A-Bomb and ...

Eating contests and Eating challenges around Kona & Denver

Curly Fries.

What the heck just happened?

T-bonz & I show up at Rock Rest Lodge in Golden to take on the Peanut Butter Burger Challenge. I haven't gone after peanut butter in a contest or challenge so I am looking forward to it.

The general manager of Rock Rest, Bob, is ready and waiting. After a few minutes, Bob goes to the grill and gets busy creating the burger - 4 patties, cheese, lots of bacon, lettuce, red onion, tomato. And the full cup of creamy Jiffy peanut butter. And the pound of curly fries. Oh those fries!

This shows the challenge burger and the regular menu item peanut butter burger that T-bonz orders.

I begin. My plan is to tackle three of the patties (each one separately) then the single patty burger in the bun, then the fries.

I thought maybe the peanut butter would bind more with each patty and make each patty tough to get down, but it wasn't that way. The three patties went down pretty quickly and relatively easily.

Last bite of the burger.

First three patties: 4 1/2 minutes. Burger finished at 12. Now it's on to the fries.

After 17 minutes of munching, the end is in sight.

A few more handfuls of the fries and a few more sips...


Great start. This was easily the best tasting challenge burger yet! At 4 1/2 minutes, 3 patties down. At 12 minutes, the burger is finished. Challenge completed at 29:41. The fries kicked my butt. I don't know if it was the peanut butter in combination with the starchy fries or the curly coefficient but it was something. I'll work on that.

Bob is a great host, and he and the Rock Rest are fully behind the idea of using challenges and eating contests to bring in the publicity. In these Man v. Food times, that's a good good thing!

You definitely do not want to miss the full gallery of photos!

Next up: a BBQ challenge. Like the peanut butter, BBQ is a new item for me in a competitive eating situation. I can't wait!


Peanut Butter!

This is going down tomorrow:


Virgilio's Pizza Challenge

There are 3 new pizza challenges at Virgilio's Pizzeria in Lakewood, Colorado. All 3 are one person challenges. All 3 are 28-inch pizzas. All 3 have two hour time frames. All 3 are delicious.

Jimmy is trying the Hugilio #1, an 11-pound monster of a pizza that has lots of meats, lots of veggies, and Jimmy's favorite: mushrooms. There's a huge bounty on the 1st person to eat it: $1000. Then the continuing prize is $200 and some other stuff.

I am attempting the Hugilio #3 which is a 5-pound 28" margarita pizza. It's 2.5 pounds of dough, 1 pound of sauce, and 1.5 pounds of fresh mozz, fresh tomatoes, and basil. Delicious!

The other challenge pizza is a 7 pound pepperoni.

The challenges at Virgilio's just launched a few days ago. Jimmy and I are the first to attempt. In fact, Virgilio only has one 28" pizza pan because he didn't expect two challengers at the same time.

Jimmy gets the pan, so he is the actual 1st person to attempt a challenge. His pizza took 15 minutes or so to make and bake. When it was put down on the table, it smelled so good! He starts. He gets out of the gate the way he always does: fast. The 11-pounder is cut in 8 big pieces. His plan is to take each piece by piece. Just eat. He's through one in 5 minutes. Two pieces in just over 10 minutes.

Mine coming out of the oven

My pie is getting close to being baked. Soon, finally I can go. At the beginning, it's hot. Make that HOT. But the sauce is unbelievable, the mozzarella is smooth, and the crust is thin and crunchy. Perfect.

We both keep going. A little under an hour in, Jimmy announces he's taking a little break. We know what that means. Yes, there's a two-hour time limit, but once you stop you will not be able to really start again. Jimmy gets a bit more down, but at a bit over an hour in he throws in the towel. He puts down just under 5 pieces of the 8. A bit over 6 1/2 pounds consumed.

When I see him stop, I start thinking that way too. Plus, I have to drive home so I don't want to be too food drunk. I stop too. 6 of the 8 pieces down. I do think I could have managed one more piece, but not both pieces that I had left. It was also a weird vibe there. I was pretty messy as usual (using my hands, so they were sauced-covered and I had sauce on my face) and like at the pizza challenge in Castle Rock the feeling was that was frowned upon. But whatever.

Recovery from this challenge is not about the food mass for me. At 3.75 pounds consumed, that's nothing to handle but the sodium content was out of bounds. In fact my lips were dry when I stopped eating. I was very thirsty last night after the challenge. I have needed to drink a lot today, and I anticipate I will drink a lot tomorrow as well.

But I'll definitely head back to Virgilio's soon.

This is a photo of the release form.

Jimmy's mother and sister look on.

Saucing up mine.

Jimmy early in the eat.

That's How I Roll

A commenter asked for more info on my workouts. Basically, how I stay so lean and mean doing this eating thing.

When I started eating in the fall of 2005, my first rule of engagement - then and now - was to not do any visible harm to my body. I didn't want my insides to go to shit either, but just be smart about it and they won't. For 34 years (well, not from birth - from about age 10 or so.. We'll say 24 years) up to that time in 2005, I had been very good with regards to working out, eating healthfully, and staying very fit. And not really enjoying eating - it was more of eating to meet caloric needs of the human machine so I could be more fit. I love to take on new challenges, step outside the societal norms, and live life the way I want. With eating, I got those challenges, new tastes, and could do it my way.

That's why I hold the IFOCE in high regard - through them I got into this eating world, through them I found a new outlet, and through them I discovered new challenges. Without the IFOCE to legitimize this whole eating scene, I wouldn't be eating today. Thanks, IFOCE! But more on that whole thing later.

If you've seen my weight charts, you will see there are definitely spikes, but the overall trend is an identifiable undulating average. Over the years I have conditioned my body to want to be at the settled average. So the weight spikes with the food, but then my body does a lot of work to get back down. And then I take steps to help the body as well. Normally a specific challenge is 3 days long. Day 1, the day before a challenge, I don't conscientiously eat less but I do eat foods that for me are easier to digest. Maybe rice, pasta, cheese, chicken - like that. Day 2 is challenge day. Say the challenge is at 2pm. Breakfast is usually a protein shake or a bit of cereal. 6 hours before the challenge time is my food cutoff time - that means no food solid or otherwise. Liquids like water or Gatorade are OK until the 2 hour cutoff. When that hits, I can take a few sips of water. Then I do the challenge. Normally I will not want to eat again that day. Day 3 is about recovery. I eat pretty much the same as on Day 1. I try to get in a workout. Usually I recover somewhat and feel "normal" after this day. If not, I do it again each day until I have recovered, feel good, and my weight stabilizes where it was before the challenge.

Workouts in the few days leading up to a challenge, and for a few days after a challenge, are heavier on the cardio. Stationary bike, or newly added, an elliptical machine with moving arm poles. The bike gives me a better cardio workout than the elliptical but I dig the elliptical because it is a good cardio workout with involvement of the arms. Better overall I think. I also lift weights in these times but perhaps the weight is lighter with more reps and less rest between sets so I get good burn with added cardio. Workouts that are outside the challenge/recovery window are less about cardio and more about - not getting "big" but increasing the maximums. Each session includes the usual bench press, curls, leg press, etc. I don't do the legs one day, shoulders the next routine. I like more of an overall workout each time. I mix up which exercises I do when in each workout so my body doesn't get in a rut.

It's not like I do anything special. It's not easy. It's work. But I know my body and I know what needs to be done. I know what my body can do and what it takes to make sure the first rule is not violated.

I think it's so funny when people say "you eat like that so you have no self-control" or something like that. As you can see from above, it's all about self-control, discipline, and being very aware of what I am doing.

I Want This

Anyone know where this shirt can be bought?

Weight down 152.3lbs!

Check out this chart of my weight!

From July 27 2009 through today I have lost over 100% of my body weight. I've lost 152.3 pounds! Of course I've gained 147.3 in the same time period so one pretty much balances the other out. It's been fun, and the roller coaster will keep on going...

Burger Challenge

This is a placeholder for the burger challenge.


1st IHOP This Year

IHOP is having their annual all-you-can-eat pancake special. I've gone before - in 2007 & 2008. Not in 2009. Maybe that's why 2009 felt incomplete. I was not going to make that mistake in 2010!

I went in wanting a good stretch. I hadn't eaten since the Bellagio brunch buffet in Vegas - and that was about a month ago so I needed it.

IHOP has a couple ayce pancake meals. Hashbrowns, eggs, meat, and 2 pancakes to begin. And then stacks of pancakes in 3 until you say whoa. After eating the two scrambled eggs, then the pile of hashbrowns, I began on the pancakes.

First bite.

After a while T-bonz wanted me to try to change things up. I tried the Strawberry syrup instead of the hot maple they give you. WAAAYYYY too sweet.

Here, 14 or so.

Put it in.

Finishing 20.

2nd to last bite.

Last bite.

Done at 23. That's good.

With 23 I got a great stretch. It's good to feel that again. Our server, Judy, also served up the pancakes to me in 2007. She told me that earlier in the week a girl came in and ate 40 pancakes. My store record from 2007 - gone. I do not know when it happened but the store record is at 40 now. So I'll be back and give that a shot.

Think Back...

Eaters who have been in the IFOCE for a few years will remember the absolute best emcee ever - Michael Castellano. At a grilled cheese contest in NM in 2005 he used a really funny line toward me, I'll never forget it:

"he had a 28 inch waist before, now he has a 34 inch waist."

He used that line at each contest he emceed with me in it. CLASSIC! Other IFOCE emcees tried it, but their timing was way off - they would say it before the eating even began. Mike was always super nice to me, and I was so sad to see him go.

But he reached out to me lately, and he is doing well. Michael and some friends open a restaurant in Key West: Blackfin Bistro. Check it out, and if you're ever in Key West, get thee there.