I don’t know what it is about this documentary, Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead, but I think I’ve watched it about 5 or 6 times within the past year. It was actually one of my inspirations for trying out juicing near the end of last year. If you haven’t seen it before, here’s a quick rundown:
An Australian businessman by the name of Joe Cross was more than 100 lbs. and suffered from chronic urticaria, a painful autoimmune disease. No amount of medication helped his condition so he attempted to heal himself from the inside out by juicing (fasting in his case) for 60 days. His health journey involved traveling more than 3,000 miles throughout the United Stated and interviewing over 500 people about their take on health. Mind you, Cross has received the blessings of doctors and experts who monitor his process. Cross was able to convince a few people to test drive his diet for 10 days, however, a man by the name of Phil Staples not only tried the program for 10 days, but exceeded his own expectations and took a good amount of weight off of his 429 lbs. frame. He too also suffered from the same auto immune disease as Cross. As you’ve probably guessed, Cross and Staples’ health improved dramatically.
What really grabbed me this time after watching this documentary for the 5th or 6th time is a scene where Staples explains why he decided to join Cross on his journey. Staples was confronted by his family who encouraged him to be cremated should he die because if he continued to gain weight it would be too expensive to bury him. Now, I think that it’s a very hard conversation to have no matter who you are, but I also think there are so many people out there who need to have similar conversations. If you love and care for someone, you could possibly save their lives by expressing your concerns. No one wants to be reminded about the extra weight they are carrying or potential health problems they could have, but it would suck like hell to lose someone you love to a preventable disease or premature death.
My family and friends never confronted me about my weight when I was 18 years-old and weighed 253 lbs. and I didn’t have any health concerns at the time. It’s not that I don’t think they were worried about me, but it’s really a tough subject to bring up. It wasn’t until I had a physical exam for college admission that my doctor looked at my charts and just bluntly said, “You’re 18 years-old, 253 lbs. and too young to be this heavy. Here’s a brochure, have a nice day.” I remember that moment as if it was yesterday and let me tell you, a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders because I didn’t know it before, but I needed someone to be honest with me. I knew that I WANTED to lose weight in order to look good, wear cute clothes, and fit in with the cool, skinny people. However, I didn’t know that there was a NEED to lose weight until my doctor said those golden words because I was slowly killing myself. That my friends was a rude awakening and why I’m focusing more on living healthy (NEED) and less on trying to look good for aesthetic purposes (WANT). There are so many things that I want to do with my life and for others, but I can’t do them if I continue to slowly kill myself with food. That was more than 10 years ago and when I was 80 lbs. heavier. There isn’t an end to my health journey because I’m not looking for temporary fix. This is a lifestyle change. I write this blog to continue to document and acknowledge my progress and to encourage all of you as well!