Finally, after so many people have recommended it, I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. That was Saturday night after spending a lovely evening dining with friends. The dinner we had was healthful and fantastic, and if I had stopped there, I would have been fine. But the wine – so smooth. And that coconut cake, I devoured every last crumb. I would have licked the plate if I had the chance. As if that wasn’t enough, back at home I took out a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream to soften. What the heck – I don’t even eat ice cream!
On a side note, do any of you remember when chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream first came on the scene? I do. I remember as a kid sneaking into the freezer to dig out some of the frozen, lumps of dough, only to find one of my siblings had already beat me to it. Arrrgggh. All that teen, hormonal angst paled in comparison with the disappointment of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream sans chocolate chip cookie dough. Okay, back to my story.
At home, house quiet, kids in bed, with my very own pint of ice cream softening on the counter with no siblings around to wreck it, I decided to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix. Crazy. If you haven’t already watched or heard about it, the movie documents Joe Cross’s decision to go on a 60-day juice fast to lose weight and regain his health. Along the way, he meets Phil Staples at a truck stop in Arizona. Phil is morbidly obese, has all sorts of health problems and is desperate to make a change. At the end of his rope, he calls on Joe for help. That’s when the story gets really good.
As soon as Phil entered the movie, I had to choke back tears all the way. Some of it was because how humbled he was at his condition and he was so open to do anything to get better. While I thought Joe was a bit showy, he showed some real generosity as he extended himself to help Phil. I think it’s amazing that the two just randomly met that day, and how they each gave so much of themselves to the other.
Meanwhile, I’m glued to my iPad while watching this, but still devouring the ice cream. Not my best moment, not even close. I went to bed Saturday night feeling physically crappy, but also full of possibility.
Sunday I updated FB, “Juice fast begins tomorrow.” One person commented, “I thought you only ate raw food, do you really need to go on juice fast?” Ouch.
You may notice that sometimes I write a lot about food – I’m probably eating very well. Then I’ll go through times when I don’t, because I’m not eating so well. I think if I had exceptional will power, I probably wouldn’t still be fighting my weight after all these years. After watching Phil’s story, and hear him talk about never having will power, and being depressed because of the weight he’s gained, yet feels like he can’t stop eating – oh, I relate to that so much. I may not have 200 lbs to lose, but the feelings, hopelessness and desperation are all too familiar. Last spring when I first got serious about eating well, I experienced such a sudden change in my energy. Losing just a small amount of weight took a tremendous amount of pressure off my hips, knees and feet. Eating primarily plant foods directly related to the reduction of inflammation in my body. For the first time in years I would wake up in the morning without that dreaded whole body pain that I often experience.
After that initial surge of success, I’ve been up and down ever since. Consistently eating well has been quite a challenge. Overall, my diet is soooo much better than it was two years ago. But now is the time of year that those challenges get more and more intense. Starting with Halloween candy, the time change, chilly windy days, dark afternoons, more wine in the evenings, stronger coffee in the mornings and now Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
In the movie, Joe challenges people to try juicing for just 10 days and see how you feel. I chuckle, just ten days? Ha! But then I grabbed my calendar to see what 10 days would look like. If I start right away, I can tie this up a few days before Thanksgiving. I’m hoping that a juice fast will bring me back to that level of clarity and resolve that I experienced last spring.
For Thanksgiving I’m hosting a large family gathering this year. I’ll serve the traditional basics with Turkey, potatoes, stuffing and pie. Everything else I hope to share some of the fantastic raw vegan dishes I’ve fallen in love with so there will be something for everyone. I think we’ll have a well rounded table with a lot to be grateful for.