Parade: Celebrity

Wednesday, Apr 03 2013 03:00 PM

Jillian Michaels Reveals Her No. 1 Tip for Staying Motivated While Exercising

By Parade Magazine
Jillian Michaels is busier than ever. The personal trainer best known for her hard-hitting pep talks on NBC’s The Biggest Loser (which just wrapped its 14th season) recently published a new diet and exercise book, released a new exercise DVD, and Xbox360 fitness game.

Michaels, 39, is also set to launch her first-ever live tour, Maximize Your Life. She’ll travel to 34 cities across the United States and Canada and offer motivation and inspirational tips to help people reach their fitness goals.

Between the live tour, building her fitness empire, and raising two young children with her partner Heidi Rhoades, Michaels has her hands full—but she told Parade.com she’ll definitely be back for Season 15 of The Biggest Loser, tentatively scheduled to premiere in January.

On what she’s most looking forward to most about the Maximize Your Life tour.

“That one-on-one direct connection, looking people in the eye in an unfiltered, unedited way, and being able to see the little light bulb go over their head and watch their expressions as they begin to really grasp the information you’re sharing with them. You get off the stage and you’re just going, this is so amazing, there’s nothing like it. And you can’t get that in TV or in books or in DVDs.”

On inspiring millions.
“It’s an honor to feel like you’re a small part of someone’s journey or evolution or the achievement of their goals and dreams. But it’s very, very important that it’s clarified to them: No one saved their life but them. I’m not their inspiration. I provide information; it’s my job to do so…[but] the quality of their life is their inspiration. People’s self-worth and self-image is defined based upon their achievements, believe it or not. So, if they’re giving their achievements away to somebody else, it fundamentally disempowers them. So while I am very flattered, it’s something that I quickly shoot down.”

On keeping in touch with previous Biggest Loser contestants.
“[Season 14 winner] Danni’s actually going to be doing the VIP Q&A with me for a week. There are some contestants that really touch your heart and you become very close to. Those ones I consider family, whether it’s Hannah or Olivia from [Season] 11, or Brittany from Season 5 or Michelle from Season 6 or Tara from Season 7. And then there are others you didn’t get along with in the first place. It’s just like any other human interaction.”

On her favorite moments from last season.
“I love the moment with Francelina where we talked with her about forgiving her alcoholic father. I loved the moments at the end when Danni lost 11 pounds that final week. She’d been dropping nine and 10 every single week, and it was sort of like, my god, are we going to be able to keep this going, are we going to be able to pull this out one more time? So that was really special. I really loved the moment with Sunny when we pulled her mom aside and confronted her mom about her weight, and about Sunny’s needs and about giving Sunny some space.”

On fighting childhood obesity.
“I’ve been working to fight childhood obesity for a very long time, whether it’s with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation or the Clinton Global initiative or the NFL Play 60, so it’s something that was very important to me—and something that was very personal to me, having been an overweight kid and having two kids now myself. One of the tough parts about kids is that they don’t buy the groceries. They don’t sign themselves up and drive to soccer practice. They are not in control. It’s very much imperative that when you’re trying to help kids, you get the parents on board.”

On how she motivates herself during workouts.

“When I’m working out, I definitely have my ‘why.’ I want to be able to be on the slopes with my son when he’s 10, or take a surfing lesson with him in Hawaii. I want to see my grandchildren graduate from college. I have my motivation and my ‘why’ that I constantly reiterate in my mind. But whenever I’m really miserable and don’t want to be there, I’ll definitely play games in my head, like, ‘If there was a gun to my head right now, could I finish this mile?’ or ‘If my life depended on it, could I get through the last five minutes of this class? Yes.’ So I try to put things in perspective.”

On her family’s favorite healthy recipes.
“I’ll be dead honest, I don’t have a lot of time to cook. Heidi is the chef in the family. She makes this pizza with a butternut squash sauce with feta cheese and grilled onions and pieces of butternut squash. [And] she’ll make the baby his purées…with Parmesan cheese and kale and green beans and potatoes. It’s so good, I’ve even had bites of those! But the pizza is our family favorite at the moment.”

On her advice to busy parents who want to raise healthy kids.
“Lead by example. I tried all the tricks of hiding the spinach in the brownies, but the minute I just gave up, [Lukensia] wanted to eat what we were eating. So, if we have a salad, she eats our salad—she wants the salad. The horses are eating carrots, so she wants to eat carrots. Our bird eats a little fruit cup, so she wants to have the fruit cup like Bonzai. It’s about creating positive associations with healthy behaviors and leading by example.”

Click here to find out more about Jillian Michaels' Maximize Your Life Tour, including how to purchase tickets.


Related:
Jillian Michaels on Motherhood and The Biggest Loser: We Went Back to the Basics

8 Things You Need to Know About Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels Gets Her Own Reality Show

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