“I made eight cakes in six days,” the celebrity chef, 67, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s cover story.
Deluged with German chocolate and coconut confections, Deen says her husband, Michael Groover, 58, told her, “‘Honey, I don’t know if I’m going to survive this.’ ”
Deen, who famously revealed a 40-lb. weight loss in January 2013 – one year after she announced her Type 2 diabetes diagnosis – says she “didn’t eat all those cakes” but admits that, since the scandal, she has been indulging more.
“I have been eating way too much lately and I have to get back on [a healthy diet] again,” she says.
As for her health, “It’s good,” she says. “My last bloodwork, my A1c [blood sugar level] was 5.4 percent, and my blood pressure is 120 over 70.”
• Reporting by LIZA HAMM
For much more on Paula Deen’s life post-scandal, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE.