The Spill

The Spill is back, but  I won’t be sharing a finger-licking photo like I usually do. You might be licking yours 😜

More than a week ago, I shared a small story on my Instagram about when a person in the online food-sphere gave me a remark about my weight gain upon seeing me after a long time. The comment I shared on the instagram story was that it is NOT OK to ask such a question to someone in the food world, especially when said in the condescending way he said it.
My reply in person was, “I eat, don’t we all in this field?”
I wouldn’t comment on their weight, or their double chin, because bodies change and we’re all going through things that sometimes a few of kilos are inevitable. Except for those “foodies” who take a picture of the food, and possibly a bite for the camera, then throw the rest away, followed by a DETOX post the day after.

hisham assaad body image issues cookin5m2.JPG

I’m not going to start with a holistic blog post introduction about weight and body image and models (like I did in the draft I trashed) but I am going to start with my personal story on that matter.
P.S. I am not sharing this to receive sympathy comments or attention. I am doing this because this is an issue that is giving a hard time to a lot of people but I don’t see it being talked about as much.
So here it goes!

The reason the remark from that person got stuck with me is because I go through periods when I have issues with how my body looks like. I was not comfortable with the weight I put on; my belly was hanging, my face was rounder, my chest was getting bigger in a non-flattering cone-like (aka man-boob) shape, and so on. And more often than not, I find myself eating whatever comes to mind. Pasta and fried chicken are my comfort food, and I needed the comfort.
I know how i gained my weight. I am very well aware of it.

I am somehow an active person. I walk a lot, and that is probably the reason that kept me from turning obese from all the foods I eat. I have weekly rehearsals with the clown group, that requires a good amount of physical effort. But only once did i commit years ago to exercise (jogging by the seaside) and only been at the gym 3 times EVER. I know who to blame for how my body is.
But despite that, the image I have of myself is much worse than any weight or shape I was in. I see myself something like the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons but with wider hips, like a pear.
It takes a good look at myself in the mirror or photos to analyze and try and see how I actually am.

What doesn’t help maintaining my self image in my head is seeing other people on social media. The gym rats, the beasts, the muscled, the fit, the 6-pack, the arms. I have good legs, so that’s probably the only part I am not self-conscious about but flaunt all the time.
I compare myself to how others look and get bitter for not having their body without doing any effort to break that. But I shouldn’t be bitter. They can show off their bodies, and I have to either work on mine or stop comparing myself to them.
I can’t complain and wish they’d stop.

hisham assaad young cookin5m2.jpg

I was never muscled or even thin. I don’t have a muscular body (except my wonderful legs of course) and my arms look like strands of noodles attached to my shoulders. I was a chubby kid, a short chubby kid. I stayed that way up until my mid teen years when I started getting taller and slimmer but still had thighs and a small belly.
In the past few years, my weight dropped on two occasions, due to emotional distress and a sickness, but I always managed to put the weight back because… well… I lost the weight without even trying, so that was my FREE PASS to eat as much as I want! Until my pants no longer fit, and my belly is poking through my shirts. I never reached the Comic Book Guy stage, but I put on some weight.
I weighed 95kg, and that’s the highest I’ve measured.
Last year, I got some check-up tests and all the results came great. So my body is healthy, but I wasn’t happy with the way I looked.

Things have changed lately. Since the end of February, I joined a gym to attend cardio and strength classes. And I committed, two to three times a week, an hour to two (I only stopped for a month because of the clown tour).
I have seen results. My stamina is increasing, my body got a little slimmer, I’m noticing some muscles forming and feeling them in places I’ve never felt before, and I am releasing a lot of energy during the class.
I feel the difference, I feel much better now.
Of course I still see the extra meat on my belly and muscle-less arms, but it is a work in progress.
I am working out (never imagined myself saying these words) and I am watching what I eat, and I have seen the lowest number I’ve seen recently; 91.6kg.
I still have to reach a moment when I don’t compare myself anymore, where I am happier in the way I look –don’t get me wrong, summer is getting my body the way it is and so is everyone else– and where I am not worried anymore about people see me. I am already on the way, but there’s still more to work on.
At this stage, I am happy where I am!

hisham assaad gym transformation cookin5m2.jpeg

This is my story. There is still more that goes inside my head about this, but that’s what I’m sharing now. This is for everyone who feels bad for the way they look, especially the men, where this topic isn’t discussed as much.
Don’t look at others, do what makes you happy. Your body is yours, but remember, STAY HEALTHY, and that’s more important than looking ripped.
How do you feel about your body? Let’s talk about this

For some good pep talk, watch these two biological women (drag queens, but that’s how they laugh at their “natural” looks) talk about body image and self-esteem. They really make me laugh

2 thoughts on “The Spill

  1. Thank you for posting this. I think a lot of us have become so hard on ourselves because of social media. Everyone seems so perfect! Keep up the good work. And be kind to yourself. You’re awesome.


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