There is a saying that crisis and opportunity are flip-sides of a coin, and some of the best business ideas can come finding solutions to problems or pain points you face yourself. This week we talk to Arya Farzin, who personally lost 200 pounds, which then served as the driving force behind a new app called The Fitness Games. Here is the Tweepler Q&A.
Tweepler: What drove you to create The Fitness Games App?
Arya Farzin: At age 19 I weighed 365 lb’s. My weight loss attempts throughout my life were futile as I continuously tried and failed. I did this to the point that it seemed impossible. I was stuck in this 365 lb nightmare. After breaking dozens of chairs, having to shop at Big And Tall as a college student, and being diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, I decided to make a change. Almost two years later, I conquered obesity and lost over 200 lbs. The day I looked at the scale and saw 160lb’s, I knew I was free. I was free with a new fire and passion inside to help everyone who not just struggled with obesity, but with any fitness goal that seemed impossible. Anyone who is stuck just like I was. After six years of searching my answer finally came and The Fitness Games was born. My business partner Joseph and I wanted to discover a way to help thousands achieve their goals and better their lives. We decided to do this by creating a completely new and innovative gym that motivated people to workout. We would meet a few days out of the week and brainstorm. It was when we thought of hosting fitness contests and challenges for the gym, that the app idea was born. Our goal changed from wanting to help thousands, to millions.
Tweepler: In a few sentences, what does the app do?
Arya Farzin: The Fitness games connects the world through fitness. The app allows you to challenge anyone, anywhere, to any type of workout. Users go head to head in the workout of their choice and our unique point system scores how hard each user has exercised and determines a winner.
Tweepler: We read you personally lost 200 pounds. How did you accomplish this?
Arya Farzin: After 19 years of obesity, after trying and failing again and again to the point where success in my mind was deemed impossible, I finally made a change. Everything happened at the right time. Weighing 365 pounds, ordering food and staying in my apartment in complete isolation, and shopping at big and tall, I had hit rock bottom. It was at this time that I came home for Christmas from college in complete depression. However, I had also had enough and my entire life I have never been a quitter. I have always been a believer, even when something is deemed impossible. Doctors had told me without surgery I would never lose the weight and even if I miraculously did, I would gain it back. (I have kept it off for 7 years) So on this particular Christmas, when my Uncle approached me, I was ready. He offered to have me live with him in the summer in Harrisburg, PA and go on the Nutrisystem food plan in which he had lost 40 lbs. I raised his offer and said “why don’t I come now”. It was settled. I left my college half way through the year and moved to live with my Uncle in Harrisburg, Pa to change my life forever. I went on the Nutrisystem food plan, exercised everyday (7 days of 45 minutes of cardio, 4 days of 45 minutes of weight training. After the first 3 months I gave myself one day off from workouts) attended community college Harrisburg Area Community College represent!, and worked part time. I lost 80 lbs in four months. After four months I moved back home and transferred to a better college than the one I was previously attending and continued my weight loss journey. I lost over 200 lbs in a year and a half. The keys to my success, were changing my environment, having a nutrition plan to stick to, exercising at least 5 days per week, and keeping myself insanely busy.
Tweepler: What are the most important factors that help people lose weight or stay fit?
Arya Farzin: Exercise, support, and nutrition. However, I would like to emphasize two keys that after my transformation and 5 years as a personal trainer, I have found to be essential to losing weight and staying fit. The two keys are a consistent workout routine and friends to share and support your success. When you exercise you look better and feel better. It keeps your head in the game. Having a workout partner to rely on motivates you and keeps you going. You always workout harder if you know someone is in it with you. The Fitness Games provides both of these keys to success at your finger tips!
Tweepler: Has the cultural phenomena of sharing ‘selfies’ played into becoming and staying fit?
Arya Farzin: I truly believe selfies help people in becoming and staying fit. They encourage people to workout and show off their progress and they create a support group of friends who are there to cheer you on along the way. Success is always sweeter when you have people to share it with.