Live Big: Jillian Michaels on Exercise, Weight Loss, and The Biggest Loser
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- Jillian Michaels on Exercise and Staying Fit and Motivated
- More Fitness and Motivation Tips from Jillian Michaels
More Fitness and Motivation Tips from Jillian MichaelsYou were overweight as a kid. Are you still influenced by an inner fat girl?
Having been the bullied kid, I have a tremendous empathy for the underdog. I struggle against that feeling of being out of control, and so I'm hyperfocused on being in control and helping others get it. I don't have sympathy for the underdog, though. I feel like that's, Aww . . . you are weak, poor you. [Bleep] that! I will say, it's not easy to make a change. I understand that. It's not easy for me, either. But you can do it.You're a control freak. How do you think motherhood will change you?
I'm sure it'll be extraordinarily humbling -- being confronted with all the things you don't know, being worried about not making the right choices. But I imagine that it's going to force me to unplug. I'm looking forward to that.How will your parenting style differ from your training style?
It's constant positive reinforcement with kids. There are rules and accountability, but would I ever use fear to circumvent a negative behavior pattern? No! Everyone thinks that I go around yelling at people. The Biggest Loser is crisis mode. People are hundreds of pounds overweight. I'm running an intervention on that show. I don't go through life that way.You're so confident. Do you ever feel insecure?
With my work, I am supremely confident. I'm insecure in my relationships. I hate being vulnerable. And if you can't be vulnerable in relationships, you can't be truly intimate. I'm insecure about any kind of uncharted territory. I've never done a daytime show. I don't know, I could suck.Doubtful! Tell us one thing you suck at.
Everything! [Laughs.] Everything except this job. I can't cook. I can't dance. I can't sing. I can't play an instrument. I have no artistic ability. I'm almost like a savant. I know my job, and I'm meant to do what I do. But with everything else, I'm a work in progress.What advice do women always ask you for?
They get caught on plateaus. In that case what you need to do is give yourself a couple of days of rest and bump up your calories by 10 percent. When you lose weight quickly, your body often responds by releasing hormones to increase your appetite and store more fat. That's a survival instinct meant to help us conserve fuel during times of famine. You can outsmart it by eating a little more and resting. That usually helps jump-start your metabolism again.What's the biggest mistake that fitness newbies make?
Number one is that people don't educate themselves. They do things like the latest diet craze. Learn about lasting programs that have shown consistent results. Then take deliberate actions to make your dreams come true. Don't be impulsive and do something that's going to backfire. That begins a vicious circle of, I'm a failure, nothing works for me.Is it possible to have the perfect body?
No. What you can have is your ideal body. I think people need to stop focusing on body image and start focusing on health. When you do that, it's all going to fall into place.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2011.
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