Woman Takes On 72-Pound Steak
AMARILLO, Tex. -- A young woman is staring hungrily at 1152-ounces of red meat.
Her nostrils flare. Her eyebrows twitch. She blinks. She unbuckles her belt, frees her belly which is substantial, inspiring, soft and full. She exhales then she picks up her knife and begins sawing at the butterflied top sirloin, all 85,000-odd calories of it, cooked medium and reclining before her with a thickness and width that causes nervousness in the crowd but none in her.
The steak is massive. The girl will be soon. Men stand her up and ask her to push her belly out as far as she can - she does and it pushes out almost as far as her breasts. If she gets it all in there, her belly will get bigger than that, someone says.
"Gonna push out to her knees," says an old man, a regular. "Seen it before."
Girl vs. Steak. Not many women try to eat the big steak. But those who do try are deadly serious. About half succeed. And Buffy Johnson intends to succeed.
Twenty-six years old, blonde and fine-featured. Her belly is soft and full and a normally proportioned 160 pounds, perhaps 5-foot-6. When she says she has gained 20 pounds in the last two years ago, you think: she must have been too skinny. She wears a gauzy white blouse with wine-red embroidery and denim shorts and hiking boots.
Buffy, who lives in Cheyenne, does have one amusing footnote to her history. For four years, from ages 12 to 16, she was a vegetarian.
Right now she is pumped. She's known about the 72-pound steak at the Big Cow Restaurant forever, and for years she's wanted to try it.
"I can eat anything," Buffy says as she begins her preparation for the big meal. "I come from a whole family of big eaters . . . . My grandmother is a couple of hundred pounds overweight. I can eat a lot of food. A lot."
Oh yes, the preparation. This involves laying on your back on the table and having lotion robbed into your belly. It's a special mix they have here, makes your skin more supple, pliable, soft. Relaxes the muscles, makes it easier for them to expand and keeps your skin from getting extensive stretch marks.
One thing: when Buffy lifts her shirt she has some mild stretch marks on the lower part of her belly. Explanation? She used to be bigger, she says demurely. Has engaged in "big eating" before. A murmur goes through the crowd. Someone puts ten bucks on her. Bets begin to flow.
Not everyone is convinced. Eddie Roberson, a jug-eared 17-year-old busboy, is a skeptic. He comes by Buffy's table to fill her water glass while her steak is cooking, takes one look at Buffy and his jaw drops.
"Oh my God! Where you planning on putting it?"
"In my tummy," said Buffy, staring him down. "I'm really hungry," Buffy said. "For breakfast we just had a granola bar and some water. Last night all I had was a can of chili and some crackers."
She signs a consent form laying out the rules: she has one hour to eat the steak. That's more than a pound of meat that must pass her lips per minute.
Once she starts, there's no leaving the table. She doesn't have to eat the fat, but the restaurant will decide what counts. If she becomes sick, she loses automatically. If she fails to finish, she can take the leftovers when she leaves.
She has to pay up front; if she wins, the restaurant refunds the meal 100 percent.
Buffy, for her part, is serene and self-assured; she strides to the Big Cow's head table, which sits on a raised platform overlooking the dining room. Just over her shoulder is a digital timer that reads 60:00. "I'm feeling real confident," said Buffy, taking her seat before the sirloin and staring it down. The steak is almost half her weight in size.
She starts on the steak placidly, cutting big bites with the grain and chewing politely with her mouth closed. She asks for Worcestershire sauce, scoops at her baked potato and butters her dinner roll.
"It's very good," she allows after four minutes. Eight pounds of meat have found their way to her belly, which is already balloon-round. Her blouse lays over it like a frilly napkin.
After six minutes, she has downed the baby shrimp cocktail in a single forkful, the potato and the salad.
As 15 minutes elapses, Buffy looks strong. Amazingly, only half the steak remains. She is now leaning back in her chair, her legs spread, so her belly can have more room to grow. She takes a minute to touch it, says the skin feels tight, she drums her fingers on it and the dull tapping is audible. It is growing out and falling between her legs, but her breasts are also being pushed to the sides. Someone quietly notices that the nipples on her C-cup breasts are rock-hard.
With each bite, her hand dances over her growing belly, her cheeks flush - she seems to be getting aroused.
Five more minutes, and Buffy is still chewing resolutely but staring a little vacantly. She is slowing down, looking tired. For a moment, she stops.
The crowd hushes. Over thirty-five pounds of meat have been added to her belly. She is now almost sixty inches around. She is halfway there.
Then she sits down and begins to cut. Within a few minutes, it's all cut into a heap. She takes the platter and places it on her belly, raises it to her mouth and tips it to her lips. She's way over the needed pace. Two pounds of meat pass her lips per minute. Her belly grows. A cute waitress can't help herself and kneels next to her and begins kissing the swelling stomach, lightly rubbing it with her hands. Buffy moans.
The growing belly is becoming a problem, and the waitress gets a small footstool and places it between Buffy's legs to give her some support.
Twenty-nine minutes and eight seconds have elapsed when Buffy finishes her 72-pounds of steak. The crowd cheers. Buffy wobbles to her feet. She now weighs 232 pounds, all of the added weight is in her belly. A tape measure appears. She is almost eighty inches at her widest point and can only balance upright for a few minutes before sitting down. Her chair is wheeled into a back room where she will be left to recover.
Asked about her new size, Buffy shrugs it off.
"It's not like I'm really fat; I'll lose it over the next few days."
Eyebrows are raised. The owner kneels down next to her.
"Buffy, first of all, all those calories won't disappear. Everyone who eats this steak gains on average about twenty pounds in fat immediately."
"What are you talking about?"
"You'll wake up tomorrow feeling softer. Over the next few days, your belly will shrink some, but you'll feel it spreading over your body. When you gain weight, where does it go?"
"Yeah. Well that's going to happen."
"I can deal with that, I guess, a little more weight."
"Well, yes, but remember. You've now stretched out your belly...your appetite is going to become pretty ravenous. You'll need to be fed constantly."
He presses a button, and a wall rises. Within the room are beds filled with huge people ranging in size from 300-800 pounds.
Buffy tries to get up, tries to struggle and get away, but she is led to a bed. The cute waitress undresses her and lies down next to her.
"Welcome," says a fat woman next to Buffy. She looks like she weighs about three hundred pounds.
"When did you get here?" asks Buffy.
"Yesterday," she says. "Was about 150 when I walked in."
"Shhh," says the waitress in Buffy's ear. "Sleep. When you wake up, you will be beautiful."
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