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They Call Her "The Stomach"

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2023 3:02 am

They Call Her "The Stomach"

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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November 23, 2023 3:02 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Lindsey Gallant tells her story of when she was challenged to an eating contest by a boy at her church.

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Listen to Health Discovered on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. And we return to Our American Stories and our Thanksgiving special. Often on Thanksgiving day, at least towards the end of it, we may find ourselves a bit overstuffed. Lindsay Kalland shares a story about a time she ate more than a dozen of her friends.

She was a young girl who was a young girl who was a young girl who was a young girl who was a young girl who was a young girl who was a young girl who was a young girl who was a young girl who was a young Jamaican tale. Today Lindsay Kalland shares a story about a time she ate more than her fill, when she was challenged to an eating contest. Hunger drove our college music ministry team down to the church basement after the morning service. After many weekends of traveling under our belt we knew there was at We were greeted by a line of smiling, serving, spoon-wielding ladies, and sure enough, there was lasagna.

Not only lasagna, but mounds of steaming rice and spiced chicken, heaping bowls of garden salad, baskets of rolls, pounds of butter, and a variety of desserts set out on little white plates. Church hospitality at its finest. After grace, we were invited to the food. I was toward the front of the line, as usual. I had somewhat of a reputation for being a big eater. I was a slim thing, so no one expected it. But in the college cafeteria, when they called for seconds, I jumped up quicker than anyone. I was always hungry.

Where do you put it all? my big guy friends asked. You must have two hollow legs. I only shrugged and smiled.

Fast metabolism, I guess. I enjoyed the element of surprise. In high school, I had been dubbed the stomach after I was challenged by my youth group leader to pack down a 19-ounce burger at Red Robin's. I did it, fries and all, much to the astonishment of my friends.

I had told this story to my music team, and I think they believed me. But my friend EJ, a stocky Filipino with an appetite of his own, wanted proof. That day in the church basement, he challenged me to an eating contest. The rules were simple. Match plate for plate.

Keep eating until your opponent could eat no more. It was the perfect opportunity, as the foil trays of pasta seemed endless, and we didn't have to sing again until the evening service. EJ and I walked up to the counter, and each grabbed a plate with lasagna and chicken. It was on.

Plate number one. We sat opposite each other at the table, each of us oozing confidence. The whole music team was in on it by now, choosing sides. We laughed good naturedly as we ate, egging each other on and telling stories of our past culinary conquests. The lasagna was gooey on the inside and crispy on the top. The chicken skin had the right crunch, and the rice was perfectly seasoned. I ate quickly, which is part of the strategy.

Little sips of water to keep things going smoothly, but not too much. This was going to be fun. Plate number two. An easy follow-up. I made sure to add some salad to the side and another roll to keep things balanced. Everything was delicious. As a kid, we weren't always sure of seconds around our table, and there was no such thing as an all-you-can-eat buffet in town. It was kind of nice to give in completely to my appetite, at no extra cost. I finished my second plate as most people were just starting to get theirs, if they were going for seconds at all.

Plate number three. On a normal Sunday, I would have stopped here. I could have been full after the first two plates, if I had wanted to be, but I knew I still had room. I sprang up for the third helping before EJ was finished his second plate. He was slowing down, and I had to keep my momentum.

The thrill of the challenge spurred me on. Aren't you getting full yet? EJ asked a little nervously. Nope, I grinned and shoveled in another layer of noodles. Plate number four. I was a full plate ahead of EJ by this point. As he plodded through plate three, I dug into my fourth. I was getting a little tired of lasagna, and my stomach was definitely expanding into discomfort. I looked at his plate and the slowly receding food. Don't forget your salad, I said. Salad? He shot back. You've been eating salad too? It was a drastic oversight on his part.

Oh yes, I said, you'll have to catch up on that. He groaned. When plate number four was done, I took a deep breath. I was still a full serving ahead.

Well, EJ, I think I'm getting full, I said, slowly leaning back in my chair. I guess it's time to start on the desserts. We both got up, him for his fourth plate of the main course, and me for my first dessert from the dessert table.

I think we were both waddling just a little. There were quite a few options of church baking. Hmm, I may just have to try them all, I teased, choosing a square of spongy vanilla cake with sauce dripping over it. Back at our table, EJ slumped over his mountain of food and the extra big pile of salad.

I can't believe a girl is getting ahead of me, he exclaimed, shaking his head. 19 ounces of beef, EJ, I reminded him calmly, holding up a fork full of cake, plus the fries. I took the opportunity to slow down a little myself. After all, he still had some catching up to do. I really wanted to try the pie though, and ambled back to the dessert table. There's always room for pie, I declared as I sat back down, and a little coffee to go with it.

EJ was visibly struggling. Finally, he finished the salad and went for his first dessert selection. After the pie, I was decidedly full, more than full, but I could see the finish line and I was ahead. I figured a light pudding dish would be the easiest third choice to slide down. He moved on to dessert number two.

How's your cake? I asked, licking the last of the pudding from my spoon. He could only groan. I felt like groaning too. I wasn't sure I was actually going to be able to get up and walk after this, but I could taste the victory, one more lap to the dessert table.

I could do this. When I sat back down with the chocolate cake, EJ was whimpering over his pudding. He managed to look up, and I saw dread in his eyes. I held the cake up like a trophy. Dessert number four, I announced. EJ threw down his fork and wailed, I can't do it!

I give up! My friends cheered. I finished the chocolate cake just to seal my supremacy. To everyone's surprise, the little girl with the big stomach won the eating contest. I never let on how sick I felt all afternoon.

It was a matter of pride. I did sneak away to a corner of the church where I could lay flat for a while, hoping the weight of the consumed food would spread itself out a little more evenly. My famous stomach had found its limit. Almost 20 years later, I'm still known for loving my food, though I haven't accepted any more ridiculous challenges. I still eat more than my husband most days.

My metabolism has noticeably slowed down, but there are days my appetite still surprises me. It's funny how a nickname given in one day can stick with you for life. My sisters still call me the stomach. My friends automatically give me the biggest slice of cake at a party. How can you not be full, they ask.

If only they knew. There is a hunger inside me that has never quite gone away. It's not the kind of growl that can be silenced with a plate of lasagna. There are days I still feel like a four-year-old who missed her afternoon snack and is melting down while supper cooks. I thought I would have grown out of this by now. After all, I have everything I need to be content. Yet, there's a deep calling desire for something more. There is a satisfaction I seek that comes after that last lick of a dessert spoon.

It's a homesick kind of hunger. Maybe this bottomless pit is actually a gift that keeps whispering, there's a feast yet to come. I can't wait to be first in line. And a special thanks to Lindsay Gallant.

Poor E.J., he never had a chance. And that you ate that last piece of cake anyway, just to rub it in? Boy, you're a competitor. Lindsay, the stomach Gallant story, here on Our American Stories. Congratulations to the city of Bellevue, Washington. First place award winner for Innovation in Community at the 2023 Unconventional Awards presented by T-Mobile for Business. The city of Bellevue has revolutionized public safety as a leader in technological innovation to decrease road-related fatalities and injuries. In collaboration with T-Mobile 5G Solutions, Bellevue has improved the Vision Zero program, increasing real-time communications between cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and traffic infrastructure to provide early warnings on dangerous road interactions.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-23 04:31:25 / 2023-11-23 04:38:08 / 7

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