Archive for ‘body love’

January 3, 2014

One thing…

doxafit 2013

Happy New Year, Drama Free Fitness Folks!

I love the New Year. It’s so full of promise, so clean and fresh and…well, “new.” It’s as though the clock has restarted on everything. Hooray!

Gym memberships skyrocket, websites that deal in health and fitness show a rush of activity, resolutions abound! This is the year we’re finally gonna lose that 10 pounds, get in shape, get a better job, do all the laundry, clean under the refrigerator, become a better neighbor…

And then in mid February we start to feel the pressure of it all and maybe we realize that the “clean slate” of January 1st was not all that clean after all. The idea that we can completely start anew is replaced with the guilt of missing workouts, the cold weather weight gain, then the pressure of the lurking summertime starts to loom on the horizon. The clock is never really on our side, is it?

Except that here’s this little bit o wisdom, friends. The clock doesn’t care.

What matters is how we choose in the moment, not some great cosmic shift, not the reset button on the calendar, not the foreboding of “swim suit season.” This year I wonder if we can set goals that are driven by the small stuff, by the momentary good choice, by the hope of tiny shifts in our psyche toward good health.

Choose one thing, maybe it’s for a day or for a month but choose something. Always have something to choose; mindful eating, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, choosing the side salad instead of the fries. These are small things. They are “this time” things and they add up. There is no quick fix. You already know that. So, choose one thing.

Choose one thing. Start where you are and enjoy this new year!

What’s your “one thing?” friends??

October 13, 2013

Why 7 minutes is enough for now…

For the last two years I’ve been lamenting my loss of motivation. I try, half heartedly, to eat well or to work out. I used to like working out, not love but at least like. For the last two years though I’ve been neglecting the work out, resisting it isn’t exactly accurate as much as neglecting it. It’s not a matter of “finding time” but more that I have felt as though I’m standing at the foot of Mount Everest and what’s necessary is that I climb it, now. I walk three steps forward, put my hands on the rock and I am immediately exhausted.

My first thought in all of this was that it was an extension of aging, the next was that it was a chronic fatigue issue but recently, a diagnosis came through of a thyroid issue and I was relieved, unbelievable relieved. I’m not just lazy, I’m not just getting old, I’m not suffering from some undiagnosable condition that eats away at my energy and my resolve.

The meds are being fleshed out now and it’s a polarizing process of wondering what can be done apart from taking a pill every day for the rest of my life. It’s easy to take the pill and it might help fix the problem but it goes against my nature to take a pill to fix my body. It’s not something I’ve faced before. It’s all new.

In the meantime though, the pill has helped a bit and my energy is slowly finding its way back. The trouble is that I have lost a great deal in those two years. In addition to motivation and energy I’ve lost the good muscle definition I’d enjoyed, I’ve lost stamina and endurance. It still has felt as though I’m standing at the foot of Mount Everest and expected to climb to the top, right now and every day forward, always moving upward.

My two years of trying resulted in a few discoveries of things I’d long suspected but needed confirmed- 1)short-term diets don’t work for long-term results and 2)there is no quick fix.

Then one day I got a “suggested app” on my phone for a 7 minute workout. I’d already known about the “Tabata” method of workouts and had been able to do at least a small amount of work with those over the last two years so I downloaded the app and did 7 minutes. I almost broke down knowing that the 7 minutes of calisthenics at my best intensity was so far from my all time best. I collapsed on the floor when it was done, feeling all the loss and none of the satisfaction I’d had in the past with exercise. Still, it was 7 minutes more than the day before…and that was the point.

The truth is that we’re not climbing Mount Everest. Most of us don’t have to scale the mountain every day, we just need to manage a few hills, a few miles on the long road to fitness. For as long as we see becoming healthy as a climb that only a professional mountaineer would attempt we will always fail. Each of us has our own road to fitness to follow and rarely do the road look completely identical. In some places we will find fellow travelers and in some places also, we will be in uncharted territory, scaling small hills on our own and we do this not because we like to do it but because we have to do it. We have to do it because it’s in the road and there is no other way around. 7 minutes is enough for now but only if I see it as a 7 minutes on the long road back to health and know that it’s just the first of many hills of varying lengths and heights. Everything counts. I’m moving forward and it’s all good.

February 22, 2013

Bottom lines…

Having been on a sort of “dietary walkabout” the lat 6 months or so I can say that I’ve come to a few conclusions-

a very few conclusions.

Conventional wisdom, as I remember it, generally has held the that way to “lose” weight was essentially a math formula- calories in, calories out. You want to be thinner? Eat less! Workout more! Tame your appetite! This is the mantra I’ve heard circulating throughout my entire life.

There is no shortage of “diet fads.” In this country in particular we have become a nation obsessed with image and depressed with the results we see, which leads to more obsession, then depression and so on. We get into a dangerous cycle always following that carrot on a stick to be a thinner, fitter, more pleasing version of ourselves. Until we read that the glycemic index of that carrot on the stick may be making us fatter. So we replace the carrot with aspartame fueled soda until a study tells us that the chemicals are embalming us from the inside. The diet drink becomes a porterhouse steak and the authorities scream, “Keytones!” We back away from the red meat and move toward soy but that becomes the enemy before too long, that crafty soy acting as a hormone in our bodies, a wolf in sheep’s skin and pretty soon we discover that the cupboard is bare. Chemicals will kill us, carbs will make us fat, protein will poison our tissues, soy will do who knows what.

I admit there are moments when I sit down on my kitchen floor, head in hands with absolutely no idea what to eat.

The bottom line as I see it is that there is no panacea, no one size fits all, no miracle cure for everyone. The world has shifted, our bodies are bombarded now with chemicals and free radicals and heavy rotation advertising slogans, to continue to employ “conventional wisdom” or even fad diets ends up being a fail, which leads to depression and culminates in strengthening the obsession with being thinner, being fitter- even being healthier becomes an unreachable goal given the overwhelming and conflicting data!

The one common refrain I hear when I ask someone about a type of diet they’ve tried, “Well, it totally worked for me!” or “So and so lost all this weight eating that way!” The data is conflicting and confusing but the anecdotal evidence is compelling. What’s a person to do?

Here are a few things that occur to me in this drama free fitness realm:

1) Know thyself-

Your body is your own. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Do the work necessary to understand how foods affect you. Keep a food journal. Note how you feel or how your clothes fit with each passing day. Not everyone needs to cut out fats or sugars or gluten. Figure out what your body responds WELL to in the food area of your life and feed it that.

2) Forget the carrot-

In fact, throw down the stick too. What would it look like to just spend time celebrating things you love about your body for a little while? It does no good to be running after that carrot on the stick day after day, week after week, month after month only to realize you’ve been running in a circle for years. The goal of being healthy is a good one but it’s a daily, probably hourly, series of choices we make and they ALL go back to a goal of loving ourselves enough to care for ourselves and our families. The carrot on the stick is a lie at best.

3) Become a delish-itarian.

My friend Sarah coined this to me one day and I’ve never forgotten it. Let’s stop making food our enemy, shall we? Clearly, we want to make choices that sustain us and avoid the free radicals and the chemicals and the genetically modified foods AND how about we re-introduce ourselves to our taste buds too. Every meal, ask yourself what you taste! Look, I’m no saint, people, I wander over to the Sonic Drive In from time to time. There’s no shame in that. Instead of employing shame to help us change our ways, try really tasting your food throughout the day. What do you like? What do you dislike? What do you not even taste at all? I say we enjoy our food, not by overindulging but by paying attention to it.

Maybe if we do these things, that will begin to shape how we make our choices and that will shape how we live our lives… That’s a cycle I’d like to embrace.

 

 

July 23, 2012

islands…

It’s a vicious cycle; workouts lapse, health declines, motivation wanes, time evaporates, fitness gains are lost, pounds are gained, then comes the crushing guilt every time I think about getting back on the straight and narrow.

The over use of “if only” echoes in my brain.

“I wish I had kept up with it.”

“I can never get back there.”

“I’m a failure.”

I imagine myself in the middle of a deep lake, I know how to swim but the shore is far and it’s growing dark. I try to swim but the shore is so very far away and I am tired. The panic rises up, it takes over. Panic is the worst thing we can do in a situation like this. Why does it seem like the first response that comes to me? Panic is so natural, like sitting down on the couch and eating a bag of cookies whenever I think about working out. I do what I think I CAN do. This is the control I show, I can sit down and eat a bag of cookies. It doesn’t make sense but the shore is so very far away. I can never get there.

why

even

try?

Then, I have this one moment, this one small, tiny, nearly un-hearable voice in my ear saying, “Stop. Wait. Look here.” When I stop looking at the shore I see a series of shallow spots, mini islands, stepping stones leading between where I am swimming and where I need to go. THAT is how I get to where I want to be.

Here is my reality- I’m never going to be 24 again. I’m never going to have THAT body. I’m going to have the 44 year old version of that body. I want to have the healthiest version of that body. If I want to get there I will have to go on step at a time, one island in the lake at a time and I will get there when I get there.

I know that I cannot live on these resting places, I have to get to shore because life is good there, but life happens here too, on these in between places, the places I have to stop and rest so that the shore can actually be in my future at all.

That next island does not have a bag of cookies on it. That’s where I’m heading next.

March 7, 2012

The Unrunner’s Guide to Running Races

I’m excited to start a new series of guest posts about normal people and their experience with real life exercise.

Enjoy this first post by the lovely Erin Pollet! Tip #3 made me laugh out loud.

The Unrunners Guide to Running Races

By Erin Pollet

Recently I ran a 10K for the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas’(HWNT) scholarship fund. I placed 2nd in my age division and ran a personal best 10:57 minute mile. For those real runners out there, you know this is not very fast, but I’m not a real runner. I run, but since I don’t train faithfully or keep track of how many miles I go per week I consider myself an “unrunner.” It’s easy to become an unrunner, and it’s really fun if you don’t let the real runners intimidate you.

Tip #1 Pick a race.

My running partner Monica and I were planning on running a half marathon on March 4th. We’d been planning to run that race since January, but we just did not train enough to run 13 miles. So we googled “San Antonio running races calendar” or something like that and came up with the HWNT’s Lace Up scholarship race. The charity meant zilch to us as neither one of us is Hispanic or in need of scholarships, but it was on the right weekend, and it was a 10k. Races are NOT cheap, but it does ease the blow that most of them are for a good cause. You can choose one that means something to you personally or, like us, just choose one that is convenient. I do recommend picking a race about 1 month to 6 weeks away. Any farther than that and it really doesn’t loom over you enough for motivation.

Tip #2 Just get out and run.

There are many, many articles about running schedules: speed work, tempo running, interval running, etc. If you want to be a real runner, by all means, pick a schedule and get out there. If you want to be an unrunner, there isn’t really a schedule to follow, just some guidelines. I run for whatever amount of time I have to run. If I don’t feel like running the whole time, I walk, but my body is moving for a certain amount of time.

My personal goal for every race, however, is that I want to run the whole time. So on the weekends I try and run for at least the amount of time it would probably take me to run the upcoming race.  5k is about 30 minutes, 10k is about an hour, etc. During the week I run when I can, or I cross train (a real runner’s word for “doing something else besides running”). Cross training for me is spin class, but any aerobic class or weight training will do.

Tip #3 Have friends with athletic injuries.

The morning of the race, I woke up to find a message on my phone that Monica was backing out. She had hurt her knee at a soccer game the night before and would not be able to run. I was pretty bummed out about having to run this race alone, but honestly I am very lucky that I have the type of friend that is athletic enough to get injured.

Monica was there when I started running. She’s run for at least 20 years, and in my mind could probably run non-stop a la Forrest Gump if she wanted to. She would run with me when I could only run for 30 seconds and then walk for 20 minutes to catch my breath. She would run like that, drop me off at home, and go out and run for 45 minutes to get her actual running in. For all that, I still consider her an unrunner because she runs just to run with no schedules or goals in mind besides “I can drink a beer tonight without feeling like a lard ass.” Everybody needs a friend and running buddy like her.

Tip #4 Use your clothes to gauge how you’re doing.

I’ve never run a race all by myself before, but I know that the first thing I have to do is find the packet pick-up area. This is where you get your number, chip (the little hard plastic piece that keeps your time), and your t-shirt.  Yay, t-shirt! Unfortunately the shirts are those athletic types made with breathable material and run way too small.  I stupidly ordered a large, but I pick up Monica’s too (since she already paid) and she ordered a XL.  I’m soooo keeping her shirt.

According to shirt size, I’m not doing so hot.

Tip #5 Choose your starting position wisely.

Real runners should be near the starting line. Walkers should be in the back. Unless you want to get run over, I suggest picking a point somewhere in the middle. If you are surrounded by men with tiny shorts and shaved legs…move back. If you’re standing next to a white haired lady with a walker…move up.

Tip #6 Make new friends.

Unrunners run races for fun. Running faster than the person next to you is FUN. Real runners are there to beat their own times. Since I don’t really keep track of the time as I’m running the race, all I’ve got is the person in front of me. I hate that person with every fiber of my being. During this race it’s a red- haired girl that looks like a girl I used to work with. That girl quit and left us in a bind, and I hate that girl for what she did. I will not let her doppelganger beat me! I see her up ahead of me at about mile 4, and from that point on my one goal is to catch up with that girl, overtake her, and cross the finish line before she does.

Remember this…hate motivates!

Tip #7 Pace yourself.

The first couple of races I ran, I made the mistake of taking off as fast as I could from the starting line, or I tried to sprint the last half mile to the end. Neither strategy has worked. I’d just wear myself out and then struggle to finish. During this race I keep a steady pace with short bursts of energy as I go up the hills. It pays off as I notice that red-hair girl is starting to walk. I know that she is wearing down, but instead of speeding up and trying to overtake her right away, I hang back and bide my time. As we make it past the 5 mile water station she’s walking, and I pass her by. With a burst of speed she sprints past me again, but I know she’s on her last leg now and can’t hold out that fast. Sure enough, she starts walking again, and I pass her by at my nice, steady pace.

As I see the finish line up ahead, I do speed up a little…just to look good for the crowd. As I cross I look back to see Miss Red-Hair crossing just seconds after I do. I want to thank her for motivating me.  I don’t REALLY hate her, but I’m not sure how she would take it if I said, “Hey, if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have finished so well. Thanks for sucking a little worse than me.”

Tip #8 Take whatever they offer.

Refreshments! The 2nd best thing at a race after the t-shirts. I’ve done beer runs (free beer!) and pancake runs (free pancakes!), but most of the time you get fruit, cokes, Gatorade, juice, cookies, or free samples of sports bars. Take one of EVERYTHING. You paid for it, and you earned it. Plus, you may not realize this, but you are going to feel like absolute garbage in a few hours if you don’t eat lots of carbs and drink tons of water. The earlier you start eating, the better you’ll feel later. So stuff your face!

Tip #9 Don’t downplay your accomplishment.

Since I was by myself, I shoveled in some sliced oranges, a delicious Texas shaped gingerbread cookie, drank a diet coke and left, but usually I’ll wait around for the results of the race.  I checked my results online the next day. Always look at the results. It’s really gratifying to see that you didn’t come in last, and believe me, unless you walked like a zombie the whole time, you did NOT come in last. Post your results on Facebook. Put that bumper sticker from your packet on your car. You did it! I am always motivated by hearing about other people’s successes, so if you feel like you’re bragging, just think of how many people might get out and start running because of YOUR story.
Tip #10 Choose your next race right away.

Go home and pick a race a month away. It doesn’t have to be a longer race, just something to keep your motivation up. I’m looking at one called the Sunset Wine Tour which is an evening race with free WINE! I just hope there’s a nice t-shirt.

Erin Pollet lives in San Antonio, TX with her husband, 2 kids, a couple of guinea pigs, and a giant poodle. She’s one of “those old people” at San Antonio College where she’s majoring in Biology, and works as a registered polysomnographic technologist, which sounds very impressive when it’s written out in a bio. When she’s not running she enjoys reading big, intimidating books and looking at pictures of dead people online. She is in no way a “normal” person, but can pass for one most of the time.

February 28, 2012

sacrifice…

For a number of people the early Spring brings with a time of “fasting” for religious reasons. For others the “fast” is more for physical reasons, warmer weather is coming and those short sleeves and pants are making cranky noises from within your closet, aren’t they?

Personally, I follow a religious tradition which offers up a time of fasting, 40 days give or take, during which I will basically eat like a vegan. It’s a sacrifice because although I can live for months without meat products for the most part I love cheese and eggs. A lot. A whole lot.  Add to that the fact that my cooking repertoire is already limited, this season can add a layer of cranky to my otherwise sunny disposition.

Whether you are fasting this spring for faith reasons or to clean out the winter body blues you are going to run up against some sacrifice.

The word, ‘sacrifice’ shows up with this definition first:

 The act of offering something to a deity in propitiation or homage, especially the ritual slaughter of an animal or a person.

Lucky for you, we’re not talking about that kind of sacrifice today. The next definition is more fitting I’d say:

Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.

As you start down the path to a detox or a prayerful fast I want you to take notice of some things to start connecting the dots between what you eat (or don’t eat) and how you feel, what you think, what you crave, how it affects the whole of you!

1)At the start of your fast, what do you imagine your sacrifice to be? Physically? Emotionally? Spiritually?

2)When you think about that “sacrifice” can you put a picture in your head of what it looks like?  Give it shape and form. Does it look like a Twinkie (I like Twinkies, obviously) or an anvil in your gut? Does it look threatening or comforting, the thing you are sacrificing?

3)If you could name in JUST ONE WORD the goal of your fast, what would it be?

4)Going through your fast, keep a journal. Write down how your answers to the above questions change as you progress. No one needs to see this but you so be honest with yourself.  If you want to quit then write about that. If you want to cheat then write about that. If you feel great then write about that! It doesnt’ have to be long, just a sentence or two.

Are you embarking on a fast this month?? Speak out! Would love to walk alongside…

🙂

 

January 31, 2012

loving the belly…

I love my belly. I have to remind myself to love my belly but I do love my belly. I have to remind myself not to make that heavy sigh when I sit down and see it peeking out at me over my low rise jeans.  When will high rise jeans come back into fashion? That’s what I want to know.

I have to remind myself to love my belly whenever I get those side ads on my Facebook page giving me ideas on how to get rid of my “muffin top.”

I have to remind myself to love my belly whenever I get emails telling me the best way to reduce my waistline or increase my bustline or Lord knows…

There is no legitimate get rich program for the body. All the changes in my body took place over time, over meals, over snacks, over couch sitting, over baby sitting, over baby making. All the changes that take place in my body took time to build and if I want to make a change in my body I have to do it over time and with a lot of patience.

And patience? Patience comes with the reminder that I love my belly.  Maybe it’s not like this for you, maybe you have to choose “action” first and belly love second. You know yourself a lot better than I do, better than anyone does, really.  I have to remind myself to love my belly not because I never want to “get rid of my muffin top”  but because this is the belly I have now and forever, no matter how much of it falls over the top of my low-rise jeans. I have to start with loving the body I have because when I love the belly, I take better care of it. Reminding myself to love my belly or my thighs or my flabby arms reminds me that it is worth my attention, worth my consideration, worth my care. I am my belly and my thighs and my flabby arms.  I am worthy of care.

January 27, 2012

Shame.

You know who’s awesome? This lady.

Bookieboo…

In real life she goes by the name of Leah Segedie and she’s a dynamo. I met her last year at Blissdom, a kind of shangrila for wild, passionate blogger types.  I had intended to join the “writer” track at Blissdom. At one point last year the large group broke up into smaller groups for discussion, support, questions, interests. I made a bee line for the “writers” because, you know, I’m a writer.  Before I got far I noticed the vibrant red-head dancing on a table and shouting, “Come over here! Come on! Fitness! Here!” She may have been singing too. I can’t be sure. I could not help but admire her enthusiasm and her vitality. I told you, she’s a dynamo.  And so I gravitated to her table. I’m a writer but I’m also a personal trainer and a mind/body fitness class leader so when the vibe beckons, I follow. In this case, Bookieboo beckoned and I followed. She’s got that Pied Piper quality about her and it’s a good thing too because she leads men and women to healthy lives every single day through Mamavation. So check that out, eh?

This post isn’t really about Leah Segedie though. It’s about shame. I’m writing it because Bookieboo asked me to and I simply cannot tell that woman “no.”  So here it is.

This ad runs in Georgia:

You can and should read Leah’s post about it here on her site.

When I got the message from Leah asking me to help bring awareness to this I started crying, not because I was this kid but because my best friend was this kid and because throughout life women I have loved and continue to love deeply have been this kid and they’ve spoken about what it feels like to be this girl, how they were teased, how they were shamed by teachers and parents and nosy aunties and perfect strangers.  Approaching the issue of obesity through the lens of shame, whether it’s shaming the parents or the child, is wrong. It is misguided at best and cruel at worst. These ads should be pulled but that is not enough in my estimation. We all need to be educated on how to love one another a whole lot better. We all need to know how to listen to this little girl, learn how to be safe people in the lives of someone who struggles with weight issues. We all, whether that is our struggle or not, need to take that big judgement making machine we carry around in our back pockets and smash it on the floor somewhere.

The only way that will begin to happen is if people speak it. A good way to begin is to speak out against these ads and ads like them.  Stop the propagation of shame, end the culture of shame.

Want to take part and be a voice of care?? The internet makes it easy so you have no excuse. None

If you would like to voice your opinion you can do it directly AT The Strong 4Life Campaign. They just so happen to be on twitter and Facebook.

Twitter: @Strong_4_Life

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/S4LGA

The best way to get people to treat you the way you want to be treated is to TELL THEM HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED…so let’s tell Georgia how we want to be treated where childhood obesity is concerned.

January 20, 2012

Course Correction….

For some people it’s that 5-10 pounds. It keeps coming and going, like a wandering relative who shows up at the worst possible time and sticks around way too long. For others, the “weight struggle” is 20 pounds, 40 pounds, more. Whatever the size of your struggle or your jeans a lot can be said for looking at your current course.

I’m talking about that sit down with yourself moment where you take a look at where you’ve been and plot out where you think you might be going.

Remember Algebra? This is why you were forced to learn it, unless you’re a mathematician in real life, maybe it had another benefit too, but for the rest of us, this is why. In Algebra based upon the data you were working with you were then given coordinates. On that awesome graphing paper you were asked to find the x and the y axis’ remember that? You’d then plot out the data on the graph, making dots with that Number 2 pencil. You might then be asked to draw a line to project where you expect the line to go, if all things remained constant.

That’s the course.

For your “data” I’d like you to look at these factors…In the last 5 years write down HISTORICALLY- how you eat, why you eat, when you eat. How you move, when you move, why you move. How do you care for yourself? How do you punish yourself?

Has anything changed significantly for you in that time? Loss of work, loved one, dream? Gain of work, loved one, dream?  What life factors have had an influence on you health-wise?

What else comes into play in your normal person, health data? Illness? Love language? Family of Origin? Happiness? Whatever seems important to note, make note of that. It’s especially interesting to see if you can remember a basic EMOTION around these events, this data.

What is YOUR course?  Where have you been? What are your coordinates? Is your Number 2 pencil sharp? Remember, do not look on your neighbor’s paper…nobody’s experience is EXACTLY like yours. Your graph will reflect you and you alone.

Once you know where you’ve been, what your current “course” looks like you can start to figure out what needs shifting and sifting in you. If your course is generally good and healthy and you’ve gained a little weight you can look at that data and have an idea of why or how it happened, you can decide if that’s okay with you or if it isn’t, what you will do to correct the course. Once we take the numbers and the data out of our heads and start to see it in another form we can wrap our arms around it, we can identify with it without making it our identity. We can take back our lives, take the wheel again if we’ve been on autopilot for a while. We can take ownership of this vessel. We are the Love Boat, not the Battleship. We are the captains of our souls!

January 17, 2012

In the news…sugar and spice

Oh dear…Paula Deen, diagnosed with Diabetes three years ago and just now getting us caught up with her sweet self.

I’m not a fan of Paula Deen but then again I’m also not a detractor. I don’t hate Paula Deen, although I will admit that seeing her wide, semi-manical smile seated next to a beautiful albeit sinful dessert every single time I’m in the grocery store line makes me cringe. It just annoys me. I’m a little cranky that way.

I love sweets. I love southern cooking. I love to eat. The truth is that I feel like crap when I eat too much of that sort of food and so I try to reserve the really GOOD stuff (read: Wuthering Heights foods) to the occasional treat. I do this because when we make those foods our “staple” foods then not only is it hard on our bodies but it’s hard on our psyches too. What’s “special” if I eat like that every day, right?

But this isn’t about southern food or tasty desserts.  It’s about Paula Deen. Like most things I can see the different sides of this. I have friends who have gotten this sort of diagnosis. It turns your life upside down. It forces you to think differently, act differently, understand your motivations differently. It causes you to question your past and worry about your future perhaps a little more than you might have before. It’s a serious diagnosis that has long reaching implications.

Some fast stats on diabetes (thanks to NDIC):

  • Among U.S. residents ages 65 years and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, had diabetes in 2010.
  • About 215,000 people younger than 20 years had diabetes—type 1 or type 2—in the United States in 2010.
  • About 1.9 million people ages 20 years or older were newly diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 in the United States.
  • In 2005–2008, based on fasting glucose or hemoglobin A1C (A1C) levels, 35 percent of U.S. adults ages 20 years or older had pre-diabetes—50 percent of adults ages 65 years or older. Applying this percentage to the entire U.S. population in 2010 yields an estimated 79 million American adults ages 20 years or older with pre-diabetes.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.
  • Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Now, if a person makes her living cooking sweet treats and getting us to buy her cookbooks, cookware, magazines, what have you, then a diagnosis of this kind would take on a new dimension. I cannot imagine the panic that comes with getting this news. It threatens your life AND your livelihood. I can understand on some level why Paula Deen needed some time to process all of this. If was any of us normal folk we could do that easily, privately, but as a celebrity who makes her living posing with cupcakes? Not so much.

Yet, as I read about the fallout of this announcement I see an awful lot of people complaining about the deceit, about the lack of integrity, the irony of her 6 word memoir composed after her diagnosis and appearing in Oprah’s book-

“Might as well eat the cookie.”

I don’t know if it was deceitful for Paula to keep working and promoting unhealthy eating after her diagnosis. It’s not as if she was promoting health and wellness before that. In reality, the harm she’s really done in all this is to her own body. In some ways, for this last three years Paula has been more in integrity with her self. She’s continued to be the person she always has been. The bigger issue now is how she will approach the future and the person she will HAVE to become in order to stay alive and well. I hope that she keeps her focus. I hope she finds ways to enjoy food JUST as much as she has in the past while still remembering that all of this media is just dust in the wind when all is said and done. What really matters is the quality of the life she lives with the family she loves. Godspeed, Paula Deen, I wish you well.