Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead

I’ve watched  my fair share of documentaries about the food/nutrition/obesity crisis in America. It seems like five more get made every day (seriously–isn’t there something else to documentarize about?) So when Denisa said she wanted to watch Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead, I wasn’t exactly enthralled with the idea. Yes, I need to eat less and exercise more. Do I need to watch another 1.5 hour movie to remind me of that fact?

In many ways, this movie isn’t much different than many others. It starts with an Australian explaining how he’s fat and has developed some immune deficiency things with his body that he has to take medication for, and how he hopes going on a juice diet for 60 days will cure all of the above. So he juices and juices and juices, talking to a slew of people across America about what he’s doing, and getting fairly expected answers.

Until he meets a trucker.

And it’s what happens after that that set this movie apart from the rest for me. I don’t want to spoil what happens next, but I found the whole film to be quite inspiring, albeit in an “I’m not sure at times if this is an infomercial or a documentary” sort of way. Joe Cross, the Australian, is a big believer in juicing, and he has a website now that talks all about it. Some of this makes sense–it’s helped him in his life. But I still can’t help but feel like the movie is in many ways an ad platform for his juicing enterprise.

Then again, the film makes some pretty darn good observations. A lot of it boils down to “garbage in, garbage out.” How should I be surprised if I don’t feel well if I only put junk into my system all the time? (Granted, this movie came along to me at a very opportune moment. I’d just spent the afternoon talking to a friend who’s given up processed sugar for the most part. I found this out as we were eating lunch, and I made my way to the dessert bar (two glasses of chocolate milk, three big cookies, a butterscotch pudding, and a brownie–they don’t call it “all you can eat” for nothing, folks). He didn’t get anything, and explained why.

I still finished all my desserts, then went back for a lemon bar later.

Then I watched this movie at night.


Am I planning to start juicing? Not really, no. I feel like a lot of times people overreact to things. We’re eating junk! No more carbs! Only juice! The key is moderation. Of course, it’s easy to eat in moderation if you set hard and fast boundaries for yourself–“I will eat only juice for 60 days.” It’s pretty easy to tell if you’re cheating on that diet. “Am I eating something other than juice?” Yes or no answer. Compare that to “Have I eaten more than ______ calories today?” That one involves a lot more calculation.

That said, I do think I need to pay more attention to what I eat, and I’m glad Denisa does a lot of that for me. I’ve been debating avoiding the processed sugars, like my friend has done.

I’m just not sure if I can do it.


That said, I want to be healthy. I’d like to be in shape. I’m sure eating better would help me feel better and sleep better. No doubt in my mind. The question is how much motivation I need before I actually do something other than blog about it . . .

Any of you out there seen this movie? Thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead”

  1. I went sugar-free for a while in my early 20’s. It made a huge difference in how I felt. I could also taste flavors of bitter foods more clearly since I wasn’t spoiled by the sugar. I then moved to sugar once a week for about 2 years, before I returned to the sugar wagon. It’s an interesting experiment to try one week without refined sugar. I guarantee you’ll feel better afterwards. Then you can decide if you want to continue it or if cookies… I just can’t quit you!

  2. I think real food tastes good. Perfectly in-season clementines? Addictive. Freshly milled flour actually tastes slightly sweet without any honey/sugar added (though I realize that’s not an option for a lot of people). Roasted, fresh broccoli’s fantastic; the frozen stuff needs globs of butter to taste good.

  3. Dan–I was talking to a guy who said he’d read that Mormons turn to sugar because we don’t have the other typical vices available (coffee, tea, alcohol). Maybe that’s why I’m such a sugar junkie. Even yesterday, I knew I ought not to eat those four Oreos.

    And yet I did.


    MK–I totally agree. I’m less and less into prepackaged, frozen, canned, microwavable food. My wife does an excellent job providing me with fresh, homemade wonders. And I’m too good at making baked goodies . . .

    But that’s still all got to be better than scarfing down Twinkies left and right. Right?

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