Paula Deen’s fans noticed something different about her at Sunday’s 2012 South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
The Queen of Southern cooking – who recently revealed she’s had Type 2 Diabetes for three years – is looking thinner.
“I’ve dropped two pant sizes and I feel great!” Deen, 65, tells PEOPLE. Her new healthier regime includes walking 30 minutes every day – and now having portions half the size of those she used to eat.
Even so, as Deen – who also hosted a brunch for fans that included fried chicken and waffles, as well as oversaw the cooking of jambalaya by her husband and a strawberry margarita mousse prepped by chef Robert Irvine during her demo – told her fans she still isn’t sure how much she weighs.
“We don’t own a scale in our house,” says Deen. “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.”
Both the cook and her family are pleased with results. “Doesn’t she look nice?” son Bobby tells PEOPLE. “She has a little more pep in her step now. She’d been guilty of being a little too sedentary – like a lot of people.”
Although Bobby, who is a big runner, swears he doesn’t give his mom workout advice (“I just try to show by example. I live my life, if that affects Mom in a personal way, that’s great”), he did present her with a pedometer for her daily walks.
As Deen told her fans, “It’s amazing how good getting up and moving makes you feel.”