Here are all the answers to the questions you asked in Daniel’s AMA!
Hi All. Thank you for the questions. I answered most of them I think. Some I skipped because they were asked elsewhere and I may have avoided one or two that I didn’t want to answer. If you have follow-ups you can post in the comments and I will try to reply.
lisa lempp2 says
hi Daniel: I read Andi’s book, (I loved it so much) that I feel like I know you. I certainly know about the struggles of obesity, I see beautiful pics of Andi, and from the outside, one would never know her struggle. I recently have lost over 100 lbs. I had bariatric surgery Nov 2013. It changed my life, mainly my sick diabetic body. I feel well, for the first time in 40 years. The surgery is a tool, helps control portions, but, it is only a tool, not a cure for emotional eating. When I find myself grazing, eating sugar, carbs, I know it is emotional eating, not hunger. I am gentle on myself, afterall, I have been overeating for decades. Now, I am able to stop and ask myself, Why are you eating? Why are you choosing a unhealthy snack/meal? I am now aware that the choices I make are mine. I am in control, no one else, I work on it everyday, some days aren’t perfect, feeding your body and your soul is hard work! I am a work in progress. I know you have also struggled with this, I also know Andi is a great cook. What have you found that helps you stay on track? What can you share about your own struggles and how you have conquered some of them? I sincerely wish you two love & joy in your relationship. Be good to one another, communicate your needs and support each other. Thank you for blogging with us Daniel! Hugggs `leelee
My biggest struggle is binge eating. When I was a child I just thought I had a big appetite but I have always struggled with compulsive binge eating. What helps me stay on track is routine. Waking up at the same time each day, eating at the same times, eating the same types of food. I do well with structure but once I stray from the path I can get lost for quite a while.
I’d like to know whether you enjoy cooking and if so what your favourite dishes are to make? And whether you and Andie tend to cook in different ways? My boyfriend and I both love to cook and have really different styles – I tend to make ‘skinny’ dishes and he likes to cook with cream and butter – so it can be tricky to negotiate who’s cooking dinner when and how to cook. Has being with Andie changed the way you cook and eat and do you have any tips for other couples about cooking and eating together happily?
I cook most of my own meals. I would describe my cooking as boring. I am content with eating the same types of food most of the time. I eat pretty much the same lunch everyday, grilled chicken with pesto, chili paste, and 1/2 an avocado.
Most of the food I cook is on the lighter side. I am adept at following recipes so I can make pretty much anything but I tend to stick to the basics. Some kind of meat or fish with roasted or grilled vegetables. When I indulge I usually prefer to eat out.
My best advice for cooking and eating as a couple is to develop a roster of shared favorites and those can be go-to meals most of the time.
Are we ever going to see pictures of you two together?! :)
The next book will be a coffee table book of pictures of me.
Hi Daniel and Andie!
So excited for this post, what a fun idea. What do you two do for date nights out and in? And when you moved in together did you have any tough adjustments, and how did you handle them.
We both love the cinema, so we go about once a week. We play scrabble and boggle. We used to walk dogs together at the local shelter before we moved, I’d like to do that again around here. We go on walks where I pretend to listen to Andrea while actually listening to a podcast.
Living together isn’t tough for us at all. We do our own thing most of the day but in close proximity which is nice. Our only issue is I go to sleep an hour or two later than Andrea so I just use my laptop in bed while she sleeps.
I’m a brand new reader of this blog, and I’m excited to see that as a couple, you work to maintain healthy habits. My question is, when one of you is depressed, what does the other one do? Do you work best giving each other space, or are there ways you know how to cheer each other up? My husband will see me depressed, on the couch, in the midst of a food and Netflix binge, and I think he is at a loss for what actions to take. Do you have advice for how a couple can stay mentally well together, despite each other’s roller coasters of emotions?
I just try to be compassionate and supportive. Something I have learned is most of the time the other person doesn’t want you to solve their problems, they know the solution, they just want you to listen and be supportive. Your husband could join you on the couch and watch some TV or ask if you need to vent. Ultimately we need to be responsible for our own mental health and can’t look to others to fix our problems. But being in a relationship should provide a supportive and comfortable atmosphere to address our issues.
Hi Daniel, very cool to see you on here. My question is: after your breakup, and the years that followed, how did you establish momentum on your own without Andie, after having been with her for so long? Sometimes in a relationship we can look to the other person to kind of “keep us going” but when that is taken away it is easy to feel lost and aimless. As a man, were you able to find happiness, contentment and meaning simply being with yourself? If so, how did you make that happen? I’m sorry if this sounds a little too touchy feely but I am curious! Thanks!
It was difficult after our breakup. I grieved our relationship for quite awhile. But if you are relying on someone else for your happiness you are in trouble. Relationships work best when two functional, content, strong people come together and don’t need to lean on each other to stand. I did learn to be content on my own. Most people will figure that out after a significant breakup.
Thanks for doing this! I was a casual blog reader via feedly, then read Andi’s book, and now am feeling like I’m loving all the personal backstory.
Are you guys for real back together, or just friends? Where are you living these days? What do you do for a living? Are you still playing poker?
For realsies. I live in North Jersey and Andrea lives in Manhattan, she will be moving here in a few months until my lease ends.
I play poker, daily fantasy sports, and do a little writing and editing work to make a living.
I know that you have struggled with food over the years. Where are you with it now?
I go through periods of time where I am ok and periods where I am binging frequently. Right now I am in a good period. I have recently been studying Buddhism and it has really helped my mindset in regards to binge eating. So hopefully that will continue.
Katie Marini says
Thanks for taking the time to answer questions from readers. You must love Andie very much :)
As a woman who has struggled with my weight over the years–gaining and losing about 40 pounds–my husband is faced with the difficult challenge of supporting me when I’m losing weight AND when I’m gaining weight. Yet, there is a fine balance between “supporting” your partner and “directing” your partner. It’s not always easy to balance. How do you handle supporting Andie in her healthy habits without crossing the line and making comments that could be viewed as judgmental?
Hopefully this question makes sense…
Compassion and acceptance. If Andrea is eating unhealthy, there is nothing I can say that is going to make her want to stop. So if I say something like “are you sure you want to eat that?” or “how about we make a salad for dinner” it is just going to make her feel bad. I don’t think it is a partner’s job to police someone else’s weight and it wouldn’t be fair to ask. Usually if she is eating outside of the norm she will communicate with me which is helpful.
Andie Mitchell says
Favorite restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory, I like having many options and I love cheesecake.
Favorite food (meal): A vast assortment of Chinese food.
Favorite dessert: Graeter’s ice cream, White’s Cake, Chris’ Outrageous Cheesecake, Banoffee Pie
Favorite convenience store snack: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Favorite premium ice cream flavor: Graeter’s Mint Chocolate Chip, Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp
Favorite TV show comedy: The Simpsons
Favorite TV show drama: Breaking Bad
Favorite movie drama (limit 3): Pulp Fiction, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Godfather
Favorite movie comedy, musical, other (limit 3): Groundhog Day, Hot Fuzz, Superbad
Favorite person you met in 2003 in Grayson Hall at UMass Amherst: RA Brian
Something people don’t know/wouldn’t expect about Andie: She is a physical comic genius on par with Buster Keaton.
EEEEEEEE!!!!! I’m so excited for this! I, like many others, feel like I’ve known you forever through Andie’s blog and book. What is your favorite movie? What kind of music do you like? Also, I understand you are a Chinese food lover…how do you feel about the Tofu Shirataki noodles? I’ve seen Andie has used them in a few recipes recently. My husband and I tried them in a terrible recipe years ago and are afraid to go back!
Good to see you on here!
It is so hard to come up with a favorite movie. Usually I say Pulp Fiction but any of about 50 movies could be my favorite on any given day. My favorite current directors are Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Edgar Wright, Wes Anderson, and The Coens.
I don’t listen to music very often, I like it mostly in movie or tv soundtracks. I like mostly folk, indie, or pop music. If I am feeling down I will listen to Ke$ha.
I am a big supporter of Shirataki noodles. Try the recipe.
Steph D says
Hi Daniel! What is your favorite thing Andie cooks? What is her favorite thing YOU cook?
I like pretty much everything she cooks. Since she is always trying new recipes I don’t have the same things very often. She makes the best chicken soup I have ever had.
Everyday for lunch I make chicken salad. I use grilled chicken, mayo, pesto, chili paste, avocado, and a pickle.
Excited to here from you. Andie has made you sound like quite a remarkable person.
What challenges do you two face in your relationship do to your differing career paths, and how do you handle them?
We don’t face many challenges. We both are pretty content working from home and it is nice to be together during the day.
Do you have any desire to write a book/blog?
Not especially. I used to have a blog about a soccer team but I didn’t keep up with it for more than a season. I write film reviews of every movie I see but they are mostly for myself.
What’s your favorite thing about Andie?
She is a blinding, powerful, bright light. She illuminates my life. My favorite specific thing is probably her strange and perfect impressions of public address announcers, voice overs, and automated recordings. Her best impression is of the AMC announcement that says “Yeah, we know you love trailers” before every movie. It is uncanny.
What’s your favorite memory of a time you’ve shared with Andie?
Our trip to Iceland was quite nice. We went to a waterfall where the wind was blowing so hard Andrea was literally afraid she was going to blow away.
Finally! Ok Daniel, does Andie let you in the kitchen? Do you cook? I know Andie said you struggled with weight in the past but I want to know are you “meh” about food and just overdo the junk or is it like your brain’s food receptors think good food is crystal meth (i am the latter, strongly suspect Andie is but curious about you+food). I need to know if you overreact to it like you think you are hearing the right reverend bubba of the southern dominational congregation speak the truth when you have a great burger with hands in the air? What are your “jobs” around the house/relationship (division of labor)? Are you chill? How would you describe your personality? Can we see a picture? Do you like mother Oprah/self help? What do you drive (like not so the stalkers can get you detail- just like truck, sedan, sports car? What are your hobbies/interests? Do you work from home too? How do you feel about balancing working from home/professional boundaries? That’s all I got right now for Daniel, thanks- I think this is an excellent idea. Note that your audience will naturally take Andie’s side on most things here- we understand her brand of crazy (although if you want to elaborate) but do you have your own brand you would like to endear us with?
I do cook, but mostly simple stuff.
My issues with food go beyond just overdoing junk. I have serious problems with binge eating. If I indulge in high calorie foods I won’t stop until I am uncomfortably full.
We don’t really have a clearly defined division of labor. If something looks like it needs cleaning, I will clean it. Andrea probably ends up doing about 70% of the cleaning. She has higher cleanliness standards but I think I do ok.
I am quite chill. I’d say I am calm and aloof. I don’t make great first impressions.
I don’t have a strong opinion on Oprah. I think she is good at what she does. I think self help is great but it is important not to become so fixated on the process that you neglect the work.
I like film, television, and soccer. I study buddhism and meditate.
I do work from home and I always have. I definitely procrastinate too often but I enjoy the freedom.
Andrea and I are on the same side.
Did Andie only have to ask you once to do this (answer questions on her blog) or did she practically have to beg you and/or promise you something in exchange?
I sometimes give her ideas for posts and I suggested this.
Andie Mitchell says
This question came in through email:
Here are a few unoriginal questions:
What career are you in?
Did you move to NY?
Do you have a pet?
I like Andie’s writing when she’s with you…seems more like the girl I met through her blog a few years back…”
I have played poker professionally for about 10 years now. I also do some writing and editing on the side.
I live in North Jersey because online poker was legalized here and is regulated but I am a stones throw from the city.
I lived with Andrea’s parents for a little while a couple years ago and I formed a very close connection with DeeDee the pugdog. She is my best friend.
HI Daniel! I adore Andie (as I am sure you do too!) I was curious to know how you summoned up the courage to let her share your side of the story. That takes so much bravery to willingly open your story and private life in Andie’s book. I find that remarkable and super commendable. Doubt many guys would be okay with sharing their insecurities (albiet weight or whatever else) that openly. I feel like women talk more candidly about our insecurities because we know we aren’t alone — heck every happy hour is a spill session of something we messed up on or how this blouse used to fit so much better. It makes us feel like we aren’t alone! But men, seem to keep it to themselves, as if you all have it together. So you allowing Andie to share a bit of your side of the story in her book really made me feel like depression/emotional eating/insecurity doesn’t discriminate and reminded me the old adage of being kind as everyone you know is fighting some sort of battle you have no idea about. Any who, just wanted to give you an atta boy!
Oh and because this is long and seems way too serious I better throw in a good would you rather so, would you rather give up beer or internet?!
Andrea never needed my permission. Everyone is entitled to tell their story and since I was such an important part of hers it was inevitable that she would reveal things about me. Honestly it makes me a little uncomfortable but I got over it.
Men do typically keep their problems to themselves. But it seems like now more are coming forward with their struggles with eating and eating disorders. I think that is positive for everyone.
I am not much of a beer drinker so the answer is definitely the internet. There isn’t much I would choose over the internet. Andrea once asked me if I would rather not speak to her for a year or give up the internet for a year and after an uncomfortable pause my response was “can we still text?”
Some questions for you:
What’s your favorite book? The Catcher in the Rye was the first book I really loved.
What’s you favorite song? Skinny Love came to mind but I don’t really have an answer I feel strongly about.
What is your favorite movie theater snack? I like popcorn with peanut M&Ms and Junior Mints mixed in.
What’s your favorite sports team? New England Revolution
Which of Andie’s friends (who grew up in New Jersey) is your favorite? Giana
First of all: so glad you got back together :)
Plus this is an awesome idea. Here are my questions:
- do you still eat lots of broccoli? 😉 I remember you two had a thing for it back in 2011 😀
- current favourite (tv/netflix) series?
- where would you like to travel to next?
- cats or dogs?
- meat or fish?
I do eat quite a bit of roasted broccoli but not as much as Andrea.
I just watched the second season of Bojack Horseman and I was blown away by it.
We are going to DisneyWorld pretty soon so there.
I love both but if I had to choose I would choose dogs since my best friend is a pug.
I eat more meat but I think I prefer fish especially if I can include all seafood.
Random, fun ones :)
Ever had a burger with peanut butter on it? Why or why not?
Do you mix your rice and beans at mexican restaurants?
Enchiladas or tacos?
Mashed potatoes or baked potatoes?
Would you rather go to the moon or be president for a week?
Do you speak piglatin fluently?
Thanks for doing this!
No, never thought to try it, I will next time I have a burger though.
Yes. I am not a psychopath.
Enchiladas, I don’t care for the hard shell in tacos, they are too hard to eat. You take a bite and destroy the structural integrity of your dinner. You need to put an architect and an engineer on retainer if you are planning on eating tacos.
Mashed by a mile.
I would rather go to the moon.
Onay, atwhay ayay asteway ofyay imetay.
Sorry I’m about to ask a ton of questions because I’m nosey as hell.
What was your first thought when you met andie? How’s life/work doing? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is this how you pictured your life when you were in high school? Was it hard getting back together with andie? What’s your dream job? What’s your favorite recipe from andie?
I actually don’t recall the specific moment I met her. I just remember she had the strangest and funniest laugh I had ever heard. She doesn’t laugh like that anymore because I think she was embarrassed so she trained herself to have a more normal sounding laugh. I miss it.
It wasn’t hard getting back together. Andrea and I were still involved in each other’s lives so it felt natural.
My dream job would be to write for or create a comedy tv series.
Andie was very honest about your relationship in her book, including your breakup. How did you feel when you read what she wrote? How do you feel about it now?
I have never actually read the book in its published form. Andrea sent me the book as she wrote it so I could give her notes. The passages about me made me uncomfortable. But I realized it was her story as much as it was mine. I would still be uncomfortable to read it but I am ok with it being out there.
Serious question: have you met Leonardo Dicarpio?
I have not. I do enjoy many of his films though. The Wolf of Wall Street is probably my favorite although I am sure recency bias plays a big part in that.
Andie documents in her book how you both struggled with weight. I believe weight loss is a personal journey that you have to commit to and no one else can make you do it, you gotta walk the path for yourself. My question is, do you feel pressure or struggle because Andie’s journey may be different from yours, or you may not find yourself on her same pager?
Consciously I don’t feel any pressure from her. She is supportive and I feel like her struggles have taught me a lot about my own.
Where is your favorite place that you’ve lived? Why?
Seattle was my favorite city. I think it is beautiful, I like the milder summers, I like the film scene and the general vibe.
But my favorite place that I lived is with Andrea’s parents in Massachusetts because I got to spend everyday with Deedee.
My question is, what do you do for a living? Do you enjoy it? Do you do anything foodie related with Andi, or is that more her thing?
Also, what are some of your favorite shows? You can tell a lot about someone by what they watch on TV!
Thank you for your time!
I mostly play poker for a living. I used to love it but now I find it boring.
Andrea is more of a foodie, I tend to prefer more casual restaurants and simpler food but I will eat and enjoy anything.
Some of my favorite shows of all time are The Simpsons, Seinfeld, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Louie, Freaks and Geeks, The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Lost, and Jeopardy!.
Some of my current favorites are Bojack Horseman, Review, You’re the Worst, Hannibal, Rick and Morty, Silicon Valley, Veep, Girls, Transparent, Rectify, Bob’s Burgers, and Fargo.
I watch a lot of television.
Amanda June says
What’s something quirky or unique about your relationship?
Andrea invented her own language and over the years I have become semi-fluent. So often times we speak in crazy nonsense talk.
Beth R. says
You’re putting together a celebrity bowling team. What three celebrities–must be alive–do you choose?
John Goodman, Chris Hardwick, and Andie Mitchell.
Hmmmm, Missed the part where you two committed. I came in on a blogpost that you and Andie eat a head of broccoli every night. And then she left Seattle. I didn’t read the book. I’m glad there is growth in your companionship. So:
Poker is a card game.
Movies are a series of still images that when projected on a screen give the illusion of a moving picture. They are quite enjoyable, you should check them out.
Travel usually involves going some place different than where you currently are.
Comfort food is usually an indulgent food that has some kind of sentimental value.
If “It Was Me All Along” gets made into a Hollywood movie, who will play the roles of Andie, Daniel, Kate, Sabrina, Leonardo DiCaprio, and most importantly, Justin?
Anna Kendrick, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Olsen, Kate Micucci, Jason Schwartzman
It’s so nice of you to give Andie’s fans a chance to talk to you. You were such a huge part of her book that most of us feel like we know you (and her!). My question is – in Andie’s recent picture from Shake Shack, it looks like you got a burger without a bun. Are you on a low-carb diet? How do you manage that when around someone who eats everything (in moderation)?
I am on a low carb diet. I find that it works best for me to prevent binging. Most of the stuff Andrea cooks is low carb or easily adaptable to low carb and she doesn’t mind eating that way if we are together.