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“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” – How I Lost 100lbs, Rebooted My Life and Created a Movement

By September 2, 2013August 7th, 202310 Comments

Today I sit down with the one and only Joe Cross, the man behind the wildly successful documentary film, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead*.

A few eerie parallels.  Joe and I are almost exactly the same age, and we both decided to make radical life changes when we turned 40. So when I began the journey I chronicle in Finding Ultra*, Joe began the journey he chronicles in his movie.  And now here we are, sitting across from each other, sharing our respective stories which essentially transpired concurrently.

So what is Joe’s story?  100 pounds overweight, loaded up on prescription meds and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe was at the end of his rope — a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well.  With one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind.

With doctors and conventional medicines unable to help long- term, Joe turned to the only option left, the body’s ability to heal itself. He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and film crew in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days and see what happens. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: to get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle.

While talking to more than 500 Americans about food, health and longevity, it’s at a truck stop in Arizona where Joe meets a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. Phil Staples is morbidly obese weighing in at 429 lbs; a cheeseburger away from a heart-attack. As Joe is recovering his health, Phil begins his own epic journey to get well.

Joe and I get into how Joe saved his life, helped create a populist movement around juicing and his plans for the future.

Joe’s passion for health & self-healing is infectious — I hope you are inspired by his message to take your own wellness to the next level!


*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Thanks for listening and thanks for the support!


  • Petar says:

    Joe is such a down to earth guy, comes across very genuine. Nice work Rich!

  • erniebird says:

    Another great interview! Loved it!

  • Judi Setzer Cowart says:

    I think I am addicted to your podcast. and plants : ) Every guest you have is so engaging, with such quality of content in their message. Thanks, Rich!

  • NateC87 says:

    For the longest time I couldn’t find the banner ad, I thought I was just blind. It turns out, Adblock Plus was stripping it out. It might be worth noting this somewhere for any of your followers who use Adblock, they will need to whitelist “” in the Adblock options in order to see the banner ad.

  • Oksana Wall says:

    Amazing podcast … Two of my favorite role models in one place! Thanks Joe and Rich, you’ve been such great inspiration and teachers (in a down to earth and genuine way) to a renewed life!

  • Monique says:

    My husband and I loved Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead! Great to hear Joe on the podcast.

  • razzmatazz says:

    I sat down with 2 life long vegetarians telling me 1 their cholesterol is out of control (cheese consumption) and the other energy drained (caffeine addition). I was shocked, i thought them being life long vegetarians would of had better health than me (recently turned plant based, {cholesterol and caffeine way in check}) So I told 1 of them about this movie and the great benefits of a healthier diet and tried to lead by example. Despite my personal efforts, they paid no attention to my examples and it took several months before they decided to watch the movie. But now after seeing it they are looking into how they can reboot their vegetarian diet. So although i wasn’t able to reach my friend through example I am so thankful Joe’s movie was a great tool I (and others) are able to utilize in trying to spread the message.

  • Justin says:

    Great podcast! Joe was a major player in my transformation nearly two years ago and who eventually led me to read your book Rich. You two are pioneers in your related missions of which I am a proud disciple.

  • Dominique says:

    I absolutely love Joe’s comments on perspective – it’s brilliant. If we all flashed ahead and thought about our lives in 20 years regarding the choices we make now and how that will set up up for the future health-wise…I just love that.

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