FitBeauty: Exclusive interview with Jillian MichaelsPosted on Aug 30th 2007 6:00AM by Jessica Ashley
This is new! FitBeauty is proud to profile real life Fit Beauties like that woman with the snarky t-shirt on the treadmill, the instructor of your spin class who seems to have perfect skin and a stay-put ponytail through every class, your spotter with the eyelash extensions and the trainer in the killer cross-trainers. Oh yeah, and you, darling. Because you're fabulous and we know it.
To kick off all this, I sat down with my undeniable buff crush, Jillian Michaels. You know Jillian Michaels as the a tough-talking, ab-rocking trainer from The Biggest Loser and as the author of Making the Cut (she swears there was no airbrushing or photoshopping of her bod on that cover, just great lighting....rrrrowl!) among other books. After a bit of a hiatus, she's returning to The Biggest Loser this season as the trainer for a secret team (oops! secret's out) , which premieres September 11th. Listen in on our conversation following a fabulous AOL Body Life Lab luncheon.
Is there some aspect of your fitness routine that you're loving right now?
Classes! I don't have to think in classes. I think so much of the time. Someone else is doing the work, telling me what to do. I can also compete with other people in the class. I can look over at the woman next to me and push myself to do more than she is doing. It's bad but it works! I love spin yoga and boot camp classes right now.
What do you dread?
I hate running. I loathe it. It is the most tedious, monotonous thing to me. I've been doing it for years but it's really a slice of hell for me.
There are days when I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon than go to the gym. So I go for a bike ride or walk the dog or call a trainer friend and say, "Yeah, I need you to train me. TODAY!"
So what do you tell people who know all about healthy living but can't actually get up from the couch or make time for it?
The action begins when you take the steps. Then you are saying, "I'm worth it." Saying "I can't" is where the craziness comes from. Yes, you are strong. Yes, you are powerful. Yes, you are capable. Whenever you put that energy into the universe, it will all fall in place.
For more of what Jillian has to say on:
- leaping into fitness
- feeling sessssy
- her own iPod shuffle and
- Jessica's dish on Jillian
keep on reading after the jump!So you'd say that people shouldn't do all the emotional, self-esteem work first and then start working out? That getting right with yourself will come once you start being active?
I think you should write down what you want for your life, bring intention to your motivation. That way you can ask yourself, "Do I want the donut or do I want to look good at my high school reunion?" I am not a believer in will-power but you can ask yourself those kinds of questions. But then, you've got to put it into action.
The good thing about The Biggest Loser is that I can scoop my team up in a tornado and take them all and whip them into a frenzy. They don't have time to stop, question or wonder. There's not time for the fear to come in. The fear of success is directly related to the fear of failure. You'll ask yourself, "What will I do next? What will be expected of me next? Will I be able to live up to it?" It is the same as fearing you will fail.
The truth of success is that successful people fail all the time. You just have to get back up and try again. It's about getting stronger and more comfortable with yourself. It's about knowing you can withstand the failure. That's what fitness is about, too. It is about knowing you're strong enough to move on from failure.
There's never a moment when I'm lifting a weight or doing a push-up when I'm like "I love this!" But I think about why I do it. We're a constant work in progress. There's not a finish line. You have to be patient with yourself. It is about making small changes and one day, you wake up and your 50, 80, 180 pounds down. Life is not 50 pounds from now. Life is RIGHT NOW. You are HER.
Sometimes people do it for their family and kids. If it sticks, fantastic. In an ideal world, it should be about you. I've found the opposite -- people don't [take action] because of their family and kids.
What's the song on your iPod or boombox or record player that really propels you?
I listen to a myriad of music. I'm really into rap, like Common, The Roots, Redman, Method Man. I also like heavier rock when I work out -- Tool, AntiFlag -- aggressive workout music. At the end of class, I play mellower stuff like Imogen Heap or Coldplay.
Who is your fitness hero? Who inspires you?
My martial arts instructor [as a kid] was my first hero, where I get my tough love, take no prisoners approach from. I love to work with trainers at different gyms. I study them. And I think a great teacher is also a great student.
What happens when you have a client who is insistent upon doing things that are unhealthy but are still losing weight?
Sometimes people have to learn themselves. I try not to step in unless I'm asked. It is frustrating. Ultimately, they will learn and they will come across the truth.
You have to burn more calories than you take in. Period. Start there, with calorie education. Take a walk. Go outside. Join a support group -- there are tons online that are free. Find support. Take baby steps when it comes to fitness and find things you like. Be educated so the choices you do make don't fall flat.
It comes down to this: If someone's not ready to pick up what you lay down, then it doesn't matter what you say.
What should people look for in a trainer?
Make sure they have credentials -- like ACSM, ACE or NCSM -- and insurance. Ask for client referrals, before and after photos, how long they've been in business. Ask what their specialty is. Make sure the trainer is in sync with your fitness goals. Make sure they're in it for the right reasons and that you click with them. They are your PERSONAL TRAINER! They will get to know you. They're touching you and working with you so you should choose them like you choose a doctor or therapist.
There's been a lot out lately about your involvement with the Sky Sport & Spa since Jackie from the show Workout has become so popular.
I built it and sold it [to Jackie]. I wish her my best, it's just that it's not in sync with my philosophies.
Feeling fit and beautiful certainly involves feeling sexy. You just did a strip-style workout video with Vanessa Marcil. How does that kind of exercise help amp up the sexy factor?
Yeah! V.'s my best friend. That was fun. At the end of the day, if I don't feel good about my body, it is not on! Women deserve to feel sexy. Whatever is going to motivate you is great, and if sex is a huge source of motivation, right?
Tell us a bit about what's next for you.
Season five of The Biggest Loser! And my third book, Making the Cut, is out. I am working with the American Cancer Society on the Great American Health Challenge. I have my website up.
And a blog!
Yes, a blog. I have a vitamin line coming out that is awesome and tailored to individual needs.
I have to tell you all that from the moment Jillian shook my hand, I was smitten. She is a wee little thing, and all muscle and fire. She is clearly passionate, informed and invested in the people she meets. She looked us each in the eye, listened to each story, answered every question and cheered us on like we'd known each other forever. She was far more inspirational than any book I've read or show I've seen. And kittens, I am not just saying any of this because the sister could kick my ass just by flexing one small muscle group! Jillian definitely gets a FitBeauty tiara for embodying the empowered, honest, hard core, delicious spirit we love so much around here.
Watch Jillian whip folks into shape on The Biggest Loser, premiering September 11th, and then let us know if it inspired you to look and feel fabulous.
For more on my time with Jillian and the AOL Body Life Lab luncheon with twenty or so other fabulous women, come on over to my personal blog.