Saturday, January 21, 2012
In My Opinion.... Yeah, I Read and Listen to the News
Earlier this week, I wrote a response to a blog post I'd read about loving who you are for who you are. I gave my opinion on the post...just my opinion. I tend to have those occasionally. OK a lot. I don't think there's anything wrong with having an opinion. An opinion doesn't make me right. It's just my take on a certain situation - how I see it, if you will.
This week, I've been reading a lot of opinions on the recent news story about Paula Deen. I heard the news story that she'd revealed she's been living with Type 2 Diabetes for the past couple of years, and now she's a spokesperson for the diabetes drug that she's taking. This news has sent a shock wave through the blogging community.
The opinions I've read have all tended to agree. It's no shock that a woman who has made a career of cooking some of the most unhealthy foods imaginable suddenly reveals she has diabetes - her main ingredient for just about everything is butter. It's no shock that she's actually had diabetes for a few years now - I'm actually surprised she's dodged the bullet this long. It wasn't really that much of a shock that she chose not to reveal she had diabetes until she became a spokesperson for the drug - before you hate, think of the celebrities that are endorsing weight loss products. No, the real shocker came after she did an interview refusing to blame her eating or cooking for her getting diabetes.
I heard all of this discussed in great lengths on the radio this other morning. The hosts of the show just couldn't believe that she was blaming genetics, race, and everything but her cooking on the reason she has the disease. They reported that Paula has made several comments that her food was really meant for holidays...not something that should be consumed all of the time. They said that she had actually made the comment that her show only records 30 episodes a year, which left 235 days to cook healthier, more appropriate meals.
While listening and reading to everyone give their opinion, my mind went in a different direction. For some reason, the first thing I thought was if I found out that I had diabetes, what would be my excuse? Yep, you heard it right. I immediately wondered what excuse I'd blame. Would it be that diabetes runs rampant on both sides of my family? Would it just be because of my genetic make up that riddles the women in my family to be on the heavier side which opens up the doors for weight related diseases like diabetes? Well, rest assured, I couldn't be happy with settling for any of those excuses. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if I found out from my doctor that I had diabetes tomorrow, my first thought would be: I did this to myself.
My excuses would have to fall at my own feet. I spend way too much time eating at restaurants like Golden Corral or getting dinner from Dominos. I have spent the past several months with the inability to just eat healthy portion sizes. I can't eat a piece of bread without smothering it in butter. I know that I'm killing myself slowly each time I crunch my 3rd or 4th cookie between my teeth....and putting things in to perspective I should be thanking all things holy that I don't have diabetes - yet.
I am in no place to judge Ms. Deen for her statements. I can't dig out my pitchfork and torch and join the mob that's pounding her for her statements. I keep in mind that most celebrities are limited to what they can and can't say on TV. Just think of the damaging effect that could erupt if she was to publicly announce that her cooking and her food is the direct cause of Type 2 Diabetes. Would you want to continue eating anything she promoted? I hope not. Would lawsuits start appearing accusing Paula Deen to be the new cause of diabetes? Probably. It makes much more sense for her to blame an array of other things - that are all valid causes, I might add - and then promote the fact that her son is going to start his own cooking show that focuses on healthier options, and her options can still be consumed on special occasions. That sounds much more warm and fuzzy and less life threatening.
So, it's really irrelevant what people think...myself included. Do I think that her eating is one of the causes of her disease? Absolutely. But if she's unable to come to terms with that - or is restricted by her PR reps to say it - I can live with that, too. What I can do is face the fact that I could be her in a year or five years or even ten years if I continue living and eating the way I do.
I have never eaten any of Paula Deen's stuff. Not that I know of, anyway. I don't need to - I have my own Betty Crocker living in my house. While I'm thankful that Hubby a/k/a Betty tries his hardest to cook on the healthier side, I still have some problems with eating small portions. He knows his way around the kitchen, and dang can the boy cook a mean meat pie, hearty chili, and stew. He's also recently been having an affair with the bread machine. Almost daily, I come home to the smell of freshly baked bread. And even though my thighs get bigger just taking a sniff - I eat what he makes.
Could I blame Hubby if I found out I have have diabetes? Sure. I could. But would it be true? No. He makes the foods, but I eat it. He's not tying me down and shoveling the food in to my pie hole. I can eat the foods without fear....if only I eat in moderation. That's the key. I've been told by many nutritionists and doctors that I really don't have to take any food out of my diet - but it's how often and how much I consume of the "evil" foods.
This approach has worked for me - very well, I might add - when I was having the most success with my weight loss. When I was conscious of how much food I was eating, and limiting the amount of food I ate - I lost weight. When I counted calories, told myself that there was food I couldn't eat, and used diet plans - I just couldn't stick with it.
I know what you're thinking - neither of those scenarios really worked, cause I still ended up gaining weight. That's a fair opinion. I guess I should change that to say that I had longer success with using portion control than I did with the other options. Once my portions started getting larger and larger, so did my waist line. It was a mind game I often played with myself. When I thought of certain foods as forbidden, my mind told me I had to have them. Then I was plagued with guilt after eating the foods - because, let's face it, I would always give in to my mind. I'm weak. When there was no forbidden foods, I was quite happy making healthier choices and enjoying the occasional piece of pizza or donut. My mind was able to shut off after a small amount - my cravings had been satisfied and there was no guilt plaguing me after.
I'm still struggling every day. I know that I will always struggle. I will never be "cured" of the fact that if I eat more unhealthy foods than healthy foods, I'll gain weight. It's science - and there's no arguing with the science of it. More calories in plus not many out equals an increasing waist line and an increase in the possibility that I could end up with a weight related illness.
So, in my opinion - and my opinion only - it doesn't matter what caused Paula's diabetes. It doesn't matter how she revealed it or what she's endorsing now. It doesn't matter that she's making the choice to not directly blame her food for her diabetes. None of it matters. All that matters is that I could be in her shoes some day in the near future, and the only way I can avoid that from happening is taking a cold, hard look at myself and STOP making excuses!
Till next time. ;)