Cherish "5 Pounds" Brown
Food Challenge News Author
Hey, everyone! Cherish here.
Let me just say that I am so excited to be a new addition to the writing staff at Food Challenge News. Writing is something that I have always been passionate about, but life, death, and everything else in between kind of made it fall by the wayside.
Maybe I should start by telling you a little bit about myself.
I was born in 1989 in Angola, Indiana, and raised outside of a small town in Northwestern Ohio.
Growing up, I was your typical shy kid who loved to read (I remember many occasions where I asked the teacher if I could stay inside and read during recess!), I loved scary movies (Slumber Party Massacre, anyone?), and I loved 'NSync (it was just a SLIGHTLY unhealthy addiction, I promise). I also had a bit of social anxiety, which led to me eventually being homeschooled beginning in the 5th grade and lasting until the 11th, when I graduated a year early. Aside from hanging out with friends, going to a ridiculous amount of concerts, and volunteering at my local Board of Elections, nothing noteworthy happened until I had my first child in 2011, Daphne Lyric.
She was soon followed by her brother, Dexter Danger, in 2013, and for years after they were born, I dedicated myself one hundred percent to being a mother.
This means that for six years, I took a ridiculous amount of trips to the zoo, the park, the library, and the movies, and in my spare time, I read books and caught up on TV shows. But everything changed one day when I stepped on the scale, and it read 226. (Cue the shocked face emoji here.)
At that point, I knew this was not going to fly. Having (knowingly) never been over 170 in my entire life, I started dieting and exercising immediately. One night, I found myself watching UFC when I thought: “Huh, this looks like fun, I could do this.” Of course, everyone who knew me said it would never happen. Remember, I was the shy kid who read books when it was time for recess. I was also the kid who didn’t take it lightly when I was told no.
So exactly one year later, I had my first MMA fight at 135 pounds and won in the second round by TKO. From then on, I was hooked. Training, fighting, and competing became a permanent part of my life; even my children trained with me!
Everything was going perfectly, until Daphne was diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer, DIPG, in 2019.
For the next 11 months, she fought with everything she had but passed away at the age of 9 in August of 2020.
Only six months after that, Dexter would be diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. Throughout all of this, I had stayed consistent with my training and nutrition and had also completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, but I still felt lost. This is when I discovered that competitive eating existed.
I had always known about the classic TV show, Man v. Food, but had no idea that people traveled around doing food challenges and posting them to their YouTube channels!
After watching some of Randy Santel’s videos, the first thing that went through my head was, “Huh, this looks like fun. I could do this.” And the rest, as they say, is history. After winning double gold (for the first time!) in a jiu-jitsu competition that summer, I was ready to take on my first food challenge. I had no idea what I was doing, no idea how to train, and no idea how to edit my own videos, but I won, and I was hooked. (Starting to notice a pattern here?)
So began the crazy life that I lead now, where Dexter and I get to travel around with some of the best friends I have ever had, doing food challenges and whatever other spontaneous things we can get ourselves into.
Since beginning my life as a competitive eater just one short year ago, I’ve had 24 food challenge wins, competed in 4 eating contests, collaborated with Joel Hansen, and gained nearly 500 subscribers! That’s not even to mention jiu-jitsu, in which I still train anywhere from 3-6 times a week and travel to compete frequently, gaining a few more gold and silver medals along the way. I'm also more than halfway through my Master’s degree!
Now begins my new journey as a writer for Food Challenge News, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.