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Live Big: Jillian Michaels on Exercise, Weight Loss, and The Biggest Loser

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More Fitness and Motivation Tips from Jillian Michaels

You 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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smithlb10 wrote:

Jillian inspires me!!

1/25/2014 02:55:24 PM Report Abuse
jgialloren63462 wrote:

Jillian has inspired me to want to look like her. She is brilliant and within a week of doing her workouts you see results. She is brilliant and I really wish I could meet her she has inspired me so much that I wish I had become a personal trainer just like her. I have people asking me all the time what are doing you look great and all I say is thanks Jillian.

9/3/2013 06:07:32 AM Report Abuse
dixianaman wrote:

I would like to see her be pregnant for nine months, like most women in this world and then see how quick she would have her body back to how it is now.

2/10/2012 03:08:25 PM Report Abuse
deb2gym1 wrote:

Like everyone else has said, "She is a total package". I have been following her for at least five years and 65lbs later, I glad to say I am more happier in my life. She gives a fine example of my generation that you need to give some inspiration to someone, you get back in full force of enrichments. Luv you to death, Ms. Jillian. So one day meet with you. Hope all your dreams come true. A true fan from CT debbie

11/18/2011 10:34:13 AM Report Abuse
LeAura wrote:

Jillian is direct and clear and a woman on a mission to make a positive difference! She's a learner who keeps on learning, growing and improving with age. Go Jillian! :-)

8/6/2011 04:53:40 PM Report Abuse

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