Editorial: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Alive

Recently I put myself through and experiment of sorts. A hard experiment. A co-worker of mine recommended a documentary to me called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. Since I happen to love documentaries I decided to give it a shot. So I got home one night, loaded up Netflix, and gave it a watch. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you it changed some perspective for me.

The movie is about an entrepreneur who is tired of the way he looks and feels. He also has a terrible skin disease. So, he decides to make some life changes. For 60 days he eats nothing but juice he makes from fresh fruits and vegetables. He eats about 4 meals a day. By the end of the movie he has lost 97 lbs, his skin disease is gone, and he has gotten a few other people along the way to join him. The people who join him have similar results.

The science behind this is pretty clear to me. Most americans eat terrible. As a chef, my more delicious recipes help perpetuate this. Honestly, I am fine with that. I love food, cooking, and knowing I served a delicious meal to people. None the less, I want to feel good and like the way I look. I decided to take on the challenge myself to see the results I would receive.


Now, I am not fat. For those of you who don’t know me personally I weighed 167.5 lbs at the beginning of the experiment. I am about 5 foot 7. My main purpose in this experiment was to see the effects on how I would feel. I also used it as an opportunity to test my self-discipline. Any weight lose worked was a bonus to me as I was already trying to build muscle. I opted to only do the experiment for 7 days as I thought the weight lose could be to extreme if I did it any longer.

Let’s start with the juice themselves. They sound worse than they actually are. The juices are a combination of fruit and vegetables. A normal juice has spinach, kale, cucumber, apple, lemon, carrot, etc. They really don’t taste bad. They aren’t great, I mean I would rather have a cheeseburger, but I imagined it would taste much worse. A co-worker of mine described the taste as “green”. Take with that what you want.

The self-discipline aspect of this challenge went well. I did not cheat once. It felt good to stick to the diet. It felt like an accomplishment. It was hard for quite a few reasons. The obvious being that I love food. It is weird to cut yourself off from food in our society. Food is such a social thing. I went to a cocktail hour with employees and they could not get over the fact that I was not eating or drinking anything (well, except my juice and water). It almost felt like I was missing out on boding opportunities. The plus side of course was that being the only sober one, I was the only one who remembered everything that happened that nigh.

So how were my results? Well I lost some weight. I went from 167.5 to 159 lbs. Not to shabby if I do say so myself. I was working out the whole week as usual its possible I would have lost more. More than anything else, I feel that my mind is clearer. I had more energy as well. Its amazing what proper nutrition can do. My stomach has shrunk a lot as well. I could barely finish a fruit cup from chic fil la. Overall, I am happy I attempted this experiment. I think I learned a lot about myself.

If you want to attempt something like this just remember: It’s all about your mindset and attitude.

  • Elsa

    If anyone can do it for a week, I highlly recommend this for everyone! It was great, and you really start feeling the positive effects day one – increase energy, sleeping better, losing weight, and just over all happiness! We all need more micronutrients in our diets!!!

  • It was because of your recommendation that I, too, watched this documentary. I’m definitely inspired to try my own juice fast, I just haven’t been quite as inspired to purchase my own juicer yet. 🙂

    Your level of energy during your juice fast certainly didn’t seem to wane one bit. You were as peppy as I’ve ever seen you. And your willpower to withstand peer pressure at cocktail hour made me proud. You didn’t miss out on any bonding opportunities.

    I hope you continue to expand on this experiment… I think both the juice and the challenge have done very good things for yourself.

  • Lowell N

    Please keep us posted with your longer-term results. The weight loss is good, but comparable to what you can do with the Atkins diet. Surely the Atkins isnt the ideal way to drop weight, but neither is shedding a pound-per-day. Typical, or what you might find referred to as healthy weight-loss is closer to 2lbs per week.

    Not every diet is ideal to every person. If you choose to continue the juice thing AND get more serious about your workouts, tweak things! Your muscles need to be fed and the juice alone may not support your body’s need for protein. Think longer term and apply a workout routine that covers lower and upper body. Most people hate workiing out legs, but it is a component of the body with some large muscles.

    Good luck.