By Heather Osterman
Ladies, it’s Leanne from “T is for Tiaras!” I know you’ve come to count on this mommy blogger for the latest on pageant wear, talent routines, and of course ways to hide that prize money in off-shore accounts, but I’ve had a life-changing experience I need to share!
If you’re like me, you’ve tried every diet out there because the first rule of being a pageant mom is being pageant ready yourself. You drank green juice until you peed kale, paid a coach to guide you from beached whale to Beach Body and scarfed organic, pastured bacon in intermittent fasting windows. Besides a hefty credit card bill, what do they have in common? Deprivation.
But no longer! Recently, I discovered a diet so miraculous I heard angels sing, and not like the time I was on day nine of the master cleanse and thought I saw Jesus in the Safeway.
I was searching my princess’s room for hidden junk food because my hubby insists on buying her treats and she squirrels it away though she knows full well that “pageants don’t like piggies.” After finding BOTH a packet of watermelon gummies and a double stuffed Oreo, I found it — the source of my redemption. Tucked into a corner behind some unhatched Hatchimals: an EZ Bake Oven.
Like riding a bicycle, the muscle memory of cooking incredibly small food inside a plastic oven powered by a couple of C batteries and a lamp came rushing back. I ripped open a packet of brownie mix, dumped the beige contents into a bowl, added water and mixed. I carefully poured the batter into a pan the size of a half-dollar and slid it into the waiting plastic slot. When it was done, I held the results of my small labor in my hands. It was then it came to me.
I could eat the whole damn pan of brownies. The last time I hoovered an entire pan of brownies guilt-free, I was five and still believed my mother that Husky Girls’ Clothing was for kids who like dogs. I decided then, the EZ Bake Diet was for me. I’d try eating anything I wanted as long as it could be prepared in the miraculous plastic oven.
I filled my Amazon cart with goodies: whoopie pies, sugar cookies, and red-velvet cake. For only $12.99, I snagged a kit that makes 12 whole pizzas! Granted, they’re only 5 cm each and the reviews ranged from, “You wouldn’t want to eat this for pleasure” to “tastes like old vomit.” Yes, the ingredients list reads a bit like a science textbook, but who needs tomatoes in marinara sauce anyway? Still, what does that matter when I could inhale 12 pizzas in one sitting and feel virtuous?
As I worked my way through the kits, the pounds started to melt off, but to be honest, the pizzas really did taste like vomit and my unsupportive husband doesn’t believe that five bite-sized whoopie pies are an acceptable dinner. Just when I was ready to throw in the towel, the aha moment happened. It wasn’t the base concept that was the problem, it was the kits!
I ditched the overpriced packets for real food. Miniature steak? Done. Cheese Soufflé? You got it! Chicken Tender? Cluck and call me the Colonel! Nothing was off limits. It was just small. Really frigging small.
Sure, you need a little extra time and the patience to stand in front of that heap of cheap plastic, making serving after serving of really small fucking food. But this has a silver lining. The amount of calories you burn trying to make these bite-sized portions of Nirvana is less than you consume, and that’s the dieting Holy Grail: calorie deficit.
My hubby says watching me cook one French fry at a goddamn time makes him want to pull out his hair, but as someone who can drop twenty pounds in a week just from switching to light beer, he clearly doesn’t understand.
Click HERE to buy your very own EZ Bake Oven. Note: I’d highly discourage replacing the standard light bulb with an eco-friendly model. Sure, they’re great for the ozone layer, but they’re apparently not capable of getting ground pork to the correct internal temperature. I found that out the hard way.
Click HERE for a list of good chiropractors because the time you spend crouched over making the magic happen can wreak havoc on your lower lumbar.
Tune in next week for a double feature: “From Thong to Crown — Upping Your Underwear Can Turn Your Whiner into a Winner” and my first EZ Bake special, “How to Prepare a Dinner Party Even Your Normal-Sized Food Friends Will Love.”
About the Author
Heather Osterman is a writer living in NYC with a spouse, two kids and a cat. My writing may be found in Time; Slate; Washington Post; Brain Child; Literary Mama, and Healthline among others. I’m also the co-writer of short film, Tell-By Date. You can find me on Twitter @heatherosterman and Instagram @heatherosterman