April 6, 2011

Joe Cross’s Journey to Better Health Inspires Others

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead-One Man’s Odyssey to Regain His Health

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Joe Cross when he was in New York last fall at an event that acclaimed fashion designer Norma Kamali put together. The event was titled- Conversations – A Dialogue on Wellness Solutions.  Forever changed by the events on 9/11, Norma felt she needed to establish a sense of well-being, something to ground her. The world she and many others had known was never going to be the same.  Knowing she was not alone in her struggle to feel grounded and restore a sense of well being, she has unselfishly shared all she has learned in her journey  to those of us who are ready to “reboot” our lives.

Norma used her “conversations” as a platform to share solutions and offer positive alternatives for fitness, health and beauty. The entire group of people that Norma had assembled to speak was absolutely inspiring. One of those speakers was Australian Joe Cross. Diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder where he could break out in hives with no warning, this sick, overweight, type A, workaholic realized that he would need to do something drastic to take control of his life and his health. He had reached his breaking point, and made a promise to himself that he would get healthy.

Personally I could identify with Joe. His business career began as a trader on the Sydney Futures Exchange. Having been a commodity broker/trader myself, I knew the life, the stress, and while I may have thrived on it when I was younger, it was certainly going to lower my life expectancy. I too could break out in hives with no warning. Stress mainly, and it was my body sending me warning signs that there was a problem, and as much as I tried to ignore it, it wasn’t going to let me!

Everyone has stressful lives! And at some point, our bodies send us enough signals to wake up and do something about it. In Joe’s case, he made a movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead to chronicle his journey toward health, his road to recovery. He took his health into his own hands and started a 60-day juice fast, consuming nothing but fruits and vegetables in liquid form for two months. Knowing he would be able to pack the highest amount of nutrients in juice form, he hoped to cleanse his system of four decades of eating junk and “reboot” it.

  Criss-crossing America with a juicer in the back of a SUV, he stopped along the way at malls, diners, truck stops and produce stops to talk to people about food. He heard over and over again, most people didn’t have the willpower or desire to change their diet, even if they knew it was killing them. He managed to visit 21 states all while keeping to his liquid diet. After 60 days of consuming massive amounts of spinach, kale, parsley, onions, cucumbers, celery, pears and apples, he’d lost 80 pounds and now only needed 2.5 mg of Prednisone, which was down from the 15 mg he had originally been prescribed. Energized, he did an additional 70 days of eating only fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. He went back to Sydney 100 pounds lighter and completely off the Prednisone. ”I needed to give my body the energy it needed to perform the function of self-repair. I thought, ‘If I just get out of the way, it will heal itself,’ ” says Cross, 44.

He had rebooted his life, and done the movie to chronicle his journey. It was finished, and he was on to a healthier life, or so he thought.

When he was criss-crossing America and talking to people about food and diet, he had given out his number to people and told them to give him a call if they ever decided to change their diet to give him a call.  On his answering machine was a call from Phil Staples, who he’d met while filming in Winslow, Ariz. Staples was a truck driver who weighed a shocking 429 pounds — and, coincidentally, suffered from the same autoimmune disease Cross battled. “Joe, this is Phil. Is it too late to ask for help?” Staples says shyly on Cross’ voice mail. “I’m getting tired of looking at myself . . . I gotta figure something out.”

Soon, Cross was back in America with his film crew, trying to help Staples save his life through juice. 

“I’m not trying to invent anything new,” Cross says. “I’m not trying to be an extremist. I’m just saying we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. I feel like there are an awful lot of people out there in the same predicament as me. I thought by making this film, I could help them.” And he does….. 

You can see the trailer on YouTube, Facebook, and follow Joe on www.fatsickandnearlydead.com, and see the movie!

Get ready to “reboot “your life!!

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