Aug 04

When you’re out trucking freight, you never know what you’re going to find at a truck stop. From the varying quality of food to the eclectic collection of thingamabobs, there seems to be a different experience waiting for you at every stop.

For one Iowa driver, he discovered a new lease on life — and a recently released documentary chronicles his transformation from diseased, depressed and morbidly obese to the picture of perfect health.

“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” begins by chronicling Australian investor and executive, Joe Cross, as he reverses his own faltering health through a 60-day juice fast. As he traveled the United States filming the documentary, he found an unexpected partner in his weight-loss journey while at an Iowa truck stop. Joe met Phil Riverstone, a long-haul truck driver who happened to share two of the same unfortunate health problems he was battling: obesity and a rare autoimmune disease that causes severe hives — and requires serious medication.

When the audience first meets Phil, he weighs nearly 430 pounds, relies on countless prescription medicines and has lost touch with his youngest son. To say he’s in a bad place would be an understatement. Phil’s family fears he is suicidal.

But, inspired by Joe’s early success at weight loss, Phil decides to take action. The film documents Phil’s life-changing results as he conducts a juice fast, begins exercising and learns to lead a healthy life. Over the next ten months, he loses 202 pounds, his disease goes into remission, his vital signs return to normal — and he re-establishes a relationship with his son.

In the process, Phil also chooses not to return to a life trucking freight, so he can focus on sharing the path to health with as many people as possible. Though he may not be a driver anymore, this movie shows the importance of paying attention to your health while on the road and how the right choices can bring vitality back to your life.

“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” is currently screening at various locations across the country and is available on DVD. To see if they’re showing the film near you, check out their screening schedule here.

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