Liv achieves ul­ti­mate goal

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

Whether she is walk­ing down the street, pick­ing up the gro­ceries or drop­ping her daugh­ter Cruiz at day care, Liv Miller is used to turn­ing heads.

While the ‘funny looks’ used to bother her, she has ac­cepted she is not ev­ery­one’s ‘cup of tea’.

“It has taken me a while to un­der­stand that I am dif­fer­ent and that what I do is un­usual, par­tic­u­larly for a woman,” she said.

“I know that I look dif­fer­ent and I think that’s why I like it.

“I don’t ac­tu­ally want to look like this for ever, but for now, I’ve found some­thing I’m good at and I want to push my­self to see what I can achieve.”

Miller, who grew up on her fam­ily’s farm at La­harum and now lives in Dar­win, took up body­build­ing about eight years ago.

Dur­ing the past fort­night, she has reached the pin­na­cle of her ca­reer to date – com­ing third in Aus­tralia’s pre­mier body­build­ing com­pe­ti­tion and win­ning pro­fes­sional sta­tus in an event in New Zealand.

Miller col­lected bronze against a stel­lar field in the women’s physique di­vi­sion at the Arnold Clas­sic Aus­tralia in Mel­bourne on March 16.

A few days later she flew across the ditch to com­pete in the New Zealand Pro Am, win­ning her event to se­cure an IFBB – In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Body­build­ing and Fit­ness – Pro Card.

“New Zealand was awe­some,” Miller said.

“It is any body­builder’s dream to win a pro card. I have achieved my ul­ti­mate body­build­ing goal – I am no longer clas­si­fied as an am­a­teur and I can com­pete world­wide on the pro cir­cuit.”

Miller said the New Zealand Pro Am had a two-show for­mat.

“We had pre-judg­ing at 9am and then the fi­nals started at 5pm,” she said.

“I didn’t get onto the stage un­til nearly mid­night, which is a long time to stay de­hy­drated and in peak con­di­tion.”

She said her per­for­mances at the ‘Arnolds’ and the clas­sic cir­cuit’s qual­i­fy­ing events stood her in good stead for the in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

“The Arnolds have been on my radar since I be­gan body­build­ing eight years ago. It is the pin­na­cle of body­build­ing in Aus­tralia,” Miller said.

“I felt like I was jump­ing in the deep end a bit. I started prep­ping in Oc­to­ber, when Cruiz was about 10 months old.

“I de­cided af­ter hav­ing her it was time to get back into it.”

Miller com­peted in two of four qual­i­fy­ing events, in the same week­end, win­ning in Perth and com­ing second in Mel­bourne.

“In the lead-up to the fi­nal I had scouted out my com­pe­ti­tion and thought I could make top four,” she said.

“My main goal was to look like I be­longed there. I fig­ured it didn’t mat­ter if I came last, as long as I looked like I was com­pe­ti­tion. I wanted to make sure I gave them a run for their money. To fin­ish third was un­be­liev­able.

“Fif­teen months on from hav­ing a baby, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve achieved. Cruiz also loved it – she’s fas­ci­nated by the sparkly biki­nis.”

Ded­i­ca­tion

There is no doubt Miller is ded­i­cated to her sport.

She hits the tread­mill in her lounge room each morn­ing at 4am and does daily car­dio and weight train­ing ses­sions.

Along with run­ning around af­ter an ac­tive tod­dler, Miller is also plan­ning her wed­ding to fi­ancé Greg Thomas in May and runs her own per­sonal train­ing busi­ness. “Life is def­i­nitely busy,” she said. “It’s hard be­cause Greg does fly in, fly out work and is only home for six days out of 35. Plus, be­ing up in Dar­win I don’t have my mum, or sis­ter or aun­ties around the cor­ner to help out.

“That prob­a­bly makes my prep a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to other peo­ple’s.”

Miller said de­spite try­ing to fit so much into 24 hours a day, the men­tal side of body­build­ing was in­fin­itely harder than the phys­i­cal as­pect.

“Body­build­ing is such an in­di­vid­ual sport – it’s all on you,” she said.

“No­body knows if you sneak a Mars Bar at a servo or if you have a sausage roll for lunch when you’re home alone. But you do. And your body does.

“Your body is the best food di­ary you’ve got.”

Miller said months of phys­i­cal train­ing, sup­ple­ments, food re­stric­tion and sac­ri­fice came down to five min­utes on a stage.

“The judges don’t care if you have the nicest per­son­al­ity in the world, they are purely judg­ing you on your body at that spe­cific mo­ment in time,” she said.

“And the thing is, you don’t look the same ev­ery day. One day I look good and then the next day I’m salt load­ing and I’ve drunk 10 litres of wa­ter and look all flu­idy, with the aim of look­ing dry, tight and con­di­tioned the fol­low­ing day. It’s all about strict tim­ing.

“It’s not like footy or netball where if you have a bad game you can pick your­self up again the next week. Or you’re part of a team and some­one will cover you.

“If you don’t present at your best you can’t just come back the next week and try again. You have an­other six months of prepa­ra­tion be­fore you can have an­other go.”

Europe beck­ons

Miller plans to re­lax her diet and train­ing slightly in the lead-up to her wed­ding, but come the end of May it’s all sys­tems go for her Euro­pean de­but.

She has set her sights on events in Ali­cante, Spain in Oc­to­ber and Mi­lan, Italy in Novem­ber.

“It is go­ing to take a while to es­tab­lish my­self on the pro cir­cuit – it’s the best of the best,” she said.

“I don’t ex­pect to place in my first year. My aim is to get enough points to qual­ify for the Olympia in Las Ve­gas, the best body­build­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the world.

“I’ve been five times as a spec­ta­tor – my aim is to be up there on the stage.”

Miller said the key to any sport­ing or fit­ness pur­suit was to find some­thing you en­joyed.

“You’ve got to re­ally want she said.

“Any time I go to hit the snooze but­ton or cheat on my diet I think, ‘would the girl I will be stand­ing next to have hit snooze? Or cheated on her diet?’.

“No? Then. I’m not go­ing ei­ther.” it,” to

DREAM­ING BIG: Body­builder Liv Miller cel­e­brates her bronze medal at the Arnold Clas­sic Aus­tralia in Mel­bourne.

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