We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

“Eating competitions are about 70 percent mental, and 30 percent physical. Physical meaning stomach capacity. Sometimes when you’re eating a lot of food you think ‘oh, I’m getting full’ or ‘I’m getting sick,’ but you have to get over that. You push yourself and control it. Sometimes when I swallow one food I feel like throwing up, but then I have to control that feeling. Maybe I drink some liquid, try to get the air out by burping, and then  there’s more stomach room so you can eat more. Some people who can’t handle that throw up during the contest. That’s mental. Speed eating is like running: if you have a little mistake, mentally you lose.”—-Alexandria native Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, speaking to Washingtonian in advance of Sunday’s World Chili Eating Championship at Taste of D.C.

Photo courtesy of Major League Eating