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The cupcake diet

christinaantusI recently read an article by Jillian Michaels that talked about the difficulty of dropping vanity pounds. Vanity pounds are the last few pounds we want to lose, but our bodies don’t think we need to lose. Because we’re made for “survival.” Not appeal. If we were vehicles, we’d be Winnebagos. “Survival” is what keeps love handles loving just a little longer and holding just a little tighter.

You never know when you’ll only be one cupcake away from starvation. Those vanity pounds could be the ticket to making it to 16th place on “Survivor.” Sure, you won’t get to win the million dollars, but you do get $2,500 and scurvy.

I’ve discovered that since turning 35 and having children, vanity pounds appear in foreign places where fat never went when I was 20. Though I greatly appreciate the warming insulation for winter, the summer reveal is just too much for my sense of self. And anyone else who can see.

Sadly the only way to lose those pounds is good old-fashioned diet and exercise. Of course, no one likes to diet. Dieting is almost as bad as being hit in the face by a 10-pound goose while riding a roller coaster. Let’s be honest. Diet food is unrealistic and crazy. Besides rabbits and fashion models, who fills up on lettuce? Everybody knows dieters can’t have dressing with a salad (calories). Don’t even think about croutons or bacon bits. If it has flavor, it’s out. You just have to suck it up and eat your pile of weeds. Using only imagination for garnish.

I find exercising is more realistic than dieting. But, it’s also a lot more deceiving because I feel thinner after a workout. Even though I’m not. After all, using the elliptical for an hour is a lot more work than eating an entire bag of Spicy Doritos in one sitting. So, shouldn’t I be rewarded for my efforts? Instantly? Every time I finish a workout, I feel immediate results are in order. So, I stand there and wait. Then, when no fat falls off me and onto the floor, I get discouraged and eat 50 rice cakes. Because rice cakes are healthy, and healthy is skinny. Being skinny is supposed to taste like hungry.

I find these excess pounds to be annoying, frustrating and downright aggravating. In order to move forward, I go through the following steps:

1. Wallow in self pity and eat a cupcake.

2. Get motivated to lose vanity weight. But enjoy one last cupcake before starting.

3. Set up a diet and exercise plan that highlights milestones. So I can reward myself at each checkpoint with a cupcake.

Now, I’m not a personal trainer. If I were, I’d be the only personal trainer who would not only encourage you to eat a Blizzard, but also drive you to Dairy Queen and have one with you. Because I believe in indulgence.

This is why I’m a firm believer in the cupcake diet.

What is the cupcake diet?
The cupcake diet is a sweet, fluffy, high-calorie, delicious disappointment.

How does it work?
I don’t diet. I just cut back on the amount of food I eat. Then, reward my successes with a snippet of cupcake. So, if I take a small piece of cupcake, versus inhaling the whole cupcake in a single bite, I find that I don’t crave them as often.

What do you do when you aren’t on the cupcake diet?
I reward myself with a whole cake. Which is really just an overweight cupcake, if you think about it.

How do you sell yourself on this crap?
With a lot of denial and fluff. I prefer vanilla or buttercream fluff.

How can I also sell myself on this crap?
Just remember that a quarter of a cupcake doesn’t taste as good as a whole cupcake. It does, however, taste better than no cupcake. Since a quarter of a cupcake isn’t a whole cupcake, you can enjoy it without the guilt or calories of the other three pieces.

So go ahead and have a cupcake.

But just a bit.

Enjoy it.

If you get hit in the face by a gigantic bird, you’ll be glad you did.

— Christina Antus

Christina Antus lives in colorful Colorado with her husband, two daughters and grossly over-exaggerated cat. After the birth of her first daughter, she traded her career in multimedia/web design for a full-time role at home with her kids. These days she’s project managed by two toddlers who have high standards and expectations for Play-Doh sculptures, couch forts and tea parties. When she’s not forgetting to feed the goldfish, neglecting laundry or avoiding the grocery store, she’s writing and making mediocre meals for her family. You can find her hiding in the closet, eating candy at

Reflections of Erma