We fret over not having the willpower, determination or dedication to change our behavior. But we forget that it requires inspiration to start on that journey. If you’re trying to reclaim your health and vitality, and make behavioral changes that will set you up for a happier future, find positive things to inspire you. And don’t forget that having the support of friends, family, co-workers or an online group might make all the difference in the world.
Most days, I eat incredibly well. I’ll juice up a breakfast of fruits and veggies, and mid-morning I drink up a green veggie-based juice that's predominantly Swiss chard, spinach, parsley, ginger and some apple to sweeten it a touch. Usually lunch is a salad, and if I’m still hungry in the afternoon I’ll grab another green juice. At dinner, it’s more vegetables, grains, and sometimes some very clean animal protein. From time to time, I’ll splash out and have a piece of birthday cake at a friend’s celebration, or a perfect steak with my mates. But six years ago, my steady diet was junk food (if it was fried, coated in cheese, or dipped in sugar, you can bet I ate it), alcohol and a whole lot of excess. At that point, I was 100 pounds overweight, and worse (yes, there is worse), plagued by a debilitating and chronic auto-immune disease that had me on powerful medication night and day.
On my 40th birthday, I looked in the mirror and finally — finally! — realized that I was the problem. Nothing had happened “to” me; in fact, I had worked pretty diligently to ruin my health. And I wondered if, having turned my back on Mother Nature, I might be able to return to her and experience a different state of well-being. I was inspired and empowered by the notion that the solution was within my control.
So I decided that I would do nothing but consume the fresh juice of fruits and vegetables for 60 days (with a doctor’s supervision, of course). And because I’m a sort of odd bloke, I decided to throw a juicer in the back of a truck, hire a camera crew to follow me as I drove across the United States, and make a movie about it — Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, a documentary film about my journey. The film documents my journey across the States, from pill popping 310-pound obese Joe on the East Coast to a healthy, disease-free 220-pound Joe on the West Coast.
But this is just the first part of the story — my part. What I’ve learned since then really knocked my socks off. The film has now been seen by almost 10 million people around the world, a number that just takes my breath away. Every day, we get emails and letters at rebootwithjoe.com from people citing the story of the movie as their inspiration for successful change. Within our community, we've also created a platform where those success stories in turn inspire other people. It’s like a massive chain reaction of wellness encircling the globe. As soon as those testimonials started coming in, my own motivation increased 100-fold. My community became my motivation every single day.
I’ve learned that we each have the power to inspire everyone we come in contact with, sometimes in ways we’ll never see. The stories we can share from our own small journeys — and it’s helpful when those messages are honest, and acknowledge that sometimes things are bloody hard — can be more galvanizing than just reporting on a destination successfully reached. If you'd told me when I set out to reboot my own life that along the way I could impact so many people, I reckon I might have buckled under the responsibility. But I can honestly tell you that the greatest accomplishment of my life is knowing that my own imperfect, crazy story has helped other people.
For example, I met Chris R. at a screening for my film. Although Chris worked at a health food store, he had not fully adopted a healthy lifestyle with lots of fruits and vegetables. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead inspired him to join my online community, where he in turn inspired and was inspired by others. With the help of that community, he dropped 87 pounds. His success cheered on others who were beginning to “Reboot” their lives as Chris and I did; acting as an example of successful change for others also kept Chris motivated. And it’s kept me motivated since making those initial changes more than five years ago.
Most people need inspiration to motivate them. Don't ever underestimate your ability to impact people around you. In doing so, you’ll inspire others along the way and create new ways to stay engaged in your own process of transformation.
For a limited time you can see the film for free on www.fatsickandnearlydead.com. I hope you'll watch it, be inspired, and share it with your family and friends.