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How Important is Congruity for Paula Deen…and For Us? 2

In our house, we have a running joke that Paula Deen would add butter to butter just to make it more buttery.  As a southerner, I am intimately familiar with the recipes that she demonstrates on her show and will admit that I could definitely enjoy a diet of nothing but her meals, at least until my heart exploded.

So, I was not completely surprised when I learned that she had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  What surprised me was that she was diagnosed three years ago and continued to cook the same type of sweet and fattening meals that she is known for.  As a side note, experts believe that weight gain is a contributing factor to her form of diabetes.  So, through her show, she was essentially promoting a style of eating that contributed to the disease she acquired.

Here’s my question:  Should Paula have changed her cooking methods when she was diagnosed as a way of being more congruent with who she was, or should she have kept cooking at the same deep fried level as before?

I don’t want to play armchair quarterback but I do believe in authenticity and congruence.  I hate to find out that someone I admire isn’t who I think they are.  I want my leaders to be ethical.  I want my sales people to have experience with the product they’re selling.  And I want my chefs to eat what they cook.

A friend of mine worked in Washington, DC and one day when he was leaving his office, he saw a panhandler, who he assumed was homeless, pack up his belongings and drive off in a brand new car that had been parked in an adjacent parking garage.  Now, I don’t know the whole story here but if I had given money to this person, I would have questioned whether he actually needed it or whether his panhandling was part of an elaborate scam.

I tend to think that Paula Deen should take her diabetes seriously and take a stand for healthy eating.  But then again, maybe she was afraid that she would lose her success or even her platform if she changed the way she cooked.

What do you think?  Should there be congruence between what we do and who we are? Or can we act one way at the office and another at home?



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