With pageant life front and center lately (thank you, Steve Harvey), we caught up with Miss Texas United States and subsequently Miss United States 2012, Whitney Miller, and Mrs. Texas United States 2015, Chelsea George, to find out what really goes on behind the curtain and what it takes to wear the crown.
Austin Fit Magazine: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Can you give us a little background?
Chelsea George: Certainly. I’m a mother of two, a military wife, and a resident of College Station. Although, that is sure to change this summer… we travel a lot due to my husband’s job. I’m currently studying for my dietitian license as well as continuing my work through the United States National Pageant.
Whitney Miller: I’m a wake-surf teaching, ONNIT sponsoring, MMA fighting, Jiu Jitsu studying Corpus Christi native. Basically everything opposite from your typical pageant queen.
AFM: So how did you get into the National United States Pageant Organization?
WM: I had been in pageants since I was a teenager. I won Miss Corpus Christi, then failed at Miss Texas Teen, and moved on to teaching and sponsoring wake surfing. Then, a friend of mine called and asked if I wanted to compete in Miss Texas United States, and since my body was in pretty good shape from my lake days, I said yes. I borrowed what I needed, filled out the form on the way to the competition and went for it.
CG: I had always been on stage for cheerleading, fitness competitions, and other events, so this was right up my alley. I knew the directors of this particular organization well and considered them to be fair and honest, so I signed up for Mrs. Texas United States.
AFM: What’s the difference between a ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs.’ competition, aside from the obvious?
CG: A woman must be single, under 26, and have no children or previous marriages to compete in the ‘Miss,’ whereas in my division, you have to be married at least 6 months. The number of children and age doesn’t necessarily matter.
WM: I also think the competitions are judged a little differently in that these women are in various stages of their life, and that’s exemplified through certain levels of maturity. ‘Miss’ gets away with showing a little more, in contrast to the ‘Teen’ or ‘Mrs.’ pageants where they expect the contestants to be a little bit more conservative.
AFM: How do you relax before standing in front of judges?
WM: I stretch, no matter what outfit I’m in. I ran track in high school, and stretching just hypes me up and gets me ready to go out there. Or I dance. I’ll dance my way onto that stage.
CG: Say a prayer. And being the health nut that I am, I make sure I had a really good breakfast that day.
AFM: What kind of food would that include?
CG: I am very picky. I was a vegan for 10 years, and even though I have since discovered a love for beef and eggs, I’m still choosy when it comes to my plate. I’m not a big fan of dairy, but I love Mexican food on my days off. Before a competition, I like to fill up on veggies like sweet potatoes, or beans and rice.
WM: When game day is coming up, I eat super clean depending on whether I need to cut or gain weight (for MMA weight divisions). I eat and drink a lot, mostly easily digestible foods, or any earth grown nutrients. My favorite healthy meal is my homemade ground venison or bison brown rice dish (soon to be on my website!). But on my cheat days, I’ll eat anything. Pizza rolls are a personal favorite.
AFM: What’s your favorite way to burn these calories?
WM: MMA and Jiu Jitsu are what I’m currently working at the most, but I enjoy classes that involve maces and club bells at the ONNIT gym. I’ve also been doing animal flow, which is a practice that involves a lot of groundwork, getting on your hands and knees, and working with your body weight.
CG: We have our own personal gym at home, as my husband and I both like to stay fit. I have a short attention span when it comes to working out, so I like hard-hitting super sets that involve heavy weights.
AFM: What would you say to someone interested in participating in pageant competitions?
CG: If you look at either of us, you’ll notice we’re not your typical runway model body type.
WM: And never will be.
CG: The pageant organization has really opened up to more body types, and it’s been good to see a curvier and more muscular woman take the crown.
WM: Growing up, I had always been told I was too muscular and needed to “tone it down,” yet I won the swimsuit division and went on to take the crown as well. It’s not just about your looks, it’s about bringing your personal best self to the table.
AFM: What do we have to look forward to from the two of you?
CG: I give up the crown in May, and move out of state this summer, but I will always continue to work for my platform, military families. Being a part of one, I realize the loved ones back home don’t get a lot of what they need, and I want to keep fighting for them. Once I complete my degree, I hope to work for a college or professional sports team as a dietician. I also want to spread the message that moms shouldn’t make excuses when it comes to fitness. We make it a family ordeal, and whether it’s 30 minutes outside or switching a chicken pot pie to grilled chicken with veggies, there are always ways to keep your family fit.
WM: I’ve always been an advocate for helping those who suffer overseas, but I recently discovered some issues in our own backyard that I’d like to start campaigning for. I’m also working on several aspects of my website, which launched last month (www.whitneymiller.us). I included an inclusive pageant training program, an unconventional hacking system if you will. I want girls to know that you don’t have to fit in a box, instead challenge your mindset and be different and fearless! There are also blogs for recipes, workouts, and my traveling adventures on the site. I’ll continue to work with ONNIT on podcasts and their Total Human Optimization program, and I hope to keep rising in my MMA and Jiu Jitsu career.