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She is a new kind of health-and-wellness expert: the dreamy drill sergeant whose supertoned body has given women an attainable alternative to the rail-thin aesthetic. In Jillian Michaels's 10 seasons on The Biggest Loser her teams won every time, and her success has taken her where no trainer had gone before: onto countless magazine covers and into Super Bowl ads. Her DVDs, books, podcast, WiiFit and Xbox games, and fitness equipment and apparel have made Michaels, 38, an industry unto herself.
Her many fans know that Michaels's woman-of-steel persona springs from her own weight-loss struggles as a teenager, which she conquered after taking up martial arts. They also know that her hard shell surrounds a soft-candy center.
Michaels is in the process of adopting a child, and she says pending motherhood has already changed her thinking. "In a perfect world, I would be trying to make a dent in causes that matter to me, like child protection and welfare," she muses. "The one thing I've learned for sure is that you can plan all you want, but your best bet is to prepare for anything."