Competitor Magazine

Author: Competitor Magazine, Linzay Logan

Download File »

Eli Sapharti, 42, is a firm believer in doing anything you put your mind to. Just three years ago, he was a yo-yo dieter fighting his 42-inch waist through fad dieting and New Year’s resolutions that lasted only a few weeks when he had an epiphany. “I was fat and I realized I wasn’t going to be around for my kids,” he revealed. Knowing he needed to make a change, the father of three made a promise to himself to make one small lifestyle change—every night instead of sitting in front of the television and eating, he would take a 15-minute walk. That 15-minute walk slowly turned into a longer walk and then a jog. “My walks were getting boring, so I started to jog and it was very difficult at first,” Sapharti recalled. “I remember the day I ran one mile; it was an incredible accomplishment. And it snowballed from there.”  

Today, the Miami resident is a runner with several 5K, 10K and half-marathons under his belt; he’s a fitness enthusiast who makes working out a priority. “It’s not, if I have time I will workout. It’s, I will make time to work out,” Sapharti said. With a family and full-time job, he says juggling it all can be a struggle, but it’s incredibly gratifying. Hoping to inspire others struggling with their weight, Sapharti has launched a website,, where he hopes to motivate others. “Today I really feel like I can call myself an athlete and a runner,” he said.    

FAVORITE WORKOUT “I love to run on South Beach; I start at South Point Park and run all the way up to the Fontainebleau Hotel. It’s a beautiful run.”  

FAVORITE GYM LA Fitness Parkland 12114 N.W. 76th   Place Parkland, Fla. “This is a really nice, well-run gym.”  

FAVORITE MEAL TO PREPARE Picadillo   “I have a Cuban background and it’s a Cuban meal. It’s typically made with ground beef, but I substitute ground turkey.”  

FAVORITE SPLURGE “I love red wine. My favorite is ZD Cabernet Sauvignon.”  

FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP Dunkin’ Donuts “I am an avid Dunkin’ Donuts drinker. But I eat absolutely no doughnuts.”  

FAVORITE PASTIME “I love to go to Miami Heat games with my kids.”    

FAVORITE RESTAURANT Natural Chicken Grill   Various locations throughout Florida   “I eat lunch there almost every day.

They have the best chicken chops—fresh chicken on the grill with brown rice and sweet potatoes.

You can definitely eat healthy there.” —