What Paula Deen Can Teach Us About Walking the Walk

http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-71922825/slideshow  photo attribution

If you haven’t heard, chef Paula Deen has announced that she has diabetes, a terrible affliction, yet she is receiving much criticism for her butter-heavy cooking.  Though Deen has not spoken of the details of her condition, many believe the “no daa” explanation in regard to her calorie-laden cooking.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/18/paula-deen-diabetes_n_1212614.html?ref=health-news&ir=Health%20News

Why does this matter to those of us who work in the health field?

It’s funny this topic should come about now, after I (and many of you, I assume) have taken advantage of the new year to re-assess and plot our goals.  The thought has crossed my mind that, if I am a health and wellness writer, shouldn’t I be practicing a healthy lifestyle.  Aren’t I a walking billboard for my business and my beliefs?  I think, “yes”.

Though Paula was not out preaching healthy eating by any measure, she is under the microscope and her brand is open to criticism possibly because of her personal lifestyle choices (diet).

My question to you is, are you making choices in your own life that reflect the values of your company, which is undeniably linked to your personal brand?  I’ve seen many a competent nurse who is overweight.  I’ve know many smokers in the health industry.  I’ve worked along physical therapists who rarely exercise.  What are these dichotomies communicating to our patients/clients?  Perhaps it’s time to account for and take responsibility for our most important walking, talking billboards: ourselves.

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