The 2011 Champions of Health and Fitness
Pages in this Story:
- America's Doctor: Regina Benjamin, MD
- Compassionate Medicine: Roseanna Means, MD
- The Wheel Deal: Chris Carney
- Budding Genius: Donna Cavato
- Tough-Love Trainer: Jillian Michaels
- Healing Force: Kathryn Schmitz, PhD
- Class Act: John Skretta
- Action Heroine: Jessica Biel
- Social Networker: Chris Downie
- Food Revolutionary: Jamie Oliver
Tough-Love Trainer: Jillian Michaels
By Patty Adams Martinez
She's been called a drill sergeant, but Jillian Michaels wants you to know that she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. "When people are being self-destructive, it's usually unconscious," she has said. "And so I create confrontations, interventions, where they can become aware of unhealthy choices they're making and the reasons they're making them. Do you know how easy it would be to tell people what they want to hear? Unfortunately, it doesn't get the job done." And Michaels always gets the job done. Millions tune in to watch her on The Biggest Loser and Losing It with Jillian, and they buy her best-selling books, exercise DVDs, video games, and nutritional supplements.
A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Michaels formed her tough-love approach to fitness at age 14, when she was "the chubby ugly duckling who ate lunch alone every day. Karate saved my life," Michaels has said. It helped her slim down and gave her discipline and confidence. Going through her own personal transformation taught her what works with others -- namely, setting goals that make people really want to change. "Feeling good in a bathing suit, or seeing your grandchildren graduate from high school: Those things are worth it," Michaels has said. "It's not just about being fat and then being thin. When you're healthy physically, you're healthy in every aspect of life."
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