The Devil Dogs Made Me Do It

Last week I wrote a post about my oldest son and shared a photo of the two of us.  I chose that picture because, to me, it shows the true affection we have for each other.  My son is quite a hugger:)

But in putting it out here, I first thought about how I looked in that photo.  No make up.  Sloppy clothes.  Thin?

The no makeup and sloppy clothes are pretty much the day-to-day me.  The thin part… well… remember, this is a yo-yo dieter writing.  I was not surprised when I got some complimentary comments about my weight.  And my immediate reaction was to respond and explain that I was thinner then than I am now.  To be honest in admitting something that I shy away from admitting.  Yes, I talk about my yo-yo years.  But rarely do I mention just how recently I was so close to being a maintainer.  So close!

That photo was taken late August 2009 when my husband and I had just driven my son back to campus.  It is a long drive.  Eighteen hours each way, give or take.  You may already sense where this is going.  A long drive means a lot of time to snack in the car.  Road trips and road trip food.  Hand in hand.  Hand into mouth.

Earlier that same summer I had once again reached my goal weight through what I thought was a lifestyle change and not just another diet.  I thought I had it figured out.  I was sure, sure, that I would not regain the weight once again.  I was wrong.  By the time we headed to campus, I was up only a few pounds in a few months.  Just a few.  But I was already wobbling horribly on that slippery slope.  The slope of eating what I used to eat.  The slope that leads to regaining.  The slope that I have slid down gradually or tumbled down heels over head at an amazing rate of speed all too often in the past.

So, I was not thinking about healthy snacks for the road.  I was thinking about Devil Dogs.  If you aren’t from a part of the country where they are available in stores, you may not know what they are.  Let me enlighten you.  Little luscious individually wrapped mouthfuls of deliciousness.  Horribly unhealthy.  Sorry, Drakes.  I remember them fondly from my childhood; they were a favorite after school snack back in the days when I was skinny and had no food issues other than choosing junk over veggies.  Yum.  But Drakes products aren’t sold here in the Midwest.  So, a handful of times in the 20+ years that I have been an East Coast to Midwest transplant, I have indulged myself by buying and devouring indulging in a box on a trip east.  Not every time I go, which is typically once a year.  But now and again, probably less times than I could count on one hand.  One cream-laced, chocolate crumb filled hand.

This particular trip I had Devil Dogs on my mind the whole drive east.  I told myself that after we had moved our son back into his dorm we’d hit the store and I would buy a box.  One box.  Eight delectable cream filled cakes.  But circumstances conspired against me (or some would say worked in my favor) and I found myself on the road back home, craving unsatisfied.  Therein lies the rub.  Rather than move on and put the craving behind me with each store I passed, I instead obsessed about what I wanted and couldn’t have.  And every time we stopped for gas, I almost ran into the little shop to search the junk-food laden shelves in hopes of a little Drake snack cake satisfaction.  But no.

So I ate other crap.  Less satisfying crap.  Crappy crap.  And felt like crap.  And really, really wanted those darn Devil Dogs.  It was crazy, really, when I think about it.  How they had become this little obsession I built up in my mind.

Back home, with nary a Drakes cake in sight, I returned to reality.  Which, unfortunately, included the still slippery slope that I slid further down until I put on the brakes one more time in December of that year.  And started my blog and what I really believed was my last ever diet.  Silly me.

Devil Dogs didn’t lead me to regain.  They were just a symptom of what was already clearly a growing problem.  And I’d like to say as I write this that seeing my craziness here in print is just the motivation I need to commit to never eating another of those delicious snack cakes.  But, then again, I’d like to say a lot of things.

So, for now, I’m safe and sound in the Drakes-free Midwest.  No pending trips east planned.  No Devil Dogs in my future.  And, fingers (and toes and eyes) crossed, no more slippery slopes of weight regain either.

Any “devil” food in your life?



Filed under cheating/overeating, dieting, food, history (my past)

73 responses to “The Devil Dogs Made Me Do It

  1. Miz

    Poptarts are my devil-dogs
    (which inexplicably makes me wanna type MOSES IS MY HOMEBOY)


    • OMG! Same here!

      This is how I eat ’em:
      1. nibble off the “pastry” crust from all four sides
      2. eat off the top
      3. then the bottom.

      I CANNOT be trusted with a whole box and will, once or twice a year, buy the single packs at a gas station and guiltily indulge.

      Karen, I have made “Whoopee Pies”, which are the Amish version of Devil Dogs. Message me your address & I’ll send you a box of Drakes 🙂

      • Karen

        I am sighing as I admit that we have chocolate fudge poptarts in the house for my teen. And, that every so often I have stuck my hand in the box. But I eat them the opposite of Susan! Because I like the crust best. I break them into 6 pieces and for each piece eat the inside first:) Do not send me any treats!!!!

  2. Chipotle is what helped me get to my highest weight EVER a few years ago. I’ve eaten it only a few times since moving to Pittsburgh and now to Little Rock. Chipotle is coming to LR this summer, and honestly, it scares me just a little.

    In terms of snack foods, anything with sugar… I’m not picky about sugar. I’m more of a cake person than a pie person, and the ICING is the best part.

    • Karen

      We used to get Chipotleyfairly often back when I was not watching my white carbs. The only good thing about it, for me, was I got a bowl and split it over two meals. Still pretty bad for me IMO. But… yum.

  3. Oh the irony of this blog friendship…..yesterday as we returned from our weekend in Maggie Valley, NC, we got stopped, for over an HOUR, because of an interstate accident closing all lanes. It was a great time for some good communication and except for the thermos of hot coffee and two boxes of GIRL SCOUT COOKIES, all would’ve been well. Like your devil dogs, it has probably been ten years since I’ve eaten one single girl scout cookie. They were Mr. B’s, but cooped up in an enclosed vehicle, all of a sudden they looked so good and you guessed it, they are ALL gone. Silly indulgence – I don’t even like them!

    • Karen

      Oh, stuck in a car with cookies! What is it about car trips and men and junk food? Mine goes for bags of candy. Big bags.

    • Karen

      Another blogger and I discovered that we both eat our Ho-Ho’s or Yodels the same way. Peel of the chocolate first. Then unroll them…

  4. Amazing post Karen – so raw & with feeling! I am sure many sat nodding their heads! And being from the east originally, I do recall devil dogs & ate them & those hostess snack cinnamon crumb cakes & all the other snack items. I loved then & they were in the house…. along with brownies & other sweets made by mom… sweets were my devil dogs!

    BUT, I thin an important take away to all this & I have written about this before too is that we never can go back to eating the way that made us heavy because we will be heavy again… When I lost my weight for good, I knew there was no going back. Yes, I had a couple learning lessons with 5 pounds here & there but I still knew I could not do sweets like I did when I was fat.

    You have made me think it is time to write about this again!

    Karen, really great post!

  5. I think this post could have been co-written by yours truly. Whenever I go anywhere different, I have this nagging feeling that I’m suddenly allowed to eat whatever I want because it’s a ‘special occasion’ – why, I can’t get this kind of food at home, so I must indulge!! Yes, even if that special occasion were me driving two states over for no other reason than to just take a drive. Sad.
    I’ve never heard of Devil Dogs, although I do live in the Midwest. However, I live only 2 hours from Chicago and whenever I am there, the siren song of Chicago’s Deep Dish Pizza calls to me (and those things are insane with calories).

    • Karen

      Oh yes – the “special occasion.” My nemesis. Back when I was growing up outside Boston I remember there was one place downtown with deep dish pizza and my girlfriends and I used to go now and then. Ah, my skinny days:)

  6. I gotta say, I live near Philly – home of the Tasty Kake, so I can relate to your dilemma. Devil Dogs are very difficult to ignore, but I’ve found that the more I connect with how yucky I feel after I eat something, the easier it is to avoid indulging in sweets.

    • Karen

      Every time I eat crap and feel like crap I ask myself why I don’t remember this the next time and use it as a deterrent. Sigh.

  7. I owe at least 10 of my pounds to Carrabas. One summer, my ex would pick up the kids and take them out to dinner. My boyfriend and I would go to Carrabas for dinner. In one summer I gained at least 10 pounds. Needless to say that I stopped going there except occaisioninally, but the pounds still remain.

    • Karen

      I think I have been there once. Italian, right? In the past year I have pretty much given up pasta because it is one food that I would overeat at meals in a big way. Sigh.

  8. I wish it were only one thing, but just about anything sweet, pice, cake, cookies, ice cream…

    Then there is the whole portion control thing…

  9. Great post Karen. Living in the NW my whole life, I’ve never heard of Drakes. They look similar to Hostess Suzy Qs which I love, and am fortunate not to be able to find anymore. I can totally relate to eating all kinds of other junk that never fulfilled my craving. I’m trying to work on those behaviors.

    • Karen

      I’ve had Suzy Qs but don’t like them as much. This week my Devil Dogs were actually my husband’s cereal. Arrgh.

  10. Hey – who knew Devil Dogs has a low fat incarnation? You know I loved this post and can totally relate. Long car trips are notoriously bad eating times for me – I ate my way from one rest stop to another coming home from Chicago after Thansgiving 2009. Seriously – pumpkin lattes to wash down pumpkin scones at Starbucks, fritos (really? I don’t even like them) – the list goes on forever. I definitely have a long list of devilish foods that continuously mock me and woo me to the dark side. And that Thanksgiving was right before I had my first knee surgery that began my very long slide down the slippery slope from which I’ve yet to recover.

    • Karen

      There is something about those roadside shops with smaller packages and more variety. Evil! I had one great, healthy car trip last March. I was eating so well all year so far and packed the healthiest of snacks. Where is that Karen?

  11. I think a lot about good food and eating good food. Really good food. I wish I had a dollar, make that a hundred dollars, for every pound I gained eating foods like you describe.It wouldn’t be devil dogs for me, but ice cream or oatmeal cookies. But, honestly, I am able to leave it alone now, at least most of the time. Me wants GOOD food now; tasty food that is really special and delights my palette. Not the run of the mill stuff we can so easily get that is highly processed, full of sugar and fat. I actually think I am becoming a food snob!

    • Karen

      That is so awesome! I think our taste-buds change, or at least how we appreciate taste changes, when we eat well. I go back and forth in my mind when I picture myself down the road, maintaining. I wonder if I will be happier just not to indulge ever again or if I will be one who still wants and can handle that occasional treat.

  12. chocolate of any kind is my trigger food can not have it in the house or i totally go bonkers

    • Karen

      I usually do pretty well with sugar free chocolate pudding. But I have toyed with going chocolate free for a while to see if I get the taste out of my mind.

  13. For me it’s not just devil dogs. I have never heard of them, actually. But anything sweet, especially chocolate, and I’m toast. Or anything good. Great Caesar salad? I’m done for. When things are really good I just say “Oh I wont listen to my stomach telling me I’m full.” I did that Saturday after the auto show. We went to the Melting Pot and I left so stuffed I was in misery.

    • Karen

      Oh – the Melting Pot! We were just talking about that place at my book club. The hostess had made cheese fondue. Yum.

  14. Glad we don’t have Devil Dogs around here 🙂

    There are quite a few foods that are triggers for me that I just cannot start because for some reason I choose to keep eating them until they are all gone. Anything with sugar is a problem (not fruit, but the evil kind of sugar).

    • Karen

      I do that too – feel the urge to eat them until they are gone. I imagine if I got a box of Devil Dogs I’d inhale them instead of spreading them out over days.

  15. sunnydaze

    I know the feeling. When I go “back home” to PA (I now live in VA) I’m always in search of the tasty treats that I loved growing up that I can’t get in VA. My weakness is chips and candy of any kind.

  16. Nicole

    Great post Karen. My own baking cookies, pies, cakes is what triggers me. I wish I could be like my husband and family and only have one or 2. I love baking, it soothes my soul and I love when my family says thank you, and smiles while they are enjoying my baking. As far as store bought items such as Devil dogs, Pop tarts,etc. I always think to myself “how long have they been sitting in the package, yikes. I wish I could say the same for Lay’s potato chips, lol.

  17. I can’t say I have a devil food….I tend to not eat much as far as processed snack foods but I eat too much of foods like almonds or greek yogurt. My darn devil is portion size and eating out of boredom.

    • Karen

      I have been eating a lot of almonds lately and that is one thing I have to carefully measure. I tried the cinnamon flavored ones last week – big mistake! Too yummy.

  18. Jan

    Ice cream- Blue Bell ice cream, to be specific. Cows from hell make the most triggering food in the world for me. It is like crack cocaine in my brain. Not kidding. Sworn off for all ice cream life. (Blue Bell is the best ice cream in the country)

    • Karen

      Aloha! I’m not sure I can give you Blue Bell. I do remember we had different brands back east where I grew up than we have in the Midwest. I’d go do a taste test but we both know that would so not be a good thing!

  19. Ice cream. It’s my devil food. I eat it far too often. Oh and cheesy fries. Yum. I don’t like healthy foods as much as the junk ones. It’s bad for baby though so I TRY. TRY is a key word though.

    • Karen

      We don’t even have ice cream in the house anymore! Both my husband and I had problems with it. I’ve never had cheesy fries. Guess I shouldn’t start:)

  20. why do we always want what we can’t have!!! lol…seriousy, i wonder what the pyschology is behind that.

    actually to tell you the truth, i don’t have any devil food in my life, and i don’t know why! there are plenty of foods i shy away from, but i never feel tempted by them like…ever. actually now that i think about it, it might be because i only eat really GOOD food. i just won’t settle for mediocre (which, most junk food is, imho.) it helps the high quality stuff is always more satisfying. i only need a few pieces of Lindt chocolate, but i’d need an entire Mars bar to get a fix, ya know?

    • Karen

      I wish I was the same! Lindt – yum. I remember when I went to Europe in the early 80s and first had it. Now, of course, you can get it in the states.

  21. Your Drake’s is my Little Debbie’s. Love the Swiss Rolls (and the Oatmeal Creme Pies and the Nutty Buddy, et al).

    I joke about being tempted by random snack cakes that I encounter, but I’m really not. I don’t really have any ‘devil foods’, and I wish I had realized that about 25 years ago. 🙂

    • Karen

      My husband had Oatmeal Creme Pies the other day! He tried to hide them. But he sat down to watch TV and I asked what he was eating. Hellooooo! I never did see another one or the box.

  22. Loved your story. I know exactly how you feel. When Clint and I traveled back to our home town each year, we always made it a point to hit 2 or 3 of our favorite treat stores — we didn’t do it the last time we went back in August.

    What foods weren’t trigger foods for me!!?? I loved them all. Allsorts licorice, Wise Potato Chips, Watson’s Sponge Candy, fresh crispy rye bread, bagels, Oreos, LU Le Fondant European Biscuits, Haagen Dasz, Ben & Jerry’s….I could go on. Recently the only thing that makes me crave more is a bagel. I try to limit to no more than 2 per week, but I could eat 3/day. Love ’em.

    • Karen

      Oh, bagels. Sigh. Can’t do them. Sigh. Love them. Sigh.

      P.S. I hope you realize I was only kidding in my email about you causing my dreams!

  23. So many Devil foods in my life…obviously. It’s the Lure of the Carbs…whether in pure sugar form or starch form: does it really matter? they pull us in every chance we give them. It’s like with an alcoholic; when we know we are addicted, we have to not allow even one drink. Same with the devil foods that call our names. 🙂

    • Karen

      You are so right! I had forgotten about that whole book that goes on about the fat, sugar, salt thing. How it really makes us crave more.

  24. Devil foods? Yeah sure…food in general! I still struggle with eating the right amount – eating too much, eating too little, eating the right foods and eating the wrong foods. But every day you just get up and do it again and fight the good fight, I suppose!

  25. Funyuns- I used to eat them DAILY with hot sauce and lemon- just thinking about it now makes my mouth tingle! lol.

    • Karen

      I forgot about those! I craved and ate them when I was pregnant with my second son. I remember stopping to by them when I was out and about.

  26. Karen – look at the number of comments! I’d suggest that hmmm – we all have our devil dogs?

    For a long while it was ice-cream – a particular brand of ice-block here in Australia called a weiss bar. But I no longer crave them because I binged on them so constantly that now just thinking about them makes me feel sick.

    Binging really is another form of self-harm – I don’t know at what point cravings become a binge – when the eating is out of control perhaps?

    I enjoy reading your blog – thanks for the wise words…

  27. I started to read the comments then realized all they were doing was leading me (Little Debbie’s Nutty Bars) astray! Giving me new names of items I can’t eat right now… AUGH! So I am not going to list any devil dogs in my life (crusty French bread from Pouparts in Lafeytte Louisiana which I can now order online at yikes) and I refuse to participate in something that will bring about my downfall (Tunnel of Fudge Cake) and am appalled that (mom’s homemade brownies) that you could… excuse me, I have to go to the grocery store now. Juusssst kidding.

    • Karen

      Oh (drool) crusty french bread! I used to get loaves in one local grocery store all the time. Just thought of them as I passed by the other day. Sigh.

  28. Your awareness and self analysis is amazing. That kind of self reflection is sometimes hard because we are so good at denial. It is good you know what your cravings are and have an idea of what to do instead. My devil dog is white chocolate recess peanut nut butter cups. They are evil!!!!

    • Karen

      I’ve never seen those! I like Reese’s but they are not my favorite. But, oh, what a yummy combination of flavors.

  29. I just saw the Pioneer Woman make these at home. Never had them! Probably a good thing. Although I don’t fall prey to many packaged baked goods like this, I’m very prone to overeating my own which is why I stopped baking so much. It has helped a lot! If it’s not in the kitchen, I don’t eat it. Duh.

  30. For me it doesn’t have to be anything special, I can eat crap that I don’t really like here in the house. I get so mad when I have days like this, yesterday or last night I was bad.

    I did notice how young, skinny and adorably cute you are in that picture! I said “is that Karen?” You need to use a real picture of yourself.

  31. Clearly devil dogs and the like are something almost all of us recognize… The ol’ can’t have this, so must have that… and that never satisfies becuase it isn’t this… and so we keep on consuming thats. In my yo-yo years, knowing I was a chocolate addict, I would go abstinent on chocolate (this) and be on constant, weight-gaining, search for a that as satisfying as chocolate. Soon I’d be back to my top weight again. Now since I’m not having this or that, I’m hoping to be done with the slippery slope of the devil dogs.

  32. I have never heard of Devil Dogs! I love sweets of any kind, and any of them can be a trigger for me given the right circumstances.

    I did think you looked very tiny in that photo with your son!

  33. There are too many evil foods that I love that I just try my best to stay away from! You described very well that feeling you get when you want something and you’ll do anything to get it, you just can’t get the treat out of your mind until you eat it! That happens to me too. It’s so weird.

  34. Haha. Good thing I read some of your comments–I was gong to say that your Devil Dogs look just like Hostess Suzi Qs. I guess they’re not, tho. I do know that they’re pretty good althouigh I haven’t had one in years.

    My thing–I have two things. Ice cream and cake. Not together. Separate.

    You’re a brave woman, by the way. 🙂


    • Karen

      Yes, they do look similar. But the texture of the cake is totally different. I won’t go into details and risk making us both want something chocolatey!

  35. MB

    I’ve been trying to never say never. Moderation is the key. I think if you only come back east once a year you should have A Devil Dog (not a box) and savor every single bite of it. You’ll satisfy your craving and avoid eating everything else you didn’t want. I loved Devil Dogs when I was a kid but they don’t have any power over me anymore.

    • Karen

      Ah, but I struggle so with moderation:( And I have never seen them sold singly. But… that is food for thought! Better way to satisfy that craving.

I love comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s