Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Trouble with Paula

The news cycles around the whole diabetes thing and Paula Deen has finally quieted.  As someone who is fascinated by the subject of food and addicted to cooking shows, I have spent too much time on this news story.

First off, I don't watch her show.  She personifies a form of southern womanhood I find pretty annoying . . . the fuzzy haired, incredibly loud, taking pride in being uninformed, overly entitled stereotype.  You know, women who have a theme sweater (many with blinking lights) for every day of October and December.

And, I followed the media fueled "feud" between her and my boy, Tony.  He was right.  The diet she promoted on her show wasn't healthy.  She elevated indulgence into the everyday.

On one hand, her signature style is "too much is not enough."  And, you wouldn't really expect her to do a complete about-face just because she could no longer handle the diet.  She had a formula that worked, why change it because of her personal health problems?  I get that no one wants to become the poster child for their particular circumstance.

The thing that irks me is how she continues to flaunt her poor diet.  And, like my previous rant about Newt and the personal nature of what makes my left eye involuntarily twitch when I hear his voice, there is a fairly personal reason I find Ms Deen's current behavior so troubling.  Years ago, I had a friend who had diabetes.  She was advised to try to control it with her diet.  She was scheduled to see nutritionists and dietitians to help her develop eating habits that would both satisfy her as well as meet her health needs.  And, she stubbornly refused.  I remember one day, speaking to her on the phone, when she told me that she was having to go on insulin because the diabetes had progressed.  Then, she told me that her nutritionist had told her that she shouldn't eat more than 1/2 a banana in a day, due to the sugars in the fruit.  My friend didn't like bananas, so this should have been easy, right?  No.  My friend hated being told she couldn't or should do something more than she disliked bananas.  She went out that day and bought and ate 5 whole bananas. Then, she bragged to me that she hadn't ended up in a medical emergency, so maybe they didn't know what they were talking about after all.

When I see Ms Deen scarfing cake on morning talk shows, I have to think back to my friend . . . now dead . . . who also flaunted the diet that would have made her life more comfortable and longer.

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