Arya Farzin had been fat all his life. “Growing up, we always had food everywhere,” he told People magazine. But at the age of 21 he turned his life around, and his success story has captured the imagination of the media and the public.
A Family Member Intervenes
As a 21-year-old college sophomore in Philadelphia, Arya weighed 365 pounds. He was suffering from sleep apnea (though he didn’t realize it), and was also deeply depressed. A concerned uncle told Arya about his own experience: he had lost 40 pounds using the NutriSystem diet program, (Read Shawn's Nutrisystem Review) and he thought it might work for Arya too. He even invited his nephew to come live with him while he tried.
Arya accepted his uncle’s invitation and his help. He transferred to a community college near his uncle’s home and moved in with him. Through the NutriSystem Program together with his family’s support and a change in environment, Arya lost 80 pounds in just four months. It was difficult at first to stick with the portion-controlled weight loss program, but as he told People, “I followed the meal plan like a robot. It was a shock to the system, but the results kept me going.”
He never looked back. Two years later, his weight was down to 165.
When Arya returned home from his uncle’s, he kept with his diet and began an exercise program for the first time in his life. He started on the treadmill and worked up to jogging. “I remember jogging for the very first time,” he told TV station WBAL in Baltimore. “I could never jog, really. I couldn’t. So, I would jog for like three minutes and I was so excited.”
Now a senior majoring in History at the University of Maryland, he has learned to love exercising and visits the college gym five or six times a week, combining cardiovascular workouts with weight work.
After the Diet
Once Arya reached his weight loss goal and went off the NutriSystem plan, he found that his habits had been changed by the program. He also made an effort to educate himself about food and nutrition so he could return to eating regular food but maintain his weight loss.
Now he keeps a food journal and measures all his portions. He avoids the pitfalls of college eating by keeping a couple of small fridges and a refrigerator well stocked with lean meats, fruits, high fiber foods, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and low-fat dairy products, like cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt. He has developed recipes of his own, including a concoction of almonds, cottage cheese, and chocolate-flavored whey protein powder that when frozen “tastes just like ice cream.”
The story of Arya’s successful weight loss has been featured on local TV stations, The Today Show, Washington Post and People magazine. He’s confident that he won’t go back—“I’m a completely different person.” His goal now is to help other overweight people find nutritional advice and guidance. He has created a blog called “A Second Chance” to share his story and help other people who are struggling with obesity.