Shortly after beginning my journey to a healthier lifestyle, Running Wife passed along a link to a Facebook fan page that she thought I might enjoy.
The page is run by Eli Sapharti, who has also penned a book about his journey titled From Fat Boy to Fit Man: A “One Step at a Time” Story of Success. After following the page for awhile and finding that Eli’s posts really clicked with me, I decided to grab a copy of his book and read it cover to cover on a recent flight to London – which is laced with irony given Eli’s story and the events that led up to his realization that he needed to make some changes.
Eli takes us on a journey from where he was – out of shape, barely able to walk up a flight of stairs – to where he is now – over 100 pounds lighter, running half marathons, and sharing his story of success with men and women across the world. Like many of us, Eli had tried every fad diet and quick fix under the sun, but it wasn’t until he truly saw himself that things began to click.
With the realization of just how fat and unhealthy he had become, Eli committed to himself that he had to do something to change the path he was on. He started small and continued to build upon his success, one step at a time. The pounds began to melt away and he slowly began to realize that his new lifestyle was making him healthier and happier than he ever dreamed.
Along the way, Eli shares the stories of two people that have leveraged the process that he has used to change their own lives. Whether you have not yet started your own journey or are well down your path to success, you will find more than a few nuggets of gold in this book – and a handful of moments that will bring a tear to your eye as you recognize yourself in similar situations.
If I didn’t know better…
As I began reading this book, I could not help but think that somehow Eli had morphed into my life and wrote a book about me – with the exception being that I have not yet reached my initial goal.
The similarities were eerie – nearly identical starting weights, former smokers, experiencing an anxiety attack on the highway while driving, and the trigger for our epiphany being a comment from someone that truly made us open our eyes to see what we had become. The fact that Eli and I share so many similarities in our story allowed me to truly immerse myself in the story and had me nodding with acknowledgement as he shared his thoughts and feelings about his struggles.
An unexpected treat
One thing that caught me a little off-guard as I began reading the book, yet I truly began to appreciate and enjoy the more I read, was how the book is actually presented.
Rather than being a straight story of Eli’s journey, the story is presented as an interview between the co-author, Jason Wood, and Eli himself. It was interesting to see the dynamic between them, and as the story progresses you begin to see that Jason has a new understanding and appreciation for what Eli – and those of us in similar situations – has struggled with, as well as how he relates his own struggles to the process that Eli has implemented.
In addition to that treat, another piece of the book that I truly enjoyed was how in between each chapter or section, Eli includes a quote – some are of the inspirational or motivational variety, while others are more thought-provoking.
One step at a time
Earlier I mentioned that Eli and I share a number of similarities in our journey, and that holds true with the concept of taking one step at a time which I have written about previously.
When I began my own journey – which thus far has seen me lose over 50 pounds and gained the ability to complete a 5k in under 40 minutes – I made one huge change compared with all of my prior attempts to lose weight and improve my health. And that huge change was actually something very small, depending on how you look at it of course.
In the past I would always approach my zeal for fitness as a big bang approach – cut out all the crappy food, exercise like a mad man, and follow a strict plan – which of course would last for about two weeks and then the wheels would fall off in a fit of binge eating at 1:00 AM.
This time around, I started by making one small change at a time and slowly introduced additional changes as each prior change became a habit.
That is exactly how Eli took control of his life and found success as well. It sounds like such an easy concept – and truthfully it really is once you are ready and willing to accept it into your life. In addition, it is a concept that you can customize to fit with your life right here and now, no matter where you are at in your journey to a happier and healthier you.
Wrapping it up
While I may already be half-way through my journey to my initial goal, I still found Eli’s book to be an excellent read. I’ve been stuck in a bit of a plateau lately, and reading the stories from Eli, Rick and Jennifer has enforced the need to keep pushing through to reach my goals.
Regardless of where you are along your own path to success, I highly recommend this book as it will demonstrate that there are easy things we can do to improve our health and happiness – although those easy things are sometimes extremely difficult to do.
Reading this book has enforced the importance of having supportive people in your life and I am very fortunate to have that in Running Wife. One day I hope to meet Eli and shake his hand, as unbeknownst to him he wrote a story that very closely mirrors my own and for that I am extremely grateful as it supports the changes that I have made in my life.
If you find yourself in need of a supportive hand, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or Running Wife as we are happy to help in any way we can. You can reach us here, as well as on Facebook or Twitter.