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Oxford's Geoffrey Esper "A little bit puffy," but recovering from Nathan's hot dog eating contest

OXFORD – Like many others around the country, Oxford's Geoffrey Esper is trying to get his diet back on track following the 4th of July.

The Oxford resident took home second place in the annual Nathan's hot dog eating contest on Coney Island.  

"I'm a little bit puffy still from the salt in the hot dogs. But not too bad. I drank a lot of water yesterday," Esper told WBZ-TV on Wednesday.

Esper chowed down on 43 hot dogs and buns, coming in well behind perennial favorite Joey "Jaws" Chestnut's total of 63. But Esper's finish was the exact place he hoped to come in, knowing that Chestnut would run away with the crown.

Now, his focus is on digesting.

"You've got to try and get food as much as you can. You want to flush out the salt and everything," Esper said about his post-competition nutrition. "It's OK if you eat one or two hot dogs. But if you eat over 40 it tends to be a lot."

Esper also spoke about a viral moment that happened during the contest. A protester jumped on stage with a sign and approached Chestnut, who proceeded to put the protester in a headlock and take them down before continuing to feast.

"It happened right next to me. Chestnut bumped into me a little bit. That's how I knew something was going on," Esper said. "I usually eat with my eyes closed, so I didn't' even know anything was going on until I looked over. And by the time I looked over it was almost done. I was pretty impressed that he kept eating."

In the upcoming weeks, Esper will return to competitive eating. He will participate in a banana pudding eating competition, as well as rib eating.

Esper said that while his body does need some time to recover from Monday's event, it doesn't stop him from eating an occasional hot dog in a social setting.

"I don't avoid them. I would eat them normally. The contest doesn't ruin them. But I try to eat a healthy diet. Let's face it, if you're trying to eat healthy, you're not eating hot dogs," Esper said.

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