As I mentioned in my own story, as I was beginning to shift my life to one of better health, I only had a few supportive friends and family that understood what I was doing. Actually, many on a similar journey were strangers I connected with on My Fitness Pal (if you remember this app). Many times, I felt alone, odd and struggled with the urge to quit.
What kept me going was just taking a moment to think about my future self. Who did I want to be? What kind of mom did I want to be for my boys? My husband? What kind of legacy did I want to leave and how did I want to influence others?
Just thinking of these questions (and seeing how much better my body and mind operated), kept me on track. The “derails” would make me feel sick and just weren’t worth impacting my life. As you would read in my “About” page, I had to have a rude awakening (a close encounter with my own mortality) to really have it resonate.
I could see where I was headed, and it was a road I didn’t want to go on any longer. I also didn’t want to take my family with me on the path that I was on before.
As I said, early on, I didn’t have many friends who were with me on the journey. (I do have to call out one dear friend, Carrie, who was my biggest fan and advocate. She, too, eventually jumped on the health train with me. She has been with me ever since. She became a coach as well.)
What else could I do to help educate or motivate me thru this?
I started watching documentaries. Yep, besides books (like The Zone, The Happiness Advantage, Cooked, or Effortless Healing), I started looking into health documentaries to learn and keep me on track.
Here are my top 5 most impactful documentaries.
- Food, Inc. (2008): As an animal lover, this one was hard to watch at times. Yet, it made sense to what was going on with conventional farming and opened my eyes to what food I was choosing to buy. It showed me the reality of meat was raised and processed, and how much of an impact that had on the quality of the meat. It opened my eyes to “what the animal eats, is what I eat”. It also woke me up to the fast/cheap food system and what it was doing to our bodies. What was also hidden in highly processed foods. What also “woke me up” was how the meat processing process posed a huge risk of contamination as well, causing many humans to become sick after consumption. You can purchase the DVD for a low price or watch it on Amazon Prime
- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2010): Want to understand the power of veggies and juicing on your body? Did you know that juicing is the extraction of the condensed nutrients of vegetables and fruit? By separating the juice from the fibrous pulp, you are left with the juice of MANY veggies which is a powerhouse of nutrition that can be absorbed quickly into your body. This is what Joe Cross illustrates in his documentary as he goes on a 60-day juice fast (yep, just juice for all his meals), after he comes to grip that his life is in serious jeopardy due to his mounting health conditions. He had to take drastic steps to save his own life. He documented that journey from Australia to the U.S. This documentary was inspiring, loaded with information and had many funny moments throughout. I even allowed my tween son watch it. To learn more, go to the Reboot With Joe
- Forks Over Knives (2011): This documentary taught me the impact plants had on our body and how powerful they are for reversing chronic (and deadly) health conditions, especially heart conditions. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a nutritional biochemist from Cornell University, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a former top surgeon at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, came to the same conclusion on how a whole food, plant-based diet impacted chronic heart disease (and diabetes). It was like the Hippocrates quote, “Let food by they medicine and medicine be thy food.” You can now watch this documentary for free on their website here, but also get loads of articles, recipes and more!
- E-motion (2016): As you may have read my own story about my mental health, I also looked for documentaries that focused on stress and anxiety impacts. When this documentary came out, I watched it right away. I found it on Food Matters TV (which is now combined with com – a website I now subscribe to). Here I learned about the impact my emotions have on my physical body but also how emotions and traumas can stay trapped in our body. Our thoughts and emotions are powerful! A thought, fueled with emotion can direct our body to heal or be sick. This documentary is one that I had to watch multiple times, because there was so much information that I had never been exposed to before. The cast of this documentary are some of the best in the industry of metaphysics, meditation, neuroplasticity and more! Like me, after you watch this, you may start following these leaders, doctors, influencers like Dr. Joe Dispenza, Neale Donald Walsh or Dr. Bradley Nelson. The film is well directed and follows the life of a couple throughout so the documentary. It’s entertaining and engaging. I will watch this documentary again and again. I also recommend it to many clients. Click here to watch the trailer and learn how to purchase a digital version of the video
- Fed Up (2014): For me, this documentary further solidified the impact of food (or what we consider food) on our health (i.e. obesity, blood pressure, diabetes, weight and so much more. The part that shocked me was the consumption of sugar and what that does to the body as well. It’s mind-blowing! As a coach I had heard and seen it before, but the way they illustrate it, is jaw dropping! It woke me up to the impacts sugar has on our children and their health. It’s also insane to see how much average Americans consume of sugar in a day! I found a free full-version of the video on YouTube.
Now it’s 8 years since I graduated as a health coach, but I still watch documentaries. The scientific discovers continue to advance, and for many, their health continues to decline. Documentaries can be a strong catalyst to inspiriting even just ONE small step in the direction you want to take. You also become inspired by hearing stories similar to yours.
Grab a healthy snack, some water or tea and give yourself a break to watch one of these films. Even better… invite someone over to watch it with you. You’re not alone in this journey!