Living and Eating Like a Gladiator Champ
Who would’ve thought a small town girl from Hobart, Indiana, would go on to be crowned champion of the iconic TV show American Gladiators? Or that for 10 years, she would run her own educational fitness show on TV, fittingly named The Body Perfect by Cheryl?
These are just glimpses of Cheryl Ann Silich’s life’s work of advocating for health and fitness while chasing one’s dreams.
Cheryl comes from a large family of six kids and was the first to be college educated. In fact, during her college years, she also managed her own business teaching 100 girls gymnastics, tap dancing, and ballet. In her younger years, she worked a paper route so she could buy a balance beam to make it to the Olympics. And when she didn’t make it to the Olympics, she bought a unicycle in hopes of joining the circus.
Yes, she was that girl.
It was after Cheryl’s success on American Gladiator that she felt compelled to do something about the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. She saw a need for fitness professionals to address it, and so she put together a children’s film called Adventures in Oz. It was a combination of her personal affinity for The Wizard of Oz and fitness — “taking kids down the yellow brick road to exercise,” she says.
As one might imagine, her journey with fitness has been intertwined with eating healthy and being healthy overall.
“We ingest more than just food,” the 54-year-old says. “We ingest with our eyes, our mind, our ears, and our heart. Those are the things that cause addiction, in my opinion. The most important thing I eat and ingest is truth and love.”
It is Cheryl’s Christian faith that keeps her rooted in this truth and love, and it is what she believes affects what she puts in her body.
“We all have the same vehicle. It’s just, ‘What do you fuel it with?’”
Cheryl drinks at least a gallon of water per day.
“That alone will change your life,” she says. “It’ll change your skin, all of your bodily functions. It will hydrate you.”
For breakfast, she’ll have a smoothie with 16 ounces of water, a banana, 30 grams of whey protein powder, and ½ cup of Quaker raw oats.
“The oatmeal is the key. It’s the cleanest carb I know. I love it. And it’ll keep you for hours.”
Lunch may be a protein bar (it must have 20 grams or more of protein) or a leftover piece of chicken breast or fish like cod or salmon. Dinner typically mimics lunch. She stays away from processed foods and many seasonings.
Cheryl encourages others to move beyond the excuses to truly achieve their dreams.
“Stop making excuses of why you can’t,” she adds. “Just do a complete fast from coming up with excuses in life for even a day… We limit ourselves by our excuses.”
You can follow Cheryl and her work by tuning in to her every weekday, 5:30-6pm, as she hosts Community Link on 94.7FM radio.