Little Debbie Does Dog Food

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
By dreeves

Eating one's own dog food

I’ve had swiss cake rolls on my mind since Kevin McGowan’s delightful guest post last week. Then today I saw a special: four boxes of Little Debbie snacks for $5. So cheap!

If only it were possible to buy them and not immediately start shoving them into my maw one after the other until stopped by physical pain. If then. You can perhaps guess where this is going. I bought 8 boxes — that’s 96 treats, 15,000 calories! — and am beeminding my consumption. These babies are going to last till May or I owe you, Dear Reader, $100. [1]

Here’s my yellow brick road:

Dreeves's not-eating-eight-boxes-of-little-debbie-snacks-in-one-day graph

Per usual with Beeminder goals, I have to stay on or below that road every single day. No inhaling all but one cake roll, saving that one till May 1st, and claiming the stash technically lasted.

For more on the philosophy behind this, see our inaugural post.

Addendum

I’m sufficiently home-free on this goal now that I might as well declare early victory. It really worked like a charm. (There were many times when, the moment the clock struck midnight, I snarfed up exactly as many of these things as would take me right to the top edge of the yellow brick road.)

Bethany and I are actually thinking of making a Beeminder-aware cookie jar (“Beemind your Gluttony!”) that sends a “1” to your sugar graph every single time you open the lid, and glows the appropriate color for how much safety buffer you have.

There was one downside to rationing these treats: The remaining swiss cake rolls are actually slightly stale now. I never knew that could happen. How could I? I don’t think I’ve ever had a box of swiss cake rolls last overnight before, let alone 2 months.

Footnotes

[1] Fine print: The first person to leave a comment here outing me, by spotting a red point on the above graph, gets the $100.

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  • http://robfelty.com Rob

    Why don’t you just not buy them? I find I have much more willpower at the store than at home. Why torture yourself?

  • dreeves

    @Rob, ah, because swiss cake rolls are delicious!

  • Val

    Are they delicious? I’ve never developed a taste for baked sweets with unnatural shelf-life. Homemade, however, is a completely different story.

  • Jeremy

    Rob is right… At the store you can just leave them there. Walk away. Youre still doing a great job though :)

    Jeremy

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1901228 David Yang

    Does my current set of bids include a non-dessert bet?

    This is indeed quite a test of endurance – I find that I’m generally OK with this stuff if I’m consciously not eating it, but then I’ll start watching a movie on my computer or something and a whole box will go down.

    Good luck, this will indeed be a true test of beeminder.

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    Hey David, no, you don’t stand to win anything for non-dessert bets unless you’re the one who spots me violating this one.

    But I don’t think it’s such a true test of Beeminder. I mean, it’s like you say, you eat a whole box of swiss cake rolls when you’re not paying attention. This bet pretty much guarantees that I’ll pay attention. That very last line, “delta”, on http://bmndr.com/d/sugar tells me exactly how many goodies I’m allowed at any given time.

    Already I’m starting to eat everything I’m allowed to as soon as the clock hits midnight. You’ll know I’m really desperate if I actually eat fractions of treats in order to go right up to the precise top edge of the road!

  • Clunis

    Great idea, but I think this post needs to be tagged ‘pica’. :)

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  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    Done. :)

    And to everyone else pointing out how I should just not buy this crap in the first place: well, yes, that’s certainly better than buying it without forced rationing! But I guess I don’t think of this stuff as literal poison so if I’m eating less than 2 per day that seems like a perfectly reasonable health/yumminess trade-off. You might say 2 per week is more like it. Same principle though.

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