On Paula Deen….Where is the compassion?

Unless you have been sailing off a remote caribbean island with electronic shutdown (if you have–nice!)…then you have no doubt heard the news that Paula Deen has diabetes.  She was diagnosed three years ago and has come public only now that she has signed a multi-million dollar contract with Novo Nordisk to spread the word on “managing” diabetes.

The facebook threads and Paula-bashing tweets were on fire. The judgment, ugliness, mud-slinging and the name calling on alot of my favorite FB pages and from alot of tweeps I follow on Twitter were quite surprising to me.  Just to be clear:  I am not defending her decisions or lifestyle choices.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that she does not live a life of “moderation”… those are her words and, as told to Dr. Oz,  her two fav things are “french fries and a 50 yr smoking habit.”  Draw your own conclusions.  But , she is not unlike most of America and millions of others with diabetes: choosing to “manage” symptoms with medication instead of treating/removing the causation. How do we change this?  Not by name-calling and criticism, but through education and compassion.

People: as proponents of a healthy lifestyle, we need to be a positive force for change. Not everyone can immediately dive into the deep end of the pool.  I didn’t always eat this way and live the healthy lifestyle that I embrace today.  Did Bill Clinton become vegan after his first heart surgery?  No.  Sometimes it takes a few wake-up calls for people to change.  And some never will.  Is there a 3 yr statute of limitation on change after a diagnosis?  Puhleeze. And P.S., just because someone is vegan doesn’t mean that he/she is “healthier” or “better” than anyone else.  It is very easy to have a crappy vegan diet.

In focusing on Ms. Deen’s past poor choices, we create a negative environment that makes people less resistant to hear the positive messages we are trying to send.

Food is an incredibly personal issue.  It provides a sense of community and quite a strong connection to past memories and culture.  Alot of people aren’t ready to make big changes without first being educated.

Why not use this as an opportunity to educate people on the power of food to reverse disease instead of condemning them for past choices.

Let’s not be so quick to judge, meet people where they are and help them understand how a better food choices can lead to a better life.

To our health…. and, may we continue to life each other up.  xo

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