5 Questions With… Mara Schiavocampo

By Brian Flood 


ABC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo has been quite busy:  the working mom is out with her first book, THINspired, about her recent weight loss and her plan for self-acceptance. We recently caught up with Schiavocampo to discuss her proudest moments, her favorite meal and, of course, her new book.

TVNewser: So, tell us about your book.

Schiavocampo: It’s about my journey of losing 90 pounds after the birth of my daughter three years ago. I lost the 40 pounds I gained during pregnancy, plus an additional 50. I never set out to lose that much weight, but as it started to come off, I began learning some really big and surprising things about weight loss. At some point, lots of people started to notice, and everyone had the same question: “What are you doing?” The book came from that. I wanted to be really open and honest, and hopefully offer guidance to others with the same struggles.

TVNewser:  You’ve won an Emmys, been named one of Marie Claire’s “women on top” and even worked for Oprah. What is your proudest moment as a journalist?

Schiavocampo:  My proudest moments are the private ones: when a viewer emails me to say I’ve inspired them in some way; or when someone I’ve covered has been helped by my work. The great joy of my job is meeting and getting to know people from all walks of life.

TVNewser:  Your career has brought you all over the globe. What country left the biggest impression on you?

Schiavocampo: I’d have to say two: Jordan & Haiti. Jordan was the first Middle Eastern country I ever visited and it exposed me to the Arab world. I was in awe of it. I learned so much in my subsequent trips to the region. It really enriched me as a person. As for Haiti, it’s still difficult for me to articulate how my reporting there changed me, other than to say it was profound. I spent a lot of time there, before and after the earthquake, and saw such a vast range of humanity, from resilience, to unfiltered joy, to unimaginable grief, to shocking callousness. I am forever changed by my time there.

TVNewser:  We’ve heard a rumor that writing was your first love. Is that true, and if so, should we expect more books in the future?

Schiavocampo: It’s true! I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Of course I thought my first book would be the great American novel, not a weight loss memoir! I would love nothing more than a parallel career as an author.

TVNewser:  You’re now based in NYC and live in Harlem. What’s your favorite meal in the city?

Schiavocampo: This is a trick question! Before I became “THINspired”, I’d say Amy Ruth’s in Harlem. It doesn’t get much better than fried chicken and waffles. These days, I’d say the macadamia crusted chicken salad from Josie’s on the Upper West Side. I have Dan Harris to thank for that. He recommended it and it’s amazing.