Viewpoint: If Paula Deen can live healthier, everyone can

By Mallory Hisler

Paula Deen announced in January she has Type 2 Diabetes, in which the body cannot process insulin. Her efforts to curb her deep-fried, high-in-all-the-bad-stuff cooking brings to the table again a popular topic in America — obesity.

Now that the hailed “Queen of Southern Cooking,” who is known for having a less than healthy relationship with butter and frying, is trying to shape up (pardon the pun) her diet to better herself, isn’t it time to look at our own food choices and see what we can do for ourselves?

First I must say that I am by no means a super healthy eater. I enjoy Cracker Barrel’s Sunday Homestyle Chicken, a fresh pot of gumbo and chocolate chip cookies more than I might like to admit. But does that really mean that I need to eat those things on a regular basis? No, not at all.

Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean denying yourself things that you love, nor does it have to mean participating in a marathon and living off of food that tastes like cardboard. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a delicious meal and burn off calories in a fun way.

There are countless recipes in books and on the Web that offer meals that are good for you and don’t skip out on the flavor. Most restaurants also have selections that you can tell are better for you just by reading the description. Eating better can keep you from developing scary conditions like diabetes, but it can also make you feel better in your day-to-day life.

Then there is exercising, which seems to be hard for many people, including myself. However, you don’t have to go to a gym or run the bear trail to stay in shape (although those are great). Something that my mom and my aunts used to do to stay fit was walking laps around the community building together. They would meet up and do stretches, then walk about 10 laps, which equated to around 3 miles. Catching up on things that had happened during the day and laughing was a great motivator to go, and the fact that they weren’t at a gym or another crowded place made them feel comfortable.

I have started a combination workout, which I found on Pinterest, of cardiovascular and strengthening sets that I can do at my house watching TV. It is not traditional, but it is something that I feel at ease doing, and I definitely can tell the difference.

My point is that you don’t have to be a health guru to know how to make wise choices and give your body what it deserves.

We owe it to our future generations to be good examples. We owe it to ourselves to treat our bodies better and give it things that will help strengthen and energize it.

I mean if Paula Deen can do it, we should all have some kind of inspiration.

Mallory Hisler is a senior journalism major from Anahuac and is a reporter for the Lariat.