Competitive eating is not for everyone, and even those in the industry face some challenges. Leah Shutkever, a professional eater, said goodbye to a career in interior design to nurture her talent for consuming large quantities of food in a short amount of time.
Even with her strange talent, she once passed out during a food challenge and ended up at the hospital to get treatment.
In the video below, Shutkever is taking part in a burger-eating contest. Her large competitor didn't stand a chance.
On YouTube, Shutkever has more than 300k subscribers. Her Instagram account has 160k followers.
Her eating talent has helped her break 26 Guinness World Records.
She has made a lot of progress quickly, but that does not mean the journey to the top has not been challenging.
Obviously, it takes a lot of practice to master the art of clearing large platters of food at incredible speeds.
To ensure she is in her best form, she likes to train hard and fast before any challenges to keep her body in perfect working order. No wonder she calls her body a machine.
During an eating competition in Japan, she ate so much that blood left her brain and made her pass out. She had to be rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Nevertheless, she had requested that the challenge be put to a stop on three different occasions but was instead forced to keep going until she passed out.
Not surprisingly, the challenge she was filming for a Japanese TV show never aired because she lost her consciousness.
She later said the circumstances of the competition were unlike those she was used to.
The competitive eater has low blood sugar, which she thought might have affected the oxygen levels in her body. The room where the challenge was taking place was hot, and it was underground and filled with people, lots of light, and cameras.
She blacked out just as the competition was coming to an end. The lack of enough air in the room had something to do with this.
As frightening as the experience was, it has not slowed down her career as a competitive eater. Fortunately, she has never had such an incident since then.
Also, after the doctor did tests on her blood and everything else, he said that she was okay. So, there was no other reason behind her loss of unconsciousness except for the unfavorable set of circumstances she faced during the competition.
Now that she has become a big name in competitive eating circles, she gets to pick and choose the challenges she would like to be part of. Based on the scary experience, she is careful not to again put herself in the same position.
She is also confident in her speed-eating pursuits, knowing that she tried to end the competition during the filming on three separate occasions because her body was telling her something was wrong.
Unfortunately, despite her warnings, they kept rolling.
The competitors were eating four kilos of Japan's "take" on British food, which meant she got a platter that was highly misrepresented.
Today, Shutkever has learned a lot, but she also doesn't like to live a life of regrets.
All the experiences she has been through have taught her something. Most notably, she has learned to set boundaries:
"I feel like all of these experiences are ones to be learned from, and moving forward now as a woman doing these things that have never been done before at this capacity, I need to be able to really state my boundaries and be able to say no when things aren't cool."