Week 13 - Food Challenge - The Speedy Szechuan Chicken Challenge (and 4 breadtwists)

For all of the blog followers that have desperately wanted me to own being fat, this Food Challenge should make you smile.  I think I'm finally understanding what you mean.  You see, as I arrived at the halfway point of my fit to fat stage, I was expecting a very difficult challenge - you know, the kind of gut-busting challenge that would test all that I had learned (both physically and mentally).  Sadly, I found myself disappointed - this challenge looked altogether too easy.  Of course, this was before I learned the exact definition of "the gift that keeps on giving".   

The "easy" challenge - pasta with extra Szechuan chicken and 4 massive cinnamon bread twists, kind of went against some of the criticism I tend to receive regarding my food challenges.  You see, in spite of my best efforts to fail each week, it appears that some of you seem to think that these challenges don't push me quite enough.  Not to get off track, but haven't they seen the tower of donuts that bested me?  Or the battle with the KFC Colonel?  Or the Fuddrucker throw-up challenge?   Remember - I don't choose the challenges, you do!  So when a bowl of pasta and some cinnamon dessert won the poll, the "fat" in me was a bit disappointed.  Then again, maybe it's just a sinister plot by my wife - she has to witness these - maybe she was voting dozens of times to save me from another date of terror.

Now this is where the "own it" comes into play.  I figured since this was going to be so "easy", I would spice things up by doing this one at a restaurant, without a shirt.  I was excited to test the theory of "no shirt, no shoes, no service!"  Okay, maybe not really.  But can you imagine the look on the face of the hostess as I ask for a table for 2 (sans shirt), with my wife manning the video camera?  She'd probably start looking for Ashton Kutcher, thinking she was getting Punk'd.  No, the real evidence of me owning it was the fact that I upgraded the "easy" challenge, all by myself.  Pasta and cinnamon bread twists?  I could do that in my sleep.  Why not make it a speed challenge (you know, actually try to resemble a hungry pig eating out of a trough before the other pigs eat the remaining slop?)?  I set my goal for 10 minutes - if I succeeded, at least I could say that I was taking care of my wife and was only making her lose 10 minutes out of her day, as opposed to the 1-2 hours.  

As I got seated at the restaurant, I set a timer out to push myself (and to let confused onlookers know that I wasn't the common overeater - I had goals too!).  As I stuffed my face with the delicious pasta, only then did I realize that I was in a public place (yep, I sat down, pulled out a timer, unbuckled my pants, ordered way too much food for one person, and started eating - only after all of that did I get self conscious about some strangers staring).  Luckily, we were in the corner so no one could really see some "fat" guy stuffing his face like it was his last meal.  Wait a minute - did the hostess put me back in the corner on purpose?  I suddenly have an overwhelming urge to write a strongly worded letter that ends with "Nobody puts baby in a corner!" 

While you all try to get "I Had The Time Of My Life" out of your heads, I'll walk you through the actual challenge.  The pasta was delicious - it was a shame I was eating it so fast, because I couldn't really appreciate the flavor.  Just 6 minutes in, the pasta was history.  I figured I could down 1 cinnamon bread twist per minute, and I could claim victory.  What I didn't realize was that these were 16" (I carry my ruler wherever I go), moist, chewy, lumps of fat and goo. Don't believe me?  When I hit the 10 minute mark (thus, failing yet another challenge), I had only consumed one of the required 4.  Again, I had found a way to get in over my head (I'm ignoring the fact that I did this one to myself by adding the timer).  

As I continued to eat, I could literally feel the bread expanding in my stomach, but I still didn't feel full.  It was a weird feeling - it made me start to wonder if this is a part of being "overweight" - the conflict between what your mind and body are feeling.  My mind said it was too much - my stomach said "keep eating, we'll make more room in here, and the stretch marks will be tiny!"  4 bread twists later, I stared at the timer.  18 minutes had passed.  I congratulated myself.  If you think about it, I was only a few 480 seconds past my goal of 10 minutes.  You're impressed...admit it.  

However, if I thought eating the pasta and bread twists was the real challenge, I was horribly wrong.  Maybe this is why you all voted for this one in the first place - because you knew what would happen after.  You see, my 18 minutes of food challenge effort was repaid with hours of grueling pain.  While I only felt slightly full at the end of 18 minutes, a half hour later, I felt like I already had 2nd, 3rd, and 4th supper.  An hour later, and it felt like the cinnamon bread twists were just arriving at my stomach.  In spite of the fact that I only had coke and water the rest of the day, my stomach felt like I was at a Las Vegas buffet and couldn't stop (hey, maybe that can be my last challenge!).

Needless to say, this was the first challenge where the "after party" was much more difficult than the actual challenge.  Maybe I can count this as two and just take next week off?  Pretty please?

Then again, something tells me that the new Drew that has started to "own it", even if I did take a week off, I'd find myself driving to Las Vegas just to prove my doubters (and my baby belly) wrong.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to write that strongly worded letter!  

Dear Restaurant,

Nobody puts baby in a corner....