Today marked the finale of our marketing summer fitness challenge. In addition to a Biggest Loser style weight loss contest, there were prizes for various feats of strength, speed and flexibility. We specifically chose to end the challenge today so that we could all live with reckless food abandon over the 4th of July.

I had a lot of fun with the team, but I have to admit, I pretty much did my same thing throughout the challenge. You know, run 29 miles one week and eat my face off the next. In this manner I’ve managed to maintain the same weight, for, oh, about 10 years now. At the end of the challenge I’d actually lost a teensy bit of weight (hey, what do you know!) and increased my flexibility by ~40% as a direct result of a bunch of stretching I’ve been doing the last few weeks…because my IT band has been hurting…because of being kind of overweight…and semi-out of shape…and running 29 miles one week and eating my face off the next. But I digress…

ANYWAYS, my plan to just have fun with the team and do my normal thing resulted in me being in the bottom three females in the “Biggest Loser” part of the challenge, a.k.a. the “Littlest Loser.” And I was pleasantly surprised today (NOT) when a pie eating contest was announced between the three “Littlest Loser” females and the three “Littlest Loser” Males.

Which brings me to:

Pie Eating Contest Life Lesson Number 1: Always be aware of your surroundings. A pie eating contest can occur anytime and anywhere.

The team put together a delicious menu for today to treat everyone that had been denying themselves for the last eight weeks – pizza, shave ice, frozen yogurt, chocolates, cupcakes – there was even a pinata.

I was so lulled by the good times and the laughter and the warm breeze and my Nutter-Butter-Frozen Yogurt that I missed the six grocery store pies. Yes, in the middle of all of these specialty-shop-locally-made-with-love-delicacies, underneath the pinata, were six grocery store pies.

If you ever find yourself in a situation with a surplus of amazeballs food and there are a bunch of grocery store pies, there will most definitely be a pie eating contest at some point. DON’T BE THE VICTIM OF A PIE EATING CONTEST. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR PIES AT ALL TIMES.

My first thought when faced with the contest was denial. And then, of course, anger. At myself. I should have tried harder. Look, if you’re not going to win, at least go for a respectable position mid-pack, right? In this way, you avoid having to participate in (be punished with) a pie-eating contest. And thus Pie Eating Contest Life Lesson Number 2: Try harder.

As I walk up to the table I make a mental note to explore why I’m not more competitive.

I saddle on up to a french silk pie because that is my favorite kind of pie and, given a fork and enough time, I think I could probably polish off a whole one with no problem.

Only we weren’t allowed to use forks.

Suddenly the pie seemed so huge and so…not edible without a fork. It was like I was a toddler and someone had plopped a pineapple on the tray of my high-chair. I was literally racking my brain trying to come up with some sort of strategy that would result in the most pie consumed with the least amount left on my face.

We had one minute to eat as much of our pie as possible.  When the timer started I sat there staring at the pie, partially in stunned disbelief that I was actually doing this, and still trying desperately to figure out what I was going to do.

I had to make a move.

So I stuck my mouth in and took the biggest “bite” I could. A real cheek-buster. I say “bite” because it really wasn’t a traditional bite, per se. The pie had sort of melted into a warm milkshake-like-pie-ish substance with whipped cream on top. So it was more like I sucked in the cheek buster. Still, I thought, “AAAWWWWW YEEEAAAAH, that’s definitely going to make a dent!”

It didn’t make a dent. Not even a little one.


On to my next move: the fake. I decide to just get in there a bit more and push the warm milkshake-like-pie-ish substance around and maybe (totally) there would be some accidental (on-purpose) spillage over the sides and then I could possibly see my way to the bottom of the pan in less than a minute.

Genius, right? 

My problem, in the end, was that I just didn’t go for it. My heart wasn’t in it. I went half-assed and ended up with pie on my face, and pie on the table and a hot mess all around.

Pie Eating Contest Life Lesson Number 3: Go for it.

Like I said, a pie eating contest could be sprung on you at any moment. And if it is, just EMBRACE IT. You’re going to be sticky and messy and gross no matter what you do.

Don’t end up like me. Some tragic half-assed pie eater.

Close your eyes, stick your whole face in there and GO FOR IT.

Even if you don’t eat the most pie, at least you can win the most laughs.

Oh hang on, was that a competitive spark that just lit up?

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