I have struggled with obesity as long as I can remember. As a kid, my grandma asked my father “Vi kumt iz Richyka azoy fet?” Why is Richy so fat? She didn't realize that by 8 years old, I could understand a few words of Yiddish.
My folks had similar weight issues and spent many years going to Weight Watchers. I think they had a net gain of 20 pounds or so. In fact, losing weight was such a big issue in my home that the first meal I remember having as a child was a weight watchers pizza.
First, you toast an english muffin, and put a couple of slices of American cheese on top. Then, top the cheese with ketchup and oregano, heat in the oven till the cheese melts. And presto, you have now learned to make breakfast with orange juice for the rest of your childhood.
Small Problems Become Big Problems
By the time I was 55, I could not see my shoelaces over my very pregnant belly. Not to mention the trouble I had tying them. My brother mocked me and gave me the inglorious title of ‘Fat Bastard'.
For too many years he had heard me say how I wanted to lose weight and get into better shape yada yada.
Yet, I was still obese. And he made sure to let me know that my attempts to hide my triple muffin top were not successful.
“You're such a fat bastard” he told me on a daily basis. I had the overhang stomach to prove it.
I was angry, but he was right. I was a mess. Having a pregnant belly that an extra large shirt could not hide was the least of my problems.
For example, just walking up one block to my building left me out of breath.
In addition, my doctor told me that I had high cholesterol near 300, high blood pressure of 140/90 and was on the cusp of type 2 diabetes with an a1c level over 6.0.
How Do You Lose Weight?
He said “You must lose weight!” But how? Isn't that the million dollar question?
He had no answer other than go on a diet, which I already did as many more times than I wanted to remember.
After decades of diets, the last seven years is the first time in my life I have been at a consistent weight, which is normal for my height.
Now, I know you are going to ask me where I came up with that strange name. Here is the story of Hashi Mashi.
The All Night Deli
One evening I was in a New York City deli, where I spent much of my time with my friends, Ben, Jerry and Tahoe. They are better known as vanilla heath bar crunch and white chocolate macadamia cookies.
As I mentioned, I was so fat that I could not see my feet looking down, and could barely bend down to tie my laces. But, I still wanted that blueberry muffin at midnight.
The pain of my uncomfortable physical size weighed heavily on me. I did not know what to do to help myself. I had tried so many diets and was still confused. I knew I needed to change my life, but I did not know how.
That night, on June 21, 2012, I decided that I was going to really focus on vegetables. Why vegetables?
Because I never heard or read any of the diet doctors debate about vegetables. All the diet doctors argue about dairy or no dairy, meat or no meat, grains or not, even about beans or no beans, and fruit, but I never heard a diet doctor say vegetables are bad. So, I decided to focus on vegetables.
But, I still had no clue what to eat.
My diet revolved around pasta, bread, chips, pretzels, meat, chicken, cheese, peanut chews, m&m's, potato chips and chocolate chip cookies.
Nevertheless, I decided that the next morning I will have vegetables with my eggs instead of the bagel.
What are You Going to Eat?
Have you ever worried that you will not have enough to eat? Especially if you go on a diet. I did too, and I wondered, without bagels, cheese and orange juice, what will I eat with the eggs?
So, I asked the chef to change the menu. Instead of the usual bagel, egg and cheese, with a slice of tomato and onion, plus orange juice, I requested something different.
No surprise that he did not like that at all.
I asked for a whole egg, 3 egg whites, to hold the bagel and cheese, and add all the vegetables he had, plus avocado, hummus, olives and capers. He threw spinach, tomato, pepper, onion, garlic, mushrooms on the grill with the eggs.
The chef asked me with a tinge of whatever while rolling his eyes at another one of my diets – “so what am I going to call this recipe Richy?”
I asked him how he refers to it in Arabic, and Jimmy said, or at least I thought he said “Hosh”. That made me think of mish mosh, which means a mess, or a jumble of confusion in Yiddish.
So, I said let's call it Hashi Mashi. I thought it was appropriate because I was certainly confused about how to lose weight.
A Real Food Meal
That Hashi Mashi breakfast was my first real food meal based on as many vegetables as I could think of.
Six months later I had close to 200 Hashi Mashi breakfasts. And after focusing on one ‘Hashi Mashi' style meal at a time, with vegetables and real food as the foundation, I was 75 pounds lighter.
I was as shocked as my brother whose jaw dropped when he saw me. “So you're not a fat bastard anymore, eh, so now you're a sexy bastard? You look better than me in a suit now, that's no good!”
I was mentioned as a regular because of my dramatic weight loss and the most famous breakfast item on the Tudor Cafe Menu (at least I think so).
If you are ever in the Tudor City area of midtown east by the UN, make sure to visit Tudor Cafe. And say hello to Yassine and/or Abduhl and ask for a Hashi Mashi. They will feed and treat you great no matter what.
After adding strength training like deadlifts, squats, push ups, more assistance exercise and cardio, I took off another 25 pounds. Real food and basic strength training help me go from a fat mess to much fitter.
I discovered that vegetables like asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, okra, potato, pepper, spinach, mushrooms, onion, watercress, zucchini, etc, were all great ways to have a satisfying meal.T
Vegetables are not just window dressing for steak, burgers, chicken or fish. You can actually have a meal with mostly vegetables and leave the table satisfied.
Focusing on vegetables, raw and cooked, helped me get fitter than I ever thought possible after the age of 50.
At the age of 60, I received certification as a personal trainer from AAPT in New York City.
Let the Magic Begin for You
I named this site hashimashi.com as a tribute to the incredible magical powers of real food and weight training to change your body and life.
Overweight and obesity are clear risk factors for many chronic illnesses. As a former ‘fat bastard', I know the frustration of losing weight. I can relate to the sense of hopelessness, especially when you are over 50.
The good news is that you can reboot your fitness and get fitter than you dreamed possible. No matter what your age, do not give up, it is never too late.
So What's In It For You?
If you are overweight, do not despair. It is not your fault, and fortunately, since I was in the exact same place as you, I can save you a lot of time.
After many years of commercial diets, trial and error, I discovered a simple system I wish I had years ago.
Miraculously, my body responded and I lost 75 pounds in 6 months, getting leaner and stronger than I thought possible.
Not only will you lose weight, but you get fitter and will look a lot better in and out of a suit.
You can throw away those extra large flannel shirts and once again fit in your favorite clothes.
I'm not special or unique. Your body will respond the same, if you just get out of the way and let it.
Read the body transformation guide, and take action.
You will succeed in your weight loss and fitness goals.
This guide is a template of the same plan I followed to lose 100 pounds in 15 months.
Next read how to lose 20 pounds in 3 months using 5 simple steps. Whether you have to lose 20, 50, 75 or 100 pounds, the process is the same.
Discover these 5 simple steps that can transform your body faster than you thought possible.
Please contact me here for questions/comments/corrections. Share your struggles, experiences and success.
Hashi Mashi System Essentials
- Eat Real Food
- Drink Enough Water
- Start Moving Every Day – Walk and/or run/do the elliptical/swim/jump rope for at least 30 minutes a day
- Do Squats
- Do Deadlifts
- Do Pushups and/or Bench Press
- Think Good Thoughts
- Get Good Sleep
- Take a Complete Rest at least One Day a Week
- Use the Best Tools for Mind and Body Fitness