But the friendly competition between the doctor who ran a diet and exercise counseling practice and the formerly obese trailer park and sewer company owner didn’t turn out as Dr. Jacobson had expected.
After 6.8 miles, he writes in Sick to Fit, “I looked and felt like I had crawled through mud and quicksand and semi-molten lava for a few thousand miles.”
LaJaunie, on the other hand, had weighed 420 pounds a few years earlier. But he’d barely broken a sweat.
Dr. Jacobson, who’d thought he was in good shape, took a hard look at himself. In reality, the respected, double-degreed health educator had become chubby.
Worried that he might run into one of his clients, Dr. Jacobson had even begun avoiding the beach. He knew his physical condition wasn’t the best advertisement for a man in his line of work.
He felt terrible after the run. But he was excited to be running with Josh, who became his new role model and Sick to Fit’s co-author. The result is a diet book that promotes exercise and plant-based eating as a foolproof weight-loss program. The story it tells is a compelling one.
College-dropout Josh was a drug dealer addicted to cocaine and to “.. rich, sweet, salty, fatty and highly processed foods.” The combined addictions led to, in his words:
gut problems and their attendant terrible farts
hemorrhoids that made sitting or moving all but impossible
constant aches and pains
and“smelly skin where [he] couldn’t reach to wash.”
By changing his menu, movement and mindset, however, Josh eventually (and incredibly) ended up on the front cover of Runner’s World Magazine. The caption read: “BE BADASS! Josh LaJaunie: He went vegan, lost 230 pounds, and ran a 3:24 marathon.”
He had decided to go vegan after reading Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run. As he told Runner’s World:
“I didn’t know it was humanly possible for people to go hundreds of miles on their feet, and not only is this dude doing this, but he doesn’t eat meat and dairy. I was totally blown away.”
Following Josh’s lead, Dr. Jacobson also turned his life around. While writing Sick to Fit, he completed a 5k, two 10ks, a 10-miler, a half marathon, a couple 50k races and four marathons.
As survivors of the weight loss trenches, Dr. Jacobson and LaJaunie share their struggles and triumphs with honesty and humor. By doing so, they’ve produced one of the most practical diet books on the market.