are so many people hurting so many people that, that need to know this. And that again, that was somebody that I had no idea was helping. And if the teacher hadn't told me, I never would have known it. So not just folks with weight problems, because Dan hears a lot from people that have self hate issues, image issues. The world is hard, you know, the world is hard. And people are unforgiving, judgmental, you know, you can be, you know, healthy weight, and still have all kinds of issues that's been brought onto you from your past experiences or current experiences. So we are people of all sizes. Yeah, it's the it's not the weight, per se, the weight is an example. But it is can be anything, because I a young girl that is being bullied on. And there have been kids that have killed themselves because they were bullied on on Facebook and stuff. So it's a universal problem that we all have. Because we don't think that we're good enough. And you aren't good enough. And you're proving to yourself and to others that you can do this, or you're good enough. And so are they. And

Unknown Speaker  48:47  
a lot of people who criticize Kevin, like from the outside that people that don't understand like we write about in the book, why don't you just lose weight? Or why don't why don't you just stop taking those drugs? Or why don't they just stop doing

Unknown Speaker  48:59  
to bring in all this into this Elvis sang a song called walk a mile in my shoes. And until you understand somebody else's life and what they're going through, you can't make judgment on them. You can't judge that lady that's overweight. You don't know what she's going through. Because the wet thing is a mental thing. Everybody thinks it's just the people we eating because we love to eat. No, it's a mental plan. And unless you're in that situation, you don't understand it. It's so it's so easy to sit on the sidelines and say just lose weight, just quit eating their hamburgers. They don't understand that. They don't get it because they've not been in our situation. So that's an important thing people need to think about too sometimes. Yes, compassion and being non judgmental, because you're right. You don't know where somebody else has been, what their life experience has been like, and how horrific it may have been in the past. And I guarantee you it's something they've been through something nobody wakes up and just wants to be

Unknown Speaker  50:00  
650 pounds? No, yeah, well, and that, and that's why I'm a firm advocate, if, unfortunately, it's changing the rules are changing a little bit about what's accepted and what's not. I think everybody could use a coach, everybody needs somebody in their corner, and they're behind them to help them and to look out after their best interest or therapist, or a really good friend. And the cool thing was, I wanted to mention this cool thing was when you changed your mindset, all of the sudden, people who wanted to help you magically showed up.

Unknown Speaker  50:36  
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Very true. They did. The angels. They showed up, because you were now emitting the type of energy that matched those people that were had a higher energy level that wanted to help. Right. So you actually caused this to happen yourself? Wow. I never looked at that way. But thank you for doing that. I'm sharing the screen. Yeah, but stuff made me think a little bit there. Kevin. Good.

Unknown Speaker  51:08  
Well, it's but it's true. Because and you said it earlier yourself. When you were talking about yourself in the positive when you had, when you're talking about things are good are good, things are gonna get better. That changes everything. All of a sudden, the people that are doubting you and our our Hawaii, oh, that's fatty. Why does it just lose weight, those people fall away. And people who understand come into your life. And that happened for you, and they became angels for you. And now what you're doing is you are paying it forward and becoming an angel for somebody else. Right? Yeah. I like the way you put that. And I like it. I like it. You haven't read it. You say about my energy, you pretty much you're right there with me, brother, I hear that passion, and your voice and the excitement that you have for sharing the positive. And we need more like you, Kevin, we really do? Well, I'll tell you, Dan's stories like you and Patricia stories like you have brought forward really energize me because I believe that if people if, if since you have put yourself out there, and they it's no small thing, to write a book and to put yourself out there and, and to put all of that together, but you're changing one person at a time. You're changing the world. And if we all did that one person at a time, we would live in a completely different world. Amen. Brother, I love it. Good job. So I disagree with the thing you said, I congratulate you for what you're doing. And I wanted to and we're coming to the end of our time together. But first, the first sentence. Ladies first,

Unknown Speaker  52:49  
I want to step aside. And I want you to tell the audience is listening now. And there are some and those that will listen in the future. Anything that you would like them to know anything that's on your heart to tell them?

Unknown Speaker  53:03  
All right, well, you know, I really believe in our dreams, and your goals for life. And I understand that life can be really hard and, and some things just feel impossible. I mean, I didn't go to school, college, I should say I didn't go to college, I don't have a literary degree. But I knew in my heart that I felt I could write, and I learned the structured abilities for that. And yet good editors to help you with the stuff you don't know. But if you have a dream, if you want to write or you want to do radio, if you have a desire to do something, don't give up on yourself. Don't let people tell you that you can't do something. If you really want to do it, you can learn and you can find a way to do it. So believe in yourself.

Unknown Speaker  53:48  

Unknown Speaker  53:50  
like I said last time, for those out there. You're listening right now you have purpose. You have value. You are a beautiful person. You deserve happiness. And you can find happiness. We all have it within ourselves. You can get your life back. I'm living proof. I'm an IR and it's easy to reach me anybody wants to talk to me. I'm on Facebook, we have our getting my life back page, my personal page talk to me. I just want to encourage everybody out there, let them know again, you're valuable. You have purpose. You are loved. There you go.

Unknown Speaker  54:28  
I couldn't have said that any better myself. And by the way, Patricia just wanted to say it's not what's in your head. It's what's in your heart that

Unknown Speaker  54:38  
you were a passionate writer from your heart. So it didn't matter your schooling. It was destined to be because you desired it. Yes sir. Yeah, I believe that so that's that's the that's the coolest thing. I can sit here and talk to you guys all day. But I want to save the rest for a while you come back again. I want to book you on KK and W

Unknown Speaker  55:00  
so that we can do,

Unknown Speaker  55:02  
I can introduce you to my audience. It's on the radio in Seattle. We would love to do that. Kevin, we appreciate you putting us on here. So well, I'll do that too. There are

Unknown Speaker  55:15  
people I like to have on and there are people I have to have on, you are in the category of have to, because you can impact a lot of people. And thank you, sir, what this shows about and that's what you're about. And so our energies and we align very closely. So I want to thank you for coming and doing this. And I know that it's been a time and it's it's probably time to go have that broccoli sandwich.

Unknown Speaker  55:41  
This week or weekend right now or Sunday and Monday. So there may be some potato chips involved in the signals television viewing.

Unknown Speaker  55:51  
You're in Virginia, who's a baseball team that's

Unknown Speaker  55:55  
well, the Orioles we just found out the hose did not make the playoffs. But it's football season now. So let's go Ravens. And of course we have to cheer on the Seahawks too, because we have the West Coast girl here. We have two teams. I have that's that's awesome. And ghosts Go Seahawks. They they did well yesterday, but the Ravens also did well. Yeah, well, let's say it's early in the season. Let's see what happens. I know there's lots of time for it to go south, but

Unknown Speaker  56:25  
with narratives made the playoffs for the first time and since I was 43 years old.

Unknown Speaker  56:33  
20 some odd years ago, so Oh, bask in the glory.

Unknown Speaker  56:37  
Yeah, they'll lose in the first round man.

Unknown Speaker  56:40  
Positive positive energy, Kevin. I know.

Unknown Speaker  56:44  
I get it, I get it. But thank you both for coming on the show. And I really enjoyed talking to you and and I love your energy. I love what you're doing. And you're my God. You're syndicated Navy markets. I could be sick, dedicated Navy market. So thank you. Hey, everybody, everybody check out vagina me and the book and Blue Suede connection. The radio show.

Unknown Speaker  57:08  
Positivity talk, right? Yes.

Unknown Speaker  57:11  
Exactly. You guys are just awesome. So So if you'll stay right where you are. I'll be right back. All right. Hey, thanks for enjoying this episode all the way to the end. Please give us a like and subscribe to this channel. This has been a production of positive talk radio dotnet please visit our website oddly named positive talk radio dotnet for more details about us and our mission, which is to provide great positive programming designed to inspire us all. I'm Kevin McDonald. I'm proud of these shows, and I've truly hope that you'll like them and share them with friends and family. So on behalf of our entire team, remember, be kind to one another because

Kevin McDonaldProfile Photo

Kevin McDonald


Creator and Host of Positive Talk Radio and its Parent Company

Daniel HawthorneProfile Photo

Daniel Hawthorne

The Giant in Me

Born in the small-big town of Hagerstown, Maryland, Daniel dreamt of being a radio personality. His young dreams came true when he landed his first on-air job in the 80's. But fate had other plans, one filled with self-image troubles and depression. And by the time Daniel was in his late 30's, he was 650 pounds! For 10 years, Daniel fought the negativity that held him in darkness. Until a friend called a friend, and Daniel found himself standing in a gym for the first time in his life. The years that followed were soul changing! And now, 300 pounds lighter, Daniel is living his dream again, hosting a syndicated radio program called Blue Suede Connection, and discovering life anew with soul mate, author Patricia Garber. The pair have written their first book together, working to share hope and support to all suffering from obesity and body image issues. They share their life with four fur-kids on a lake in Virginia, defining the states slogan--Virginia really is for lovers!