August 16, 2011 by Danielle
As you might have read, I spent most of the weekend either running, exploring or watching TV/movies.
In between Jersey Shore (my sister got me into it and now I can’t stop), Keeping up with the Kardashians and Real Housewives, I watched a great documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead“.
The film documents the “get healthy” journey of 300 pound Joe Cross, an Australian entrepreneur who decides to take charge of his health by making a drastic life change. For 60 days, Joe criss-crossed America, started exercising and only drank fresh-pressed juice made from fruits and vegetables. He figured this was the only thing that could save him from the myriad of ailments he suffered from, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and a condition that could made him swell and break out into painful hives at any moment.
Joe’s personal journey is peppered with the stories of people he interviews as he crosses the United States (with juicer in tow, of course!), including that of a trucker named Phil Staples who weighs well over 400 pounds. He has the same painful condition as Joe and is at his wits end with his health. Joe inspires him to start the fast and the documentary then follows Phil’s journey to wellness.
In the end, Phil ended up losing 220 pounds, quitting his job as a trucker and inspiring his entire town to make healthier choices. Joe lost 100 pounds and in addition to being a full-time entrepreneur, now inspires people to do the juice fast “re-boot”. Neither have had flare ups of their condition and are off of medicine. The last scene is great…but I’m not giving that away!
Despite the fact that I would never do a juice fast-I’m pretty active and I’d turn into a raging you know what-I really liked this film for it’s informed perspective and especially for its underlying message of health being about choice and balance. Joe was sure to acknowledge that what he did was a drastic because he was in a life or death situation and he also highlighted that fasts like this are by no means a sustainable option, but a way to re-focus on health and well-being. He reiterated the necessity of healthy eating by employing expert commentary and clinical explanations from Dr. Joel Fuhrman, his consulting physician during the project.
Another aspect of the documentary that I loved was that Joe outlined the per day cost of buying fruits and vegetables at places like Wal-Mart, which are accessible to most Americans to show that eating well doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition.
Even though I’m pretty sure that Joe had a deal with Breville for the documentary (if you watch it you’ll see what I mean), I think “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” is a must watch due to its inspiring stories, insight on the state of America’s health and the way that it illustrates the link between nutrition and well-being. Through its honest profiles it also showed that making changes is no walk in the park…but the payoff is priceless.
If you have a subscription, check out the film on Netflix here.