Weigh-In Tuesday and a Soapbox Rant

Today I’d like to share with you another 1.4 pound weight loss!!!

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Well, thank you, Mr. President. :0)

I’m still feeling really good about my progress. Yes, there are things I could be doing better (eating more veggies comes to mind) but I’ve made huge strides these last few weeks to improve my health, and I’m feeling stronger and leaner every day!

That’s my “Popeye” face.

I’m battling a little with what I’m calling “The Biggest Loser Mentality.” If you’ve ever seen the show, you know that any given contestant can lose up to 15 pounds or more in one week. Every Tuesday, when I step on that scale knowing how good I feel and how much better I look, I’m always expecting to see a major difference in my weight from the week before. And when the scale only moves a pound or two, I feel disappointed.

Logically I know that a steady 2 pounds per week weight loss is ideal–not just because it’s healthier, but it’s easier to maintain over time.

But emotionally—I want that “HOLY FREAKIN’ COW DID I REALLY JUST LOSE 14 POUNDS?!?!?” moment.

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But usually, after I think about it for awhile, and receive a pep-talk (usually accompanied by graphs and/or charts) from “trainer” and BFF, Dana, I immediately start feeling better about my progress.

So, with today’s 1.4 loss, that brings my total weight loss to

5.3 pounds! Woohoo!!!

Yay me!

So, while we’re on the subject of weight loss and general healthiness, I’d like to dust off my soapbox for a minute and share my two cents on a current news story you may have heard about–namely, the Paula Deen controversy.

For those who haven’t heard, Deen recently made a statement that she had been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. She’d known about it for awhile before coming out to the public, and now has made a lucrative deal with the company that creates the meds she’s taking for the illness. She has been publicly crucified by health organizations, media outlets, and even her own peers, for continuing to serve the same southern comfort foods on her show and in her restaurant, despite her diagnosis.

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Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has been one of Paula’s biggest critics from the very beginning. When asked his opinion about Paula’s recent news, he responded, “When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you’ve been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you’ve got Type 2 diabetes … it’s in bad taste if nothing else.”

Let me say this: I’ve been a big Paula Deen Fan for many years. I own at least 4 of her cookbooks. I have met her and her husband, Michael. And I have dined in her restaurant. One of my favorite possessions is my Paula Deen apron, which reads “The Lady Can Cook.”

However, that I am a bonafide Paula Deen fan has absolutely no bearings on how I felt when I first heard about this story.
My first reaction was empathy for her family. Both of my parents also have Type 2 Diabetes, and I know the struggle that it is to completely overhaul your entire lifestyle in the name of health. It’s difficult both emotionally and physically (especially when your Mom craves chocolate like mine does.)
After that initial wave of empathy, though, I was left feeling angry. Angry for Paula that she has become the media’s poster child for “Fat Southern Woman with Diabetes.” Angry that she’s being touted as irresponsible because she hasn’t changed the recipes featured on her show.
Angry that she’s being held responsible for an entire nation’s eating habits.
If you’ve ever seen Paula’s show, you know that she makes comfort food. There’s no questioning the fact that she uses full fat ingredients, ranging from butter to sour cream, in practically every dish she serves. Do I have her cookbooks? Yes. Do I cook from them every single night? No. Why? Because I know that eating like that leads to weight gain, and that weight gain leads to other health problems. Like Type 2 Diabetes.
I know that chowing down on Paula’s sinful Lemon Cake is an indulgence. Just like a big slice of pizza, an even bigger cheese burger, or a vat of ice cream. It’s a “once in awhile” thing, not an every day thing. Everything in moderation–that’s the key.
I liken it to blaming McDonald’s for America’s obesity problem. Here’s the thing, people: McDonald’s serves what sells. Fatty french fries, greasy burgers, “chicken” nuggets–that’s what people want when they hit the drive-thru.
I use the word “chicken” lightly, because what you’re really getting is breaded, deep fried pink goo:
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How many boxes of chicken nuggets do you think McDonald’s would sell if they had THAT picture on the box?
How does this relate to the Paula Deen controversy? Simply this: if you’ve been remotely educated in the human body, you know that you can’t eat rich, creamy, fattening foods every day of your life without suffering the consequences. Some people, including Paula (and myself up until about 3 weeks ago) choose to take their chances with those consequences. Punishing her by humiliating her publicly and using her as a scapegoat isn’t going to end the obesity epidemic in our country.
But education, honesty, and individual responsiblity might.
Paula continued with her show, and her restaurant, and her recipes, not because she wants to harm the public, but because it is her national identity. She became famous for her southern style of cooking. To expect her to immediately change her MO because of her own personal (private) health concerns would be like asking the CEO of McDonald’s to take chicken nuggets off the menu because of the above picture that was leaked to the media.
As long as we’re buying, they’re playing, people. And as long as we continue to place the blame on others, rather than with ourselves, America is destined to be fat forever.
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I wish Paula Deen nothing but the best in her battle against diabetes. I’m sure that, over the course of the next few years, we’ll see a big change in how she conducts her show. I’ll keep watching, enjoying her adorable on-screen personality, and saving that Stick to Your Teeth Chocolate cookie recipe for a special occasion.
 
As for the McDonald’s reference, the same information could be given about most every fast food restaurant in the world. I just chose McDonald’s for this blog because of the photo above, which came through my Facebook news feed a few days ago. It seemed relevant to this story, so I shared it. I like McDonald’s french fries as much as the next guy, but I’m dedicated to spending my money where it best influences my new healthy lifestyle. And McDonald’s ain’t that place.

5 thoughts on “Weigh-In Tuesday and a Soapbox Rant

  1. danadominata

    Abby, I couldn’t agree with you more about Paula Deen. If she started making “healthy recipes” and stopped being “Paula Deen the Butter Queen” American would be less one lovable grandma figure on TV. There is something special about her cooking: it is simple to make, inexpensive and will fill a whole house full of bellies.

    Anthony Bourdain is the man in the glass house as he boozes and smokes his way around the world. When he is diagnosed with some terrible disease of the lung or liver, maybe he will realize that attacking Paula Deen was not the most gentlemanly thing to do.

  2. Deeanna

    I was simply furious when I started hearing all the criticism about Paula Deen and her diabetes situation. I have heard her visit other shows such as Rachael Ray and make the very statement she has been recently quoted saying and thats “everything in moderation”. These people pointing fingers at her, calling her a fraud and blaming her anything they can could use that same amount of time to hit up Google (or Barnes & Noble or the local library) for ways to adjust these Southern favorites to be figure friendly and a part of their all the time eating. I could go on and on but this is your soap box so I’ll just continue stewing while I get mine out of the barn.

  3. Stephanie

    I don’t have strong opinions about Paula Deen…except that she’s partnering with a meds company. That really bothers me. If she wants to leave diabetes out of her professional life – which is 100% her choice – then I think it makes her look foolish to partner with a meds company without talking about her recipes.

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