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Paula Deen And Diabetes

January 18, 2012

I’m sorry to hear that Paula Deen has diabetes.  I’m not a Paula Deen fan…I’m not crazy about her recipes, and, frankly, have a difficult time listening to her.  I am and always have been proud of my southern heritage and have made sure that I didn’t change my dialect because the media and hollywood think it sounds dumb.  Consider me dumb at your peril.  However, her incessant use of the word “y’all”, at least once a sentence, drives me nuts.  I mean, ok, I get it.  You’re a Southerner.

But, oh, how they love this news.  You know who they are.  The tsk-tsk-ers.  The “I told you so”-ers.  The “mmmmm-hhmmmm”-ers.  They love it.  Someone who didn’t acquiesce to their correctness, didn’t pay proper homage to the fitness cult is getting hers.  And it is so richly deserved, they think.  She should pay for not being Michelle Obama.  For not using her fame to lead people down the proper path of low-carb, low-fat and rigid diet and exercise.  And now she will pay.  There.  All is right with the world.

Never mind that plenty of people pay.  Plenty of people die young.  Plenty of people suffer.  Even those who do everything “right”.    And the opposite is also true.  Many people don’t follow the regimen-of-the-day and still live to be a healthy, ripe old age.  My grandmother, rest her soul, lived to be 103 and had a sharp mind to the very end.  And I don’t think she ever ate anything but pork chops and cornbread her whole life.  And the only running she did was the time the bull got after her in the fields…but that’s another story.  The American Diabetes Association says “You can’t just eat your way to Type 2 diabetes”.  But that doesn’t fit the narrative.

How quick people are to judge.  I’ve felt it as well.  One look at me when people hear I’ve been sick and they have it all figured out.  So stigmatized has “obesity” become (and don’t get me started on how warped the usage of that word has become) that it is responsible for everything.  Whatever happens to you, there are a great many people out there who will figure it is some lifestyle choice that brought it on.  A character flaw.  At least, that is, if it’s on the list.  You know, that list of things you’re supposed to do or not do.  The list includes, but is not limited to:  smoking, overeating, eating the wrong things, drinking, and a lack of exercise.  If you get sick and are guilty of not abiding the rules relating to these items, you will be summarily blamed for your own ailments.

However, there are things that don’t make the list.  Drug use, alcohol abuse, and other “lifestyle” choices will many times get a pass.  A lot depends on whether you say the right things and act the right way.  I always wonder about that as I look back to when I was young and AIDS was just coming on the scene…many people don’t remember those days, but it was scary.  No one knew what it was or how you got it.  There were scares about getting it from drinking after people or using the same toilet seat.  Then they finally allowed that it was only from sexual contact.  But it still could happen to anybody.  And yet, the truth was that the disease was being spread predominantly by unprotected homosexual sex and intravenous drug use.  But never do I remember hearing a tsk-tsk when a gay celebrity was diagnosed with the disease.  It wasn’t on the list.  Besides, having unprotected sex with multiple partners in the midst of an epidemic spread by such activity pales in comparison to being an unapologetic advocate of good food.  I guess.

The bottom line is that we are all doing the best we can.  It is a part of the human condition that everyone has character flaws and weaknesses.  And in most cases, it’s not even that.  Everyone makes decisions along the way that affect their life and well-being.  Some of those decisions may not be in accordance with your own or what you would do.  But that doesn’t necessarily make them wrong.  Things are never as cut-and-dried as the crowd wants to make them.  Everyone has their life to live.  I won’t be one to condemn anyone for their choices as long as it doesn’t directly impact me.  The arrogance and hypocrisy of the crowd, thinking that they have all the answers in the latest scientific study or medical report, is rich.

“I’ve always preached moderation, I don’t blame myself”, is what Paula Deen said about her diagnosis and how it relates to her cooking and eating philosophy.  And just as I laid out my idea of balance, everyone must find theirs.  I hope that she is comfortable with the choices she has made.  And I hope that I don’t contract diabetes from mine.  And if I do, I hope nobody cheers because they somehow feel vindicated.


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  1. linda k. stevens permalink

    preach, brother!!! 🙂

  2. linda k. stevens permalink

    reminds me of the scripture….”work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. well, now, that makes it easy, right….whatever i work out, must be ok. but then there is the ooops…..did it say “with fear and trembling”? hmm…..i better look inside again, huh?

    i don’t believe in that judgement game or the blame game.
    i am definitely responsible for me! glad to hear the same from you!

    good post, metal spoon!!!!

  3. Leslie Lechenette-Madison permalink

    I was just about to say Preach on, Brother!!! Love it!!

  4. judy k permalink

    Agree….she needs to go away.

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