SIDNEY — Sidney resident Cheritha Miller is vying in a national competition to win the cover of Muscle & Fitness HERS Magazine.
She is competing to make it through seven rounds of voting to get to the finals, which ends on Aug. 5. The first round of voting to make the top 15 ends on June 24. As of Tuesday afternoon, June 22, Muscle & Fitness HERS Magazine lists Miller in second place in her group. Then voting to make the top 10, runs from June 24-July 1. Voting continues on until the finals.
Although Miller has competed in numerous weightlifting competitions over the years, if she wins, this will be her first magazine cover.
“I fell in love the idea of being fit. And I wanted to inspire anybody and everybody I could. It’s not just about lifting weights, it’s about being the most healthy you can be,” Miller said when asked how she has maintained her motivation over the years.
Miller said if she got the cover, the greatest reward would be to be on the cover, but she would also take home $20,000 as the next Ms. Health and Fitness. If named Ms. Health and Fitness, Miller said she would probably build a gym, since she is a personal trainer, so she could “teach and help others.”
“My step-aunt commented on an advertisement for the (Muscle & Fitness HERS Magazine cover) competition and saw I it and decided to signed up for it,” Miller said.
The wife and mother of two little girls and a teenage stepdaughter has been powerlifting since she joined her Riverside High School powerlifing team in DeGraff during her sophomore year. She continued with her sport in college at Bowling Green. Now in her 20s and using her knowledge as a personal trainer, Miller is still working hard to improve everyday.
“I was raised with all boys. My cousins are boys and I only had a brother. And my brother was doing it (powerlifting), and I thought, ‘I want to try it too,’” Miller said of how she got started down the fitness path that has turned into a career.
Since she was a teenager, Miller has been fairly consistent with weight training. She admits to not taking her diet as seriously when she was younger as she does now, but has always strived to maintain a healthy lifestyle. She took a two-year break from lifting to have daughters, Asher, 5, and Vera, 4, in 2016 and 2017, back-to-back, and earlier this spring, her training was set back by a couple of months due to a surgery, but now she is back on track.
Miller lifts weights five days a week for an hour and a half up to two hours per session. She also closely monitors her diet.
“I started by watching my macros. I watch my protein, carbs and fat (intake),” Miller said of how she stays on track with her diet. “I track my diet on an app that tracks what I eat and keeps me conscious of what I’m doing.”
Competition divisions are based upon age and powerlifting competitions within various federations occur every weekend all over Ohio and across the country, she said.
When the magazine asked her what she would recommend to others who want to be fit and healthy, she replied, “to never to give up. There will be failures and victories, but it is all progress. Keep your head up and keep going. Even if you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere and you feel like quitting…don’t.”
“I look at (my training) as that I’m trying to set a good example for them (her daughters). I’m doing what I love to do, being a mom, and doing my job and doing my best in the community.” And when asked if it’s difficult to balance her passion with other responsibilities, Miller said with a chuckle, “It can be kind of hard, I’m not going to lie.”
Sometimes she asks her girls to sit on her back while she does as many push ups as possible as a way to train while being mom. Currently, Miller is up to 405 pounds on the dead-lifts, 205 pounds on the bench and can squat 330 pounds. She is considering switching from powerlifting, which is all about strength, to bodybuilding, which is more about being fit and having no body fat.
Aside from being a personal trainer, Miller, and her pastor, is also launching a “Boot Camp” fitness program at her church, Solid Rock Church in Sidney, on July 5, which she hopes will help others “get moving and get healthy.”
To vote for free to help Miller stay in the top 15, and then beyond through Aug. 5, visit Muscle & Fitness HERS Magazine competition’s voting page for Miller at: https://mshealthandfitness.com/2021/cheritha-m
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.