Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Judgement, Paula Deen & Type 2 Diabetes


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Much more so than other diseases, type 2 diabetes is one more likely to be thought of as something you brought on yourself. True, there are many important lifestyle factors that make you more susceptible, but there are also incredibly unhealthy, overweight people who eat foods that aren't good for them who never develop it. It's just not that simple. It's actually because of this judgment that I think I can relate to why Paula Deen chose to wait to make her type 2 diabetes diagnosis public.



This is one article about her announcement. I tried to pick one that wasn't especially inflammatory or hateful toward her situation.

Paula Deen Says She Has Type 2 Diabetes

There is usually a period of grief after we learn about our type 2 diabetes diagnosis. It's scary news, and for many of us that fear is compounded by the shame of believing we brought it on ourselves. If this is true for the average joes and janes among us, can you imagine the fear and shame someone in Paula Deen's situation might experience? She's made her career and fortune cooking food that is incompatible with the day-to-day safe management of type 2 diabetes. And if outsiders were quick to blame her for her own diagnosis, you can bet she was the first to blame herself. We're so often harder on ourselves than we are on other people.

It's hard enough to get up to speed on blood glucose testing, A1C testing, what to eat, what to avoid, medications, etc., when you're first diagnosed. Knowing this would likely lead to a necessary change in the recipes that have made you famous and are so closely aligned with your identity must be even harder.

So, yes, it's easy for people who've never been through this process to harshly judge Paula Deen and to blame her for her own problems and her apparent contribution to the American obesity and diabetes epidemics. But let's be real: Paula is probably like the rest of us. She knows what she should be eating, that she's carrying at least a little more weight than she should and that the foods she most enjoys aren't very good for her. Making changes is hard and sometimes it takes a serious wake up call to start to make those changes.

Hopefully she'll get there as she grows more comfortable with her new-ish identity as a type 2 diabetic. How awesome would it be if she was able to use her notoriety to inspire and educate others about how to live a satisfying life as a person who loves rich, buttery, sugary, indulgent food and has to adapt to a new way of living? Pretty great, I think. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and see what happens.


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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.