There’s not a shortage of people losing weight, there’s a shortage of people keeping it off and staying healthy says Joe Cross.
In his new documentary film Sick, Fat & Nearly Dead 2, he focuses on how to stay healthy in an unhealthy world.
“I try not to focus on the weight loss so much. I try to focus on the health side and I think if you can stay healthy you can do well,” Cross says.
He also encourages people to not get caught up on the word “diet”.
“A diet is what you are going to consume for the rest of your life, really isn’t it? That’s what your diet is. So what is your diet going to be like?”
Cross’s first documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (2010) shared his story of juicing vegetables and fruit (80/20 per cent ratio) where he successfully rebooted his health and shed 45 kilograms in 60 days.
“In the movie I was at 142kgs. I got down to 100. I’m now 108/109kgs. I didn’t do it to lose weight. I did it to get off medication,” Cross says. “Today, if you said to me ‘how do you maintain some kind of balance or not fall off the wagon?’ Well, I think it’s unrealistic to think you are not going to fall off the wagon. You have got to expect that you are. I think you have to be kind to yourself and realise I’m not perfect, I’m going to do my best, I’m going to try and develop some habits and bring some of the things I’ve learned into play.”
In his new book, Fully Charged: 7 Keys to Losing Weight, Staying Healthy and Thriving, Cross has identified key areas where he’s seen where people have been successful in maintaining their health (as well as keeping the kilos off) after a reboot.
“They’ve incorporated some or all of these into their life. Maybe you don’t need any of these, maybe you need all of them, maybe you just need two or three,” he says.
1. The relationship you have to food: For a lot of people working and sleeping is something they do around food. Food is everything for their whole life. It’s an unhealthy situation where food becomes this obsession. They think about food all the time. Is it good for me or bad for me? I won’t look at it as being bad for me. If you look at foods that are good and bad, it’s like a moral judgement and food is not a moral judgement. Food is food. Ask yourself ‘do I really need to eat the food?’ ‘Am I hungry right now?’ If you had lunch two hours ago you probably don’t need to put energy into your body.
2. Changing diet: You’ve got to work out more ways of how to get more plants into your body. Which is very simple. How do I incorporate juicing or blending or eating?
3. Changing habits: Maybe a habit for you is going to a coffee shop in the morning and having a bagel or a lamington. So change coffee shops. Go somewhere else so it’s not a habit of that place. Go to the one around the corner and have a latte with almond milk or a black coffee or a juice.
4. Community: Being connected to people. Feeling like you are part of something. Love and intimacy in our life. And finding someone that is now on the same journey as you, maybe a little bit ahead or maybe a little bit behind, but someone who’s there that you can do this together with. You’re supporters for each other.
5. Movement: You’ve now got this incredible energy and you feel fabulous from what you have done because you’ve looked after yourself. You now have to work out how you can incorporate some sort of daily movement that you can make a habit. If you don’t have a lot of time in your day work in some incidental exercise. When you go to the mall, don’t park in a spot near the entrance. Park as far away as you can and enjoy the walk. When you see elevators take the stairs.
6. Mindfulness: Being conscious of the fact that stress happens. Just be aware of it and not let stresses trigger you into habits that fall into careless eating.
7. Love yourself: Give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We’re too hard on ourselves, we beat ourselves up. If you knock yourself around too much you’re going to feel like a loser and you’re going to eat the chocolate, drink the beer and soda, have the Tim Tams, crisps and fries, and order takeaway because you feel like I’m a loser, I’m fat, I’m ugly, I may as well kill myself with food.
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 will screen on TV One (NZ) at 2.10pm on Saturday April 11.