By Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom
While the Food Network’s Paula Deen has been a controversial figure in the worlds of both food and health (remember my blog on Obesity and Chefs?), I want to share an interesting interview with her that aired on national TV in which she explained her new commitment to health and a lifestyle that supports it. She detailed the lifestyle changes that helped her shed 30 pounds recently. It was not easy, but she shifted her mindset about eating and food.
In the interview, Paula shared these useful insights from her experience:
-It’s not any one food that caused my diabetes – it’s my obesity (excess weight).
-My extra weight came from eating my “indulgent” (high in sugar and fat) foods too often, and in oversized portions.
-I love food but realize that I can’t eat in an unrestricted way and sustain a healthy weight.
-My health is a work in progress; while I still smoke, I’m now working on strategies to quit.
-I don’t want to be remembered for “butter,” but as a family person incorporating food into happy and healthy living.
Paula Deen had her own very public “ah-ha” moment, which prompted her to wake up and do something about her weight. I think her messaging is great – and as a public figure strongly connected to indulgent Southern cooking, she has demonstrated a road map for effective change that I hope will motivate others to do the same.