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Paula on Dancing with the Stars

By Paula Deen

Y’all have probably heard by now that I’m going to be on season 21 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and let me tell you—I’m excited and nervous. There’s just a whole array of emotions that could overwhelm a person. After all, I’m 68 and startin’ on this physically demanding show.

It’s a little nerve-wracking, but already I’m havin’ a ball. I can’t tell ya the relief I felt when I saw Louis at my door. He was exactly who I was hopin’ for. You know, I’m crazy about Louis. I like his eyes. He has kind eyes. But I may find out that he’s really hard on me as we progress through the season!

I think I may be most excited about doing a waltz with Louis because it’s such a graceful dance. It appears to be about the connection between two partners, which I think is really beautiful.

I’ve had a few opportunities to waltz my way onto Dancing with the Stars in the past, but I’m glad I chose to wait until now. I just don’t think I would have made it through the season in past years. I was overweight and battling my diabetes. Now, I’m in the best shape of my life, and my weight is under control. Although practice is tough, I can keep up at rehearsals—I can’t say that I would have been able to a few years ago. But I’m eating healthier and enjoying my Southern indulgences in moderation. My new healthy lifestyle has allowed me to take control of my health, and that inspired me to share my new, healthier recipes with my friends in the form of my latest cookbook, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat.

There’s just no way I can say thank you enough to all the people who have supported me with their love and kind comments. It’s just wonderful. And I’m counting on my friends to join me in this endeavor. I would love to ask for y’all to support me through your votes. After all, learning and performing my dances is only half the show. I really need your votes to keep me in the competition until I can win that mirror ball trophy! Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday, September 14, at 8pm EST!

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.

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