Aug 26, 2014 09:00AM
By Sarah Wengert
By now, the professional competitive eater has most certainly made papa proud.
Schuyler realized her talent for competitive eating as a child, between the buffet mandate and casual soda-chugging races in grade school.
“No guy could come close to me,” Schuyler says, “but I didn’t think anything of it.”
Schuyler, her four adorable kids, and one Air Force husband, have lived in Bellevue for the past three-and-a-half years. She’s competed for less than two years.
“It was all just for fun at first, no money involved,” she says. Her first paid competition was July 2013.
She began dabbling with challenges like the infamous Stellanator, a food challenge at popular Bellevue burger joint, Stella’s, that includes six 6.5-oz burger patties, six fried eggs, 12 bacon strips, six pieces of cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and peanut butter, plus a bun. Oh, and a basket of fries.
In August 2012, Schuyler became the first woman to finish The Stellanator, belying her petite 5’7”, 120 lb. frame.
“I still can’t believe this tiny little lady finished the Stellanator in 15 mins!” Stella’s posted online.
But Schuyler was hungry for more. In October 2012, she returned, setting a new Stellanator record time of six minutes, 28 seconds. In April 2014, she tangoed again with the monster, finishing in an unbelievable three minutes, 40 seconds.
And guess what she did afterwards? She ate an additional four cheeseburgers, three grilled cheeses, and a huge basket of fries and onion rings—like most of us might nibble on a bowl of popcorn.
She is “just never full.” She’s felt sick after competing—like when she ate 15 pounds of pumpkin pie, then boarded a plane—but in general she doesn’t suffer for her art.
Despite her ability to crush massive menus, her favorite foods are healthy.
“I like salads and vegetables the best. If I go out to eat, that’s what I order.”
And working out?
“Yep, my four kids (5, 6, 7, and 10) take care of that,” she says.
“Girls typically don’t want to shove food into their face. It’s not seen as ladylike,” she says. “But it’s all about time. I’m not trying to be prim and proper.”
Schuyler met her best friend on the circuit—they are the top two female competitive eaters in the U.S. Through her career, she’s met many amazing people.
“It’s not for the money,” she says. “I do it for the people. I’ve met some of my best friends doing this.”
Contracts prevent her from identifying the event, but one of Schuyler’s next challenges is an international competition. She also plans one more dance with The Stellanator.
“I’m gonna do it again,” she winks. “I think I can hit three minutes.”