Goodbye, Cupcakes.

by Shannon Hembree on July 12, 2011

My dearest cupcakes,

I am writing to say goodbye, dear friend. You have gotten me through some rough times. You have even gotten me through some rough trips at the grocery store (and no, checkout man, there is no need to give me THAT LOOK when I hand you the empty container to ring up). Sometimes our relationship was out in the open. Sometimes, it was made up of stolen moments – with me sneaking away from the kids to take in your delicious sweetness while casting an eye over my shoulder for sugar-obsessed munchkins who would want me to share you…which we both know I would not. And it’s not just you, sweet cupcakes, to whom I am bidding farewell. You will be packing your bags with my other comrades, such as milk chocolate, butter (mmmmm…butter), white pasta, and soda.

Here is a special shout out to you, Coke Zero – we made it through many an afternoon together with the kids. You saved me in every way a girl could be saved (Was that from the movie Titanic? Because I do feel a bit of a sinking feeling as I write this.).

But as it turns out, I am old. My body just doesn’t rebound like it used to from a trip to McDonalds (or several cupcakes). Rather than fight it any longer, I am accepting it and making some changes. I am, as someone recently suggested, embarking on a lifestyle change with the Mediterranean Diet. I will confess, as I write this, I am hungry. Very, very hungry. I have already gotten up twice to wander into the kitchen, walk around a little aimlessly, and wander back – a bit like my son does when he has lost his “lovey.”

On my last trip, I finally settled on a small bowl of blueberries. And it’s fine. I don’t feel quite so hungry anymore, but it is nowhere near as emotionally satisfying as a big fat cupcake smothered with fluffy, sugar-infused frosting that has so much butter in it that it melts when it hits your tongue. But again, the blueberries are…okay.

On the bright side, in the last 48 hours since I started this “lifestyle change,” I have not once felt grossly overstuffed from eating. I have actually felt really good (um…other than the intermittent hunger). So for anyone out there who is curious about what the Mediterranean Diet is, ask someone who has been doing it for a while, because they know better than I do. But, what I do know is that it is a freakish amount of fruits and vegetables every day – seven to ten servings are recommended. You also have to give up butter (gasp!) and margarine and use olive oil. You have to take out salt and add in herbs and spices for flavor (I’m from the Midwest…is this even possible? What about Campbell’s soups and casseroles?). You are also supposed to eat yogurt, nuts, and fish, and red meat is verboten. We gave up red meat for the most part when I had a sneaking suspicion we might be getting old (before I really knew for sure), so no problem there, but as someone who really doesn’t like fruits and vegetables all that much, this is going to be a bit of a challenge.

Side note, I seriously just got up again to wander in the kitchen without even thinking about it. I opened the refrigerator, and I swear, when I saw you, dear cupcakes, in your clear plastic container, you actually whispered my name…so I grabbed more blueberries and ran…

Also on the bright side, our menu is expanding at a rapid rate, and it includes easy-to-make snacks/meals (I don’t have the time, energy or inclination to do anything more complex) that I can now share with you. Example number one – today, I cut a whole wheat pita in half and sprinkled a little bit of low-fat mozzarella cheese inside each half. I put them in the toaster oven and toasted them just until the cheese melted. I then very carefully (only burned my fingers once) put tomato slices in the toasted pitas and drizzled a mixture of olive oil and Italian seasonings inside the pita. I am not sure if it really was delicious or I was just so hungry that it tasted that way (I did tell my husband before lunch that I was so hungry I could gnaw my own arm off), but it’s worth a try if you are looking for something new.

So goodbye cupcakes and all my other dear old snack friends. I miss you already. Immensely. I would like to say that we will keep in touch, but soon I will turn forty (okay, in two years, but it will take me that long to get used to this whole new lifestyle thing), so something has to give.

And now, if you will excuse me, I am off to the kitchen for some yellow pepper slices and roasted garlic hummus. I might have to put in earplugs when I go in there, because if I’m not mistaken…I can still hear you, my beloved cupcakes, calling my name.


Your biggest fan until I lost three pounds in forty-eight hours with this new lifestyle,

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