Thursday, January 13, 2011

And 4, 3, 2, 1..... Roll Camera!

Two super-friendly and awesome bloggers gave me an award! It's my first ever and I gotta admit I'm pretty thrilled. It's like winning a bloggy Oscar (at least, it feels that way to me).

Best part is, I get to ask myself the questions. But don't worry -- I promise to be as hard-hitting as Barbara Walters on one of her weepy, interminable, badly-lighted Oscar Specials.

First, let me officially thank Fat Angry Mom, who tagged me with the Sylish Blogger's Award, and Polar's Mom, who slid in not long after with the same award.

I'd take this chance to lob 14 probing questions at myself, but given my tendency to, wax on at great length, I think it's better to stick to 7, and keep 'em simple. Otherwise, we'll be here all day!

*****Cue music, lights, as Barbara Walters and her interviewee face the cameras****

1) Q: Why don't you have any pictures of yourself up here, Ish? (Barbara Walters leans closer..) Afraid to show yourself?

A: You know Barbara, the truth is, I work in media and I've had first-hand experience with just how shallow that world can be. I remember that on what might have been, oh, my third day starting as a reporter at my new job, one female reporter (skinny and gorgeous, of course) was laughingly telling some other reporters near me about the strange-looking woman she had interviewed for a story. She laughed and laughed, poking fun at the woman's appearance, and loudly repeating the words "fat girl" over and over. Suddenly she realized I was sitting right behind her, and even though she wasn't talking about me at all, she suddenly dropped her voice and began whispering everytime she said "fat girl." It was confusing and painful for me -- she was acting the way people used to about cancer 30 years ago, when it was the word never to be said out loud. I suppose she was trying to be sensitive -- I guess to her anyone who was my size could only feel shame when the word fat came up, even in a general context. Most of my colleagues are amazing and lovely people, but there are appearance-driven individuals all around. I have no desire to have my private struggles made fodder for water cooler gossip, or passed around the fishbowl of NYC media life. Better to stay anon, I say. Plus, on a more serious note, sometimes people take issue with articles I write. I have gotten crazy death threats at work, and I just think it better not to have too many images of me floating out there. However, if one of my bloggy friends truly can't go on living without my picture, e-mail me and I'll send you one.

2) Q: Fascinating (and quite long). Tell me, Ish, what do you most like to eat after a hard day's work?

A: Right now I'm all about Chobani zero fat, plain yogurt. Can't get enough of it.

3) Q: Why is your name 'Ishmael'?

A: Actually, Barbara, it's Call Me Ishmael (strained smile follows). It's the opening line to "Moby Dick," a novel I think appropriate to my struggle not just for the whale imagery, but because it's about chasing down a dream relentlessy, obsessively, with fierce determination. One might also say that obsession drove Ahab mad and destroyed his life, but I kinda coveniently overlook that part.

4) Q: (Barbara tilts her haloed, softly-lit head to the side)...What keeps you up at night?

A: Besides hunger, you mean? Aside from worrying that someone I know or love will get sick or hurt, I probably have two main anxieties with me at all time: that I'll never really lose enough weight to get where I want to be, or won't be able to keep it off, and I worry that I'm not doing enough in my career.

5) Q: Weight is such an issue in Hollywood. Yet you never opted for weight-loss surgery. Why?

A: Barbara, I'd only ever admit this to you (on national TV, for the ratings), but I have considered surgery! (Barbara sits back in triumph as shocked gasps from a faux-audience are piped in by producers). I have thought about it many times, especially lap band surgery. But everytime I read about it, I'm stopped by one thing: both types of weight-loss procedures demand that you commit to making better food choices, eat less, move more. I don't need surgery to do that -- I can do it on my own.

6) Q: If you could change one thing about yourself that would make your weight-loss journey easier, what would it be?

A: That's easy. I'd be a morning workout person. I want to be, I wish that I were. It just doesn't happen.

7) Q: What's the most important thing you've learned so far about weight-loss?

A: It's an obvious thing, maybe, to people who are "normal" and not food addicts. But it's taken me a long time to realize that food can't make me feel better about myself. Wine can't make me feel better about myself. Only I can make me feel better about myself.

Stay tuned for ongoing Barbara Walters interviews with the following bloggers, who have been given the Stylish Blogger Award from Call Me Ishmael:

The Fat Mom
The Ninja

Congrats! You've all gotten the Stylish Blogger Award!


  1. You're the best Ish. I love this award and reading things that we normally wouldn't really talk about from our fellow blog-buds.

  2. Very nice...

    Polar's Mom

  3. I want a second interview!!! You know, I've always wondered about your no picture policy. Makes total sense!

    Glad you're doing it the "natural" way--with all its pain and frustration--and not doing the surgery. Although I knwo some people MAY need to do that...

  4. What a great post! I always enjoy these types of questions - it is a special treat to learn more about those we read and interact with daily.

  5. Award for you on my blog, come and get it!!!

    Polar's Mom

  6. This was so awesome and I am late getting to you, but please Know I am honored to be on your list. I will write about this award tomorrow. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself in such a creative way. I need to learn about your journey and get caught up. ;)