Feb. 28, 2012 at 12:52 PM ET
Famous mostly for her fried chicken and gravy, Food Network chef and author Paula Deen is now getting noticed for her shrinking waistline. The 65-year-old Southern culinary expert, who announced in January she had type 2 diabetes, recently dropped two pants sizes, reports People magazine, the result of eating half-size portions and regular exercise.
Deen says while she doesn’t know how much she weighs, the better fitting wardrobe and improved lifestyle changes are all the encouragement she needs.
"We don't own a scale in our house," Deen tells People. "Every six months I go for a physical and find out. Now it's time to see the doctor. She'll be so happy if I've lost weight."
For fans concerned all this healthy behavior marks the end of Deen’s celebrated comfort foods, fear not. Though she may have reaped negative attention over the effects her rich menu have had on personal diet regime, she continues to feed audiences with her prized cuisine. In fact, the article points out a brunch she just hosted included nothing short of chicken and waffles, jambalaya, and strawberry margarita mousse. How’s that for sumptuous?
Earlier this year, Deen spoke to Al Roker about her health scare with diabetes, a disease typically associated with diets high in fat and sugar. The cook also addressed critics who blamed her for affiliating with corporate entities and encouraging Americans to eat poorly.
Deen replied, "Not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine. My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills."
Fans of the peppy, no-frills chef offered words of support over her weight loss.
“Paula never said her recipes were healthy,” comments ‘cowgirl’ on People. “We are all adults after all and should have enough common sense to eat sensibly and within our own limitations.”
“This is southern cooking, folks,” adds ‘carci.’ “This is what she's known all her life, and what she's known for. We can all make our own choices, and most of us know not to eat that way every day, but if you want to make just one scrumptious meal once in a while for company, and you know they won't resist it, go for it.”
Others voiced a still-irritated opinion. Says Scoobymom628, “Yes, we can make our own choices, but she still should have told the public. There are people out there that think, ‘Look at her, eating all that wonderful bad food. If she can do it and stay healthy, so can I.’ But she wasn't healthy and didn't say anything!”