Dropping Down + Giving Us 20: Jillian Michaels on the Fine Art of Fitness

Personal trainer, businesswoman, author and television personality Jillian Michaels may be familiar to you The biggest loser, but that only scratches the surface. Join us The Carlos Watson Show this week as they talk about how she became a fitness expert, her best advice for success and her attitude towards body positivity. You can find excerpts below or listen to the full interview on the show’s podcast feed.

Where everything began

Carlos Watson: How did you come to be a fitness expert?

Jillian Michaels: I was an overweight child who used food as a coping mechanism in myriad ways, whether for control or comfort, or to bond with my father, who also struggled with food use. And my dad had an addictive personality – food was just one of those things. But that’s how I learned to relate to him. Anyway, this was an issue for me when I was young.

And my parents divorced when I was about 12, and my mother had the foresight to get me into martial arts. She thought, “She needs an outlet,” because I was being bullied at school and everything was a mess at home. And she must have known that that would give me some confidence. So she got me into martial arts because she thought it could be good for Jillian.

It took a lot of time. But over time, I started to rebuild my confidence, self-esteem, self-esteem, and self-image. And then, as I felt better about who I was and more capable of achieving what I thought I could achieve, or more confident in what I thought I could achieve, I also started looking at nutrition. Be more proud of my looks. By the time I was 17 I was very fit, training for my black belt and started exercising because people at the gym saw me and thought I was a trainer. I delivered pizza, I think for about $5 an hour, and ended up becoming a trainer for $15 an hour. And luckily my mother had the foresight again to get me my first little certificate of education and I fell in love with him.

recipe for success?

Watson: What was the smartest thing about trying to teach a young Jillian how to do it, what was the smartest thing you did in that window to make it and break through?

Michael’s: To be honest, it’s that simple. I think the basics get overlooked these days because it’s all hacking, but it’s grit. It’s a passion for what you do. It’s about being authentic with your message, even if people don’t like it and even if they don’t like you. I have so many haters it’s ridiculous. And yet they all work for me. I swear to god we talked about that. A woman who wrote an 8-page review of my app. And it was like Jillian’s this and Jillian’s that and what a terrible person I am. Despite this, she wrote an eight-page review and trained with my program for three months. And I think that’s because you might not like Jillian, but on some level you have to believe that because you’ve chosen to train with me, I need to know what I’m doing.

It’s just junk. There is no hack. You’re the first in, you’re the last to leave. you work on weekends They don’t ask for vacation days. That’s what it takes. It’s easy. And for a younger generation, these Millennials, they are so smart and so innovative. And they really found ways to hack a lot of different things. But at the same time I think it’s perseverance and this overwhelming next level of success; It’s sand, man. It does everything that is necessary. It works your ass off, period.

Watson: What brings you the greatest joy, at least today? What I realize may be different than the things that brought you joy five years ago or 20 years ago, but what brings you joy today? what makes you smile

Michael’s: I mean, there’s the obvious cliché of kids. I mean, I used to hate when people say that because you’re like, ‘Oh, you have to say that. OK. I know you’re a good mom.” At first I would have said to you, “Oh my god, this is the hardest job ever. It’s so difficult.” When they were little babies, toddlers — really, I thought, “Man, I don’t think I can do this job. I’m not good at it. I’m terrible at this job.” But then will they’re a little bit older. My daughter just turned 11 and my son just turned 9 and it’s getting so much easier. And I think you stop stressing yourself out so much, worrying so much. And you just become… I mean for me personally I like that age. Some people like babies, some people like toddlers, that’s a great age for me. I just find them hysterical. Everything they say is hysterical to me and they just get theirs own little personality. So ridiculous and witty and dry and witty and outrageous in the best sense. Sometimes they’re obnoxious, they’re people.

But I love that. I ask, ‘Where did that come from? Who are you in?” And it’s never the parts that are like me; It’s the parts that make you think, “Where did you pick that up?” That it’s such an exciting surprise. They’re like little homies. Yes, I am her mother. I’m not their friend, but you can adventure with them and it’s great. In addition, I believe that I enjoy my work. I love my work so much.

Seeing people do amazing things, whether it’s helping refugees or helping animals, it brings me so much joy. If I can participate a little bit, all the better. But these stories and after that and being a small part of it really moves me deeply. And it gives me hope because I think in today’s world it’s easy to get a bit nihilistic and cynical. You must really try to focus your attention on the good. Wasn’t it Mr. Rogers – focus on the helpers? So I try to focus on that as much as possible.

Your take on the body positivity movement

Watson: Hey, tell me about the controversy with Lizzo and others, the whole weight discussion. You’ve heard people challenge. Is that fat shaming? First of all, what happened? And second, how do you feel about what happened?

Michael’s: This poor woman, every time I give an interview, her name pops up. She must want to die. So I never really raised her. I want to make that clear. She was brought to me and I would like to separate her from the matter if at all possible. And that’s what I should have done the first time I was asked. I should have said, “Let’s separate an individual from a conversation about health.” And that’s where I really went wrong. That’s literally the only place I’ll tell you I went wrong. If the conversation is about celebrating obesity, I would tell you that we individuals need to celebrate. This is important. And obesity shouldn’t have anything to do with it, for better or for worse.

We shouldn’t celebrate someone because they’re tall. We shouldn’t celebrate someone because they’re small. We should celebrate someone for the quality of their character. Obesity is just unhealthy. That’s it. And it has no value in the quality of man or the validity of his competence, his value. None of that matters. You are not connected. Those are two completely separate issues. The fact that these things have been woven into a bizarre, politically correct alternate universe is an absolute disgrace, because we’re not doing anyone any favors.

If you are an expert in a category, you have a responsibility to tell the truth, whether it endears you or not. “Oh, being 3,400 pounds isn’t healthy?” No, it isn’t. It’s scientifically proven. It’s science, period. That’s all it is. So actually say, “Hey, look. This is dangerous. Seven out of 10 Americans take medication for obesity-related diseases.” Obesity is the biggest contributor to mortality rates relative to anything else going on in the world. I mean, it’s directly related to cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes. I mean, we can move on – erectile dysfunction, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s. We could go on and on.

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