Sunday, August 5, 2012
IFBB Pro Emery Miller Interview
Photos 1-5: RX Muscle
Emery Miller is a true story of overcoming obstacles and challenges. She has gone from overweight, battling two eating disorders to winning her IFBB bodybuilding pro car at the 2004 Nationals. Recently Emery took fifth place at the Chicago Pro, even more impressive when considering the level of competition she was up against. Emery looked incredible and had definitely added a good amount of muscle since she last competed in 2010. She is now getting ready for the Tampa Pro and as you will read, she feels even better than she did for Chicago. Will be very exciting to see what he brings to the stage in Tampa.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I was off and on skinny, fat, skinny, fat, from puberty on. I was a tiny little scrawny girl that was taught to compulsively over eat, it is the way my family raised me. Now, they have identified hormonal things that caused this, but at the time they didn't know this, my weight doubled in one year. That is the year I became body aware and was already obese. I ended up being bulimic, I have a dual eating disorder, compulsive over eating and bulimia. I have been in remission since 2006. It was on again off again dieting my whole life. BY the time I was married, it was 1998, I was diagnosed as significantly obese right after my husband was diagnosed morbidly obese. Having had injuries as a teenager, I was unable to sit on the toilet or couch by myself and they were talking about giving me a walker, I was only thirty-three years old. My ex husband was about to die because he was morbidly obese. I am also the child of a pastry baker so that doesn't help. So, we couldn't do aerobics because of the impact on his knees and my back, so we took up bodybuilding. I had no interest in bodybuilding, thought the girls were to big. Wanted to look like Lena Johansson because I thought she was the right size. I ended up doing so well that I decided to compete and three years later I won my pro card after losing one hundred and ten pounds. I don't have back issues anymore, my eating disorder will never be gone because it is like alcoholism, you are never not an alcoholic, but I have been in recovery since I started bodybuilding. It has healed me and saved my life. It has given me self-esteem, taught me to eat properly, saved my body so I can move.
Q: When you look back to when you started, would you have ever imagined adding the amount of muscle you have added?
A: I had no interest in adding any haha. I just wanted to lose weight. Up until last year I had no interest in being "big big", cause I didn't think I would enjoy feeling big. Since last year I have added six pounds of muscle and I love it so much. I am excited for the next off-season, I cant wait to get bigger.
Q: What made you decide to try and compete?
A: I don't know, I cant answer that, I just one day decided I was going to haha. The first time in my life I was good at something.
Q: You won your pro card at the 2004 Nationals...
A: Yeah, a lot of people including my dear friend Steve Wennerstrom, he is an amazing historian, but he always gets this wrong, he has corrected himself like five times, he keeps writing that I won my pro car as a lightweight. I won USA's in 2003 as a lightweight, I won my pro card at 2004 Nationals as a middleweight. I weighed 119LBS.
Q: When you realized you were getting your pro card, what went through your head?
A: Steve was backstage and I asked him "are you sure that's all I have to do?" It was just unreal. I had read that only one in sixty get their pro card, and it seemed like "that's it?" You don't realize when you get your pro card that that really is it. The magazine articles pretty much stop, you don't get as many photos, you don't get as much attention, your opportunities are cut as far as stage goes. As an amateur you are used to getting trophies all the time when you are good, that pretty much stops because now it is all people who are worthy of pro cards. There are a lot less shows. As an amateur their are like eight shows per states, as a pro there are eight shows total maybe. You have to find different ways for gratification. Doing all this work and getting a trophy makes it seem worth it, doing all this work and getting nothing but a t-shirt makes it difficult to mentally justify training all the time.
Q: You just took fifth at the Chicago pro....
A: And incidentally that is the first trophy I have gotten as a pro haha, since 2004 till now.
Q: There were a lot of good competitors on that stage, so how happy were you with that?
A: Overjoyed. I have always hoped for top five. I have always wanted that. We all want first, but having not broken the top five, it was huge for me. I was the only one backstage jumping up and down like a goober. Everyone was laughing at me as I was skipping all over the place. I brought that big check home, the big cardboard one. It is on my book shelf haha.
Q: It has been two years since you competed, why did you pick his show?
A: I never intend to skip a year, it's cause I cant afford to compete. It costs more than five thousand dollars to get ready for a show.
Q: You mentioned the added muscle, in pictures it also appeared your conditioning was better, would you agree?
A: I don't see that, I only see the added muscle. I am too close to it maybe. My conditioning has always been decent, but my skin is tighter because of the extra muscle. I have had Dave Palumbo for the last five years and I always feel I go on stage dry.
Q: When are you competing next?
A: I am doing Tampa, then whenever the next viable show is. I don't pick them by where they are or who is in them. It is what show is most advantageous for my off-season.
Q: It is not much time, but from Chicago to Tampa, how do you want to be better?
A: I know I look better already. The last thirty days training for Chicago was horrendous. There was a week I didn't make the gym when I got sick, there was a week my training was bad cause I had lost motivation. The worst last thirty days for a show I ever had.
Q: Well if it was that bad and you looked that good with all that going on...
A: I have been hitting it hard.
Q: When you are in the gym, do you get a lot of stares or attention?
A: I work out when the gym is closed at 1:00am. There is not even any staff there. When I was at a gym that was open, I had gotten starred at when I was fat so much that I never see anyone looking at me. People always ask me that, and I never see it. If I went through my day paying attention to other peoples reaction of me, I would never get anything done. My day is so busy I don't have time to notice what everyone else is noticing.
Q: You have a website, you want to mention that and tell people what is there?
A: I just put it back up. It was down for six years because I had a really sleazy webmaster that deleted all the content. It is up now, it has new videos and will have new stuff coming once I can focus on it. It is emerymiller.com. Tons of stuff on there and more to come. My webmaster is amazing and I don't have to worry about the crap I had before. I am so excited about my new life and where things are going. I am excited to step on stage again. I am hoping for top five again. I have always been proud to be top ten to be honest, coming from obese like I was. I will be at the Olympia whether I qualify or not, so if you see me say hi. I don't like it when people say "we say you" but didn't say hi.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Dave Palumbo, he has to be the most patient man ever. I must have been like bridezilla with the diet. My brother Jack is an amazing support. My boyfriend in England has been there for me night and day. My daughter, my dog for putting up with not getting scraps off my plate haha. Everyone from facebook and chat rooms. We wouldn't have a sport if it wasn't for them. Female bodybuilders don't have a lot of support except from our fans. Fans keep us here and have been so good to us. I am so grateful to them for the support and positive words.