Lisa Lampanelli, best known for her outsize performances during Comedy Central’s roasts, has always been an overeater — “I come from an Italian family where food is love,” she says. Now she has authored a book, Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat, and Freaks, that, among other things, recounts her time at a food-rehab center she says catered to “porkers, pukers, and purgers.” Lampanelli tells us, “I thought it was going to be all fat chicks, but I end up going in there and it’s all skinny broads. I’m like, I have to listen to them and try not to eat the food off their plates?” The program taught her something though: “Reaching for food is like reaching for a drink. If you’re stressed or tired or emotional, it’s the last thing you should do.” She learned how to stop eating chocolate after every meal, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t indulge this week.
Sunday, September 27
I’ve lived in New York for twenty years, but I’m not really a New Yorker. I don’t eat like a New Yorker does — at eclectic, cool places that pop up. I eat at the same five places, because they’re the only ones that kiss my ass and treat me nice. For instance, I tried to go to a new Italian place on the Upper West Side but it was raining — I don’t walk in the rain, because I’m not really a New Yorker. So I went to a pizza place around the corner.
My fiancé and I consider 10 p.m. to be dinner — not because we’re classy, but because we’re busy. There’s a food cart by Sixth Avenue and 53rd Street and it always has twenty people in the line, so I say to my fiancé, “What the fuck is up with that place?” We ate there — some weird Middle Eastern thing. I think it’s beef, pork, chicken and yellow rice. I was like, “Not so much.” Then we tasted the guy next to him with no line and the guy with no line was better. See, it’s all bullshit! It’s all hype in New York!
Monday, September 28
I ate breakfast at home — I had the two lattes that I make my assistant go get me, because we live a block away from Starbucks and I won’t walk a block.
We tried to go to Gray’s Papaya because that’s what New Yorkers do, but then I had to pee and I’m like, “Oh my God, I now have to eat a bran muffin and a fruit salad at the Manhattan Diner.” I got a muffin I didn’t really want and stale fruit. But then we went back to Gray’s and it was fantastic. Awesome.
We tried to go to John’s but got cock-blocked by the rain, so we went to a place around the corner called Dean’s. It’s the worst name for an Italian restaurant — they couldn’t even even change it to Dino’s to Wop it up a bit. But it was the best pizza I ever ate. It was skinny, skinny, skinny and burnt around the edges like I like it, and the sauce was sweet; it probably had sugar in it. I like my pizza thin, not thick — unlike my men, who I like thick. And I always get mad and when I get Greek pizza, that’s all oily— the Greeks should stick to what they know, which is playing with other men, and not making pizza
Tuesday, September 29
Everyone says you should go to H&H, but I go there and they’re like, “We won't butter it.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” You have to buy a pound of butter, so I said “Screw that.” I went to a different deli and I got a nice chocolate-chip muffin. Again, New York screwed me in the ass and I was forced to eat something I definitely wasn’t signing up for, but it was really good.
We went to the Friars Club for lunch because my agent was in town for the week for meetings and he had a minimum to use at the Friars, so he asked me to go. I’d like to think he also wanted my company, but you never know. The Friars is one of the five places that kiss my ass a little bit. I was a little petite that day — you’d be proud of me. I had a chopped salad but forgot to say no egg and had to send it back and look like the other dissatisfied Jews that eat there. Then I had a crab cake that came in a martini glass, so I looked like a drunk and an overeater at the same time. And some berries and cream — they give you a bowl of berries so you think it's diet-y, but then you have a bowl of whipped cream to eat with it. I slid off the chair. The food really is good there — I initially thought it would be very Jewy food, but they only do that sort of thing during holy days. I’ve had lamb chops in steakhouses that are nothing compared to the moist ones at Friars. But it's only members, so ha-ha.
I had dinner at Patsy’s, the Italian joint, because Sal, the owner, is a friend who treats me good. Though I have to say, I didn’t even get a discount that night! I get a hello over the phone, I bring ten people, but no discount. What do you think of that?
Wednesday, September 30
Every day I have this good, healthy food delivered to my house called Chef’s Diet. We look in the hallway at 2 a.m., and there’s a frickin' delicious bag of food there. I had a turkey, pastrami, and egg with a roll that they sent.
Then I went up to Cape Cod. In Cape Cod, you’re going to eat a lobster — I mean, come on. But I only ate half, because I’m trying to be good.
Then when I got back, we ate the pizza leftover from Dean’s. We had every intention of going to Uncle Jack’s, which is a streakhouse that I freaking love (it’s another place where they give me free stuff because I’ve deluded them into thinking I’m somebody). They always say “Oh, come on, it’ll be out treat.”
Right now, I’m trying to be like, 1,700 calories a day; on good days, I’m right under it, and on bad days, I’m about double. I figure as I walk around the city, and I walk five miles, I’m like, “You know what, that definitely earns me a muffin.” It’s always a push — I’ll do the dieting part but won’t do the exercise, or vice versa. If I could, I’d have chocolate cake or ice cream for dessert after every meal but I don’t want to gain back the weight or people will make fun of me. My need for acceptance from Howard Stern supersedes my need to have dessert every day. But I think I’ll always be the same weight — put it this way, it ain’t getting any better.