Thursday, January 19, 2012

On Adult-onset Absurdities and Eating Along Practical Healthy Guidelines

In About Alice, Calvin Trillin says, according to his wife, Alice, “the measure of how you held up in the face of a life-threatening illness was not how much you changed but how much you stayed the same, in control of your identity.”

I like this, even though identity is organic and complex. I like it because it's a challenge to not define yourself by illness or misfortune. That you should likewise not be defined by your strength or fortune goes without saying.

This seems to be Paula Deen's defense: that for the past three years since she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes she was not allowing it to change her.

This I do not like. "You are what you eat," does not go that deep. Refusing to change your diet in the face of life threatening illness is not identity-affirming. It's weakness.

I've said it before:  life is simultaneously too short to not eat cookies and too short to eat them just because you like chewing and swallowing cookies. If you're not sure how to find that balance in your own life, here's a direct order: think about what Paula would cook or eat and then NEVER EAT THAT. Ever. There is a time to celebrate, and a time to indulge, but neither of those times call for Fried Butter Balls. Even my puppy knows that.

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