Vegetarian/Vegan

Joe Cross, Star of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Talks Shit, Literally, at Whole Foods South Beach

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He spoke about some aspects of his reboot experience that the documentary didn't cover, such as the day leading up to the beginning of his fast. Cross, incredibly anxious about the idea of going two months without chewing, went on a huge binge that lasted into the very last minute of the 11th hour before the start of his fast.

"I ate sushi. I had about 20 rolls, beers, that mochi ice cream they do. And then I went back up to my room. Then at about half past 11, I said, 'Well, I've got a half-hour left,' so I went down and I had a cheeseburger. No wonder I couldn't move for the first three days," he said, referring to the documentary's footage of him tossing and turning miserably in bed during days one through three of his juice fast. "I had all that stuff in me and no fiber to push it through."

People in the audience groaned. "I know," Cross went on. "If someone had told me a few years ago that I'd be standing in front of a group of people talking about bowel movements, I wouldn't have believed it. Now I can talk about the color, the consistency -- is it soft, is it solid, does it stick to the porcelain in the bowl? I can talk about shit all night."



One audience member, Christopher Michael Emmolo, raised his hand and shared with the group that he was 38 days into his own reboot, a journey he had been inspired to take after watching Cross's film. So far he had lost 36 pounds -- seven inches off his waist -- and made definite gains in health and vitality.

Emmolo said he has come far since Joe Cross sidled into his fat, sick life. "I was stuffing my face with some chips or something and I had a beer or a Scotch and was just totally sprawled out on the couch," the 39-year-old said. "I caught a glimpse of the commercial for the documentary, hit rewind, watched it, and was like, 'I gotta check that out.'"

He said his health was foundering and his moods were unstable before he began juice fasting. "At the time, I was constantly tired. I was irritable more often than not and lived a very sedentary lifestyle. My joke was that I wanted to get thin the same way I got fat. I wanted to look down one day and say, 'Oh hey, look, there's my toes! I missed you guys.' And that's been a joke running five years now. I looked in the mirror and I was like, 'Those are magnificent breasts. And they're mine.' And it gets kinda scary."

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Camille Lamb Guzman is a journalist who writes on wellness, travel, and culture. She is also finishing a book of creative nonfiction.