By Joe Cross
You can probably imagine how I spent my last day. I relaxed, I enjoyed my juice and I prepared for the first time I would take a bite of food in 60 days. Here’s what I did…
When I woke up after my final day, so technically day 61, I wanted to be in the air by sunrise. My ambition was to see the sun slice through the horizon just as I was biting into a juicy apple. It was still dark on the drive to the launch point and I was thinking about the past, when I’d always bid a fond farewell to my mini-juicing and other health kicks by stuffing myself silly with all the wrong kinds of food, usually enormous quantities of India or Chinese. But that was yo-yo Joe, and he was long gone.
I wanted to reward myself and my crew with something that would be memorable and special. I figured that a ride in a hot air balloon above the Mojave Desert would tick all the boxes. I could defy gravity, stick my head in the clouds, and rise above it all in every sense. It was the perfect symbol for the way I felt, and besides, it would be an opportunity for me to thank the sun personally for growing the food that had saved my life.
When the balloon took off at dawn, I was excited as I can ever remember being. I was on top of the world, and really, the dawn of a new life stretched before me. My crew, in their own balloon, were as thrilled as I was to finish the project and get home. They had been my witnesses from Day One, and now, here we wee on Day Sixty-One. I’d shrunk before their eyes, and they all felt as if they’d witnessed a minor miracle. I have no doubt at the beginning they thought I was mad, but now they could see how healthy and alive I was and how much energy I’d regained. This challenged their preconceived notions about health and how the human body works. They had all become at least part-time juicers, making batches to sustain themselves on long days. Being healthy is infectious. It generates positive energy and everyone wants a slice of that pie. You find this out for yourself if you try a Reboot.
When I finally bit into my apple, I must admit that it was something of an anticlimax. Don’t get me wrong; it tasted amazing. But my chewing skills were so rusty that I bit-really hard-into my cheek! A few more tries and I got my coordination back.
We sailed over vineyards as the sun sparkled on grapes that were destined to be next year’s wine, a substance I wouldn’t be drinking. It was a bittersweet reminder that Stage Two of my Reboot would require the same level of discipline as the first part. Make no mistake about it; I would have to stick to my micronutrient-eating plan to sustain all that I’d achieved. However, my taste buds were now actually craving micronutrient rich food; vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and legumes would be my medicine and my treat. I was ready to return to the world of soulful, healthy eating.
For those airborne moments I just let myself think” “Joe, well done, mate!” Illuminated by the rising sun, our balloons cast huge shadows over the earth below, I took a good look at that great healer in the sky, our beautiful star. How ironic. Here I was, an Australian who’d traveled to the other side of the globe only to discover that the source of his healing had literally been staring him in the face all his life. Eat what the sun grows and let no man, woman or machine mess with its fundamental structure before it ends up on your plate. That’s what being in tune with nature means.
When I’d first conceived of the idea of going on a 60 day Reboot and making a film at the same time, almost everyone I knew thought I was nuts. I’d thought so too. But after all was said and done, I felt richer now than I’d ever been, and I don’t mean financially. During the last two months, I’d gained balance of my mind, which gave me a sense of control.
I knew I still had a huge task ahead of me-getting down to zero Prednisone by eating well and exercising. I was like a boy pushing a wheelbarrow up a hill-I still had the job infront of me. But now I was more committed to that goal than ever. I didn’t ever want to be afraid to swing a golf club, or to pick up my nieces and nephews in my arms. When I came back down to earth this time, the reign of the boy in the bubble would officially come to an end.
Reflecting on those initial sick and lonely days on Long Island now made me shiver, though I did fondly remember all the people I’d met on the road and the spectacular roads I had taken. I managed to find some place special to sit down and make myself a juice in every state I passed through. All those truck stops, cowboy cafes, Laundromats, motels – I knew that I would remember everything about the trip I’d just taken for the rest of my life. I only hoped that we’d managed to capture the spirit of the voyage I’d taken into myself- and across America-on film, so that I could tell a useful story.
And I hope I did.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. As part of our 2nd Anniversary Celebration of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, it has been fascinating to relive and remember my every thought that I was experiencing during the Reboot. I now realize that there were things along the way during my 60 Day Reboot that I learned about myself that I still keep with me today — I know myself better, I know how to be healthy and I know how to make myself really happy, not the happy I used to get after eating a whole pizza pie, but the vibrant bliss I get from eating more fruits and vegetables.
Read about my Reboot and catch up on days 1 – 59 in Joe’s Journal.