I’ve been immersing myself in documentaries since I began this juicing journey. The first one, maybe not so obviously, was “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” If you haven’t seen it yet, I’ll sum it up quickly. This flick documents the juicing journey of one Joe Cross, an Aussie who came to America to embark on a 60 day fast, which he called a “reboot.” He suffered from a chronic, autoimmune disorder called Urticaria, which from what I understand is chronic hives with itching and pain. Sounds awful. Over the course of his 60 day reboot and over 3500 miles of driving across the USA he lost over 70 pounds and got himself off all medications that he took to manage his urticaria. Amazing, isn’t it?
It was this call to action that drew me in. Come regain your health! Come lose extra weight! I have vested interest in both. I am quite overweight, and together with the Fibromyalgia I admit I was sucked in. This isn’t a bad thing. We bought a juicer after Christmas and we started this journey on February 1st. We’ve both been moderately successful so far, but the fasting is only the beginning of a lifestyle change.
Back to my original point. It’s time to get real. I have been watching, on the advice of others who have been similarly impassioned by other food-related documentaries, these movies about “Big Food,” and government conspiracies to keep the populace sick and fat. While I have a deep distrust of government, laying the blame for an overweight and obese society solely on the shoulders of government is a bit disingenuous.
At some point, the individual has to take responsibility for what goes into his or her mouth.
At no point in my life did a government official point a loaded pistol to my head and make me eat unhealthy food. It may be true that lobbyists are very powerful in government… probably more powerful than they should be. But I am more than capable of reading a “Nutrition Facts” label, and scanning the ingredients for nefarious items on said list.
One documentary in particular goes as far as to say, “It’s not your fault that you’re obese.” Really? …..Really?? Food companies make it difficult sometimes to ascertain what is actually in their products, but to lay the blame on a whole industry? Where is personal accountability in this whole equation?
I’ve been told my whole life I’m lazy. Maybe to some extent that may be true. I’m not exactly what I’d call motivated, and sometimes I’d rather just sit and surf the Internet for an hour than do housework. But no one has really come out and told me that my weight has been the result of my own poor food choices. Not even my doctor (though, oddly enough my eye doctor suggested that I look into weight loss surgery. I wanted to ask his qualifications for making that assessment, but I held back) has come close to saying, “You’re fat. Stop eating fattening foods!” Everyone pussyfoots around this problem.
It’s time to get real.
If your doctor won’t say it, and society at large will not say it, then I will. You are fat because you make poor food choices! I know this is a very non-PC thing to say, but someone has to be the beacon of truth. The good news, and there is good news, is that if it’s your fault you are obese, then you have the power to change it! In fact, you are the only one who can change this. That isn’t to say this is an easy thing to accomplish. In fact, the diet food industry makes sure that your weight loss journey isn’t easy. If they made it terribly easy, then they’d lose all those billions of dollars every year. But this is where personal accountability really kicks in. Because it is your responsibility to make sure you understand food labels and how to read them!
You can bet that if a food product says, “low fat,” that is code for “we added a crap ton of sugar to make up for the lower fat content.” As a rule, full fat products contain less added sugar and chemicals than their lower fat counterparts. This is especially true when it comes to dairy products, like sour cream and yogurt. A quick glance at the ingredients label will show this to be true. And besides, your body needs dietary fats. And not all fats are made the same. Avocado and olives are both considered to be fatty fruits. However, olive oil is one of the healthiest oils available, and avocados have monounsaturated fats, which are heart healthy compared to saturated fats from red meats and other animal products. In addition, cholesterol comes solely from animal proteins. If you consume a vegetarian/ vegan diet, you will not be consuming dietary cholesterol!
A healthy diet should steer clear away from foods that are heavily processed. Look for foods as close to their natural state as possible, with nothing added or taken away. Have you ever seen Hot Pockets growing on trees? When was the last time you saw a hot dog walking around a pasture? You haven’t. Foods like that are so laden with chemicals that if you truly read what was in it and understood the ramifications of putting stuff like that into your body, you’d never eat it again. Choose grass fed, free range beef and vegetarian-fed, cage free poultry and eggs, and wild caught fish (or better yet, stay away from animal proteins altogether.)
I make no apologies for the statements I’ve made in this article, because they are truth, as disturbing as it may be for some to hear. This has been a realization for me in the past three months, too, since watching “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” for the first time. Because I have been told repeatedly that my weight and health isn’t my fault, and there isn’t much I can do to change my weight because I can’t exercise how I need to for a drastic weight change (by the way, the “calories in/calories burned” equation is another lie. It is nearly impossible for an average, busy person to burn off more calories than they take in per day! Think about it.) This is my fault. But this is good, because it means I have the power to change.
I hope you think about what I’ve written here today, and take it to heart. I know since giving up the standard American diet of junk and processed foods and changing to whole, clean foods I feel better. My head is clearer, I sleep better, I have much more energy and less pain. All I did was juice for 23 days, and continue a vegetarian diet afterwards. You can do it, too. I have faith in you! But you need to take the first steps towards change, and commit to it. For your loved ones. For your health! For you.
It’s time to get real.